True to the country’s tourism slogan, Japan is a place where time would never be enough to visit all the good places this country has to offer. We have been to 3 cities starting off with Tokyo, then Osaka, then Nagoya. This post will be divided into 3 parts to capture the stories behind the best cities of Japan.
If you selected Tokyo to be your first city in Japan to visit, it can get overwhelming specially if you are doing the DIY. Starting off with taking the trains from Narita to the city, figuring out the correct platform to take as there can be several trains leaving the airport going to different places, narrowing down your itineraries based on the number of days you wanted to stay, the places you can eat the best sushi to ensuring that your budget is going to be enough as Tokyo can get very expensive.
Before I proceed with this content, please note of the following facts:
- Our home base is in Asakusa. Our station is Shin-Koiwa. My aunt live in the neighborhood
- My aunt who is a local in Tokyo served as our guide for our entire trip
- Total days of stay is 5 days
- I am traveling with my kid
- My budget for this trip is only P15,000 (US$280)
Day 1 – Arriving in Narita in the morning of summer, our Aunt came to fetch us from the airport with our trains cards loaded and ready for use. We didn’t have to worry about what platforms to take for the right train.
It took us more than 1 hour to reach the city. We ate at Asakusa Tokyo restaurant, our first official authentic Japanese restaurant dining experience before we went home, dropped our bags and headed off to our first itinerary – The Ueno Park. When you are traveling with a kid, his happiness is the first on your list.
Ueno park is the home of the biggest Panda in Japan. When we went to see them, they are sleeping! We came all the day for a sleeping lazy panda. After hours of waiting for them to be in action, still nothing. So we moved on to the next attraction at the park.
Ueno Park is a very big park. Since we went there during the summertime, there are no autumn colors or cherry blossoms. The park is completely different during sakura season.
After the adventures from the park, we went to see the tallest building in Tokyo – the Tokyo Skytree. Go crazy over their fountains. You are allowed to get wet if you prefer. We didn’t go to the observation tower anymore as there is a huge queue and we just couldn’t wait that long.
Day 2 – Since yesterday was tiring from flight to parks to food, our second day started a bit late. And we headed to the happiest place on earth – Japan branch – Tokyo Disneyland! Like I said, if you travel with a kid, his happiness is first on the list.
From our station, we took the train all the way to the park as this is the cheapest and fastest option there is. There is a platform from the train station connected to the entrance so it’s pretty convenient to walk towards the park. The park entrance is already a delight to see! Since this is our first Disneyland adventure, we are so much excited that we don’t know where to start.
This is just the entrance. So grand!
The Tokyo Disneyland has unique attractions all kids and adults will love. While walking at the Boulevard, it’s amazing how a place can be imitated and gives you the real feeling of being in a magical place. There were lots of people at the park but you wouldn’t mind it all.
Between Tokyo and Hong Kong Disneyland, the ticket is pricier in HK (Php4,000+) than Tokyo (Php3,500+) but the size of Tokyo park is way bigger than that of HK. Tokyo even has more attractions to visit than that of HK. Buy you tickets from websites that offers discounts way before your trip to get advantage of the cheaper tickets.
After the Boulevard, you will get a glimpse of the biggest castle there is at the park! Super amazing! I’ve never seen such a huge real-life fairy tale castle before. And the grounds are are so big you can’t get enough of everything.
My most memorable rides is of course Pirates of the Caribbean and Mark Twain’s Riverboat ride. I love how they portray the Pirates in the attraction as well as the huge boat at Mark Twain’s attraction.
Other attractions are equally entertaining as the last one.
And the highlights of the evening is the Disney Parade where we get the chance to see the magical Disney characters. So real they seem un-real and too good to be true!
In terms of food, expect to pay a little extra on food packages.
By the way, there is this one ride where I took MK for an amateur driving and it was awesome!
We ended the night a bit late and headed home afterwards.
Day 3 – Our itinerary for the day is the Asakusa Temple. This time, we took the bus going to the temple and passed by some beautiful city sights. Before entering the main temple, you will come across the a market where you can buy your souvenirs. You can also spot some locals in their traditional kimonos.
At the temple, there are no restrictions on clothing. You can also take pictures of almost anywhere in the temple. Don’t forget to snap the Pagoda as they are amazing to look at.
We also met the Avatar Aang 🙂
After our stint at the temple, we went to the famous landmark in Japan – the Shibuya crossing! Before you reach Shibuya from the nearest station, you will first meet Hachiko of course. The most loyal dog in Japan’s history.
At the crossing, people patiently waited for the green light. As soon as it’s good to cross, people from all directions converge at the pedestrian. As tourists of Tokyo, we can’t help but go crazy in the biggest pedestrian crossing we have even crossed! we sort of walked towards all the pedestrian lane available, back and forth. My aunt just waited for us at the other end of the crossing until we are done being crazy!
After Shibuya, we went on to see the Tokyo Tower. You wouldn’t believe there is something in this place that’s similar to Paris. To be honest, they look almost the same, except of course for the fact that the tower is colored red as opposed to Eiffel’s rustic color. We went on to see the observation deck and enjoyed the city lights from the high floors.
Tokyo is amazing!
Day 4 – Our next stop is Odaiba – the largest artificial island in Tokyo. This place is huge! Super modern place considering it’s just an artificial island. We get to see some luxurious shopping malls, theme parks, modern buildings, and the replica of Statue of Liberty. Yesterday, it was the Eiffel tower, today, it’s the Statue of Liberty! There is also a bridge like the Golden Gate Bridge.
But the highlights of this trip is of course, to see the largest robot in the world – Gundam! He won’t fit in my camera!!!!
Gundam moves too. He’s not just some statue in front of the mall that everybody takes picture at. He is a culture!
After our trip, my aunt treated us for some Yakiniku before we go home tomorrow. Yakiniku is the best! I am so much thankful to my aunt and uncle for showing us their hospitality during our stay in Tokyo. They have lived like the locals already that it might have been difficult for them to leave Tokyo should the time come that they decide to go back home. They have gotten used to the culture and language and serenity of living in Japan that there is nothing else now compared to this place.
Visit Tokyo and experience the things I have experienced. These pictures will make you think twice!
WHAT I MISSED BUT YOU SHOULDN’T
- Visit Mt. Fuji from Tokyo
- 47 Ronin gravesite
- Tokyo Disneysea (new)
- Harajuku and Robot Restaurant (I only get to see the maid restaurant)
Read my next article on Japan featuring my Osaka/Kyoto/Nara Trip!