Possibly the only good thing about living here is the proximity to Japan. We can go to places like Hokkaido or Kansai or Tokyo at a moment’s notice. Which is what we are doing, Tokyo for a long weekend, this weekend. Every time we plan a holiday, we skip Tokyo in favour of other more unusual places, because in our minds it’ll always be there. We’ve both travelled to Tokyo for business, but it’s been many many years since we actually visited for holiday.
I had to remind myself of the various districts and what to do:
- tsukiji fish market of course
- ginza for shopping
- shinjuki 新宿 for more shopping and busy area
- shibuya 渋谷 for the iconic busy crossing, shopping at Tokyu Hands and Takashimaya plus proximity to the Meiji shrine
- ebisu 恵比寿 for restaurants and izakayas
- roppongi 六本木 for bars and clubs
- akihabara 秋葉原 for electronics and otaru stuff
- ueno 上野 for park and zoo
- asakusa 浅草 for a bit of history, culture and religion
- odaiba お台場 artificial island with a bridge, beaches, exhibition halls and shopping
And that’s not including Tokyo Disneyland, Sanrio Puroland (aka Hello Kittyland) and day trips to places such as Hakone, Fuji and Yokohama.
I also had to remind myself how enormous the entire greater Tokyo area is. Superimposed on a map of the UK, it takes up most of the Midlands. Almost 40 million people. We are looking at a hotel near Tokyo station, which is 60mins by express train from the airport and 25-30mins from the popular areas like shibuya and shinjuku. It’s a newer hotel, good price and has its own hot springs bath.