Tokyo was a whirlwind trip. Right after a business trip, two co-workers and I travelled back through Narita Airport and decided to stay for a few days. Three days isn’t a long time to explore a city as large as Tokyo. We knew we wouldn’t see everything, but we were determined to lose sleep and do as much as we could.
Our first night, we explored a district known for its tiny bars, stacked on top and next to each other. Each bar could only fit 2-6 people comfortably. There were a few that clearly had locals, and some which looked very tourist friendly. We found our spot in BrianBar and met a couple on their honeymoon through Asia and a shoe-designer from China (by way of Canada) who was in Tokyo to figure out what the next shoe trend was going to be. This wasn’t that bar (clearly due to its much larger size) but the art on the wall reminded me of my favourite anime show, HunterxHunter.
We spent an hour trying to find an arcade but instead kept finding pachinko houses. The sound of hundreds upon hundreds of pachinko balls falling across four floors was overwhelming. I stayed long enough to Snapchat it and then ran right back outside. We found an arcade on day two and the action figures reminded me of a dear friend who tried oh so hard to get me into Dragon Ball Z in middle school (shout out to you David!).
I will always mourn missing out on these shoes. They were perfect. But too big and it was the smallest size they had left. I had such hopes of being a lumbersexual!
We shopped a lot near Shibuya, but the purpose of our trip was to see the Meiji Jingu Shrine. The building itself is gorgeous – the architectural details so distinctive and yet less grand than larger temples like Senso-ji. I particularly loved that you could write out a prayer and leave it on the prayer wall to be blessed and prayed over. I tried my best not to read the prayers of others and yet even a few glances showed me characters I was unfamiliar with, languages I couldn’t recognize in written form. As we were leaving our prayers on the prayer wall, a Shinto wedding procession began at the shrine. It was a really beautiful moment of connectedness and left me feeling so thankful and inspired.
The shrine is in the middle of Shibuya. When you’re within its walls, it feels so far away and quiet. When you exit, the sounds of the city feel overwhelming. We decided to hide in a cat cafe right across the street and to keep the peace a little longer.
The above is the Shibuya crossing – even after midnight, it was PACKED.
One of the stand out experiences in Tokyo was visiting the Robot Restaurant. It came highly recommended by my travel companion and aside from saying he wanted to go, he didn’t mention much else. I went in knowing that I’d have an adventure. And it perfectly panned out.
It is a silly storyline performed in multiple parts by dancers and intricate over-the-top robots. It doesn’t sound as amazing on paper – it’s hard to explain the essence and energy of the Robot Restaurant to someone who hasn’t experienced it. I tried to take some action shots to get the feeling across, pictures being worth more than words, ya know?
The last day was spend entirely at Disneyland – that’s up next!