On my recent trip to Tokyo a lot happened in a short week and a half.
The main reason for this trip was to run the Tokyo Marathon. Yes, who knew or figured that I would be traveling international to run a marathon. The good thing about running is that I love to travel and since of my running goals is to run the six World Marathon Majors, traveling to Tokyo was a must. Luckily, my boyfriend and I both got selected to run the Tokyo marathon, so we both got to experience it and enjoy it together.
Prior to the race we set up a few tours within the Tokyo area or within Japan, right outside Tokyo. We didn’t want to go to far out like Kyoto because we weren’t in Japan for that long and I really want to explore Kyoto.
Mount Fuji picture source: www.giantbomb.com
Mount Fuji was one of the tours we were really looking forward to, but because of the heavy snow in that area, our tour was cancelled. I was disappointed.
Our next tour was to see one of the Great Buddah statue (Kōtoku-in). This one is located in Kamakura Daibutsu. Kamakura has some really amazing sights and temples and it’s very close to Tokyo.
During our tour to Kamakura we also made a stop at Yokohama and visited their Chinatown. This Chinatown was incredible. Lots of food, sights, sounds, smells. Lots of food. I did mention that already. Well there was lots of places to eat around there. Everything smelled delicious. Chinatown is also the home of the only Chinese temple in Japan. A really beautiful temple. The detail on those walls were breathtaking.
You can see a lot in one day in Tokyo. So we took a day to go to Akakusa and visit a couple of places there and nearby. First was the Sensō-ji temple, an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo, Japan.
After Akakusa we visited the Tokyo National Museum. “The National Museum is not only the largest and oldest museum in Japan, but it also boasts the largest collection of Japanese art in the world. This is where you go to see antiques from Japan’s past — old kimono, samurai armor, priceless swords, lacquerware, metalwork, pottery, scrolls, screens, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), calligraphy, ceramics, archaeological finds, and more.” (Frommers)
It was good to learn about Japanese culture while at the museum. You can view more pics below.
After the museum we went to try Soba Noodles at one of Tokyo’s best soba noodle restaurant, Namiki Yabusoba. A hidden gem, but thanks to Epicurious and Foursquare and a tip from a friend I was able to find it, and I was so glad I did. Unfortunately, because of how intimate the place was inside, I did not feel comfortable to taking out my camera and snapping pictures. But please note, the experience was worth it.
After a delicious meal, we went off to see Tokyo Skytree. The tallest tower in the world and tallest structure in Japan. This is one tourist destination you do not want to miss. It is an incredibly beautiful tower.
Other places we visited include the Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku area.
The Sankei-en Japanese Garden in Yokohama
Lastly, the famous Shibuya Crossing, you might’ve seen this crossing in Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift or Lost in Translation. This crossing is always crowded and there are a number of characters that cross back and forth this street just to be on people’s photographs. It’s actually kind of funny. You can sit all day at the Starbucks right across the street and be entertained.
You can view more pictures from my recent trip to Tokyo, Japan below. If you plan to visit Tokyo, make sure to do some research, learn a bit of the language, learn the metro system, and make sure to book a few tours, it’ll make your trip a lot easier and worthwhile. Plan ahead and have fun! :)