Japan has always been HIGH on my travel bucket list. The culture, the food, and the modernity has always intrigued me. Upon moving to Shenzhen, China - I immediately had a look at my school calendar to plot out my holidays. Fall Break seemed to be the most logical time for me to go. I shared the idea with my boyfriend and his parents who've also had it on their Asia bucketlists and we began the planning. We set the dates - 5 days in Tokyo, staying in Shibuya-ku. Part 1 details some of the sights and eats we enjoyed during this trip and part two: quirky culture + quick tips for when you decide to travel through!
Shibuya is one of the more central locations in the city. My only set plan on this trip was to see Meiji Shrine, soak in Tokyo's energy, and to eat so staying near such a huge transport hub was key. When I looked at the AirBnB map - Shibuya is the neighborhood that houses Harajuku, Shibuya Crossing, Yoyogi Park, Meiji-jingumae Shrine. With only a few days in the city - it was the neighborhood where we can see a lot without having to go too far.
In short - Shibuya is where it's at.
One stop from bustling Shibuya station to Harajuku/Meiji-jingumae and you are transported to some of the best urban greenery I've seen since I moved to Asia.
We entered the park and followed the crowd/path to the temple. Along the way we stopped at the decorative sake barrels donated to the temple by brewers across the country.
Finally the temple. An impressive structure dating back to 1915, dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.
When Joe and I asked each other what we wanted to eat our first day out and about, we said in unison "ramen". Luckily, ramen is EVERYWHERE in Tokyo. We turned a corner in Harajuku and ran into this place. The verdict: good, simple broth. Noodles had a great bite.
Conveyor belt sushi at Genki. Prices start at 129 yen ($1.29USD) per platter.
After a full morning of shooting Joe's mom's fashion collection, we were STARVING. The solution: ramen 2.0. This time we were with a good family friend who happens to be Japanese. He helped us with ordering and I picked one of my favorites - ramen tsukemen. It is literally noodles + pork gravy = heaven in a bowl.
On our last full day in Tokyo, we were wandering around Shibuya looking for lunch and came upon this cozy, unassuming pizzeria run by Italians. They had a great lunch special 1100 yen ($11USD) for pizza or pasta and a drink. It was perfetto.
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO!