The Streets of Tokyo13.2.15
In Tokyo, it's apparent how well the old can merge with the new; electric towns and shopping malls happily coexist alongside ...
In Tokyo, it's apparent how well the old can merge with the new; electric towns and shopping malls happily coexist alongside temples and shrines. I loved every thing from the quiet museums and the stationery obsessed shops to the busy markets and neon arcades. I am left wondering how I will survive without the vending machines that serve hot bottled tea, the UFO machines that dispense kawaii toys, and the heated seats of the robot toilets. Most of all I will miss the friendliness of the city and all the amazing people who make it so perfect.
We stayed in an apartment opposite Yoyogi park and spent nine incredible days exploring Tokyo and even though we tried to cram as much as possible into our days, there is still so much of Tokyo left to explore. I hope to return so I can fill in those gaps and live it all over again.
Before leaving, everyone who had travelled to Japan before said I would find it difficult, maybe even impossible, to eat a plant-based diet in Tokyo, which luckily turned out not to be true. There are plenty of vegan/vegetarian places to eat in the city and I ate some of the best food I have eaten in my life there. We ate at Hanada Rosso, T's Tantan, Mominoki House, Komaki Syokudo, Chaya, and 慎 to name a few and finding foods to eat from convenience stores was easy with a little help from Google Translate.
As everyone does when they visit Japan, we won lots of pointless stuff from the UFO machines, bought loads of gashapon, and tried all the drinks from the vending machines that are everywhere (canned coffee is gross but being able to buy hot bottled tea is amazing.) We played a ton of arcade games including my favourite rhythm based game - Taiko no Tatsujin - and spent far too long seeking out the best Gudetama merchandise.
We visited Takeshita Street, explored the famous Tsukiji Market, and got lost in Tokyo station's huge shopping mall and Character Street. A long walk from Kitasando to Shibuya took us on a hunt for the best stationery shops - Loft, Spiral, and Tokyu Hands - and we discovered Kiddy Land, one of the cutest shops on Earth.
We paid a visit to several shrines and temples including Meiji Jingu and Sensō-ji, which were all stunning. Akihabara Electric Town and Sunshine City were full of the bright lights, loud noises, and all the incredible shops you expect from Tokyo. Kitchen Town - Kappabashi-dori - was where I had more fun hunting for Kappas than I did kitchen supplies, and a spontaneous visit to DisneySea occurred due to the Tama Zoological Park being closed.
While visiting the Hachikō statue and gawping at Shibuya Crossing, we were stopped by someone who asked Jack to model for a magazine - Them. So while Jack did that, I went on my own adventure to visit the world's only Parasite Museum and explore the back streets of Meguro. In the National Museum of Nature and Science we got to see Hachikō himself and despite being half closed for renovations and having terrible lighting, the museum had some awesome taxidermy displays.
On the final days we got a dreamy view of the city at night from the Park Hyatt Hotel, met owls at the Fukuro no Mise owl café, and played games in the awesome Joypolis.
Tokyo stole my heart, I never wanted to leave; when you feel like you have visited the best place on Earth, where do you go from there? I have plans to return to Tokyo as soon as possible, until then I will keep dreaming about the neon lights.