Tokyo in 3 Days
I went to Tokyo, Japan last year and it's been one of the most memorable and exciting travel experiences I still reminisce about. This was the very first trip Justin & I took together and we had an incredible time sightseeing, shopping, visiting tourist attractions and eating seriously good food. Looking back now, I can't believe we jam packed so much in 3 days! Although short, we did manage to do everything on our itinerary and also explore the different areas of Tokyo on the metro subway (super confusing but extremely convenient).
Stay: We stayed in the heart of Shinjuku at Hotel Gracery Shinjuku. We chose this hotel because it had just newly opened (early 2015) and was in a great location being near a subway station. Overall, it was very modern and clean. The rooms were really small, but that's just how it is. The staff were super friendly and the concierge there went above and beyond to help us with our daily plans despite the language barrier. The area itself is buzzing with energy and absolutely vibrant at night.
Dining: Our first and best meal was the famous Sushi Dai in Tsujiki Fish Market. We went super early in the morning (got there at 4 am) and waited in line for about 2 hours. Yes, we waited long BUT it was definitely worth it. It's the best sushi I've ever had in my life. For 4000 yen, you get 10 pieces of sushi omakase plus one of your choice. You can also order a la carte if you like something and want more of it. It's a very small space (14 seat bar) and the experience is very traditional. The chefs are also really friendly and amazing to observe.
There are honestly so many options for food and we didn't get to try everything under the sun, but we had our highlights! Rokurinsha at Tokyo's Ramen Street had really good tsukemen (you get to order from a vending machine) and we also enjoyed ramen at Ippudo and Ichiran (you get to eat your ramen in a walled off cubicle). I had the best tako yaki (my favourite!) and we also found a restaurant that served traditional style tempura. If you're hungry at Haneda Airport, there's a really good udon place called Tsurutontan Udon where we had creamy udon and curry udon.
Explore: We spent a day walking around Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden which was really relaxing and a nice change from the busy city. The park is full of history, beautiful landscape and cultural design elements.
My favourite part of the trip was visiting Sensoji, which is a temple located in Asakusa. I found a place that rents kimonos (Asakusa-Shichihenge) so of course, I definitely wanted to get dressed up! It costs 3000 yen per person and you can get to select what you like (which is so difficult!) and they also do up your hair for you. Men get to wear a yukata. We walked around the temple dressed up and were approached by friendly strangers who assumed it was our wedding and congratulated us and even took photos of us, haha! I definitely appreciated the cultural experience of wearing a traditional kimono.
I had a really great first experience in Japan and I was blown away by how efficient and busy the city is. I love Japanese food and the quality and care behind every dish we had was excellent! I was so impressed by how helpful and polite the people are too. I definitely want to explore more of Japan in the future and can't wait to visit again!