June 17-22 | This past summer, I had the amazing chance to travel around Tokyo with my two best friends, Sarah and Ivy. As three girls adventuring around Japan on our own, we encountered several memorable moments throughout the week. Here are my top 10.
10. Trying to get to our motel from the airport
This was our first time traveling alone in a foreign country. NO ONE in Japan speaks English!! Alone and flustered after just landing from Taiwan (me) and Korea (Sarah and Ivy), we desperately approached several airport workers with our google translate app, hoping they could point us in the right direction. After wandering around the airport for an hour, we finally found the train that took us to Shinjuku, where our motel was.
Haha we visited Supreme, multiple Bape stores, and Kith Treats. While shopping through Takeshita street, we also found cute and delicious crepes and rainbow cotton candy. However, my highlight was shopping through the 12 story Uniqlo in the Ginza district.
8. Learning how to make sushi!
A sushi chef taught us how to make sushi! He walked us through each step, and we got to eat what we made afterwards.
7. Walking around Takeshita Street in kimonos
We booked a cultural excursion to try on kimonos, visit the Meji shrine, and attend a tea ceremony. To get to the Meji shrine, we had to walk down Takeshita street which was filled with tourists. Many of them asked to take pictures with us because they thought we were Japanese.
6. Relaxing in the foot bath
On this day, we had planned a day trip to Kamakura. Unfortunately, it started to rain. Thus, we planned a last minute trip to an onsen. Sarah, Ivy, and I sat on the edge of the outdoor warm foot bath, watching the rain fall, and catching up with each others’ lives. It was so great to just sit, relax, and talk.
5. $65 sushi dinner
Sushi NEVER tastes the same anymore because of this dinner!! At Manten Sushi, the $65 Omakase dinner experience is the only option. At first we were hesitant to spend this much on dinner, but IT WAS WORTH IT. The chef continuously brought out multiple sushi dishes that were fresh and delicious. By the end, we were full and completely satisfied.
4. VR Mario Kart
VR Zone is located in Shinjuku, and contains several VR experiences including walking a plank from a skyscraper, skiing, haunted house, and my favorite, Mario Kart. Growing up playing Mario Kart everyday on my Nintendo DS, this was a dream come true. I truly felt like I was actually driving the kart, and all the obstacles thrown at me were realistically thrilling. It was an exciting experience that I highly recommend!
3. Almost missing the flight back
On our last day, we were having so much fun that Ivy and Sarah almost missed their flight back to Korea. We had only planned for one hour to get to the airport (yes, mistake). Of all the days we could’ve gotten lost, we didn’t get lost until the last day trying to get to the airport. We got on the wrong train, and did not arrive at the airport until 7:50. Their flight was at 8:25. Thankfully, they kept the gates open, and after running through the airport, Ivy and Sarah safely boarded their flight back to Korea.
2. Japan wins a game during the World Cup
On our way back to the subway station, we crossed Shibuya Crossing to find a HUGE crowd gathered. Police filled the streets, and all around people were standing, staring intently at their phones. After asking around, we discovered that we had walked into a public watch party for the Japan vs. Columbia game. We had to stay. As soon as Japan won the game, the crowds erupted into screams and chants. All around, people were celebrating the victory, giving each other high fives, and jumping in circles. Reporters came and filmed everything–we even made it into one interview until they realized we weren’t Japanese!
1. MORI Digital Art Museum
Okay, this place was LIFE CHANGING–and yes I mean that literally. I left the museum feeling a new sense of imagination, creativity, and appreciation of the power of technology and art. I am so thankful our trip aligned with the early bird opening of the museum, and for all our friends who dm’d us telling us to go. I walked in absolutely mesmerized, and remained in that state until the end. Each room was unique and fascinating, with the art constantly changing with extreme detail. My favorites include the crystal room (I felt like I was in a 4th dimension), the trampoline (bringing out the kid in me), and the light show room (I stayed in there for 30 min straight and it was not enough). The place simply can not be described with words, or even pictures. Please go here if you ever have the chance!!