Welcome to Tokyo
I was going to be in Tokyo for 5 days starting yet another Asian Adventure. Before I arrived I did minimal research! I only researched where to stay, a couple things to do and for the most part I was only planning to hang out and just check out the city. I had no idea that I was about to fall in love. And I had no idea that one could fall in such love with a city . I took the metro down to Shibuya District from the airport which was about an hour train ride. I stayed at the APA Hotel in Shibuya district. A nice little hotel for a reasonable $80 a night price. You can stay in a capsule hotel which I wanted to do cuz they look pretty cool for about $20 a night but I decided to go hotel route. I landed at the hotel at about 8 p.m. at night. So I decided to get a shower, get dressed up and go for a quick walk and get some Japanese barbecue. I walk down the main Shibuya Street and I am bombarded by girls in little cute tight tops and short mini skirts asking you want massage… Or maybe handjob, blowjob? In their cute Japanese accents! Haha, I thought to myself, good work Nick, you booked your hotel in the core of the “massage” district you idiot! But I had one thing on my mind and that was to get some wagyu beef immediately since I had been dreaming about it my entire life.
I search TripAdvisor for the number one rated restaurant in my area and I found it it was called Han no Daidokora. And it was a mear two blocks away from my hotel. Perfect! I ordered an entire sample tray of all different cuts of beef they looked at me funny because I was all alone and ordering all this beef but hell you only live once and I was in Tokyo and I had to do this. Now in Japan they have a strict no tattoo policy, so I had to wear long-sleeve shirts the whole time. They associate tattoos with the Yakuza. So if you have tattoos make sure they are covered up whenever you go into restaurants and clubs or otherwise you will not get in. It’s funny, for a culture so ahead of their time with technology, fashion and cuisine, they sure are behind the times on tattoos! But anyway, I get my Japanese bbq and it was celebrational. Tripadvisor did not disappoint.
The next day I had the Tokyo Pub Crawl in roppongi booked. It was my birthday and I was wanting to make some friends. My advice for anybody traveling solo is, if you’re going to be spending any amount of time in a new city, then on day number one you should hit the citys best pub crawl in order to make some new I the national friends. I’ve found it to be the best way to make new friends. The Tokyo Pub Crawl was an amazing experience. It started at a bar called propaganda and then carried onto four more bars after that ending at a nightclub that ran till ten in the morning if you wanted to stay that long. But I assure you, by bar number five, you’ll be in no shape to stay out that late! Personally I dont even remember going home! I just remember waking up in a panic the next morning, wondering where I was, then being thankful I was in my hotel bed!
Day number 2-
I had the Robot Restaurant booked in shinjuku. Now if you’ve never heard of the Robot Restaurant, I highly advise you to Google it immediately. Anthony Bourdain called it the best show on Earth and now that I’ve been there, I will have to agree that it was one of the best two hours of entertainment of my entire life. I had made a friend the night previous on the pub crawl named Ed, a guy from Australia. I had convinced him to come with me to the show. The robot restaurant is a theatrical play with a wide array of spectacular performers, acrobatics, multicolored neon lights, circus events and robots. It seems to make no sense at the time but it is definitely a worthwhile show!
Day number 3-
Search on TripAdvisor, find Mario Kart driving tour around the city! So you pretty much have to do that! They dress you up as characters from Mariocart 64 and give you a for real go cart and release you onto the actual streets of Tokyo!
After those shenanigans I wanted to go have dinner at Gonpachi, the restaurant from the movie Kill Bill located in the Maruyamacho area of Shibuya. The restaurant boasted a large array of small plates to choose from and was incredibly delicious.
Later that night i got ahold of Ed and we head down to Shinjuku’s Golden Gai bar district to its famous tiny bars that seat no more than 5 people per bar. 5 long alleyways littered with door-to-door, three levels high, tiny tiny bars that turned out to be an epic time. If you are a drinker, you have to add this as a must do while in Tokyo.
Day number 4 was spent taking food tours around the Chiyoda district. I highly recommend you do this. You’ll be tasting authentic Japanese cuisine at legit authentic small restaurants and be fed a wealth of knowledge about the history of the food, the restaurant and Japanese culture.
If you want to shop in Tokyo, there’s certainly no shortage of malls and shops and stores of all different varieties. You can head down to the Fashion District of Harajuku and maybe even catch some young adult pop star models showing off their latest trendy fashions. Or you can head to Shinjuku, being the busiest shopping area or Shibuya. While in Shibuya, make sure to stop and have a drink or a coffee and check out the Shibuya crossing. The busiest Crossing on planet Earth. With sometimes over 2,500 people crossing every time the light turns red and also 1 million people crossing per day . Many other cities are copycatting the layout for the crosswalk system because it works so well. If you’re looking for more upscale or ritzy shopping then go to the Ginza area.
In conclusion I want all of you too put Tokyo at the very top of your bucket list. I had no idea how amazing the city was going to be and I cannot wait to go back. The food is literally the best I have ever had the pleasure of eating, the people are incredibly nice and friendly. It is actually encouraged for you to ask police officers for directions. They are more than happy to help you out. Even when you walk into a 7-11 store, the shop clerks look at you entering with an enormous smile and automatically say “hello” in perfect English. There is certainly no shortage of sites to see and things to do in Tokyo. The Metro is very easy to use, very clean and efficient. But if you choose to take a taxi instead, download the Japan Taxi App. It’s free, easy and convenient to use and Taxis are a reasonable price. And a side note about the Metro; you are not allowed eating or drinking or even chewing gum on the trains and it is very impolite to talk on your cell phone or talk loudly on the Metro. Everybody is super quiet, super respectful and it’s just an overall very nice experience compared to many Metros around the world. With individual trains moving over a million people per day, it is a very nice experience. The streets of Japan are impeccably clean for having no garbage cans. Tokyo had a terrerist attack back in 1995. They responded by taking all public garbage cans off the streets for fears of them being used to hide deadly bombs. They have now been replaced with signs that say take your garbage home with you please. There are designated smoking areas with in the streets of the city space out every 5 blocks or so. The Japanese BBQ is to die for and the sake is incredible.
Alcohol price- $$
Locals- Extremely Polite and Friendly and all spoke english.