This is a looooong post! I squeezed a whole week of Tokyo in here. Pictures of food are all the way at the bottom!
Here is the gorgeous view I had from my window seat while flying from Seoul to Tokyo.
Layover at Narita Airport in Tokyo on our way to Osaka
Asakusa is a beautiful area of Tokyo where lies the famous Senso-ji temple and a colorful shopping street, called Namakise, lined with stalls packed with many Japanese souvenirs and delicious things to eat!
At the front of the temple, people used their hands to waft the smoke from this structure over themselves.
Paul’s parents riding a human-drawn carriage around Asakusa for 9000 yen.
Mount Fuji is about 100 km southwest of Tokyo, and is the highest mountain in Japan.
Fountain on the hike up to the viewing point
Mount Fuji cookies for sale!
The Tsukiji fish market is the largest in the world. We went to see the market and get some breakfast sushi!
The best sushi I have ever had. One side of the plate was seared, the other raw.
Deliciously fresh mussels!
The market is famous for the early-morning tuna auctions, where whole fresh tuna are sold for millions of Japanese yen. The 2013 record selling price was 155.4 million yen, which is $3,603 USD per pound!
They have every type of seafood you can possibly imagine.
The Tokyo Skytree is the tallest structure in Japan at 634 m tall.
The view is incredible! We got there just as the sun started to set.
Looking through the glass floor
Of course, the real reason we went to the Tokyo Skytree wasn’t for the view, but for the green tea ice cream place we knew was there. Tsujiri started out as a tea company originally from Kyoto, but then went on to make the best match ice cream I’ve ever tasted in my life. We tried the trio with green tea, toasted green tea, and brown rice ice cream covered with red bean and mochi. So, so good.
Yoyogi Park was recommended to me by a friend, and it was lovely. It’s home to the famous Meiji Jingu Shrine.
Barrels of sake wrapped in straw
Ritual cleansing of hands and mouth
It is traditional to rinse your hands and mouth before praying. First set your mind at ease. Shift the dipper from one hand to the other, first rinse your left, then your right hand. Rinse your mouth with water poured into the palm of your left hand. Hold the dipper upright with both hands to rinse the handle with the remaining water.
A wedding taking place at the temple
Ema, votive tablets for special personal prayers and gratitude toward the deities enshrined in Meiji Jungu Shrine.
Takoyaki sold among street food vendors at Yoyogi Park. Takoyaki is a popular snack: usually batter filled with octopus, tempura, ginger, and green onion.
A gathering of pet meerkats
Yoyogi park sees groups of all ages gathered together for drinks and food on weekend nights.
Shibuya Scramble. So many people!
Shinjuku, one of the busiest areas of Tokyo, and also one of the well-known “pleasure” districts.
Muji, a famous Japanese brand
Ginza, the fancy shopping area of Tokyo
The flagship Uniqlo store at Ginza
Possibly the best part of Tokyo was the food! I love seafood, so I was in heaven of course.
Mmmm sashimi and udon noodles!
Okonomiyaki: Japanese savory pancakes filled with whatever you want!
My friend Hiromi and I in Harajuku after a delicious dinner of okonomiyaki!
Izakaya is a type of restaurant where Japanese go to drink and eat food to accompany their drinks. Perfect for after work or meeting up with friends! It was awesome seeing Paul’s old schoolmates in Japan.
The restaurant was called Panda, so we got Panda beer of course.
Delicious cheese, tofu, honey mix with bread
Grapefruit with Japanese soju. So refreshing!
Cutest panda shrine in the bathroom
Famous ramen place at Harajuku
Salty but good
Go! Go! Curry is one of the best Japanese curry places.
We went to try fugu, the Japanese word for pufferfish. Tiger blowfish can be lethally poisonous if not prepared properly, so only certified restaurants with rigorously trained chefs are allowed to serve it.
Fugu sashimi. It was good!
This was probably our dish about 20 minutes before we ate it.
We heard that conveyor belt sushi in Japan was cheap and good so we decided to give it a try. It was.
This much sushi was about $50 USD for two hungry people!