My second time visiting the Oculus and it’s just was just as amazing as the first time. But this second time, I got to see way more of it. The first time I visited, everything was still under construction. Andrew and I were only able to see a little hallway from the train station to the main part. The main part was still behind closed doors and under wraps. It’s crazy because we were super impressed by that little hallway. Never had I imagined that this main part would be so awesome. But I think the best part about the whole thing is that the “main part” that I keep referring to is a mall now. How freaking amazing would it be to do your everyday shopping here. I feel like I wouldn’t even be able to get anything done. I’d just want to stand in the middle and take pictures the whole time.
My camera settings for this image was f/10 at 1/30th of a second ISO 100. Like I said before, all those windows on top are so great for letting in light. A really low ISO is all you need to capture a really cool shot like this.
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 🙂
There are so many great things about Tokyo. The ease of navigating the city, the amazing food, the night life; they all are fantastic. But my favorite part was definietly the people. The people of Tokyo are the nicest, friendliest, most respectful people I’ve ever met. From all the greetings, endless smiles and countless bows, there is a level of immediate respect given to EVERYONE in the country. And with the millions and millions of people living here, you can definietly see this in how clean and orderly the city is. I loved it.
This is definietly the first of many images I took while in Japan. I thought this was a cool intro to the city. Don’t worry, much more to come in the following days 🙂
Most nights you could find me at the night market. It’s so much fun to walk in these streets and just look at all the food stands. They’re always pretty packed though. Not only are there tons of people but motorcycles are constantly zipping by right next to you. You’re constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure one isn’t about to run you over before you take your next step. But the food is delicious! They’re called “little eats” and my favorite thing to get were these buns with meat and veggies inside with soup. Oh the soup would be sooo good and HOT!
An iconic view of Ponte Vecchio in Florence but I think its even cooler to walk across it. Theres all these little shops and people playing music on the bridge. The doors seem so tiny. Like how can anyone fit merchandise in these little stores?