After settling into our AirBNB, Andrew and I decided to take Frankie on a walk around our neighborhood to see if there were any good places to eat dinner. We found this one amazing Italian restaurant and luckily they had this really cute outdoor patio so we could bring Frankie too. The food was so good. OMG. I had this mushroom pasta dish, it was so good that I’m still thinking about it now. Anyways….
Frankie was obviously tired from the drive, all the walking around and watching us eat delicious food. We were originally going to take him to Brooklyn Bridge Park but thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it. So we took him back to the AirBNB and made our way over. It’s a good thing he didn’t come cuz we ended up walking EVERYWHERE. Somehow, we even ended up on the Brooklyn Bridge. We’ve both walked it before, but this time was different because it was at night. I was having a ball with all the long exposures and trying to come up with creative compositions. In the end, I really enjoyed this one. I like how you can still see a hint of all the yellow taxis driving by but also the Manhattan skyline.
We didn’t walk across the whole bridge though. We only made it halfway. We figured if we walked the whole way, than that would have meant that we would have had to walk all the way back too. So this was taken from the middle-ish area of the bridge. HAHA
My camera settings for this image was F4.0 at 1.3 seconds ISO 400 handheld – but mostly just using the railings and things to steady the camera. I wish I had a steady enough hand to hold the camera that still for 1.3 seconds. HA!
My favorite interior in all of DC! The Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress. When you walk in for the first time, you can help but to say “Wow”. With all the beautiful windows and light coming from the ceiling your immediate reaction is just to look up. I remember the first time I visited the main reading room, I just kept on clicking and clicking away on my camera. I was stunned by how amazing it all was, especially all the fine details. Now that I’ve been a couple of times, I love to walk around and just appreciate all that is there.
I love how it’s still a library. The card catalogue is kinda like an ancient artifact all on it’s own. I bet my nephews who are in elementary school right now have no idea what it is or even how to use it. Which is funny and kinda sad all at the same time. Sad only because I remember when I was in elementary school, it was a fun game to learn how to use the card catalogue. All of us would run around the library looking for a particular book. It was a fun race to find the book first. Funny because they probably have a way better computerized system now to located their books and they would consider all of those cards so ancient. Either way, it’s just fun to run my finger tips along the cards and imagine how each one of those little cards represent so much knowledge from one book.
On a side note, I’m sick. So if that was a little rambley for no reason and a little like ‘why are you talking so much about card catalogues’, that’s why. I’m usually not that passionate about library’s organizational systems.
I was fortunate enough to have spent 7 full days in Tokyo. To some it may seem like a lot, but each day was a new adventure to me. There’s so much to do in this city. It can be a little overwhelming to figure out what’s what, so I thought it’d be helpful to create a guide for those who have never been and highlight some of my favorite things to do in this huge city.
So here’s a guide to maximize your 3 days in Tokyo.
Day 1: Shinjuku
You could spend a whole day in just this ward. Tons of shopping, eating and sight seeing all in one place. This is the best place to just wonder without a map and enjoy the sights and sounds of this great neighborhood. Here are my favorites…
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden The best time to visit this garden is definietly cherry blossom season but it’s super hard to plan for. But even if it’s not spring, this garden is BEAUTIFUL all on it’s on. Everything is so well manicured and clean. It’s a great to grab a picnic basket, your best friend and spend a lovely afternoon in the garden.
just a couple of girlfriends chit chatting
Food Especially if you’re jet lagged, this Ichiran is the perfect ramen spot because its open 24 hours. You even sit in these little divided tables (think DMV type testing seats). Once you’ve been served, they’ll close the curtain in front of you so you have total privacy and can enjoy the full flavor of your noodle soup.
Din Tai Feng for some serious yums. A taiwanese restaurant transplanted in Tokyo known for their soup dumplings. Theres usually a wait, but its totally worth it. Located on one of the top floors of Takashimaya Times Square, which is cool all on it’s own. Each floor is dedicated to a certain department (women, men, homeware, kimonos, etc.) so work your way though times square and then have Din Tai Feng as a reward.
For dinner or some evening entertainment, you gotta check out the Robot Restaurant. It’s kind of hard to describe. Imagine a super trippy drug experience summarized in song, dance, color and lights.
Day 2: Tokyo Skytree, Akihabara, Night Photography Tour
Located in Sumida, it’s a bit of a hike to make it to Tokyo Skytree but it brings an interesting perspective to Tokyo that makes it worth it. I’d try to go early as possible to avoid lines or evening time to see the city light up.
Taken in the middle of the day, Tokyo skytree created a cool shadow over the city.
On your way back to the hotel, stop by the Akihabara ward. Known for all things electronic, anime and manga, it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. The heart of the city has tall buildings all covered by anime and manga posters. Pretty cool to see in a city. My favorite part was the electronic store, Yodabashi. For example, the first floor was everything cell phone related, the second floor was all computers, etc, etc, etc. If you’re like me, you’ll want to head to the fifth floor for the camera equipment. It’s like photo heaven.
This is just the escalators to get in between the floors. Yea, it’s pretty awesome.
Our absolute favorite dessert in Tokyo were these mini cheese tarts from Pablo. They’re sooooo good and the ones from Akihabara were baked fresh on the premises so they’re warm when we ate them. They came in three different flavors and in order of my favorite to least is cheese, green tea, chocolate. I can’t emphasize enough how good they were. I wish I had one now.
And if you’re not too tired, check out EYExplore Tokyo photo tours. I highly, highly recommend the veritgo tour but they also offer some cool night time tours in Shinjuku and Shibuya. This is a totally unique experience and its super fun to bring home images you’d be proud of at the end of your whole Tokyo experience.
One of the cool views you could see on the Vertigo Tour Photo Tour from EYExplore Tokyo
Day 3: Harajuku and Shibuya
Before leaving on the trip, I knew I wanted to go to Harajuku. I heard so much about the girls, fashion and street style that it seemed like a super hip place. It definietly did not disappoint. A great place to go to pick up some unique gifts for friends and family but also people watch.
It can get pretty crowded, so be prepared for that.
Last but not least, Shibuya is a place that should not be missed. Home to the busiest crosswalk ever, it’s a sight to see! You’ll be amazed. This short video clip was taken at 11p at night. Can you imagine what it’s like during rush hour? My head still can’t wrap around how many people there are in this tiny space.
Video taken from the the walkway between the Keio Station (Inokashira Line).
But Shibuya has plenty of restaurants and stores to walk around and see. Our favorite place to eat was Joto Curry. It was so good we ate there twice. My favorite part was watching the food being prepared. My mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
So there it is! 3 days in Tokyo! My favorite things to do and eat. Hope you enjoyed. If you feel like I missed something, please let me know in the comments. Or if you’ve been to any of these places, let me know too so we can reminisce on how fun everything is 🙂
Right before you enter the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, you can’t help but notice this large pot full of incense and fire. But what’s even more interesting about it is that people stand all around it waving the smoke on to them. Under their hats, in their jackets, anywhere they can pat the smoke onto themselves; they’re all about it. After googling why they do it, I found out that they do it because they believe it’s “healing” and will help them become smarter.