Tokyo was a great experience. Overall, we had a awesome time whether it was shopping, watching a sumo match, or playing Mario Kart in an arcade. We loved our 3 days in Tokyo and I’m sure we’d all want to come back.
Arrival in Tokyo!
Well. When we arrived in Tokyo, I did not really expect what I saw. Fancy vending machines with computer screens on them, and our first activity waiting for the train from Narita airport was getting drinks– cold for me, hot for my Mom– from the machine and then riding the express train to super-crowded Tokyo station.
Jet-lagged by 5 hours, we got takeout at Tokyo station and brought it back to the AirBnB, where we ate in the cold, waiting for the heat to warm the place up. We all slept in our jackets that night!
The AirBnB was nice… it had multiple super-nice bidets on the toilets and lots of living space, including a bath ROOM where you just stood in the room and squirted yourself to take a shower. The bedroom for the kids had a futon mat which we almost slept on but instead we used the covers as an extra blanket, and crammed all three of us kids into one bed.
Conveniently we even had a Tully’s in the neighborhood. Weirdly, they had pancakes. American pancakes. At Tully’s. Japan is cool. 😎
Tsukiji Fish Market: The Tsukiji Fish Market is a gigantic market where distributors come to buy fish straight from the fisherman. It was the very first place we went and we had to wake up pretty early as the market closed at 9. They have many different kinds of fish not to mention the crabs, lobsters, and other funny sea creatures. You can watch fishermen chop up 100 kilogram tunas or pry open an oyster and take all the meat. Just outside the market is another market kind of like Pike Place Market, and they have hundreds of little stands selling little samples of seafood, and some of the foods that we sampled were pretty weird. We ate chicken and squid on a stick, we ate raw octopus, and the strangest….. eel liver.
Sensōji Temple: The Sensōji Temple is a religious shrine for Buddhists. They have lots of religious artifacts and lots of other places for religious practices. They have a place to honor the dead, they have a fountain with holy water, and a place to worship.
SkyTree Tower: The SkyTree tower is a HUGE antenna that works all around Tokyo. It is around 600 meters tall, and there are observation decks at 350 and 450 meters. We only went to the 350 meter observation deck. But the view was amazing. We went on a day that was pretty clear, and you could almost see Mt. Fuji.
Sumo Wrestling: There are lots of Sumo Wrestling arenas around Japan, but we went to the main one. It’s called Ryogoku. Ryogoku is a big, big arena about the size of a basketball stadium with a circle with about an eight foot diameter where the wrestling takes place right in the middle.
Zakuro: This is the first dinner that we went to, and it was really good. We had to take our shoes off, and it was my first time ever sitting on the floor. They had a really good meat called shabu-shabu, like very thin beef, and you cook it on your own. And once again, we ate some weird stuff. The two pictures of me with a bowl are of me eating turtle soup. And once again, even worse, a whole fish. Yes, a whole fish. Tail, head, eyes, bones, EVERYTHING!!!
Stores of Shinjuku: Shinjuku has the busiest subway station in the world, so naturally, there are a lot of people. We spent our second day exploring here. About half of Shinjuku is covered in little stores that are 3x as tall as they are wide. Many of these stores are half arcade and have lots of arcade games. the people that live here really love their arcades!. We saw plenty of adults playing videogames, including ones where you use cards. And we saw tons of cool little plastic figurines… Especially from Star Wars!
Takashimaya: You will never find a larger department store than the Takashimaya in Shinjuku. It has more than 13 stories, and is about as wide as the ship that we’re taking around the world is long. And our ship is pretty big. It has two full stories of only restaurants, about 10 stories for shopping, and multiple supermarkets take up the rest. While we were there, there was a crafting event, with lots of different Japanese crafts, and Sydney got to try playing a Japanese harp.
Shibuya & Harajuku: You can find almost anything in the stores in Harajuku. On our third day, we went to Shibuya (cool Starbucks with an amazing view of the crowds) and walked to Harajuku.
We went in three completely different stores. We went into a large clothing store with a bunch of Japanese-designed clothing, we went into a five story soccer (or as they call it, futbol) store and a Disney store. For lunch, we went to a Ramen restaurant.. and all around the neighborhood they saw people dressed up for cosplay.
Robot Restaurant: (it’s actually a show, not a restaurant) There are lots of different shows in Tokyo, but we only went to one, and I really feel that this one brought out the Japanese culture. (90% of the people in there weren’t Asian) They had lots of robots (duh) and played drums and danced to really bring out the culture.
Keyakizaka: Keyakizaka was a really good teppanyaki restaurant in Ginza that had the best steak I’ve ever eaten. One of my favorite restaurants back home is called Tokyo Steakhouse, and it’s also a teppanyaki restaurant, but the food is different. Keyakizaka also had some good miso soup and rice.
The eight things that we did all took place in three days (the first five were in one day). This excludes most of the food and all of the simple walking and looking around. There are tons of things to do in Tokyo, and I wish we had more time because if we had just one or two more days we could have gotten to do so much more.