Japan: I ♥ Tokyo

We couldn’t wait more to share the pictures and diary of travel (plus our tips!) from our honeymoon in Japan, so without further ado here we go with the first post which is centered in Tokyo.

Being our first time in the country we wanted to visit Tokyo and Kyoto, and from there have getaways to other popular locations as Nikko and Nara, being able to avoid many hotel switches which is time-consuming. Our first headquarters was in Tokyo, in a little, very modern, clean and comfortable hotel in Shibuya called Unizo. The Unizo hotel has excellent reviews in Tripadvisor, especially the ones regarding the situation and the quality-price relationship. To be fair it was quite difficult to find when we arrived the first time, so if you stay there make sure to visit it before hand with Google street view (bonus tip, the entrance door is not in the main street). The location was perfect near the Shibuya station, which is convenient for travelers as it is one of the main stations in the Yamanote line (JR railway with stops in the main areas) which is included in the Japan Rail Pass (more information about how to get around in Tokyo in another post). The area is also a hanging place for Japanese young people, so there are lots of restaurants near the hotel, which we appreciate a lot!

It allowed us to cross every day the famous Shibuya crossing, which was quite a perk of the location, as the light in the morning is so nice. We had a little game every morning which consisted in introducing a small piece of chaos into the crossing perfect order; we turned around as soon as we were in the middle of the crossing. The Japanese are so nice that they did not want to spoil our pictures and immediately went away, but of course that was not what we wanted! :)

In Tokyo we visited traditional Asakusa, Daikanyama, Akihabara, Harajuku and Shimokitazawa. Being the last two neighborhoods our favorites, that’s why they will have a dedicated post for themselves!

Asakusa is famous for its temple which is visited every day by thousands of people. The most recognizable thing about the temple is its structure with massive paper lantern painted in red and black. We were a little afraid that the massive amount of visitors will diminish the beauty of the place (and the pictures!), but that was not the case; in Japan everyone is so aware of not bothering each other that you always had the time to take pictures without people interfering, and the huge lines of pilgrims gave the temple its truly importance.

To get to Asakusa you should go with the Yamanote line to the stop with the same name and then go straight to your right until you find the famous market street that precedes the Sensoji Temple. The streets surrounding the Sensoji temple are also so much fun! True that they are very touristy (if you want to buy traditional souvenirs this is your place, we found lovely cat figurines there) but also the mixture between the food stalls with the souvenirs are worth it. We ate lot of things there, sweet potato ice cream (do not miss the ice creams!), delicious dango skewer covered with soy powder (sweet and surprising texture), fried custard (yummy) and octopus meatballs called takoyakis; the food is so amazingly good in Japan!.

Daikanyama is a place we surely did not explore as long as it deserves. We visited it after the recommendation of the Hello Sandwich Tokyo guide (we can’t praise it enough for insider tips! check more information about it in our next getting around post) and is the type of neighborhoods where you have the feeling that people really live there. To visit Daikanyama you have to leave the Yamanote line and use the Tokyu Toyoko metro line. In fact it is only 20 minutes walking distance from Shibuya, but we visited it in the late afternoon plus had a reservation for Gonpachi restaurant (in Roppongi) that evening, so we skipped the walk for the metro :)

It has some lovely home decoration shops, and also we found the most impressive hat atelier. We peeked the most stylish guy trying some hats, which was lovely. The Japanese are very fond of hats and you can find them in lot of stores, specially the guys, which is a thing that most striked me because here in Spain guys are generally not so fashion forward with complements.

Akihabara is a must in Japan for all the manga and techie lovers out there. We absolutely love video games, but that doesn’t care at all: you must visit Akihabara. Not in other place in the world (maybe this is a small exaggeration, please forgive my enthusiasm :P) you will find the type of shops you can find here (and the people), so for that and for being able to join the carefree-geek fashion approach you should not skip this place. The previous day I had found the most ridiculously cute cat ears in Kiddyland (Harajuku store) and was decided to wear them while in Akihabara. I am usually very shy but a single visit to the girls’ restroom convinced me that I was going to be one of the most modest. The bathroom was full of girls changing to a more dare manga-inspired clothing for their visit to the neighborhood; it was very funny to mingle with them!

One of the main buildings is the Sega center, which is completely dedicated to arcade gaming. In Tokyo there are lots of arcade centers around the city, it is a very common place to have fun after school or work. Here in Spain in the early 90s the arcade centers and arcade games in bars were also very popular, but the true is that they progressively faded and nowadays is hard to find one (just in the malls). It was sooo much fun to be able to explore all the arcades (Mario kart!), watch their incredible skill and of course also playing ourselves (and trying not to make a fool of ourselves for being so clumsy compared to them!). Smoking is allowed inside the game centers, as well as in the restaurants, with the exception of the main floor, which was quite annoying for me! Nevertheless, the main floor was one of the most fun ones with the Purikura photo booths, the claw machines and the Japanese drums musical games.

And for Harajuku and Shimokitazawa, our favorites, you will have to wait until the next post! Fingers crossed you enjoy this one and want to keep reading :)

Finally we also stayed in Tokyo the last two days of our trip. We ended our travel in the Conrad Hotel in Ginza for a few days of calm, relaxation and of “missing-already” Japan. The nice folks at the hotel upgraded our room to an executive suite for our honeymoon, making our last days unforgettable. Thank you so much for that magic stay Conrad!

vending machine

First drinks vending machine we found in Tokyo, you can find one at every corner which is very convenient! Also the price is great, and they have “hotto” (japanese hot) drinks.

Japan airport

My new Hello Kitty Vans were a success, many girls asked me about them and said “kawaii” I was a happy girl! :)

Japan yuzu drink Japan graffiti Japan graffiti Japan cafe

In Japan it is allowed to smoke inside restaurants and cafes, but completely forbidden in the street. The french-inspired cafes are a trend.

Japan cafe Japan cafe Japan Shibuya street Japan batman mask

Teenager wearing a cool Batman mask head-dress in Shibuya. Love how every little detail is surprising.

Japan Shibuya crossing Japan trains

The city is so secure that you can fall sleep inside the subway only worrying to wake up in your stop :) Usually trains and subways are full of people sleeping

Japan trains Japan Sensoji Japan Sensoji Japan Sensoji Japan souvenirs Japan food stalls Japan Asakusa Japan food Japan food Japan Sensoji Japan wishes

You could ask for a wish here, you had to shake the box to obtain a number and then check in that numbered drawer your future luck. If it was bad you must tie it around a tree branch to banish it.

Japan food stalls Japan dango Japan dango Japan Takoyaki

Dani eating Takoyakis. They are meatballs filled with diced octopus with a flour batter. Takoyakis were popularized in Osaka but you may find some stalls in Tokyo too, we couldn’t miss the chance!

Japan Asakusa alley Japan

Next to Sensoji temple there is an old funfair that we could peek from the outside. It looked so gorgeous!, pity that we didn’t have much time to explore it the time the tickets’ price deserve :P

Japan Gonpachi

We made a reservation for the Gonpachi restaurant in Roppongi (there are several in Tokyo). You may already know that is the one that inspired Tarantino for the Kill Bill’s 88 maniacs scene stage.

Japan Gonpachi

This Gonpachi’s speciality are the soba noodles

Japan Gonpachi Japan Gonpachi

Very yummy grilled tuna skewers, hands down the best plate of the evening

Japan breakfast Japan matcha tea latte

Starbucks in Japan have a delicious variety of tea latte with matcha, we were addicted (#truefacts :P)

Japan happy Damaris Japan good morning Japan cute girl Japan trains Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara

Rocking my new cat ears :)

Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara

Dani playing the game Final Fight in the upper floor of the Mr.Potato store

Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara Japan Akihabara Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel

Amaaaaazing views from our upgraded room in the Conrad hotel

Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Ginza tunnels

We had to go through many tunnels all looking the same to arrive to the street. We found many people completely lost ;p

Japan Ginza

Ginza streets at night.

Japan Conrad Hotel Japan Conrad Hotel

15 Comments / 10 

  1. kitsune-kun - 29th May 2013

    ahhhh japan is the BEST. I miss it so much. did you go to a Mister Donut?

    • We reply...

      oohhh agree!! We wanted to try Mister Donut because we had read it in your japan posts but we unfortunately missed it, fingers crossed we have another chance to go to that beautiful country again (and eat them! :) ).

  2. Melanie - 27th June 2013

    Hi! Just stopped by after reading your comment on my Sofia Coppola post on sfgirlbybay. Your photos are amazing!!!!

  3. Sally - 27th June 2013

    I also just found your blog via sfgirlbybay! Your photos are gorgeous! One of the things I loved most about Japan was how you can wear crazy clothes all the time and no one thinks anything of it :)

  4. Louise - 2nd July 2013

    Damn your pictures are awesome. I love the Lost in Translation vibe of the last ones. And the black and white ones radiate some serenity in the bustling streets of Tokyo. Amazing, amazing, amazing. I would love some takoyaki right now!!

  5. Eszter - 23rd July 2013

    We went to Tokyo for our honeymoon also! This is so exciting for me to read…!!!

  6. Valerie - 18th March 2014

    Beautiful pictures indeed

  7. valerie - 18th March 2014

    This is Valerie again.

    I’d love to use one of your photos ( graffiti writing on the street with you wearing an umbrella) for my blog which is about interior decoration inspired by great graffiti writings.

    Your photo makes the graffiti piece breath and I would certainly give you all the credits fort he photo but I’d like to know the name of the artist graffiti if that is possible. And hopefully something will come out of this for you and I.

    I have been having some technical difficulties with my blog so it might not appear to make perfect sense.

    wedsite is orturquoise.com blog is orturquoise.blogspot.com
    Valerie

    • We reply...

      Hello Valerie!

      Thanks for stopping by our online home ;) feel free to use the pic giving the credit (linked to this post). Unfortunately I don’t know the graffiti artist, let me know if you find it!

      xx

  8. diana - 20th July 2014

    your photos are simply gorgeous. do you use a point-n-shoot or a dslr? also, did you do any post processing?

    • We reply...

      Hello Diana! Thanks! We use a dslr a Canon Mark II camera and we always post process them with Lightroom, and an analogue camera called LC-A+.

  9. Cassandre - 29th February 2016

    hello Damaris and Dani, guess what I got for my last birthday ! Plane tickets to Japan ! I AM SO EXCITED !
    I am going there in May, yayyyyy. I am starting to plan things and today I have been going through your articles about your honeymoon to get ideas on places not to miss and once again I have been blown away by your pictures.
    The picture at the CONRAD Hotel are so beautiful ! I love them :) Such a pleasure to read your articles.
    I might email you some questions when I am closer to my trip, Love to you both,
    Cassandre

    • We reply...

      Oh! Super exciting news dear Cassandre!!! I’m very happy for you, it is such an amazing gift to get! Thank you so much for your sweet words about our Japan trip pictures, I hope I can help you somehow in your organization, do not hesitate to send an email if you want to discuss anything, I love travel talking. I would love to know your itinerary, I’m already anticipating you are going to share amazing pics on your Instagram. Biiig love!

  10. Joyce - 3rd April 2017

    May I ask where you took the photo with the graffiti on the wall? Thank you!

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