Things To Do in Tokyo, Japan - Amateur Traveler's Tips & Guide

August 11, 2017 Alvian Tan

[Tokyo]

Whoaahh, 
Finally! It's been a long time since my last post. I was really confused by my commitment to continue writing on my blog or not. But at last, I made my mind, I finally realizing that this is really a time killer and good hobby for me! This blog also can be my platform to share my work and life. So I decided to continue this blog!

Soooo what will I post today is about my last trip from Japan! Wait.... what? But I already came to Japan last year, why should I go there again ? ( For you who want to read my Japan trip Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 ). Yess, I've been in Japan before and it's only one year apart from my visit. The reason why is because I really love any Asia, and I have this interest in Japan particularly and there's still so many place and attraction to explore in here. So I'm going to Japan without tour service this time with my mom and lil' sis!

[#2]

There's some notes you should know before going to Japan :
  • First, you should know that in Japan, it's really hard to find someone who could speak english. So it would be difficult to communicate.
  • Second, check their currency rate, weather and season before you traveling. Well in my case, it was summer so I choose the right outfit.

You may find that it would be difficult to travel in Japan by yourself because of the language barrier. But don't worry, because Japan is tourist friendly! Don't worry about transportation and accommodation because you have so many choices in here and it was quite easy to buy the tickets.

Subway Ticket :

There's so many lines in Japan's subway system and not all of them were from the same company. That's why you need to have your itinerary before going to Japan. 

You could buy a regular ticket like one way to go. Just go to the machine, choose english language and you could choose where to stop. But remember you could exit in your destination only!

There's this pass that people could use while in Japan, it's called JR Pass. But remember, JR Pass only can be used in JR subway company only ( even most of the tourist and big station using JR subway ) that's why itinerary is a must so you could compare wether you should buy it or not because it is quite expensive. 

There's this 3 days pass or like one week pass but that doesn't cover all of the lines too. So it goes back to your itinerary.

What I recommend is you to buy an I.C card. It is like a deposit card and it's very useful in Japan! You could use it for subway, for busses, some convenient store and many more. There's so many I.C card, you could see Pasmo, Suica, or Icoca. It's all the same, only their company is different so it wasn't really a big deal to choose anything. But it goes back to you again and what you need to buy for the transportation.

[Airport]

In the airport, you could find the machine to buy limousine bus ticket because it was quite far from the central part of Tokyo and since my hotel was in Shinjuku area. Remember to check the fare because it can be quite expensive and then check the gate you need to go and the departure time so you don't miss your buss!

[Tokyo]

My first city in Japan was Tokyo! Tokyo is really urban and metropolitan city. There's so many unique and interesting things to look at and explore. But here's like mostly the basic thing you should do while in Tokyo :

Try their commercial drink

There's so many commercial drink that only Japan have. Japan is so clever with their packaging and make you wanna buy all of their product but here's some drinks you could find in convenient store or vending machine that I really like

[Calpis]

This is Calpis Soda drink that I really like, it has this silky taste but there's a soda in it. So it's quite refreshing for me and I recommend you to try it too!

[Starbucks Matcha Latte]

In Indonesia, it was really hard to find Starbucks product in convenience store and beside, I am a Starbucks lover! I was trying this Starbucks Matcha Latte and wtf! This is pure love! It tasted so good and tasty! I bought so many while in Japan but I drank them all because I really like it.

OOTD Picture

[OOTD]

Japan is a very insta-able town and it will give you a nice picture just only taking picture on the street! Every corner of the street is very insta worthy! So you should bring all of your clothes and take like one or two hours just only to have your OOTD Photo session LOL!

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

[#5]

[#6]

[#7]

For you who are confused how I took a pic of myself while traveling, so here's the answer :

[Lil' Sis]

Here is my private photographer while I was in Japan, She's my lil' sis and it's quite easy to direct her and guide her to take a pic of me. So that's why I could have some good photo of myself while in Japan!

Comparing Franchise Restaurant

Most of Japan's restaurant franchise are opened in Indonesia, but people said that it tasted different when you eat in Japan, there's so many restaurant I saw like Yoshinoya and Coco Ichibanya. So I was a bit curious and since I saw Coco Curry Ichibanya while walking around, we decided to eat there.

[Coco Ichibanya]

From the menu itself, they have more variant than we had. For portion, it is bigger here so you don't need to worry about the money value. And for the taste itself, it's more authentic and delicious also. So don't think that it is a waste to try restaurant that we had in our country. Because some of the restaurant in here is better than we had.

Visiting Tokyo's Landmark

There are so many attractions and tourist spot to visit but I could only visit like 3 places so let me tell you where did I go while in Tokyo :

[Harajuku]

Harajuku Street
Shibuya, Japan

So Harajuku is famous with their quirky, weird and unique fashion. It's a street that famous with the youngsters. There are so many fashion store in this street and it was really fascinating to see Japanese teenager and their unique fashion. It was super crowded and this place was filled with so many people so be careful with your belongings. 

[#2]

[#3]

It's quite a hectic back there so I couldn't get a nice pic of the place and situation

[Creepes]

[#2]

And also while you are in Harajuku, you need to try their Creepes because it is quite famous in Harajuku. There are so many Creepes stall in here, so you could choose anything you prefer. They have so many flavors even I took some time just to choose because every taste looks amazingly tempting!

[Ueno Park]

Ueno Park
Japan, 〒110-0007 Tokyo, 
Taito, Uenokoen, 5−20

[#2]

So Ueno Park located in Ueno district. It is famous with the foreigner somehow I don't know. But it was quite a good place to take a walk and this place is so wide and there's so many spot also you could try to visit, they have shrine, museum, and also you could watch some street performance. You will keep getting entertained here.

[#3]

[#4]

[#5]

[#6]

[#7]

[#8]

My mom is a Temple-holic, so it was a right decision to come here because she could enjoy visiting temple and praying, and also taking picture.

[Sensoji Temple]

Sensoji Temple
2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, 
Tokyo 111-0032, Japan

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

Sensoji Temple probably the most crowded place in Tokyo for tourist. Because it is one of the most iconic place in Tokyo. Like it is a mandatory place to visit! From the outside, while walking in, you could see so many souvenir shop and food stall. There'll be so many people wearing Yukata and Kimono because it was summer so people getting ready for the festival. You could enjoy your time here.

[Gate]

[#2]

This is the gate that really famous, people usually taking picture in here. But you better coming in morning or an early hour to have a nice pict.

[Building]

[#2]

The building itself was beautiful. I was amazed by this magnificent red building. I prayed and try the fortune here.

[Fortune]

Hopefully, I got a regular fortune. Because last year I got a bad fortune and yeah I hate 2016. I hope this year, good things will come to me.

[Melon Pan]

[#2]

While you are in Sensoji, I recommend you to buy this Melon Pan, because it was so crisp outside but soft inside. It tasted sweet but not too sweet, that's why I really love this bread. It was so cute and looks like a melon, right?

Visiting Cafe

Tokyo have so many good and nice cafe. There are so many cafe to visit but I've got a little time. So I choose some of my cafe list

[Dominique Ansel Bakery]

Dominique Ansel Bakery
Japan, 〒104-8212 Tokyo, Chuo, 
Ginza, 4 Chome−6−16, 銀座三越

When you are shopping in Ginza district, you could take a minute visiting this place. The queue was quite long because this bakery is so famous around Japanese people. There's some menu that we try and I want you to try it also

[What-a-melon]

[#2]

What-a-Melon is basically a watermelon soft cream on the top of a real watermelon! Lol I should be honest that it's not my type of dessert. Because I thought it would taste like a real watermelon, it does a bit, but it also tasted more like a medicine. It's not like I don't like it but it just not my appetite, but I know some people will really enjoyed it. ( Also, it's seasonal and not available everytime )

[Cookie Shot]

[#2]

Next is this famous Cookie Shot! It's like their signature. It's a glass shaped cookie and then they pour down the milk to the cookie. It looks so appetizing and also tasted as I expected. The cookie was incredibly good and the milk was keeping the cookie it doesn't taste too dense. 

[Frozen S'mores]

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

Last is my fav from this cafe is this frozen S'mores! I love s'mores the most! They really did a good job for this delicious smores. They torched the outside so it had this caramelized layer. This is definitely my top pick from this cafe.

[Blue Bottle Coffee]

Blue Bottle Coffee
4 Chome-1-6 Shinjuku, 
Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

[#2]

[#2]

[#3]

This cafe is really beautiful, I enjoyed my breakfast here. Most of the food is for breakfast and brunch. But I know this place is famous of their coffee.

[#4]

[#5]

[Coffee]

Their coffee is on point. It tasted really good, smells nice and you got a really nice view from the veranda here. I always drink cafe latte, and I really enjoyed a good quality coffee here. So I would probably going back here again if I visited Japan again.

[Shozo Coffee]

Shozo Coffee
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tokyo, 
港区Minamiaoyama, 3丁目13

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

Beside Blue Bottle Coffee, there's this small coffeeshop but quite nice called Shozo Coffee. It was small coffeeshop but their coffee is so pleasant! Their cafe building itself really nice and insta-worthy LOL. So you could also try their coffee if you don't get any place in Blue Bottle Coffee. 

[Aoyama Flower Market Tea House]

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House
Japan, 〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato, 
Minamiaoyama, 5 Chome−1−2, 青山エリービル1F

Aoyama Flower Market franchise is everywhere in Tokyo, but you need to go to their Tea House! Because it was really beautiful. Taking a garden concept for the tea house, I recommend you to come to this Aoyama flower market in Omotesando area.

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

[#5]

[#6]

Their food is amazingly beautiful. It's a garden on a plate! Like literally. All of the flower on the plate is edible here. Their menu name is hard to remember. It was like I choose anything that I find eye catching lol. But I'm quite disappointed because this place is very low light and yellowish so i can't have a good photo.

[Tea]

[#2]

Their have their own selection of tea, and I choose like today's selection tea and I forget the tea's name. Tea smells good and it really calm. So I could enjoyed my time here as long as I want. Good food, good tea and beautiful garden, I hope they opened their franchise in Indonesia too lol!

Eat Local Food

[Local Food]

Japan's local food is really delicious. So many Japanese cuisine to try. Believe me, you just need to go to random restaurant and I bet it tasted already good so you don't need to worry about food. And thing you should know before coming to restaurant is wether they have english menu or not. Because it could be quite troublesome for us if we can't speak Japanese.

[Deep Fried Wagyu beef Cutlet]

While you were in Japan, you could try Deep Fried Wagyu Beef Cutlet. There is a grade for the beef. If their grade is higher, the cost will be higher too.

[#2]

[#3]

I want to find a nice beef cutlet restaurant, and I couldn't find one because the maps was suck at that time. So I just randomly come to this restaurant and it still tasted good. It's still raw inside but crisp outside. With their sauce, it tasted superb and really a finger lickin' food you should try!

[Kani Miso]

Isomaru Suisan
6 Chome-8-13 Ueno, Taito, 
Tokyo 110-0005, Japan

Isomaru Suisan have so many franchised in Japan but I happened to visit one in Ueno. It is a 24 hours restaurant so you don't need to worry about the time to visit this place. this place is famous for their grilled seafood and it is a self grilled restaurant. This place was quite up to date despite of the look of their place because they used ipad or tab to order the food and they have english menu.

[#2]

[#3]

What you should try is their Kani Miso! Believe me this Kani Miso was super delicious! It's rich of flavors and also super savory! I remember coming back here like 3 times just for this Kani Miso. There are so many menu you can try also, like their tamagoyaki and other grilled seafood. But believe me, Kani Miso is a must!!

[Ichiran Ramen]

Ichiran Ramen
Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, 
Shinjuku, 3 Chome−34−11, ピースビル

It would be a waste if you in Japan but didn't try their ramen, right? One of the famous Ramen restaurant in Tokyo is Ichiran. Even there's so many tourist that want to try this place.

[#2]

[#3]

This is like my 3rd time come to Ichiran, you could also find this place review in my last year Japan's post! But If I came back here again, it must be good right? What I really love is their noodle itself was already good but the one that keep me going back is their broth soup. It is SUPER SAVORY and super rich of flavors. I could drink their soup over and over again if I want to. So go ahead and try to visit this place.

Try Local Street Food

[Local Street Food]

Tsukiji Fish Market
Japan, 〒104-0045 Tokyo, 
Chuo, Tsukiji, 5 Chome−2−1

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

[#5]

[#6]

[#7]

I would like to recommend you to come to Tsukiji Fish Market for street food because it's like one place to go in here and also they sell fresh raw seafood with a really cheap price. You could strolling around this market and try as many food as you can and here is the example :

[Soft Cream]

Japan is obsessed with soft cream and they have variant flavors that didn't available anywhere, so you should try and enjoy some ice cream in this hot summer too.

[Mochi]

Mochi is originally from Japan, so it would tasted better in their original place. Mochi's portion in Japan is huge, the portion was no joke. I could eat like one mochi and already feel full.

[Skewers]

They had totally like so many choices when it comes to skewers. You had tori, meatballs and many more to choose. I can't explain it all to you so you better come and try one of these.

[Sea Urchin]

[#2]

It's rare to find a raw sea urchin but since this fish market is near the sea, so all the seafood is still fresh and cheap. It was grilled and really tasted good but a bit bitter in some part of it.

[Inari Sushi]

Inari Sushi is a sushi everyone loved. This deep fried tofu sushi was already good but some stall added some topping to elevate the taste. They add some kani and ikura and many more so it was worth to try also!

[Raw Seafood]

[#2]

[#3]

[#4]

As I said before, this place is famous of their fresh raw seafood, they have kani, scallop, oyster, lobster, tuna, salmon and many more kind of sea creature. What's really good is the price LOL it's super fucking cheap! It's a total regret if you're coming here and didn't eat many of this seafood!

[Tamagoyaki]

[#2]

Tamagoyaki or basically a rolled Japanese omelette was a famous dish you could eat with or without rice. I heard there's a famous tamagoyaki stall in Tsukiji but I don't know which one. So I randomly choose the crowd one HAHA You could choose the sweet one or savory one. Whichever you choose is still delicious. So have a try!

So that's it for today's post, next one I will continue my Japan trip post but it will be about Kyoto! so see you soon!

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