Well, it looks like I’ve been slacking. Considering after my last post about my quarter life crisis I noticed that my first post was in January. Clearly lots has happened between then and now (about 11 months later). I’m not going to waste your time to “play catch up” on my life (nor would it be that interesting to the average joe). So as to stick to topic on a Wandering Millennial we’ll discuss my travels to Tokyo, Japan! This will be multiple posts. Not because I was in Tokyo for an insane amount of time (although I wish I could move there), in fact it was a short 9 day trip (two of those days dedicated to traveling to and from), but because Tokyo alone is like it’s own country. It’s amazing, immersive, and there’s so much to do and we did so much while we were there.
Upon our arrival in Tokyo, we were quite confused and frustrated. Mostly because it was late at night, we were exhausted from the travels and we were trying to figure out where we were supposed to go without having any know how of how to navigate the train systems. Once we arrived at our hotel in Shinjuku we quickly went to bed so we could wake up early enough the next morning for a full day of adventure.
One our first day we still had no knowledge of how to navigate the train systems so we set a destination. We would head towards the metropolitan government buildings that had a free observation floor. This was on the other side of town and we could explore the city a bit on our way there.
Our first meal in Tokyo was this little ramen shop we stumbled upon. We had no idea how to order or pay for anything. Since they were just opening up a gentleman walked out to assist us. He could only speak Japanese, but he showed us how we could use the kiosks to the left to select and pay for what we wanted. We would then get a ticket and then hand it over to one of the guys in the shop and select our own seat where they would bring the food out to us.
This Ramen was the best ramen I’ve ever had. Granted the only place I’ve had ramen is in multiple shops around the Seattle area and possibly Vancouver as well. I miss this ramen. It’s rich thick and flavorful broth is to die for!
While walking around some more, we ran into this temple. We weren’t sure which temple this is but I was excited since it was my first in Japan that I’d seen. I soon discovered it’s not that difficult to run into them.
While exploring further with eyes bright and amazed we couldn’t just look at ground level. Floors extended five, six, seven levels up each with various other non-related shops all just waiting for us to visit.
After an exhausting trek (much further than I believe either my boyfriend or I had anticipated) we made it to the Metropolitan Government Building.
Our next adventure would be the Meiji Shrine. After a long walk from the Metropolitan Government Buildings we arrived at Meiji Shrine.
If you gave $5 you could write a prayer, wish, or hope on a board and hang it up.
Before entering the grounds, you’re encouraged to wash your hands and rinse your mouth. We studied up on the correct etiquette before proceeding of course.
We then paid to visit another area in the “park” like area of the shrine grounds. We went to go and see Kiyomasa’s Well. My only advice to anyone going into this area is to lather or spray yourself with plenty of bug spray. These areas are generous enough to provide bug spray. Typically mosquitos aren’t obsessed with me like they are my mother, so I lightly sprayed myself and off I went. Boy did I regret that. Apparently I missed the tops of my feet and my ankles. By the end of this exploration, I had about 11 mosquito bites just in these areas.
After leaving Meiji Shrine we had no other plans for the day other than start heading back to the hotel and during that trek we would just come across a place to eat dinner and maybe run into some other unplanned adventures. Sure enough we did. We ran into Takeshita Street. It’s a lively, fun, and young street with music blaring out of stores, bright clothing displayed on the front window mannequins, and young Japanese locals and tourists mingling and shopping.
The first full day in Tokyo was a success and we were able to cover a lot of ground. We easily walked an exhausting twelve plus miles and my feet (mostly due to my lack of proper travel shoes) were incredibly sore. How would I ever continue on with the remainder of the week.
Stay tuned for the next post on the amazing beauty that is Tokyo (continued)!
Thanks for reading!!