Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo was our last spot after our trips to Seoul and Kyoto. It was nice in a way, because, compared to Kyoto, we felt like there was less that we HAD to do beyond enjoy good food, see some sites, and walk around/take in the neighborhoods. I know everyone tends to really focus on Shinjuku and Shibuya but ultimately, I preferred the quieter neighborhoods that we visited. We did go through the Harajuku neighborhood (which had great vintage shopping AND crepes!) but we also got to explore a bit of Ginza and, my favorite, Daikanyama (aka the Brooklyn of Tokyo). My recommendations:
– Afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt
– A morning at the MORI Digital Art Museum
– Vintage shopping and crepe eating at Harajuku
– Wandering through the parks (especially around Meiji Shrine)
– A lot of time exploring the Daikanyama area (something I plan on doing next time)
– And ramen. Lots of ramen.

View from our hotel room at the Hyatt Regency. Hotel has great views and location near the subway station but was overall kinda meh + musty. Next time, I would try The Prince Sakura Tower since I love Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
The Tokyo Tower looming over Zojoji Temple.
Jizo shrine at Zojoji Temple.
The famous Hachi statue at Shibuya Station. This is next to the famed Shibuya Crossing. My claustrophobic self found this area a complete shitshow though and I was anxious to get out!
Entrance to the Meiji Shrine.
Mori Digital Art Museum. Such a cool museum that you could spend hours in (esp. if you have kids!). I highly recommend also getting tea at en tea house located inside the museum — it is an amazing experience.
Afternoon tea at the Park Hyatt. Leisurely with a view of the city (when it’s a clear day).
Basically cacio e pepe udon noodles with tempura bacon. Ridiculous. Awesome.

Some tips:
– Tokyo, like Seoul, is massive. However, the subway system is efficient, albeit, always crowded. Definitely get the 24/48/72 hour subway pass for travelers at one of the stations or the airport.
– Google Maps worked really well for navigating with subway and on foot.
– I was told Japan as a whole was very much a cash society — which was somewhat true in Kyoto. However, we were able to use our credit card at many places in Tokyo.
– We had no problems communicating with English, random Japanese words, and lots of pointing.
– Pick up your Japanese skincare and different kitkat flavors! at Don Quijote. They have EVERYTHING.
– Probably the best of the 3 cities we visited for recycling. Again, trashcans are somewhat uncommon (except at train stations and certain neighborhoods) but I was impressed by the receptacles available at Starbucks (food waste, recycling for cups, trash for everything else). Make sure you have a backpack on you since you’ll probably end up carrying your recyclables/trash for some time before finding a place to dispose of it.

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