I am lucky to say this is my 3rd trip to Japan in 3 years (not including my stopover on the way to Singapore). I know my travel history doesn’t compare to many others, but each separate journey to this country has meant the world to me and I’m happy to share it with you.
Being my 3rd time experiencing this country, this timid introvert felt a lot more confident navigating myself and tackling their intense public transportation. Maybe you’re asking me why Japan again. (People always do.) One word: Arashi. They’re a post in itself so I’ll hold off on that, but welcome to part 1 of this travel diary to Japan!
I called Toshima home for the week and this was the main street from our home away from home. We snagged a cozy and comfortable Airbnb over a curry restaurant, so it always smelled so good coming home. We experienced quite a few rainy days in Tokyo, but that does not stop the city from moving.
Akibahara is very much full of all the gadgets you need. And I mean any gadget. While my friend went to one of the pop-ups I wandered up and down these streets full of people with interest spanning from electronics to anime. I’m pretty sure on this day I caught some kind of cold. We ate a hole in the wall ramen place we and enjoyed this sunny day.
I managed to attend church while I was here. St. Mary’s Cathedral sat on a really large hill in Bunkyo, which is mainly all residential. The mass was in complete Japanese and was surprisingly not that hard to follow. I sat next to a sweet old lady who helped me find the prayers (despite me having lack of kanji understanding). Aside from wanting to experience a Catholic mass in a country where 0.5% of the total population is Catholic, Sakurai Sho was once here.
After 3 years I’ve finally made it out to the fancy town of Ginza. I went shopping in this high-end district and damage was done. On Sundays, the main street is closed to any cars and becomes pedestrian-only. So not only can you get millions of photo opportunities, you can shell out your cash at any of the stores along the street!
After hearing another friend talk up the town of Daikanyama I just knew this would be my town. It’s a town full of fashion, coffee, and books! If those three don’t say “Alyssa”, I’m not sure what else I can say. I wore my newly purchased trench coat, which I bought purely because it had that plaid detailing on the back, and my favorite red and purple color palette. We had brunch where the whipped cream tasted like ice cream, splurged on some Tokyo-exclusive scented perfume at Le Labo, and found one of the filming locations for one of my favorite dramas, which we discovered was closed for renovations.
Arashi plays a huge part in the reason I travel to Japan and no trip to Japan is without visiting a place related to them. They had released a music video right before my arrival and we visited each place featured. They were all located in the Sumida area. This neighborhood is home to Tokyo Sky Tree. Aside from this attraction, it’s mostly quiet and residential. I had tea at a unique cafe called Kissalaundry, where yes you can enjoy your cup of coffee while you do your laundry. I had lunch at this tiny cafeteria style place Yuwaeru Main Store. I honestly have no idea what I ate and just pointed at food, but it was good! This cafe has a small grocery store attached to it selling local goods.
Another featured place in Arashi’s music video is Infinity Book Store. They mainly sold books and I just knew I wouldn’t have room in my suitcase for any books due to weight, so I held back and window shopped.
The last stops on this Arashi music video tour were right next to the Yokokawa-
Towards the end of our week in Tokyo, we found ourselves in Roppongi Hills, with this beautiful illumination that I’ve been wanting to see since I saw it in a drama back in 2010! I found my new favorite spot for panorama views of Tokyo at the Mori Art Museum as well!
I’m glad to have visited some other Tokyo neighborhoods I’ve never been to on this trip!
And there is Part 1 of my Travel Diary: Japan November 2018. Stay tuned for my experiences at teamLab: Borderless and Hokkaido!