24 March 2017

10 Unique Experiences To Try In Tokyo

Tokyo is that one place that has left me with so many extraordinary memories that keep me coming back for more! From the amazing food to the humble culture of Japan, there is something here to experience for everyone! 

1. Walk through the hustle and bustle of Nakamise 

On your way to Sensoji Temple, you walk through a 200 meter jam packed market complete with souvenirs that range from Japanese folding fans to unique local snacks. To think this was just the middle of the day during a weekday, how many more people could this place fit! It was beautifully crazy! If you are up for some more busy places, definitely stop at the famous Shabuja Crossing and Harajuku. 

2. Watch the Sunset from Tokyo Skytree 

This you definitely will not regret! Getting to the Tokyo Skytree Tower about an hour before sunset will give you the chance to experience both the day and night stunning city views! From my experience I enjoyed the extra view from the Tembo Galleria at 450m but if you are on a tight budget, the Tembo Deck at 350m is just as magnificent. And once the sky turns black and the city lights awaken, take a seat and a sip of a hot green tea late from Skytree cafe while you're at it!

3. Feel Like You're In Venice At The Toyota City Showcase! 

Never been to Venice myself, this experience of walking underneath what feels like moving clouds inside a building is one to experience. This place has a beautiful layout with old style cars that even for a non car fanatic like myself, I was drawn to the incredible architecture! You can walk through the stores or head straight into the latest showcase of Toyota vehicles.  

4. Watch The Swans Outside The Royal Palace

You can never go wrong with visiting what seems to be an ancient tradition, yet still lives on in the 21st century. The Royal palace, although closed most of the year, is still very spectacular form the outside. We had a stroll through the park and enjoyed watching the swans majestically swimming through the lake.

5. Take A Jump At Ginza

The affluent shopping district is absolutely incredible to visit. There are levels upon levels for every possible gleaming department store that there is. Even window shopping through all the levels was just enough for me! 

6. Go Mario Carting Through Tokyo City

Although I did not experience this myself, I have heard it is a blast! If you are from Australia all you need to do is apply for a international driving permit from RACQ which is about $50 and book a time slot with maricar.com. A 2 hour tour is around $60. They provide the costumes and also have English guides to race you around the city. 

7. Smell The Fishies At The Tsukiji Fish Market

I feel like even through my face in the photo you can smell the fish! But the Tsukihi Fish Market has one of the freshest seafood in town and worth the visit. I really loved getting to see more of the culture through the markets and getting to try fresh, local cuisine. 

8. Try A Hot Chocolate From Tokyo Disney

As many things in Disney, their hot chocolate has a secret recipe! When I first tried a hot chocolate in Tokyo Disney in late 2012, I fell in love! Never have I tried a hot chocolate this good! I was waiting until I would get another chance to visit Tokyo Disney and to have just one more sip of their deliciously tasty chocolate drink! On top of this Tokyo Disney has been one of my favourites to visit. Having also worked in Disney, I can tell those who truly love their job. The Japanese culture fits everything Disney, they are incredibly kind, helpful and joyous beyond belief! It makes the experience even more special with that loving nature.

9. Visit An Owl Cafe

What an experience! Tokyo has a reputation for awesome animal cafes and we decided to try out the  Akiba Fukurou owl cafe. Although I was expecting a sit down cafe with a coffee and an owl selfie, this was not the case. It is a coffee shop set up but there is no barista. Nevertheless, it is an absolutely wonderful experience to get up close and personal with the starring eyed creatures. The owl trainers are also very professional and take some great photos for you with a little print out as a souvenir. 

10. Try Some Gyoza In Suginami

While on the hunt for an owl cafe we stumbled upon a town that is yet to be discovered by tourists. We certainly enjoyed walking through the hustle and bustle of this place even more than Nakamise as it was just the perfect amount of people and not overwhelmingly busy. This town has a lot to discover especially the Gyoza restaurants! 

11. Make a stop at the Senjafuda Japan Souvenir Store

I know! I've gone one over in my top 10! I hope that's ok! ... We spotted this unique souvenir store on our way from the fish markets. But because it was a public holiday in Japan, the store was closed. We were determined to make our way back there the next day for what seemed to be a nice souvenir and we were not disappointed one bit! The staff were so efficient and courteous and little did we know that once they make you a personalised key ring, they also dress you up in a kimono for a photo! What a way to experience Japan!

No matter where you are in the world, there is always something new to experience. Don't let those opportunities slip away. Embrace them!

Check out my Travel Diary of Japan for more inspiration: