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Tokyo

It’s TOKYO Baby!

Tokyo lives up to all the hype I have heard about. I can’t forget it was bone-chilling cold when we landed but the first time in the history of I came across an airport which had art activity stalls for passengers which represented the culture of the country. I thought Japan is only famous for fast trains, but to my surprise, this country has the fastest internet connection too.

What to pre-book before heading to Tokyo.

  • SUICA Card – this is a must as it will let you get around in Tokyo in public transports.
  • JR Pass – JR pass must be bought befogging entering Japan. If you plan to visit multiple cities In Japan, this pass will help in intercity . The trains between cities aren’t cheap and you’ll be saving a lot more by getting a JR Pass.
  • Google translate Japanese pack – I feel this is the most important thing to have. I’ve had bad experiences without it, I remember I couldn’t even order food at some restaurants not knowing how to speak Japanese.

Note: Most of the local trains stop at midnight (you should be at the station by 11:30 pm) whereas cabs are really expensive.

         What to do?

  • Have a ninja training – Discovering the mysterious Ninja world, one of the coolest things I did in Japan. Got suited up in an authentic ‘ninja gi’ outfit as we began our training with an instructor in the ways of the ninja. Don’t forget to strike your best ninja pose during the photo session at the end of your training. I am not a ninja fan and was dragged here by my little brother but I loved this unique experience and I highly recommend this experience to anyone visiting Japan.

Location: Musashi Ninja Clan Shinobi-Samurai Honjin Dojo, 3-5-8 Shibakoen The Kikai Shinko Kaikan building #B413, Minato 105-0011 Tokyo Prefecture

  • Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – Shinjuku garden can be called the lungs of Tokyo as it’s in the middle of Tokyo’s busiest district. Here we saw Tokyo’s best autumn colors, which made the visit to the park worth it. You’ll be lucky enough to see the park with a tint of pink if you visit in late March and April. Tourists flock to Japan at this time of the year to see the cherry blossom.

Tip: Ask for a map in English at the ticket counter.

How to get there: Take the JR Yamanote line to Shinjuku and then take south exit.

Entrance fee: 500 Yen

  • Tokyo DisneySea – Disneyland’s are amazing in all countries, but what makes the one in Japan unique is the Tokyo DisneySea. Though it is suitable for all ages, DisneySea is more adult-focused than its land sibling Tokyo Disneyland.

TIPS

  1. Arrive early at the park, half-hour before the opening hour.
  2. If the budget is not an issue, take the Fast Pass as DisneySea which is overcrowded, and waiting lines for rides are simply too long.
  3. The dialogues for the Song of Mirage show and the Big Band Beat are in Japanese but all songs are in English and the costumes/projections are visually stunning.
  • Tokyo Tower – Replica of the Eiffel Tower, this landmark will offer you the best skyscraper view of the city. You have two options to enter, one ticket will take you 150 meters up the elevator to the main observatory and the other will take you even higher up to the upper deck of 250 meters.
  • Visit Shibuya Crossing – No less than Times Square, Shibuya crossing is the busiest and most famous intersection in the world.

Where to eat?

Forget everything you know about food when in Japan, and get ready for the brunch of a lifetime. I don’t think I could narrow it down to even just a dozen top spots, but okay let me give it a try.

Ninja Akasaka – this ninja-themed entertainment restaurant is a must-visit restaurant to feel the magic and mysteries of Japanese Ninja scenes in ninja cartoons since childhood. The staff dressed in ninja all-black and trained in all sorts of tricks and illusions will keep you entertained throughout your stay in there.

Location: 2-14-3, Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Tokyu plaza Akasaka 1F

Nearest Station: Akasaka Mitsuke Station

Robot restaurant – till now you must have seen plenty of traditional side of Japan, this is the other side of the coin where you’ll see future dancers performing a dance as robots and laser lights everywhere.

Recommend – It is quite expensive. Also, get the tickets early before going.

Location: B2F Shinjuku Robot Bldg, 1-7-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku Tokyo

Nearest Station: East exit of Shinjuku Station

Sincere Garden(vegetarian option) – in a country where the traditional food is all non-vegetarian, it’s hard for vegetarians to find good food and sincere garden is complete heaven for those. Being famous among actors-actresses too, this cafe offers all vegan dishes without egg or dairy products.

Seasonal garden salad, a garden plate with a bagel, and vegan sweets are popular menu.

Location: 2F, 3-5-4 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Maid cafes – These immensely popular Japanese cafes are famous for waitresses dressed as house-maids who treat customers as masters in private homes. Maidreamin, in Akihabara, is one of the most popular ones. The menu offers a wide variety of dishes, drinks, and desserts which are decorated with cute and adorable patterns.

Location: Sumiyoshi BLDG.6F 3-16-17 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo.

Ise Sueyoshi – located in the heart of Tokyo, this restaurant is ideal for enjoying the four seasons of Japan on a plate. Ise Sueyoshi is a Kaiseki, which means a succession of small, beautifully executed dishes. The ingredients are bought directly from farms, guaranteeing absolute freshness. The chef will explain the story behind each dish. You’ll have an amazing experience like me.

Fun fact: the restaurant only has five seats at the counter and six tables.

 

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