It didn’t take much convincing to get me on a plane to Japan. Other than Harajuku girls (thanks to Gwen Stefani), anime (thanks to my dorky school friends) and Shibuya (thanks to Tokyo Drift) I honestly didn’t know much about the country or the culture. So naturally, I was going to spend a weekend in Tokyo.
There are so many wonderful and authentic places to stay, from budget to luxury, Tokyo has it all. We went with an adorable hostel that had great reviews and was conveniently located near the trains and within walking distance to some of the attractions we wanted to see. AS House (Asakusa Smile). With only 3 days in Tokyo, it needed to be convenient enough to get to everything but out of the hustle and bustle for us to be able to still get some sleep and it was perfect for us.
We use Airbnb most of the time as it usually works out cheaper for us as a couple but we found this gem on hostelworld.
Getting to our hostel we jumped on a train away from the airport and then took a taxi. It was late and we weren’t ready to figure out the trains so we took the easiest way we could find and had the opportunity to see the city at night. I always recommend getting out of the airport for a cheaper fare.
Getting around Tokyo we got a PASMO IC card at one of the train stations. You load it as you would with any other subway or bus pass at a machine in the train station. I do believe there was a deposit for the card, however, we kept our cards for a souvenir so I’m unsure of how much it was. This pass worked all across Japan and was SO MUCH CHEAPER than a JR pass. We topped it up as needed and used it for trains and buses wherever we went.
Our first night in Tokyo we explored our surrounding area a bit but ended up heading to bed for some much-needed rest to take on Tokyo the following day.
We found a local prayer temple and were gawking in its beauty when a local who spoke no English took our picture and showed us how to properly pray. It was a beautiful moment. After that, we went to the Senso-Ji temple for our fortunes and explored the markets below.
We discovered vending machine coffees, which I absolutely love, they were honestly so good and were always at perfect drinking temperature.
This suburb was full of shopping, restaurants and high rises. We had played a little game and picked a number and just happened to get off the train on that stop, luckily, we stumbled across Roppongi Hills.
In Roppongi Hills, we found what I could only describe as heaven, a Mozzarella Bar. I’m a fricken cheese addict and I was 100% going to be eating at this mozzarella bar. I got baked eggplant smothered in cheesy happiness, it was AMAZING.
Shibuya should be experienced at various points throughout the day and night to get the full effect. It’s such a cool district and is home of the scene that Han dies in Fast & the Furious Tokyo Drift. You absolutely must see the hundreds of people crossing the street at the lights, it’s so cool.
This became our local, with Matty being so difficult to feed it was nice to find a place with cheap beer, good wings and better fish and chips. Plus it’s a franchise so we ate at it throughout the entirety of our Japan trip.
Tokyo Skytree is the world’s tallest tower and the views from the observation deck are great. Matty and I try to go to every observation deck we can to see the place we are visiting from another perspective and to take a moment to sit back and appreciate where we are in that very moment.
Located in the Skytree this aquarium is quite cool. It’s something you should check out if you have some time to kill or if you want to maximize in your visit to Skytree.
I love being completely immersed in the culture and Matty loves looking at fish, particularly dead fish (don’t ask). Unfortunately, since our visit, this market has closed and reopened at a new location and is now called the Toyosu Market.
Anyone who grew up with Gwen Stefani has at least heard of ‘Harajuku Girls’ and to have the chance to see these living dolls is incredible. The whole area is so pink and so pretty, I was in heaven.
Hostel Party & Takoyaki
Make the most of where you are staying, our hostel had comedy night and they had one of the staff member’s moms cooking Takoyaki for an incredibly small fee of 100 yen. It was DELICIOUS. Maximize on what is offered to you!
Our third day in Tokyo was our last, so we made a day trip to Odawara castle on our way to the next stop on our adventure. It was interesting to see one of the historic fortresses of Japan and get some history in. It is an actual Samurai castle so if there is any geek hidden inside you go check it out!