A taste of Tokyo

We only had three days in Tokyo so wanted to see as much as possible of this vast metropolis (with a population of around 14 million). And in our 72 hours, we saw many sides of the city across the different neighbourhoods we visited.

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We based ourselves in a cool hostel in Asakusa, one of the older areas of town, where the dorm beds were enclosed making for uninterrupted sleeps (a rarity in a hostel).

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Outside of hostel

Nearby was the stunning (but crowded) Buddhist Senso-Ji temple which we visited on a walking tour.

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Pathway to temple

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Tokyo Tower in the background

A few stops on the super efficient metro and we were in Akihibara, where the geeks hang out. We saw whole arcades dedicated to pachinko (electronic pinball), millions of electronics shops and colourful billboards.

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Pachinko arcade
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Akihibara crossing
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Electronics centre

The following day we strolled around the Imperial Palace area (where the Japanese emperor and the imperial family still reside) which was in stark contrast to the modern skyline in the distance.

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In the evening we headed back to Asakusa and strolled the lanes amongst the atmospheric shopfront restaurants.

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On our final we day we headed to once of the most modern parts of capital, Harajuku. Here we saw two sides of the city within a few hundred meters of each other. First up was the packed teen hangout area complete with cool shops, stylish dressers and adolescents eating candy floss.

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Then, just around the corner, my favourite part of the city, the serene beautiful Shinto shrine of Meji-jingu.

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However, as much as we enjoyed the different neighbourhoods, we also enjoyed sampling the different types of local food…

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Udon noodles topped with spicy mince and a poached egg
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Deep fried seafood and veg from a tempura-only restaurant
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Ramen from a tiny noodle shop with seating for five
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Okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake which you cook at your table)
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Help yourself tempura from 70p per piece
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And our favourite…a slightly sour and sweet cheese tart

Our trip was all too brief (we didn’t have time for Tsukiji fish market, Yanaka and the Tokyo Bay area to name a few) but it left us wanting to come back to explore again.

Next stop: the Japan Alps

2 Comments Add yours

  1. tokyo5 says:

    >Anime arcade

    That’s actually “pachinko“.
    Read my post:
    https://tokyo5.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/kiss-pachinko/

  2. Jack Solesbury says:

    Thanks, I’ve updated the text! jack

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