I was 21 when I visited Tokyo for two weeks back in July of 2010. It was my very first time traveling to another country and also my first time getting on a plane! Can you imagine how I was feeling? I had mixed emotions. I was nervous about a possible plane crash but excited to see what Japan has to offer.
Tokyo Metropolis is both the capital and the most populous city of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world so I strongly advise getting one of those free maps from Narita Airport before getting on the train going to the city.
Here are the places I visited during my stay:
- Tokyo Tower is located at 4-2-8 Shiba-koen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011. It is the second tallest structure in Japan and it serves as a communications and observation tower. The structure is Eiffel Tower inspired but painted in red and white to comply with air safety regulations. Visit their website here.
- Tokyo Disneyland is located at 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture. It is not technically inside Tokyo but they named it after the capital city anyway. Chiba prefecture is about an hour train ride from Tokyo. Visit their website here.
- Tokyo Onsen. There are a lot of bathhouses (Onsen) in Tokyo but we chose to visit the one called Jakotsu Yu located at Taito-Ku Asakusa 1-11-11 near Toei Asakusa Station, exit A1 and Tokyo Metro Tawaramachi Station, exit 3. Since people bathe naked in these facilities in Japan, it takes a lot of courage for modest people especially Filipinas to visit one but I still tried it and it was very refreshing although I was blushing the whole time. Entrance Fee: Yen 450 to 650. Visit their website here.
- Akiba Center located at Akihabara is Japan’s “electric town.” This is the major shopping center for household electric goods and was also the post-war black market. It is also considered as the Otaku Cultural Center because of the video games, anime, manga and computer goods that you get there. Visit their website here.
Aside from going to places that I have already enumerated, there are so much more than you can do while visiting Tokyo. Try going to a nearby river and have a BBQ picnic with friends. Japanese do this a lot, especially during summer. I was actually surprised to see the girls wearing a two-piece swimsuit when the river was only knee-high! But well, I guess that was okay since most of them are doing it.
It is also worth it to enter those Haku Yen Shops. As the shop name goes, almost everything they are selling costs Yen 100 and below. I bought most of my souvenirs from there since it was not as cheap to buy elsewhere.
If you are a foodie, you’ll definitely love Japanese street food! You can usually find them in front of shops or near train stations. So take a stroll and purposely bump into one of those nice vendors that will be surely become your instant friend.
Have you been to Japan or are you planning to go? I’d be glad to discuss experiences and expectations in the comments. Hope to hear from you soon!
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