Friday, April 6, 2012

Aishiteru, Japan!

I've lived in Asia for four years, and have never been to Japan. What a disgrace! Finally this year, The Boyfriend and I decided to go to Japan for a whirlwind 4-day adventure, and what a memorable experience it was. (Check out my favorite photos from our trip here.) 

Ginza shopping district, Tokyo
Warning! Shopoholics might lose their minds here. I know this, because I am, and I did. This famous shopping district has hundreds of stores, ranging from affordable, like Forever 21, GAP and H&M, to high-end stores like Dior, Tiffany & Co., Chanel and Prada

The architecture of these stores is incredible, and most of them boast four to seven floors of retail heaven. My heart is beating fast now, just thinking about it. The Boyfriend was being a total sweetheart, and left me alone to go shopping while he walked around the area. It’s just... I can go faster when I’m by myself…

Shinjuku Station, Tokyo
Our hotel was in this area, which was very convenient, as Shinjuku Station is the hub for all metro lines in Tokyo. Now, don’t even get me started on the subway system in Tokyo. It was so overwhelming, but we managed to figure it out and considered ourselves pros after four days.

Around Shinjuku Station there are also numerous shopping options, restaurants, pubs and other special types of entertainment, which I don’t want to get into too much. Well, it’s Japan, so use your imagination.

Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms at Shinjuku-Gyoen, Tokyo
This time of the year is the best to view the famous cherry blossoms in Tokyo. At first we didn’t know if they were already blooming, as it was still very cold, but as we stepped into Shinjuku-Gyoen, the best park to view cherry blossoms, we were met by hundreds of trees, sporting cherry blossoms of all the different shades of pink. It was truly a breathtaking scene.

Omotesando Hills shopping mall in Harajuku, Tokyo
Unfortunately, a freak storm, apparently the worst in 50 years, hit Japan one day while we were there. Trains were delayed and it was barely possible to stand on your feet outside in the wind and rain. But this didn’t stop us from trying to see as much of Tokyo as possible. 

Even though there were barely any people in, the usually packed to the brim, Harajuku area, we walked around Takeshita Street and Omotesando Hills for a few hours after the rain finally stopped. This area, with its cheap clothing stores, caters to mostly teenagers and young adults, and this is where people gather for costume play over the weekends.

Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo
We had to go to Shibuya Crossing to witness the famous site of hundreds, maybe thousands(!?) of pedestrians crossing the intersection every few minutes. Because the weather wasn’t that great, there were fewer people than usual, but we could get the idea of what it looks like on a regular day.

Imperial Palace
One of the buildings at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo
We walked around the Imperial Palace and gardens, where the Emperor of Japan lives, for a couple of hours, taking in the traditional architecture.

Having Sushi in Tokyo
We were pleasantly surprised by the number of Indian restaurants in Tokyo, as this is our absolute favorite food. I’m not kidding; there are literally three Indian restaurants on every street. Of course, we had to have some delicious sushi as well, and the pork cutlets were delicious.

Mount Fuji
Mount Fuji (photo taken from the train)
Seeing Mount Fuji with my own eyes was probably the highlight of our trip. The only way to describe it is “majestic”. We had to take a train for about 2 hours to get to an area called LakeKawaguchi. There, we went up another mountain, Mount Kachi Kachi with a cable car, to get the best view of Mount Fuji.

I must say, Japan really exceeded my expectations, and is now one of my favorite travel destinations. I can’t wait to go back there! Maybe next year?


  1. Whow !!!! This is fabulous !!!!!

  2. Great review andi love Indian food so great to hear they have so many places haha :)

  3. Japan looks amazing! Just the shopping alone would probably be enough for me. But I'd love to see the cherry blossoms too and enjoy all the food.


  4. Best whirlwind recap ever. :) Glad you had a weekend to remember!

  5. My favorite thing about Tokyo, Indian food and H&M!!

    There is a pretty nice restaurant/pub on Ginza (the lion something) which is a great place for boys to hang out in whilst their girls are in H&M! My boy has spend many hours in there!

    Sorry you had the bad weather though! It was horrible wasn't it! At one point I couldn't open the car door because the wind was so strong!

  6. Oooh, I will remember that for next time! ;-) Thanks for the tip!

    The weather was crazy! If we knew it was that dangerous, we would've stayed indoors. Luckily it did stop raining while we were walking around, but the wind! Geez!

  7. Wow!! That looks amazing. Japan is definitely high on my 'places to visit' list. Glad you had such a great trip and were able to pack so much in! :)



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