As some of you may know, I recently took a little vacation to Tokyo, Japan! I know, I know…not exactly an ideal location for a short vacation, but it was all the time I had and it was still super amazing! So it back and relax because this is probably going to be quite a long blog post!
YYZ –> HND
First things first. The flight from Toronto to Tokyo was listed at 13.5 hours (it ended up being 12.5 on the way there) but regardless, the only other flight I had been on prior was to Vancouver…a.k.a. 4.5 hours. So, yes…I was a little terrified. Everything turned out to be awesome though and there was barely any turbulence!
My small group of friends and I decided to stay in an Air BnB during our time in Tokyo and it was honestly pretty fantastic. It was a tad on the smaller side, but we really only used it for sleep which was perfect.
One of the first things we wanted to figure out was food. What was close by and convenient for the Air BnB. Luckily we did have a convenience store right underneath us if we had a case of the munchies, shout out to Family Mart! We ended up dining at a few different restaurants throughout our stay and I must say, my favourite thing to eat was gyoza.
This place was like heaven on Earth. It had everything, but most importantly, it was the first place we ventured to that had plenty of anime and other various figurines. It was honestly quite amazing…and as you can see by the photo above, it could be quite overwhelming.
This was heaven on Earth part 2. Akihabara was the anime goldmine. Now, I don’t watch a lot of anime, but the anime that I do watch is a little obscure therefore making it hard to find anything related to it. I did find a lot of Sailor Moon & Cardcaptors though and we know that those two shows are nostalgia overload for me personally. It was harder to find anything Death Note or Psycho-Pass which are two of my favourite animes of all time, but Akihabara made up for it with a little dash of Yuri!!! On Ice (a new favourite of mine).
Harajuku was probably one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting. You always hear about it and how amazing it is and the hype did not let me down. There were literally so many things here, like GIANT cotton candy, crepes and of course shopping! There was everything from anime, vintage clothing stores, the 100 Yen store & food!
This was the first place we explored that was more of a traditional setting. It was beautiful and sunny that day which made the Meiji Shrine even more beautiful. There was even a wedding taking place while we were there which was amazing to see. I wish we could have explored more shrines and temples. Hopefully I can make it back there soon to explore everything we didn’t get to see!
Tokyo Tower was one of the first attractions that we came across on our first full day in Tokyo! While we didn’t go up the tower, there were so many things to do and see in the main lobby on the first floor! There was food and of course shopping and a bunch of little tourist shops where we could get some awesome little souvenirs! And I mean…it was just beautiful to look at from the outside alone.
The Sensi-jo Temple was absolutely stunning. I’m really glad we decided to go here at night as everything was 10x more beautiful lit up. This was another one of the more traditional places we chose to visit and I’m so glad that we did!
First things first…the Skytree claims to be taller than the C.N. Tower and I just don’t buy it. Okay, now that I got that off my chest, the Tokyo Skytree was quite the sight to see. However, it blew my mind that we didn’t see it around while exploring during our first couple of days in the city…it was like it was completely hidden until we got right up to it. Once again, we didn’t go up into the tower, but there were a few levels of shopping on the first couple of floors that we did explore!
Close by to the Tokyo Skytree was Tokyo Dome City! Tokyo Dome is the home of Japan’s baseball team the Tokyo Giants! We each picked up a few pieces of Tokyo Giants merch as it was pretty legit (see my friend’s hat in the photo above). All around Tokyo Dome was (you guessed it) shopping! On top of that though, there was a little mini amusement park which was pretty legit!
First of all, how lucky are we that we even got tickets to the magical place that is the Ghibli Museum? Answer: we were so lucky. We happened to look into getting tickets the day before a new batch was about to be released for tourists. In case you aren’t familiar with the process, the Ghibli Museum releases a new batch of tickets every three months that are meant for tourists only. To get these tickets is a pure miracle and OMG we got them. Unfortunately, you aren’t allowed to take photos inside the museum but we were allowed to take photos of anything that was outdoors…as well as our food from the Straw Hat Cafe inside the museum!
What kind of trip to Japan would it be if we didn’t hit up the Pokemon Centre?! We ended up visiting two different locations and it was obviously magical. If you grew up watching the show or playing the games, this is totally the place for you!
I’m sure everyone has heard about this INTENSE intersection in Japan, known as the Shibuya Crossing. I would also like to quickly mention that I made the video above during non-peak hours. This was NOTHING compared to what this crossing is actually like during peak hours/weekends. While visiting the Shibuya Crossing we also ventured into Shibuya 109 which is basically a 9 storey department building full of the latest fashion trends!
So basically, we walked almost EVERYWHERE when we weren’t venturing through the Tokyo subway. I’m not kidding when I tell you I lost almost 5 pounds from walking around this entire week. Another thing I learned…Japan is NOT flat. I’ve never been to San Fransisco, but I have a funny feeling Tokyo could give it a run for its money.
HND –> YYZ
Can I just say, Haneda airport has been the coolest airport I have been to so far. Mind you, I haven’t been to many…but any airport filled with anime, cafes and an observation deck is a cool airport in my books. I miss it already.
And there you have it. Just a gist of my trip to Tokyo, Japan! As you can see, we squeezed in as much as we could into the 8 days that we were there. I’m sure I’ve missed talking about a lot of things, but even though we managed to do quite a lot, I know we missed out on a lot of other things. I would absolutely 100% go back to Japan and hopefully sometime soon. There are so many more things I would like to see and I am already itching to get on another 12 hour flight…that’s how much I loved it there.
Here are some bonus shots for your viewing pleasure!
Thank you for reading through this entire post if you’ve made it this far!
I hope you were able to live vicariously though me!