Tokyo, Japan. This busy city is home to some of the most unique art, architecture, technology and style in the world. Nothing seems to be too wild or outlandish of an idea for Tokyo, and maybe that is what has always attracted me to this nation’s center. No matter how long you spend here, it seems you will never really discover all that the city has to offer, but I’ll share with you what I discovered in my 5 days in Tokyo, all while during the famous Cherry Blossom Season
When I travel somewhere for the first time, there’s always part of me that’s nervous about the first day and getting to and from where i am staying (Although it usually always turns out to be fine), but from the moment I landed, I felt perfectly comfortable. The city is very foreign friendly and there seems to always be guides at trains who are more than willing to help. For the most part, people are very polite, warm, and kind.
I ended up staying at the Tokyo Dome Hotel for the duration of my stay, which is about a 30 minute train ride from the city center. If you are someone that likes to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the main attractions, then you could consider staying here.
It wasn’t only the cherry blossom festival happening around the city, but also the last few days of Tokyo Amazon Fashion Week when I arrived. Of course, I had to try and catch the end of one of the fashion shows as soon as I got to the city!
After a long first night, it was nice to start the day to a traditional Japanese breakfast- which consists of rice, grilled fish, miso soup, pickled vegetable and eggs.
If you’re here for the first time, you might be tempted to head to some of the most popular attractions. I started my first day heading into Shibuya. In it’s busiest time of day, Shibuya crossing can have over one thousand people here at this spot at once. I think it is best to see Shibuya without and itinerary, and just explore.
Whether or not you are interested in fashion, it’s hard to pass up a day in Harajuku. You can get lost the whole day here in the many designer boutiques and vintage shops. There are so many themed cafes and restaurants with animals like owls, cats and even hedgehogs. It’s hard to not be overwhelmed by all the neighborhood has to offer. You can even be entertained by grabbing some sweets from one of the many crepes and dessert stands and hide in one of the side streets to people watch all of the one-of-a-kind styles. However, I would avoid going there on weekends, unless you want to be tightly packed into the crowds. You can also escape the weekend crowds by heading over to yoyogi park. Since it was springtime, there were many young people there in the evening viewing the flowers and enjoying the street food.
Another great neighborhood to scout out at night is Shinjuku. You will be engulfed in all the neon lights and can discover all the hidden alley ways. We started the evening here exploring all the crazy arcades and admiring the architecture. If you can, you should happen upon Omoide Yokocho (or piss alley), a small narrow alley filled with tiny bars and restaurants. And of course, you can always spend the night in the famous Robot Restaurant for a unique show and dinner.
If you’re visiting Tokyo for the first time, definitely spend as much time here as you can and immerse yourself in all the city has to offer. You could never find yourself bored or uninspired here. Don’t be afraid to go and start exploring!