*dusts cobwebs off the ol’ blog*
Hello again strangers! I’m ever so sorry that I haven’t posted for ages; September was a hectic month of moving out, settling into our new flat and working hard in my ‘new’ job (it’s been just over 3 months now). Anyway, we had our flat-warming last weekend which was awesome and I’m all set up to blog your socks off, so let’s do this!
Way back in April, we celebrated Ry turning 25 in Tokyo, which has been his top place to visit since forever so it was a bit of a dream come true for him 😉
I bought him a couple of cards; the one on the left was for his birthday and the one on the right was for our anniversary 2 days before. The little Gundam model in the middle was a little treat from our travels around Den Den Town in Nipponbashi.
Off we trot!
Easter-themed Krispy Kremes in the train station ^.^
No such thing as calories when it’s your birthday 😉
Our first stop was Tokyo Station.
Completed in 1914, the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building is a Renaissance-style red-brick building. It was restored as a two storey station building after the war, but was reconstructed in its original form in 2012. There are many shopping and eating options inside, too.
You can just make it out in the background of this photo.
We were pleasantly surprised by how spacious and empty the area was.
Through the media, we always assumed that Tokyo was a highly dense area, but not so much here.
The cherry blossoms were absolutely stunning!
There was also a huge, beautiful park dotted with well maintained trees.
The weather was also surprisingly warm so my tights came off shortly after this 😀
It was such a peaceful and relaxing area; we could have easily dozed off too!
The area is just so gorgeous, well-maintained and clean; we just adored it ❤
We wanted to visit the Imperial Palace but unfortunately it was closed to the public that day.
So we decided to find a Samurai instead.
Kusunoki Masashige was a 14th-century samurai who fought for Emperor Go-Daigo in his attempt to wrest rulership of Japan away from the Kamakura shogunate.
He is remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty.
Following our trusty Tokyo guide book, we headed over to Shinjuku, known as Japan’s greatest entertainment district.
Our first stop was obviously food!
We spotted this dumpling and ramen restaurant with awesome paintings on the walls and decided to give it a go.
Ry went for wontons in a clear broth with crispy, chili pork and a bowl of rice, which he enjoyed.
I had wontons in a shrimp broth.
Unfortunately I didn’t realize that it would be a thick, ramen-like soup (I prefer clear broths) so I wasn’t a huge fan of it. However if you’re a fan of ramen, you’d probably enjoy it! 😀
The dips and iced tea were pretty yum, though!
After filling up, we explored Shinjuku!
It’s full of high rises and brightly-coloured signs which is exactly what you’d expect from Tokyo.
We were also intrigued about the Robot Restaurant but it looked like a bit of a tourist trap…maybe next time?
Shinjuku also has many arcades.
Ry also stumbled across Gogeta and we were here for a good 20 minutes…
Alas, no success.
Of course, Ry found more doughnuts, the cheeky sausage!
Just casual statues of babies in beanies riding dolphins and giant snails…
We also walked down Shinjuku Golden-gai, an entertainment district that was formed along these narrow streets during the chaotic period that followed the war. Although most of them were shut in the afternoon, our guide book informed us that there are three hundred shops for eating and drinking. They range from old shops reminiscent of the 1950s to new ones opened up by young owners with bright new concepts.
When we visited, we had to wait before we could move onto exploring the next narrow street as there seemed to be a fight scene being filmed.
Although there’s a lot to see in Shinjuku, we felt that we’d have enjoyed it more in the evening.
Next up, we headed over to Shibuya and I happily slurped down a tropical smoothie at the station.
We had a quick gander around Shibuya 109, which is a very popular building with women in their early twenties as it houses a large variety of clothes. Lots of foreign celebrities shop here, too.
However, nothing really caught my eye (this was probably for the best, as I already have an overflowing wardrobe and no room in my suitcase).
One of our main reasons for visiting Shibuya was to see the famous Shibuya Crossing i.e. the busiest pedestrian crossing in the road. We’d previously read that you get the best view of it from the local Starbucks. Lots of other tourists knew this too but we luckily managed to nab a good window spot!
The area is always busy and all the lights turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box.
Ry decided to join the action…
Bright lights, big city.
Anywhere with these hilarious photo booths gets top marks from me 😉
This is the green screen inside the booth.
Ry also got a bit excited when he discovered a wall of Yu Gi Oh cards!
Although we were pretty hungry at this point, we didn’t want to miss out on going up the Tokyo Tower at night while we were in the area.
Ever since its opening in 1958, it has been adored as the landmark of Tokyo.
The Special Observatory is located at 250 meters boasting some pretty spectacular views!
We also loved the fact that some of the vending machines here served fruit which we were in dire need of!
When we finally got back to Ikebukuro, we had a very late night dinner at the Indian restaurant next to our hotel.
You can see how tired I look here, haha! (Well worth it, though).
I love open kitchens where you can watch the chefs at work.
Our curries were delicious and Ry’s paratha was huge! 😀
We collapsed into bed at around 1am to re-energise for our next day of adventures around Tokyo!
See you soon 😉