We arrived in Tokyo on the evening of the 28th August and stayed until the 1st September. So this post will be all about our mission to discover Tokyo in four days. Or maybe I should say 3.5 days 😀
After a day of traveling we were much too tired to do anything much on Sunday. We’re staying in Shinjuku, so luckily we never have to go far for delicious food, bars and shops. Shinjuku is a trendy area, very popular amongst the young and as such it’s exactly what we need. And don’t worry about the prices, food and drinks are relatively cheap. If you want an authentic Japanese experience and are on a budget, head to an Izakaya where you can eat and drink for very little money. We paid around £40 for about 13 drinks, out of those two were whiskeys, 3 were whiskey based cocktails, 5 sakes and some beer. A really good value for money. And don’t worry, there were four of us, so all those drinks weren’t only for us ☺ When you go out to drink, try some of the teeny tiny bars in Golden Gai, but check if they have a cover charge as that might save you around ¥300 per person.
I could quite happily spend most of my time (and money) in Shinjuku. There’s Barney’s, Banana Republic, Gucci and plenty of other shops that you know and don’t know.
On Monday we went to the Outer Gardens of the Imperial Palace. The East Gardens are closed on Mondays and Fridays, but any other day, you can relax in this beautiful area, so we returned on Tuesday. As with most places, there is no entry fee, but they do regulate the number of visitors by giving you a plastic token, which you return upon exit.
We then spent Monday in Akihabara, the centre of the so-called geek subculture. Walking around the neighborhood is a complete sensory overload. Not only are the buildings covered in bright posters, there’s anime and manga everywhere. We walked through all the floors of Akihabara Radio Center where Ben loved the slots that spit out a plastic ball filled with a toy and I just kept shaking my head at all the overload that’s nothing like anything I’ve seen before.
We had to go to Super Potato Retro-kan, where we played an arcade game and then headed to Taito Station where we tried to grab a Pikachu, danced Dance Revolution, Ben played some amazing looking Star Wars game and a shooting one while I couldn’t even figure out what the heck to do on most of them. I found it unusual that people are still allowed to smoke inside the bars and those arcade places, but our hotel luckily provided us with fabric refresher, so the cigarette smell doesn’t linger and insult my over-sensitive nose. Super Potato on 5th floor is smaller and most of the games are old fashioned, think Pac man, while Taito Station covers more floors and has a lot of newer and 3D games.
We use PASMO
to travel around as it’s pay as you go card that’s accepted in shops, on public transport, and not only in Tokyo, we’re currently using it in Kyoto too.
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