Tokyo. The sublime, the vibrant, the dazzling, the futuristic. First time I set foot in the city, I couldn't believe it -is that all real or am I in a movie scene? The language, the food, the culture, the architecture, the humor, EVERYTHING is different from what I've ever seen. Thrilling.
I've got hundreds of photos, sketches and notes from my trips in Tokyo -where should I start? Let me share with you the best of every districts of Tokyo I have visited. Share in the comments your favorite places of the city! And if you haven't been yet, well... It's time to plan your trip!
Ginza : unusual breakfast, Toy park & window shop
Come on, café-croissant, AGAIN? Isn't it boring?! Today, order a Matcha Tea and some sushis for breakfast, for a change. 6:00 am, just landed, we hop on a train to the Tsukiji Fish Market, then grab some sushis with the locals -trust me, it's the BEST way to soak up Tokyo atmosphere. Anyway, sushis are so good there, it's never to early. Afterwards, you can go crazy shopping in the huuuge toy shop of Ginza and buy yourself some lil' Darth Vader & Cie!
Akihabara : mangas, electronics & J-pop
Akihabara is the best place to geek out in Tokyo -with a sick range of electronic shops. If you like gadgets, mobile tech, cameras, computers, you just found your HEAVEN -there's a reason why we call that neighborhood Electric Town! It's also the Mecca of Otaku culture, home to innumerable shops dedicated to anime, manga, cosplay, trading cards and collectible figurines. Time to try one of these Maid Cafes!
Yanaka + Ueno : Cherry Trees, quiet Tokyo & craft shops
Sick of the vibrant city? Need some calm? Head up to Yanaka & Ueno for a day of serenity. Here, you can stroll for hours in the old town, enjoy the atmosphere that brings you back in the Edo period, admire the elaborately decorated and nicely landscaped tombs of the cemetery, and discover local art. Welcome in the slow Tokyo.
Gotanda : PHOTO opportunities, SERENITY & YAKITORIs
Staying in Hotel MyStays Gotanda Station was a beautiful surprise. It's not only convenient, but above all, it's a super photogenic district, with footbridges crossing, a big train station (view from my room: awesome!) and tiny streets full of little stores to explore. On top of that, there's a wide range of (really) local restaurant. Nothing for tourists there -prepare to mime what you want to order -LOVED IT! I recommend Yakitori-Ya Smile.
Harajuku : people-watching & kawaii shopping
Girls just want to have fuuun! And that's what they do: welcome in Takeshita-dori, where everything is allowed in terms of fashion. Go on week-end, so the teens aren't at school but in the streets, shopping -take you camera, and enjoy! Plus, don't miss Meiji Jingu Shrine, a stunning temple in a park. If you're lucky, you will see a traditional Japanese ceremony -so far I had the chance to see a wedding, a Geisha dance and a ceremony with kids in kimonos.
Asakusa : VERTIGO, Fortune tElling & tokyo's OLDEST TEMPLE
Asakusa is known for Sensoji, a stunning Buddhist temple. As it's the most popular attraction in the city, get up early and come before the crowds -it makes a BIG difference. Do not miss the garden, back left of the temple, and the lovely village around -it's the best part! There, you can buy beautiful silk kimonos and other Japanese souvenirs.
Shibuya : Sushi-bars, karaoke & the Shibuya crossing
Shibuya is simply mythic! Sometimes, you look for the quietness, but when you go to Shibuya, aim for the peak hours, then you'll see the Shibuya Crossing in its legendary beauty: MADLY CROWDED. Get ready for a noisy and busy time, Tokyo like you imagined it! Girls, don't miss the 109 Shibuya store, even if you don't buy, it's just unique -you have to see it. The tower is full of Japanese brands, including unique kawaii and lolitas stuff.
Shinjuku : ROBOTS, mythical hotel & PARTies ALL NIGHT
Shinjuku has sooo much to offer! You could come hundred times there and still uncover tiny streets, restaurants, themed cafes, green alleys -that's what happened for me. I can't believe it took me so much time to discover it: Memory Lane is a lovely, unmissable back street to party and eat some good local food. Oh and of course, there are the cat cafes... Oh, and look up, you might see an immense Godzilla lost on top of a building!
So this is just a quick guide to Tokyo, a few of my favorites, and I knooow it's just the immersed part of the iceberg. This city is absolutely fantastic, with endless possibilities... I went there three times already, and I know I'll be back soon! What's your favorite neighborhood of Tokyo and why? What is the thing i missed ?