It will be almost a year since my coworkers and I went to Japan last November. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and it has been on my bucketlist for as long as I can remember so I was really excited when our boss announced that he’ll be sending us to Japan. This was also my first out-of-country ever since I went to study abroad in Xiamen way back in 2009 when I was just fourteen. Anyways, looking back, our 6 days in Japan went by real quick, it almost felt like I was dreaming when we were there.
11.11.2016 Day 1: Shinjuku, Ginza, Yurakucho
Tokyo Narita Airport.
We took the Airport Limousine Bus on our way to our hotel in Shinjuku.
Saw Tokyo Tower 🗼 on our way from Narita. I thought that I just had to go there before we leave Tokyo to Osaka (because OP feels 😭).
It took around an hour to get to our hotel in Shinjuku. We stayed in Hilton and this is our view from our hotel.
It was freaking cold outside. I think it was around 10 degrees at that time.
Saw this building when we were walking and was fascinated on how tall the building was. I searched for the name of the building and realized that it was Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, a 204-meter 50-story educational facility. According to wikipedia, it is the 2nd tallest educational building in the world and 25th tallest building in Japan.
We also rented a pocket wifi in a not-so-nearby convenience store since we forgot to rent one while we were at the airport.
It was already 4pm when we opted to have our lunch in Itamae Sushi Shinjuku.
* The tiled photos below are not mine.
As soon as we rented the pocket wifi, we had our lunch in this nearby resto because we were starting to feel hungry. We weren’t disappointed tho. The food tasted really good!
We still roamed around the streets of Shinjuku after we had lunch. I remember going inside on this department store and each of us bought umbrellas since it was slightly raining. After that, we road the subway going to Ginza.
We spent the rest of the night roaming around the streets of Ginza. Ginza is a high-class major shopping district in Tokyo.
The largest branch of Uniqlo in Japan. It has 12 floors!
It also houses the infamous Hattori Clock Tower in Wako Building. (I often see this in mangas I read lol).
The evening was chilly and it was only 6pm when we decided to take a rest from all the hustling and bustling and had coffee in Le Cafe Doutor.
Sipping coffee as we watched people hustle.
My officemate also suggested that we try this resto somewhere in Yurakucho, which accordingly had good reviews. It was a good long walk and we got lost as we explored our way on foot. According to Google Maps, it was supposed to only be a five-minute walk from our last stop, but we got lost on our way finding it. I don’t actually remember the name of the establishment where we dined in but I do remember walking underneath train tracks, tunnels and alleyways.
Lol at us struggling to find the place. I remember walking around in circles!
We went back to the hotel via taxi afterwards. We were surprised to find out that traffics here were infrequent. And also, taxi doors open automatically lol.
11.12.2016 Day 2: Asakusa, Shibuya, Harajuku
The next day, we went to the infamous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, which is also known as the oldest temple in Tokyo.We went from Shinjuku Station to Asakusa via the JR line.
It would have been quite a walk from our hotel to the Shinjuku Station but luckily, we found out that Hilton actually has a shuttle bus which could take us directly to the station. While inside the bus, I couldn’t help but take photos of the beautiful surroundings of Japan.
I didn’t expect to see a lot of people flocking in and out the temple. It was really crowded.
I saw a lot of locals wearing traditional kimonos as they strolled through the streets of Asakusa. There’s actually a kimono store nearby wherein you can rent them for a day but we opted not to since we didn’t plan on staying in Asakusa for so long.
They sell a wide variety of Japanese fans, Katana swords, etc. All of which are some of the cool things to buy in Japan while you’re at it – that is, if you’re a fan of the Japanese martial arts.
We tried this one since this drew the most attention plus it’s only around Php80 when you convert it. I’m not sure what it’s called but losta people were actually lining up for this street snack. To be honest, it wasn’t as good as people hyped them up to be. It has a sweet taste but the sauce was super sticky and it can get all over the place.
We also often get dehydrated after all the walking lol. But we didn’t have to worry because vending machines could be found almost everywhere. They’re all over the place. A bottled water costs ¥100 or equivalent to Php45.
After leaving the temple grounds, we decided to do a little detour and go to Tokyo Sky Tree because we all thought that it was already very nearby since the tower was already visible when we were roaming around the streets in Asakusa.
On our way, we discovered that there was a Studio Ghibli store. My sister wanted a Totoro music box as a souvenir. When I entered the shop, I was lucky enough to find a music box. I didn’t want to let the chance slip through my fingers when it was already right in front of me so I bought it right away. I got her this one, which was around ¥5,000.
We had a chance to walk past Azumbashi Bridge in Asakusa which was only a walking distance from Sensoji Temple. Our itinerary didn’t even include Sky Tree at all. Our next stop should have been Meiji Jingu, but whatever, curiosity kills the cat! The Sky Tree just drew all of our attention into it.I saw this one passed by under the bridge but I’ve actually no idea on what type of marine vessel it was lol. After crossing the bridge, we rested for a while in the Sumida Park. This was also the last time we got to get a glimpse of the Sky Tree and the closest to where we could get to it. My officemate told us that it still seemed quite far if we walked from where we were so we got back to our original itinerary – which was Meiji Jingu. Goodbye Sky Tree! I’ll visit you when I get a chance!
To get us on track, we rode the subway station. Lol at us eyeing those cold drinks vending machines!I recommend trying this one. It’s cheap but the flavor’s good. Fun fact: Did you know that Georgia Coffee is the world’s highest-grossing, ready-to-drink coffee brand? According to wiki, it was launched in 1975 by Coca-Cola (Japan), named after Coca-Cola’s home state of Georgia. It has since expanded to markets in Singapore, South Korea, India, Bahrain, and the U.S. And they don’t have this in the Philippines.
Unfortunately tho! It was already closed by the time we got there. It was 5pm and I think the place closes at 4pm. Lol super fail.
We went to ride a cab going to Harajuku afterwards. My officemate really wanted to check some place out. She told us that she couldn’t afford to miss it.We found out that she was particularly interested in shoes. There were quite a number of shoe stores and they sell a wide variety of brands/models/colors, etc. Most of them were discounted too. I wasn’t quite of a fan of shoes in particular and we were only on the second day so I urged myself not to splurge.We also tried Eggs n’ Things. And we had pancakes for dinner lol.But boi was the line long! I think we waited for around 45 minutes just to get in. At first we were supposed to stay outside the resto but we requested to eat inside since it was really cold (but not as cold as the first day).After eating, we rode a cab again and went to the infamous Shibuya! As soon as our driver dropped us off, we were amazed on how bright the city lights were!And you know what happens next? We took multiple photos of us crossing the streets non-stop lol! We were all jiddy and happy, and we’ve never been this excited to cross a street! I’ve a video stored in my phone but I can only posts photos here so-I think we’ve crossed the streets a dozen of times but we weren’t the only ones. We saw a woman in a long red gown having her pictures taken while she was crossing the streets of Shibuya. I think it took around 30 mins or so since we spotted her from the moment we stayed in Starbucks until we decided to go home. (Tho it isn’t in the picture)Foreigners stopping by to have their pictures taken ob the Shibuya Crossing seemed pretty normal to the locals there. I’m sure they’re already very used to seeing them.It was 11pm+ by the time we got back to our hotel. We didn’t have our pocket wifi with us and by the time we got off Shinjuku Station, we got lost but the locals were very kind to help us find our hotel. They sent us a bluetooth of the image of the map from where we were going to our hotel. It was already very dark and we happened to pass by this eerily dark street and there were a few drunk (?) guys around, and my officemate was telling me how it wasn’t really a safe place but okay I was starting to feel scared and it was just the 2 of us because our other officemate met up with her friend that night and we left her the wifi since she was all alone and what if her friend didn’t show up? Lol to cut things short, nothing really happened that time. I’m just saying how hard it was for us to go by without the pocket wifi lol. Tho in our last day, I managed to go around in Osaka on my own without having to depend on any wifi connection. It was hard but I managed and I felt proud of myself lol.
Btw, there were a lot of handsome guys in Shibuya haha that I just couldn’t help but secretly stare at them!
11.13.2016 Day 3: Meiji Shrine, Tokyo Disney Sea, Tokyo Tower
11.14.2016 Day 4: Tokyo Metropolitan Government Government, Dotonbori
11.15.2016 Day 5: Kyoto Inari Shrine, Dotonbori
11.16.2016 Day 6: Universal Studios
11.17.2016 Day 7: Dotonbori