Since we didn't pack in a lot of tourist-y place nor famous must-try-shops so I guess our Tokyo trip was pretty lax, stayed in Shinjuku at a pretty good hotel, good location and convenience with a hefty price to pay - definitely not the cheapest option, but all for convenience and comfort.
We stayed at Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku! The hotel staffs were really fluent in English (i think they speak with better accent than I do, LOL) and really friendly and helpful as well. The rooms were comfy and much bigger than APA which we stayed in Osaka, but the price is definitely higher as well. Price for quality I guess.
It's a 5-10 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Station, convenience shop (FamilyMart) across the road, a Mcd down the road, Takashimiya is less than 10 minutes walk directly across you (with a Krispy Kreme and Starbucks in between) and basically, just really convenient lol.
Since I had a pleasant stay there, if you guys have the budget to, I think you can keep it on your list! Lol. Although we stayed in Shinjuku, we totally didn't get to go to Kabukicho, which was really disappointing LOL I wanted to check it out.
Tokyo Side A: Tourist Spots - Ueno, Asakusa, Tokyo Sky Tree, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya
Bento on the Shinkansen!
Early morning train from Osaka > Tokyo!
CHERRY BLOSSOMS EVERYWHERE <3
1. Ikebukuro - Sunshine City, Otome RoadEverything behind cut as lengthy post and image intensive ahead!
2. Ueno Park + Asakusa + Tokyo Sky Tree
3. Harajuku + Shinjuku
5. Ghibli Musuem + Shibuya
7. Shinjuku - + flight home :<
Ueno ParkI think when you talk about Cherry Blossom viewing and stuff, people would probably tell you Ueno Park, Yoyogi Park (at Harajuku) or some other big parks. I'm not sure if it's the best park to visit since I didn't go anywhere else, but the crowd was pretty okay when we went.
Unless if you're looking to sit and picnic then that's a different story, LOL. You'll probably have to refer to some other blogs for this. We reached there around 10+ and there was already no seats, but the view was really great and there was a big lake in the middle, a nice short food street with local food (pretty pricey but well, tourist), and a few shrines along the way where you can visit and experience a bit of Japanese culture. There's a zoo as well, but we didn't visit it.
It was really good weather when we went - cooling and not too hot (maybe we were still considered early? lol). Since basically everything is outdoors, it's best to check the daily weather and be prepared for any rainy day!
I didn't have my pocket wifi with me that day so when we took a wrong turn, it got a bit troublesome to get back to the station LOL And this became the first place where I confidently asked a question in Japanese and understood the reply. Although all I asked was "上野駅どこですか？" and it turns out it was just straight up and turn right (which i could understand LOL and maybe to the lady i asked the question, it might have sounded dumb cos the station's direction was so simple LOL)
The Takoyaki was REALLYYYYY huge, and where the stalls are, there will be a lot of seats allocated for you to sit and eat before you continue your journey. A word of warning for little kids like me who are super scared of birds (yes weird phobia, yes) - there is a lot of birds there LOL Pigeons, seagulls, all sorts of birds and ducks. It was kind of amazing though to see everything so up-close (ofc i ran as fast as i could after catching a glimpse lol)
I guess it's the whole tourist and people feeding them thing, most of the animals weren't afraid of people and came up really close.
This last photo was drawn by a grandpa, he left the painting there and stood behind to observe the people who walked pass. Of course we stopped to take a look and snapped a pic, and when I turned I saw the grandpa looking pretty pleased and proud ww
There were a lot of elderly around painting and drawing! It was really a heart-warming sight tbh. It would be really nice if Singapore had such nice places as well, I would definitely bring my mum and grandma to visit!
Next up, we went over to Asakusa! It was a bit weird for us to go from Ueno to Asakusa then to Tokyo Sky Tower since we were running all over the place, but nonetheless, I enjoyed myself a lot with Eileen ww Got to try a lot of things out as well, especially in Asakusa!
AsakusaAsakusa is probably one of the most tourist-y place that everyone goes to lolol The Sensoji Temple, Kaminarimon (Kaminari Gate), and Nakamise Shopping Street were the main place we went. Since we arrived a little around noon, it was pretty pack but still manageable I guess.
Apparently there are a lot more other attractions around the area, but cos' we were in a touch-and-go kind of schedule, we didn't explore them all ww We just wanted to immerse ourselves in their culture and check out some local snacks.
As usual, food to be eaten around the area you bought them, I think people in Japan hardly eat and walk at the same time.
There were also a lot of stores selling Senbei (Rice Crackers) in all sorts of flavours, and there were a lot of other more japanese snacks as well so I think it's a really nice place to pick up some Omiyage! They're all packed nicely too, save your effort to re-wrap them later on ww
Tokyo Sky Tree
It was really cold and windy outside so we took some shots then got back into the building to shop for gifts and pick up some really yummy biscuits that Eileen introduced! There is also a Tokyo Banana shop at the Station so you can totally grab some there - just a reminder, they expire reallyyyyyy quick, so you have to plan a day later your trip to pick them up!
This is one of the BEST biscuits there which I bought tbh:
Stole the above nicer pic from Eileen's IG LOL
It is from Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory. Super yumz, super nice! Everyone that I gave to liked it A LOT and I really recommend it! Plus, their packaging is really my type - a simple wooden box, something really zakka looking and you can just buy one and gift it to someone and it'll look really neat.
After a long day, we went back to the hotel to put all our barangs and then headed to Tokyo Station for dinner and to check out their character street!!
Tokyo Station - Character Street!Other than the character street, like I mentioned earlier there's A LOT A LOT of confections that you can buy there. A lot that Eileen had recommended but I realized I gave them all away without saving a photo so I have no idea what I bought anymore.
The above is a list of Characters that were available there (Click into the pic to see the PDF of their English Guide). I guess if you like things like Hello Kitty, Miffy, Snoopy, Domokun etc this could be a small heaven. For me, my obsession is Rilakumma. Thank god I didn't find other bigger places since I didn't do a lot of research, but I already bought A LOT from this tiny store.......
I didn't actually buy the Rilakkumas there, I brought them over cos' of travel issues lol I can't sleep if I don't have a familiar smell. I get really paranoid and nervous that I have to wake up every hour to make sure everything's okay.
IF I HAD THE LUGGAGE SPACE I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT A LOT MORE RILAKKUMAS BACK LOL I wanted to buy the whole damn store but thank god I was broke and thank god I didn't have enough space. Thank god.
And since I didn't have the photos of the gifts that I gave away, I found some photos on my IG of me eating them snacks and I guess they're pretty nice! You guys can try them out if you see it on your way!
Yoku Moku is one of the brands that I would recommend as well. The above was the Spring special where they featured Sakura Petals and Sakura Leaves flavour. They have this Cigare product that is really nice as well (I didn't get to eat any but everyone told me it was nice when I gave them TuT)
They had really neat small packs at their retail stores that is really suitable for gifts:
When we went, the package had a panda on it and it was really cute!
Spring REALLY was a good time, they had A LOT of special flavours and I saw this Sakura Haagen-Dazs which I HAD to try. It tasted really sweet (too sweet for my liking) but I guess it was really worth the try - best part: It is available anywhere, I found it in Family Mart the convenience store across my place lol
Also, I packed home at least 4-5 packs of these mints. They were really good and really compact so it was super easy to carry around. These can be found in Singapore too though!
And then of course. Rilakkuma Gummies LOL, also from the convenience store (goodbye wallet)
After writing these two posts of Japan, I already miss Japan really bad. I want to go back there again soon, and this time I will bring my own proper camera and then take more shots of tourist-y place.
There was a Moomins cafe at Sky Tree Town there as well, if only I could have went, I really love Moomins TuT Apparently you could dine with the Moomins if you entered alone omg
I think Harajuku is one of the places I enjoyed the most even though we spent really little time there. Since our fashion preference were different, Harajuku was really my taste but it wasn't my companion's so I didn't felt nice if I shopped too long there LOL
There's a lot of fashion shop along the Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street), I bought a whole bunch of socks and a pair of shoes. If I could, I would buy the whole street lol
The station was really cute tbh. And the period I went, they were having some exclusive Rilakkuma in Harajuku station tee urgh If only i had the luggage space (and money) I would have bought the biggest back TuT
We ate at this place with pretty yumz Tendon! It's opposite the Forever 21 building. It gets a bit crowded during lunch so it's best to avoid that timing! It's really affordable and yummy
Some huge international brands opposite the shop.
And there's also a Calbee+ shop where you can see them make the chips, and buy some chips flavours that isn't usually available in Singapore.
And ofc, there's a lot of Crepes along the street as well. The one we tried was the Marion Crepes. Pretty tasty, but since I'm not a fan of cream and stuff so it was a bit sweet for me, but it was good!
And the amount of socks I bought at Harajuku (minus 3 from Shibuya but it's technically the same store lol) 3 for 1000yen. Not too cheap, not too expensive either. They sell a lot of male socks as well. A lot of nice lacey socks to pair with heels and boots which doesn't suit me but I now regret not buying lol
ShibuyaShibuya at night is a pretty crazily packed place. We arrived around evening, pretty dumb to go at Peak hours but we got to experience the legendary shibuya crossing. The place during the day and nigh is really different.
Other than the Hachiko statue that we HAD to visit, we walked around at PARCO, Shibuya 109 and other places. There's a Mugiwara Store at PARCO, as well as a Rejet Shop for otakus. When we were there, there was a Little Twin Star (Kiki & Lala) cafe and a Carebear Exhibition as well.
Tackey & Tsubasa LOL.
And the Mugiwara Store at PARCO
And then the Carebear x Kiki Lala Exhibition.
This was a full story in Japanese and since I was bored waiting for the rest to purchase their item, I actually managed to read and understand the whole story omg I was so touched LOLOL
We also went to try out the L'OCCITANE Cafe at Shibuya - the cafe overlooks the shibuya crossing and i think is a pretty cosy place to hang out after intensive walking and shopping (of course, the price isn't that cheap but still worth going)
Photo partly to show where the cafe was located, but the bigger purpose was to capture BAP's ad LOL
ShinjukuIt's funny how we stayed in Shinjuku and in the end didn't go back to Shinjuku much.. Perhaps I was just caught up with Ikebukuro and spent most of my free time there instead lol
But I found some shots of the places we went! We ate at this pretty nice place in LUMINE, or i forgot which but it was really nice. They sell Chicken and only chicken in different cooking methods. It's really hard to find something that doesn't taste nice in Japan tbh.
We also ate at Hoshino's Cafe in Japan! There's Hoshino's in Singapore, but i think the menu in Japan is a little different. The taste is a little different too.
There's a lot of big departmental stores there. Takashimaya, LUMINE, all these. I'm sure if you search it up, you can buy like a gazillion stuff there. One thing I actually did buy in Shinjuku was all the cosmestic stuff from the Matsumoto which was everywhere, and also a Shu Umera eyelash curler. Buying their cosmestic in Japan itself is really worth cos' it's way cheaper.
I'll dedicate one post to Ikebukuro and make it anime-centric lol