October 08, 2014

After living in Asia for three years, I finally made it to Japan. We had 5 days off for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) which was the perfect chance to visit Tokyo.

With a short flight of only 2 hours, we were able to take the early morning bus to Incheon airport and arrive in Tokyo with plenty of daylight to explore.

After dropping our bags at the hotel, we wandered around the streets of Shinjuku in search of food. We eventually decided on an izakaya which, in Japan, is simply a bar which also serves food. I was unsure of whether or not we would be leaving with food poisoning. To our pleasant surprise, it was easily one of the best meals we had (beef sushi, grilled peppers and quail eggs, chicken, udon).

After dinner, we set out for the Tokyo Government Building where we heard we would have access to the 45th floor for a view of the city. We were not disappointed. The night ended with drinks in a swanky piano bar and Mario Cart in a nearby arcade.

For our first full day, we wanted to do a bit of sight-seeing before making our first trip to the Disney Resort. We visited Meiji Shrine before doing some shopping around Harajuku and having some Japanese/Italian fusion for lunch.

We headed to DisneySea in the early evening. This Disney park is special to Tokyo as it doesn't exist anywhere else in the world. Compared to Disneyland, the themes are more nautical in nature with Venetian gondolas, mermaids, and pirates. We perused the park, rode the Tower of Terror, and had dinner in Mermaid Lagoon.

For Disneyland, we set aside an entire day for rides, shopping, and food (I had a strict "if it's not mouse-shaped, I'm not eating it" rule).

On our last day, we were pretty exhausted but determined to see more of Tokyo. We made a trip to the iconic Tokyo Tower, crossed the infamous Shibuya scramble crossing, ate at an automated sushi restaurant, and returned to Harajuku for one last bit of shopping.

Tokyo has, so far, been one of my most favourite cities to visit. I have, of course, loved many other places I've traveled to, but Tokyo has left me with the strongest feeling that I need to return (along with many other cities in Japan).

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