This is my third trip to Japan and I am very excited to be here again. Japan is a country that I love, I love crowded big cities that are walkable and have good public transit, and the big cities of Japan fit this to perfection. Our first stop in Japan was Tokyo. Tokyo is electric, exciting but it can be very serene at the same time. We stayed in the neighborhood of Shinjuku – a district of entertainment.
Our hotel was a simple yet comfortable Japanese style room with tatami floors, futon mattress and low furniture. It was a 5 minute walk from the Shin Okubo train station, close to Korean town.
- This was our first meal in Tokyo the night we arrived, a mixture of seafood. Your dinner is brought to your table and you cook on an open grill.
Next morning we were up early and headed straight to the Tokyo Fish Market (Tsukiji Market). We went early because I read that it can get really busy, especially on the weekends.
When you get off the subway station you are practically in the market. Before you reach the market, you can find vendors selling items such as vegetables, house wares, sweets and souvenirs. Near the vendors you can also find a line of small restaurants, they are mostly very small and counter style eateries.
This was our meal 8 o’clock in the morning! The fish was delicious and fresh. Served with green tea and miso soup, it was heavenly. I could have this for breakfast any day!!!! I like that in Japan any restaurant you go, you are given a towel to clean your hands before the meal.
After breakfast we went to the Asakusa district of Tokyo. The Asakusa district is a beautiful area to visit, it has a friendly atmosphere of an old town. In Asakusa you can find the Senso-ji Buddhist Temple and has many beautiful shops where you can buy anything from Japanese souvenirs, housewares and personal items.
Ueno Park was our next stop, it is a gorgeous peaceful park perfect for relaxation or a jog. Under the train tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Park there is an open market called Ameyoko that sells anything from food, jewellery, clothing and shoes, it is definitely worth a visit.
We were delighted to find an oyster bar at Ameyoko market where we had these big, fresh, delicious oysters accompanied by some sake!
Our next stop was Osaka by bullet train. Osaka is Japan third largest city and definitely worth a visit. We stayed around Namba station, near an entertainment district with a variety of dining and shopping choices.
On the photo you can see the famous Glico Running Man sign in Osaka!
Next stop was Kyoto. Kyoto is a must visit, it is a romantic city of temples, shrines, sublime gardens and geishas.
The entrance of our hotel in Kyoto. It is a typical Ryokan – the Japanese style inns
I feel in love with this sweet, it is sold just about everywhere in Kyoto! It comes in a beautifully package, It is not overly sweet and it comes in different flavors.
We visited a few temples in Kyoto, but this is definitely my favorite. The temple is commonly called Kinkaku-ji Temple, or Temple of the Golden Pavillion. Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two levels of Kinkaku, and it is registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
One of our meals in Kyoto, we were give a platter with raw chicken, fish and vegetables. Them we cooked ourselves on a hot broth that was kept on the table. It looks very simple, and it was indeed but it was surprisingly delicious and satisfying especially for a chilly night.
Back to Tokyo to spend the last 2 days before flying back to Sydney. This photo was taken right at the entrance of Takeshita Street, a pedestrian-only street where you can find fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in the district of Harajuku. Harajuku is a center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. But just Just south of Takeshita you can find Omotesando, a broad street lined with trees, the Tokyo‘s Champs-Elysees. At Omotesando you can find brand names and restaurants that cater to a more adult clientele. Either way, shopping is going to be great and plentiful in either streets!
Last night in Tokyo, we went to he Robot Show at Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district. It was tacky and over the top but definitely entertaining.
Japan is a country that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Japan is a dichotomy with old and super modern living in harmony. Japan is a country that respect is at the forefront of all interactions. The cities are crowded but somehow everything works in harmony. The food is wonderful and eating fish and miso for breakfast is a welcome change. Japan is definitely a place where I want to visit again as I have not seem everything that I want to see.