Farewell East Asia

My last day in Tokyo was spent shopping. It was wet and I was rushing around going from one part of the city to another, sometimes doubling back when I didn’t find what I wanted in a place. It was like musical chairs, wondering where I’d end up at the end of the day. Sometimes, … Continue reading / view photos Farewell East Asia

Dazzling Shinjuku

In some ways, Shinjuku is the heart of Tokyo. It encapsulates so many aspects of Japanese culture. Shinjuku was once renowned for being a red-light district populated with hostess bars. Nowadays it is much more. Kabukicho, the red-light/entertainment district, is still there but the area has diversified. I first walked around Golden Gai in Shinjuku. … Continue reading / view photos Dazzling Shinjuku

teamLab Planets Tokyo

When I was in Kakunodate, a German woman I met was raving about teamLab. She had been to many around the world. I had vaguely heard of it but her description fascinated me. When I knew my arrival date in Tokyo, I went online to book it. I expected it to be fully booked but … Continue reading / view photos teamLab Planets Tokyo

Return to Tokyo

My time in East Asia was ending. From Sendai, I returned to where I started three months ago: Tokyo. I had again booked into a ryokan, but this was about 30 minutes from the centre of Tokyo. It was run by a lovely man, who’s English was good. The reviews about the ryokan especially praised … Continue reading / view photos Return to Tokyo

Leaving Japan

Helene departed a day before I left for my next destination. My flight to Taiwan was at 6am. I booked a hostel close to the airport so that I could maximise sleep time and minimise travel time. Even with that I still had to wake at 3am. I arrived at the Tokyo hostel early. It … Continue reading / view photos Leaving Japan

Winding down in Tokyo

We had enjoyed staying near Ueno. It was close to a park and metro, and we were familiar with the area. However, holiday season was hotting up. More people were arriving. It was the first time since the pandemic that Japan was fully open in the uninhibited way it had been before. Cherry blossom season … Continue reading / view photos Winding down in Tokyo

Ginza shopping

After visiting Senso-ji, we took the metro to the Ginza shopping district. Our first stop was to the huge Muji flagship store, not just to browse but to have lunch. This was a simple dish with freshly made tofu. Itoya is possibly the largest stationary shop in the world. It has eight floors and stocks … Continue reading / view photos Ginza shopping

Senso-ji temple

The most visited temple in Tokyo is Senso-ji. The temple was about a 30 minutes’ walk from our hotel. We took the long way round, walking along Sumida River. The sun was out and so were the office workers, having lunch. We left the river at Asakusa and headed to the Kaminarimon Gate, the most … Continue reading / view photos Senso-ji temple

Cherry blossom in Ueno Park

Travelling on the Shinkansen (“bullet train”) is expensive for foreigners. To soften the blow, you can buy a JR Pass voucher before you arrive in Japan. Once in Japan, you exchange the voucher for a pass, after which you can reserve seats on the inter-city trains. If you buy from the official website (not an … Continue reading / view photos Cherry blossom in Ueno Park

Going to Tokyo

This is my first trip abroad since the pandemic. It’s been almost four years. When you travel regularly, it becomes a habit. You get used to the rhythm: booking places, planes, trains, and buses. When you stop travelling, the process becomes alien. Tasks that seemed second nature are now done with caution, hesitation. You can … Continue reading / view photos Going to Tokyo