Day 4: Last day in Tokyo

Tsukiji market

Already the last day in Tokyo. What a wonderful city. We decided to visit the Tsukiji market, the biggest fish market of the world. It was on walking distance from our hotel. We also wanted to have breakfast there and to see some activity you have to be early. So at 09:00 we were walking around. The fishmarket is an enormous place with thousands of marketstands selling fish, souvenirs and food related stuff. Earlier in the morning is the daily fish auction but that is unfortunately not accesible for all tourists. A great thing to do is to have breakgast at the fishmarket and ofcource it is a beakfast with fish. We entered one of those very smalle little places and had a delicous breakfast with sushi, soup and fish.

Ueno Park

After the fishmarket we left to Ueno-park. Famous for the cherry blossom, temples and museums. We love to visit museums but in a country where is so much to see and to do we have to make choices so we skipped museums. Maybe further in the trip. Unfortunately the cherryblossom season has not yet started in Tokyo but there where already a few. The park itself is really beautiful and great to walk around, watching people and relax. However also here there is a lot of people.

Then we went to Kappabashi street. Famous for all kind of professional cooking tools and stuff but the most amazing is all the plastic food they make there. It is used by restaurants to show their menu’s in their windows. Really weird to see. Then a late lunch at a lunchroom, coffee and a sandwich. Almost like a european lunch.

The last area we wanted to visit is Akihabara, also called the electric town. This is the craziest we ever seen. A paradise for gamers and manga addicts. Enormous neon advertisements all with noise and screaming people. It is an unreal world. Impossible to describe. We even saw a group mario-karts passing by. I think when you are into gaming you will have the time of your life. We as spectators too by the way!

Then back to our Hotel and looking for a place to have our last dinner in Tokyo. We found a nice restaurant around the corner where they serve great meat. In a nice seperated romantic area with a fire in the middle in where we could grill our own wayu meat and vegetables. A bell on our table to call the waitress or waiter. When you ring they came running to your table! Sometimes the waitress just jumped in front of our table with a samourai sword and scream. So nice at a romantic dinner, haha. The japanese call this entertainment. The food was delicious, a great atmosphere and the people where very nice. We had a great evening.

Next morning we will leave to Hakone. A great natural area around mount Fuji. Bye, bye Tokyo. You cannot compare Tokyo with any other city. Everything is different and full of contradictions. The people, the architecture, the food and the culture amazed us every second of the day.

Day 3 West Tokyo

We slept until 10:30. This was probably needed. Today we planned to visit the West part of Tokyo. With  the Tokyo Yamanote line. A train that goes around Tokyo in a circle and stops at the most interesting areas in Tokyo.

Shibuya

Our first stop is Shibuya. You have probably heard about or have seen this place. Here is the famous busiest crossroad where everybody starts walking at the same time. It is faniscinating to see how nobody bounches to eachother.

 

 

At this station we also found the statue of Hachiko. The dog (an Akita) has waited 9 years every day at the station for the return of his boss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because we did not have breakfast we were really hungry and decided to eat a ramen (a very rich filled soup) in one of those small places. The procedure is as follows in those places. You put money in a machine with pictures of the meals. You make a selection and for every meal or drink you have selected a ticket comes out. You gave these tickets to the waitress who transfer them to the kitchen. In the kitchen the ramen noodles are freshly cooked and the meal will be prepared in front of you. It is delicious. This is the best ramen I have  eaten in my live.

 

 

Strawling around this neighbourhood is amazing.

Shops with really everything you can imagine, weird restaurants and entertainment with dancing and singing women dressed like dollls or a robot resaturant.. We did not go in but it seems to be funny.

 

After Shibuya we continue to Harajuku station where you wil find Takeshita Street.

Takeshita street

A real must to visit. Here you will find the real weird shops and restaurants. Young people dressed like comics or baby dolls. And when one drop of rain is falling. All japanese have an umbrella in a second.!

 

 

We really think that Japanese girls or women want to be a little kid instead of a woman. You also find here the japanese punk influences but that is not so special for us.

Wat is really weird: We have drunk a coffee in a place called ‘pumpupurin café’. Based on a TV character for little kids but it is full with Japanes grown-ups. Amazing! Another must are the crepes filled with creme, fruits, chocololate or whatever you want. About 500 choices. Delicious. In this street you will also find the ‘cats’ restaurant. A lot of cats walking around in this restaurant and this is heaven for cat-lovers.

 

At he other site of the station we wanted to visist Yoyogi park but it was already closed. It opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. So in the summer it is open much longer. Then we continued to Shinjuku.

 

 

Shinjuku

An overwelming amount of neon light, commercials, music, screaming advertisements. Is this real ? Yes it is. This area is a mix of big shopping malls, great restaurants, tiny little restaurants, gambling shops, red light district etc. etc. Can it be worse? Yes it can !!! Read our next post.

But you also find delicious food in this area. All prepared in front of you.

Day 2 Real tourists :)

The jetlag has made us decide to do a real tourist day.  We do  not want to think or to investigate so  think or to investigate. So for the first time in our lives we have taken a tourbus with a guide that you have to follow in a group of 50 persons.  We have to admit it was not a negative experience but it is  unconfy that somebody else decide your timeschedule and how long you wil stay at a certain place. But at the other hand we have seen a lot in one day and we have seen places we should not have found without this Tour. Here an overview of the sights we have visisted:

 

Tokyo Tower

The ‘Eifeltower’ of Tokyo. Not the highest tower in Tokyo anymore but it gives a nive overview of Tokyo. Tokyo have so very many big buildings. Not just concentrated in one area like in New York but the whole city is full of skycrapers. It is amazing, between all those big building nice parks,  beautiful gardens, hidden spots, oases of peace and calmness. Yes, indeed a lot of contradictions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happo-en Garden

A real old garden in Tokyo with an treasure of Bonsai trees. Some of them are really 500 years old. A must for those who love bonsai  trees.

 

 

In this garden we also have had the famous japanese tea ceremony. The tea itself is quite bitter but ofcourse you are not allowed to say you do not like it. This is not done and a real crime in Japan! You thank the tea master for the delicious tea.

 

 

 

This garden is also popular for weddings. Traditional or modern, there are a lot of weddings in Tokyo. Everywhere in every park you will see marriage couples or ceremonies.

 

 

 

 

Chinzanso Garden

The Chinzanso Garden is also worth to visit. Little ponds, a Temple, japanese wooden bridges, trees, statues. Those gardens are nice for a moment of quietness and relaxing in a overwelming crowded and busy Tokio.

Nice detail of this place: They have special lockers for your umbrella! Haha. Never seen before.

 

 

Part of the tour was a traditional japanese meal. A really good lunch called Yoganyaki (like a tepanyaki but on lava stones).

 

 

Imperial Palace

The imperial palace garden is big and nice. From there you can only see glimp of the palace itself. To really visit the Palace you have to book an imperial palace tour via the official website of teh palace if you really want to see it.

 

 

 

Boattour

Ofcourse a real tourist day is not complete with a boattour. The tour went under twelve bridges of Tokyo. Every bridge has an very interesting history and background. Sorry but we do not remember any detail. It is nice to see Tokyo from the water. Anther view of the city.

 

 

 

Senso-ji temple Asakusa

The famous buddha temple of Tokyo. Really nice and a must when you are in Tokyo. After an entrance of 400 metere of all kind of little shops the big Temple appears. Surrounded by places whre you can purrify your self with incence or drinking holy water that brings you luck. A realy must do is the fortune telling. Shaking a box with 100 sticks and pick one of the sticks. This stick has a number and the number corresponds with a litle drawer. In that drawer your will a paper that tells you your level of luck that you will get. If you get a ‘bad’ luck  you ca leave the paper behind so you will leave all your bad luck behind you. We both got ‘Regular fortune’and ‘Excellent fortune’. The temple and market is very popular so it is very very crowded but fun.

 

Conclusion of a tourist bus tour

We have to admit that doing a guided tour like this is really nice when you are still in Jetlag mode. Due to the ‘experienced’ bustour people this was a really good one. So for those people who want to try: We have booked this tour via Viator. The guide namend ‘Mai’ spoke really good english and knew a lot.

Still two days to go in Tokyo. We are full of energy to explore the rest of this wonderful 0verwelming and weird city.

 

Day 2 Tokyo Food

Breakfast

No time for a real breakfast. So we bought sandwiches and drinks at the busstation. We have to say, good quality. The food at train and busstations is in general of a real high quality. As well for breakfast, lunch and diner.

Tea ceremony at Happo-en Garden

In this garden we  have had the famous japanese tea ceremony. The real traditional tea ceremony takes 4 hours but we had a 20 minutes versions. It is impressive to see the whole process around making the tea, warm it and drink it. Really nice to do. The tea itself is quite bitter but ofcourse you are not allowed to say you do not like it. This is not done and a real crime in Japan! You thank the tea master for the delicious tea.

 

Lunch at Chinzanso Garden

We were lucky that a part of our tour was a real japanese traditional meal.  A really good lunch called Yoganyaki (like a tepanyaki but on  lava stones). All food is freshly grilled in front of you. Several pieces of meat, vegetables prepared and served. Delicious!

 

Diner at a Sake bar in Ginza

We have found a nice little sake-bar in a cellar with only japanese people and not any recognisable word on the menu but they had a picture of some yakitori and we loved to eat this. It was not really a restaurant. It was a bar where you also can eat. The normal silent and stylish japanase people are changing in to loud laughing and noisy people when they have drunk sake. So funny to see and hear. The sake was really special and the food was good. The service and atmosphere was excellent. So nice to experience real japanese places. The adress and name of the place ? The bar is called Jogo somewhere in the sidestreets of Ginza. We really do not remember the adress.

Day 1 Arrival

After a fantastic flight (with Champagne dinner at the plane) we arrived at Narita Airport. It was great they had  signs also in English so we could find our luggage. High security procedures. Filling in forms, they took fingerprints and a picture.

 

 

Then we had to pick-up our JapanRailPass. Our vouchers had all the details but again we had to fill in everything again on other forms. The japanese people are extremely friendly and help where ever they can. After this we picked up our mobile wifi equipment at the post-office so we have internet connection everywhere.

 

 

With  the Narita Express to Tokyo. Trains are exactly on time. Clean and lots of space. Our Hotel is located in the Ginza district. A very nice and busy area with millions of shops and restaurants. After a nap of a few hours we started to look around in the district to find a place to eat.

 

We met a local couple, Pan and Aikido who brought us to their favourite sushi place. Impossible to find if you do not know where it is. Somewhere in a building on the 5th floor. Only place for about 12 people. Wow! Never had such a great sushi in our life. The sushi-chef, Master Kogure runs this place at his own already for 30 years. All fish is bought this morning at the fish-market. On sunday this place is closed, like most of the good fish restaurants, because there is no fish market on sundays and they only serve fresh fish.


So, after this great dinner and strawling through this neigbourhood with all great shops and restaurants we will go to sleep. This was a super nice first day in Japan where locals took us to nice places we should have never found ourselves. Tomorrow a real tourist day! Visiting some hightlights of Tokyo with a tour guide.