Last but not least, we spent 2 nights in the incredible Tokyo! We stayed in the Khaosan Tokyo Samurai hostel in Asakusa, which I loved because it had a cute little Japanese style lounge common area where lots of the guests ate their dinner together, and it was walking distance to a tube station and the beautiful Sensoji Temple and marketplace (pictured below). We bought our souvenirs here and tried some of the traditional Japanese sweets.
(Apparently it’s good luck to touch the big lantern at the shrine entrance)
We got 24-hour subway passes for 600 yen (less than £4.50) so that we could see bits from all over the city in a short amount of time, including:
- Akihabara (famous for it’s huge electrical and Anime/Manga stores),
- Meiji Shrine – this was a very busy yet peaceful place situated in the middle of a beautiful park. We followed the crowd and ended up queuing to reach the middle of the shrine where the instructions were to throw a coin into the altar, bow twice, clap twice, then bow once more. This is apparently ‘torii etiquette’ which you should be aware of when visiting any shrines in Japan. We also were lucky to catch a very pretty traditional wedding ceremony.
- Tokyo Tower, aka ‘Eiffel Tower’
- Tsukiji Fish Market – this place was crazy, absolutely packed full of Japanese people and tourists buying every kind of fish you could imagine. Most stalls have taste testers and I ate numerous things that I absolutely could not identify… our aim was to be adventurous in a place so famous for its cuisine!
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – This is one of the best (FREE) places to get an absolutely insane view of Tokyo. You go up to the 45th (I think) floor and get an almost 360 panoramic view. We were unbelievably lucky: we thought we were going to miss the sunset (because of the queues) but we got up to the North Observatory and were greeted with bright hot pink skies and the perfect view of Mt Fuji above the city as it just began to switch on for the evening. Absolute view of a life time! The photos, of course, do not capture just how colourful and vast it was.
- Tokyo Imperial Palace – we mainly ventured around the park which was amazingly calm and quiet for how you might imagine Tokyo to be.
Other than that, we visited the famous crossroads of Tokyo and got a lot of great food along the way. All in all, an AMAZING trip.