Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019
Weather: 83 / 71
I got into Tokyo pretty early and dropped my stuff off at the hostel before wandering around. The first place I stopped was Samurai Exchange to get money since their exchange rate was decent enough.
Nearby was the Tsukiji Fish Market and headed over to check that out. I stopped in Sushizanmai for sushi which was just alright. I was mostly just disappointed since it wasn't as good as in Kyoto.
I walked around the market for a bit and saw a line forming at this food booth. I decided to figure out what they had and it was basically beef and rice but was waaayy better than the sushi I had. I have no idea what the name was or what I actually ate but it was super good!
Now, time for dessert! When I was in London I had Ben’s Cookies which I thought were amazing and when I was researching Tokyo I saw they had one. The store is located in the Ginza Six Mall on the lower level. When I finally had them again they were good but not the life changing treats I remember.
After that I walked over to the Tokyo Imperial Palace before taking a nap.
The first was Bar High Five which is currently ranked #18 in the world. I thought the place was really good. The space they have is really small and they don’t take reservations. They don’t have a menu you just tell them the kind of liquor you want and the taste like sour, sweet, etc. They also had really good snacks which they brought on a consistent basis.
When I was done I saw the Odaiba area was nearby. It looked cool with a lot of bridges, a lit up ferris wheel and more. I checked my map and yup, it seemed close - it wasn’t. I thought ‘Hey, I’ll walk to check it out’- I shouldn’t have. It was like over and hour later and nearly 4 miles and the wheel wasn’t lit up. I ended up checking out Big Sight apparently but gladly took a taxi back to my hostel.
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
Weather: 84 / 72
As usual I was trying to find a place for breakfast and stumbled on Eggs n’ Things. The food was pretty good, a bit pricey, but I was able to sit on a terrace that was facing downtown Tokyo which was cool.
I then hit up Ueno Park
and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. The Metro building is cool because it has an overlook where you can see the whole city, and it’s free!
Then nearby was Takeshita Street. The street is kind of crazy and is a pedestrian shopping street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants.
I then went to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden which has a ticket for 500 yen.
I then went over to Ichiran Ramen for quite the ramen experience. You'll put in your order and then go into a booth and they give you the food in there. I then wandered over to the Kitchuko area which has a lot of bars, adult entertainment, and restaurants. I read it might be sketchy for foreigners at night so I didn't stay long, plus that isn’t really my scene.
I finished the night at Bar Ben Fiddich which specializes in fruit brandy drinks and is also ranked in the best bars at number 56 is the world and 15 in Asia. I thought it was really good but I preferred High Five.
Thursday, July 4th, 2019
Weather: 77 / 70
I was on the hunt for a place to get breakfast and found Maison Kayser. It was this little frenchish restaurant which I thought was good.
It started to rain so I went back to my hostel and packed my stuff before going to Pizza Salvatore which was decent. Once I was done there I headed back to Ginza 6 for more of Ben’s cookies to take to Vietnam.
The rain continued so I went back to my hostel before finishing off the day at Akomeya Tokyo. The food was really good but also super expensive.
My Tokyo Take
Getting Around: 6/10
The city is big with a subway system that is easy to use. From most of the subway stops you can walk and get where you need to go. I took a taxi once and thought that was easy. The city is broken into different sections but again, you can easily navigate to each of them using the subway.
Things to do: 7/10
Like any big city there are a lot of things to do with restaurants, parks, shopping, and museums. But if I would compare it to other big cities I felt it was lacking in things to do or even just diversity. I was in Tokyo about the same time as Kyoto and wish I had more time in Kyoto since there was still more I wanted to do.
There was a wide variety of options to choose from as I was able to snag a pretty good burger and pizza there. I only got sushi once but would recommend if you get it try to stay out of the fish market as I felt that was a tourist trap and wasn't that great. Things were kind of all over with some ranging from really good to just alright. I would highly recommend the cocktail bars though!
Like most big cities Tokyo has a lot to offer whether that be shopping, great food, fancy cocktails, museums, and more! But I felt that a lot of the things they had to offer weren't necessary unique, other than eating at a Robot Restaurant or cruising around the streets in go carts of course. The city is extremely big so you are reliant on taking the subway but can walk pretty easily after that.
You can find whatever level of food you are interested in whether that is super fancy or pretty cheap. For the food I had I wasn't necessarily impressed with all of it, especially the sushi in the fish market.
It was still a cool experience but if you wanted more Japanese culture I would say go to Kyoto and if you want to see big cities there are others I prefer. If you want to see where Tokyo ranks against other places I've gone that is here.
Non-Obvious Tokyo Recommendations:
What To Bring
See what I bring on all my trips here!
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Things To Do
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HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
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