Tokyo was never a place I considered visiting. It probably never featured on my teenage bucket list. My brother on the other hand has been obsessed with anything Asian for as long as I can remember. As a result, he spent a gap year in Tokyo which meant sooner or later his big sister was going to visit. I did just that! I took the plane by my scared, lonesome self and made my way on a two week holiday to Japan! Here are my 5 things to do in Tokyo.
Go food shopping like the locals
Food shopping is something you probably don’t think about while on holiday/travelling. Japan was my first real culture shock so everything was awesomely strange and new. I found myself in a Life supermarket a few times to waste time while my nocturnal brother woke up. I spent an hour or two on both visits and I highly recommend you visit a supermarket and explore all that’s on offer. Their fruit and vegetables are huge and organised to perfection. The many flavours of ice cream made me wish I had longer to stay. The pic n mix fish had me a little grossed out but the fresh bakery distracted me for a while. The crisps, sweets and toiletries almost made me need to pay for extra baggage allowance but who knows when I’ll be returning!
View Tokyo from a free and spectacular lookout point
A free and spectacular view, yes thank you! The government metropolitan building is located close to Shinjuku station. It’s about a 10-minute walk and the view is rather impressive. Tokyo landscape just doesn’t end!
Have hours of fun playing model and photographer/retoucher
Arcades are huge in Japan and the various levels to suit different customers are genius. I visited Taito station in Akihabara. With several different floors, there is plenty to see and play. The basement level was full of rows and rows of males all different ages all playing games. The chairs all looked comfortable so no wonder they can spend hours here gaming. My favourite level had all the (purikura) photo booths. The main reason I went was the bizarre photo retouching it does. For a few Yen, you can take funny keepsake photos with a Japanese beauty photo retouch. What’s not to like?!
Take a moment to enjoy the quiet beauty
Depending on where you are from one thing I noticed most about Tokyo was the quiet. With a population of over 13 million, one would expect Tokyo to be rather noisy. From public transport to walking in the street the most noise you’ll hear are your own thoughts inside your head! I’m not kidding! No one talks on the trains and the streets are full of people politely rushing to get from A to B. After initially getting over the eerie quiet, the silence is peaceful. It makes getting around easier and less stressful. It’s also great for people watching as the quiet strangely slows everything down. The silence continues from the city to the gardens and shrines like you’d expect. My favourite shrine we visited was about an hour away from central Tokyo. Great Buddha of Kamakura and what a very tranquil place it was.
Take it all in
And last of all my number 5 of 5 things to do in Tokyo is… to enjoy it! Absorb all the bright cheesy and inviting advertisement. Take in the hustle and bustle and the quietness of it. Enjoy the fashion and vending machines on every corner. The drink machines do come in handy! The efficient public transport is one to enjoy too. After my trip and getting home to normality, I was quickly reminded of this by people rudely standing close to the train doors forgetting people need to exit the train before they can park their bums on seats. Oh how I wish we had the same system as Japan does with their queues for getting on the train. Finally, food. Eat as much as you can. Rice, noodles, more noodles!
I hope you enjoyed my 5 things to do in Tokyo!
Let me know in the comments below if you have explored Tokyo or are planning to soon.