The Day I Fell in Love...With Tokyo
Japan Travel Diaries Day 1
I LOVE JAPAN. This country has everything I love. It's efficient, clean, modern and the people here are just all so cute, nice, and helpful. I've only been here for a day but there are so many wonderful things here, I don't even know where to start! Since stepping off from the plane, you immediately experience the efficiency of the way Japanese people operate. There were no lines at customs because there were workers that made sure everyone was moving along in the most efficient manner. I waited for my luggage for only a solid 5 minutes which is a new record. I keep saying the word efficient but literally this might be the word that defines Japan. It makes me wonder why every other country doesn't operate this way. Everyone we encountered knew enough English to be able to successfully help us with our questions. Buying our train tickets in to Tokyo and getting our portable wifi (which I HIGHLY recommend) was a BREEZE. Tokyo had my heart before I even left the airport.
On the first day, we woke up bright and early at 6am thanks to our friend, Jetlag. We decided to venture out to the Akasaka Imperial Gardens which we found on our map because it was close by and open 24 hours according to Yelp. Walking there, the park was walled off by greenery and the only "entrance" we found had a heavy metal gate that was firmly shut. Confused, I used my broken english to ask the local policeman "how to get inside" the gardens. Even more confused, he replied telling us that he doesn't think anyone can really get into the IMPERIAL PALACE. And then we realized we were stupidly trying to just wander into the IMPERIAL PALACE OF THE TOKYO ROYAL FAMILY. wow. what a great start to our day.
[9:30 am] A Happy Pancake
We were able to kill some time on our walk so we started to head back towards the direction of the restaurant that makes the famous uber fluffy Japanese pancakes: A Happy Pancake in Shibuya. While waiting for the place to open, we got an appetizer at the cute cafe across the street (I forgot the name sorry!) where we ordered their Fairy Tea - Jasmine milk tea with mint and lemon grass - SO GOOD, and the Egg, tuna, cheddar toast - SO AMAZING YOU HAVE TO TRY IT. The pictures of the food really does not do justice. The toast was unlike anything I've had. At the Happy Pancake place, we ordered 3 versions of the famous fluffy pancakes: Chocolate with Granola, Cheesecake mousse with berry sauce, and chocolate and banana. They all came with freshly made whip cream. If you follow me on instagram (@its.meems), you probably saw the video of me pouring the chocolate sauce onto the pancake, which was the definition of foodporn. The pancakes were SO FLUFFY and SO SOFT and so AMAZING in every way. Talk about foodgasm. This is something you definitely want to try while you're in Japan. I recommend getting to the restaurant right when it opens because it gets crowded fast.
[11:00 am] Shibuya Crossing
With full tummies, we headed to Shibuya Crossing, which is known to one of the busiest intersections in the world. It's a great sight to see. When the lights turn green, you feel like you're about to charge into war with the mass of people walking towards you. However, I recommend going in the evening rather than the morning because that's when lighting is best for pictures (for the insta duh) and there are larger crowds so you experience the full effect. We walked around the area to check out the local stores and took some Photo Booth pictures that made our skin look like the whitest porcelain and our eyes look like bug eyes. so cute.
[1:00 am] Mari Car!
THIS WAS THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE EVER. Mari Car is Mario Kart in real life where you get to tour Tokyo in Mario Kart style complete with costume and everything. Our tour guide Hito was the cutest and so fun. I was nervous at first about driving in a foreign country, but the drivers and everyone in Japan are so respectful that it felt completely safe to kart around. Only in Japan would this be legal and possible. We felt like celebrities with everyone waving at us and taking our pictures. If there is one thing you HAVE to do in Tokyo, it's this.
[3:30 pm] Odaiba Tokyo Oedo-Onsen Monogatari
The Odaiba hot spring/spa resort was like a fantasy mini world where they let you dress up in Yukata's (lighter informal version of kimono) while you hang out in a traditional Japanese style "village" where you can eat, play games, or relax on tatami floors. Just when I think I can't be impressed further... Japan manages to wow me with something else. This was also our first bath house experience, aka we were totally unprepared to go parading FULLY NUDE into a public place. They literally don't allow you to take a big towel inside the bath house with you so all you're given to hide your private parts is a teeny white towel. Considering how I like to wear the skimpiest outfits, I actually got comfortable with walking around pretty fast. Once you get over the initial phase of shock/discomfort/fear, the bath house was the most relaxing experience. There are several baths/pools with different levels of temperature, as well as a steam room and shower space. It was the perfect place to relax after a long day or recover from Jetlag.
[5:30 pm] Genki Sushi
If I die from mercury poisoning here, at least I'll die happy. Sushi in Japan is not only good, but so cheap. It makes me never want to eat sushi in America again. Genki Sushi lets you order your sushi on an iPad while you wait for your sushi to come out on a rail in front of you. once again, the idea is so efficient and mind blowing. I've never had so much fun waiting for my food to arrive. My dinner was only $7 and my tummy has never been more satisfied. It's definitely a different sushi eating experience. The restaurant is located near Shibuya station so after dinner you can walk around to view the night scene there.
STEAL THE LOOK
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