1 Week in Japan
I arrived 3 hours before my flight and this was the line for checking in!
Tradional Korean performance while waiting for my plane
Airport is huge!
Kimbap (김밥) before I board the plane. United Airlines gave a sandwich for lunch as the flight was only 2 hours. But Korean Air gave a proper meal when I flew the same route last year!
"Economy Plus" seat. So much leg room. The benefit of being one of the last ones to check in, no more normal seats left
2 hours later.. Narita Airport!
Narita Sky Express train. This is what most of the subway trains look like
Hotel Kawase. My place in Asakusa. It took around 90 minutes to get here from Narita (direct train to Asakusa station)
My "Capsule" on the bottom. Quite spacious, a little old, clean, had my own locker, very cheap, not bad, but 6 nights in that was enough i think!
Decided to walk around the area for the rest of the night. Kaminarimon Gate. This was a 2 minute walk from my place
Walk through the gate and you enter Nakamise Shopping Street. Souvenir shops, Japanese sweets, food and other small shops
At the end of that walkway you see this. Hozomon Gate
Sensoji Temple on the right. They give the buildings a nice orange light before it gets dark, looks nice! Once it's late, they change it to white lights, not as nice
Asakusajinja Shrine in the back
Tokyo Sky Tree in the middle (the tallest building in Japan, 634m!)
Sensoji Temple. Main Hall (Hondo)
Sensoji Temple Main Hall
View from the other side
Five-storied Pagoda and Hozomon Gate
Walking back through Nakamise Shopping Street
Guard inside the Kaminarimon Gate
One of the shops in Nakamise Street. Need a sword or a gun?
Looking for dinner in Asakusa
Yoshinoya for dinner! Japanese fast food restaurant
Not bad for Fast Food!
Walking back to the hotel. Asakusa at night
Late at Kaminarimon Gate
The next day. Inside a subway. People are always sleeping
Sushi Train for lunch with two international students from KAIST. Met them in my hotel, so random! They were in Tokyo for the Korean long weekend
Visited Akihabara after sushi
Electronic stores everywhere! Anything electronic you can find in Akihabara
They also have everything for Japanese comics, anime, manga, toys and figurines. It really is a place you only see in Japan
You can also find levels of game shops and maid cafes
After Akihabara I walked around Asakusa. That golden object on the right is the building for Asahi Breweries. Tokyo Sky Tree hidden on the left
Asakusa with light
I wanted to see Sensoji Temple again but during the day. Nakamise Shopping Street
Swords and guns again?
Walking around the temple
End of Nakamise Shopping Street
Five-storied Pagoda and Hozomon Gate. With light
Sensoji Temple. People Pray
Streets of Asakusa
Back streets in the early evening
This building wasn't straight. Effect of an earthquake?
Dinner in Asakusa. The pictures show the restaurant's menu. Each dish has a number that goes along with it (foreigner friendly!). Choose one you like and remember the number
Insert your money. Find that number on the machine and press the button. A ticket will pop out the bottom. Hand the ticket to the counter and wait for 5 minutes or so
Food is ready! That cost 500 Yen (~$6)
The next day I visited Shibuya. In Japan there are Smoking Areas, if you need to smoke, smoke there!
The famous Shibuya crossing
Bright Lights, Bigger City!
Nice wheels on this taxi
J-Pop girl group?
Interesting building above the Disney Store
Streets of Shibuya. People everywhere!
So many people!
Shibuya 109. Shopping heaven for the girls!
Shibuya at night, so bright!
People lining up for the bus. Everywhere and everything in Japan, you need to line up and stay in the line! Subways, buses, going up escalators, there's always a line!
Nice artwork on that building
Mini bus (they have normal size buses in Japan too). Japan's "cute" culture
Starbucks view of Shibuya crossing. Lights turned green!
Always busy! If this was an hour or two earlier, it would probably be twice as full
Full view of Shibuya crossing
Back at Asakusa
Nice place to stay. Famous temple around the corner, direct train to and from Narita Airport, easy subway access to all the main areas in Tokyo
Breakfast in this place again. Cheap, filling and fast!
Breakfast. Mix the egg with the sauce. Pour into the rice bowl. I think that's what the chef was trying to show me?
After breakfast, I was on my way to Ueno Park. Asakusa subway station (Ginza Line; so many different lines in Tokyo but still so efficient!). To buy a ticket; on the big subway maps above the ticket machines, each station has the price shown next to the name (the further away from your station, the more expensive), insert your money and select the price on the screen (or the other way around, both work), and then you have your ticket
Nice artwork inside the subway station
Walking towards the park, looking back towards the station
Why walk forwards when you can walk backwards?
Clean your left hand, clean your right hand, rinse your mouth and then rinse the cup
On the way to a shrine
Pagoda and some lanterns
Copper Lanterns. There are 50 in total used for purification and sacred fires when performing religious ceremonies
Toshogu Shrine under construction. Looked real from a distance!
Obake-Doro (Monstor Stone Lantern). 6 metres high!
Imagine this filled with cherry blossoms
Filming something at Ueno Park
Would look really nice in April!
Honda Today? Honda Everyday!
Some cherry blossoms on the left?
There's also lakes in the park
Cleaners at work
The other lake in Ueno Park
The bird feeder. Birds were were just flying onto his hand
Walking back to Ueno station. I think that man was posing for the camera. The street crossing light was green for 5 seconds. He just stood there, I took the photo, I started walking, then he finally started walking
Streets of Ueno
Back to Ueno station
Cigarette vending machines
After Ueno Park I caught the train to visit Meiji Jingu
I needed to transfer subway lines. This station had safety barriers
Inside the train. If you stand in the first carriage, you can get a view of the driver and also the driver's view. There's not much to see though, just a dark tunnel
Inside the train
Torii (Shrine Gate)
On my way to the main shrine area
So quiet and relaxing. Not for me though, I was walking everywhere everyday!
Spot the turtles. There are three
Torii before the main area
Need a clean?
Need to say a prayer?
Main area of Meiji Jingu
Main Shrine Building
Say a prayer here
Meiji Jingu Main Building Shrine
Meiji Jingu main area
Leaving the Meiji main area and walking towards Harajuku station
History of Meiji Jingu
Wine barrels from France
Barrels of sake wrapped in straw
Leaving Meiji Jingu. Very wide path
The exit is just there and Harajuku station around the corner
Not everyday you see the fire brigade down Takeshita Street (famous shopping street in Harajuku)
Fire fighters go!
I didn't spend a lot of time in Harajuku that afternoon, went straight to Shinjuku
A watch shop in Shinjuku. Levels of watches!
Shinjuku is Japan's busiest station.. there really was a lot of people!
In Japan, people ride bicycles everywhere. You see them riding their bikes while carrying their shopping, if it's raining they carry an umbrella in one hand or sometimes they even have umbrella stands connected to their bikes
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (North Tower) 45th floor
There is no fee for this observatory and you can also get a view from the south building
West side of Shinjuku station
Walking to the east side. The station is surrounded by big department stores, left, right and on top
A street away from the station. The east side is a lot more busier; plenty of shopping, restaurants, game arcades and people!
People, Lights, Everyday!
Kabukicho street on the right. "Entertainment" area in Shinjuku. Big screens on buildings are everywhere in Shinjuku
If you like to shop and want to see a busy Tokyo; you should visit Shinjuku!
Those guys standing in the middle of the street try to bring you to their clubs, bars, etc.. They usually have "Dragon Ball Z" style hair
Lamborghini Murcielago and Gucci
They stood around the car with the doors open for a good hour. When you have that car and your in Shinjuku, why not?
Going back to my capsule
Good Morning. On my way to Odaiba
At Odaiba. First stop, Tokyo Mega Web
Toyota G Sports
Toyata History Garage. What's that car there hiding behind the pillar?
FT-86 G Sports Concept
New and Old
There was an old mechanic in this workshop; I'm not sure if he was actually working or just there for display? (he wasn't actually doing anything)
86 test drive. In the Mega web, you can test drive any of the cars. You just need your international drivers license
Model cars and magazines all for sale, not just Toyota!
Delorean DMC 12
Not just Toyota in here
Odaiba is known as an "amusement" area. Shopping, food, entertainment and the view of Tokyo Bay
Smoking room inside the Venus Fort shopping mall
Fountain inside Venus Fort
Venus Fort has a European Style throughout the mall
Fuji TV Building
Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge and the Statue of Liberty?
Inside Decks Tokyo Beach (shopping mall). Famous J-Girls being filmed
A couple hours later
Yep that's definitely the Statue of Liberty
Fuji TV Bright Lights
Tokyo Bay. Nice view at night!
On my way home from Odaiba, I needed to transfer subway lines. I saw bright lights from the station and decided to take a detour, it ended up being Ginza!
Luxury brands fill the street. Side streets and back streets too!
Feel like spending some money? The people here definitely dress a lot more "classy"
Protest in Ginza, not sure what about though
Finally on the train
The next day I decided to visit the Imperial Palace. It was raining again! It rained 5 out of the 7 days I was there!
Half moat before the Imperial Palace
Trees surrounding the palace
The Nijubashi Bridge in front of the main entrance
This is as close as you can get to the Imperial Palace. It's always closed, only open on special days
Not satisfied with the Imperial Palace, I headed to Rikugien Garden
Long underground passage to Tokyo station from the Imperial Palace
At Rikugien Garden. Togetsukyo - two large slabs of stone make this bridge
Rikugien Garden lake
Sleeping Dragon Rock
What's up duck?
Something was blossoming? Again, this garden would look a lot nicer in April
Fujishiro-toge. View from the tallest hill in the garden. Nice view!
After the garden walk I visited Akihabara again to buy some cheap sport headphones from Yodabashi Camera. Everything electronic and everything for your electronics you can find in here. It's so big!
After Akihabara, I visited Ginza again to buy some Wasabi and Orange flavoured Kit Kats. The yellow/brown building is the Yamaha building and the building on the left is the H&M building
After Ginza, I visited Shibuya again
I found the shop in Shibuya where I bought my 3 watches last year, added green and blue to the collection!
After Shibuya, I walked to Harajuku. Mad Hectic Store, there shirt line wasn't as good as last years
Last dinner in Tokyo for now, Mos Burger. Teriyaki burger and Mos rice burger (the patty was rice!)
Just walked around Asakusa again on my last day. Panda Bus
One last time
Waiting for my train at Asakusa station, heading to Narita Airport. If you can open this picture and zoom into the lady that is sitting down, notice how her feet are pointing inwards, a lot of girls in Japan do this. They walk/stand with their feet pointed inwards, I don't know why?
Observation deck at Narita Airport
Bought some food before boarding because I knew what was for dinner, a sandwich!
Feel like going to Japan now? Bye Tokyo! be back soon