Back in March, thanks to my generous parents, I was able to fulfil a life long dream of mine, by travelling to Japan. I have been wanting to go for so many years now, and in March it finally happened!
I visited many places and did a lot of craft and dolly/toy shopping. I managed to find and see some great things, and decided I would share them with you here <3
Plus as I took so many photos (lol) I am making this a multi part post – I don’t want to spam 😛
We left London Heathrow at about 9:40am – I’d flown from Heathrow twice before (both times to NYC), and it was so exciting knowing I was getting on a plane that would take me all the way to Japan! We had a direct flight, which meant 13 hours on a plane. Hmm… I entertained myself by eating/drinking the inflight meals and drinks, watching Star Wars and, of course, crocheting 😛
We landed in Tokyo Narita about 12am UK time, 9am-ish local time. It might not seem tiring to sit down and do nothing for 13 hours straight, but by the time we landed we were all totally worn out – me especially as I hadn’t got a wink of sleep (I have trouble sleeping sitting up, and we didn’t fly 1st Class lol) I’d always pictured me arriving in Japan and having my picture taken by a Welcome To Japan sign, so we found one 😛
Wow, I look both excited and exhausted at the same time 😛
We navigated through the airport ok and got our N’EX (Narita Express) tickets. It was my first go at using Japanese (the little I had actually retained over the years) and I was really nervous, but I think the lady at the booth understood me, yay!
The train ride into Tokyo was nice – you passed lots of housing estates and industrial sites – one of the things that struck me was the amount of washing out on the balcony of the apartment buildings! Literally every apartment you saw had a whole line of washing strung out on its balcony – they either have a lot of washing in Japan or they all do their washing on the same day!
We arrived at Shibuya Station about an hour later. By this time I was tired beyond belief – I hadn’t slept for over 24 hours by this point (and anyone that knows me knows I need ALOT of sleep!) But all the same, I was so blown away when I first stepped out onto the streets of Shibuya, right in front of the famous Shibuya Crossing. I had pictured this moment for so many years – decades even – and it was actually happening, right now!
After I’d gathered myself we made our way to our hotel – the Tokyu Rei, just off of the crossing. You couldn’t get much closer to the action! The hotel was really nice – great location, friendly staff with (thankfully) good English, clean rooms and with even a breakfast included.
This was the view from my hotel window – directly onto the crossing!
We settled in (I got a little sleep) then we went out to explore. We mainly stuck to the crossing area the first day – looking at the fancy shops in Mark City and Shibuya 109, along Center Gai, up to the Daiso and, my favourite, Tokyo Hands (I didn’t go in on the first day, just saw the outside). We even found a Mandarake!
Weeeeeee!! I had my eye on a Meowsy Wowsy, but I held back as it was only the first day hehe
That night we went for dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe, over in Roppongi. We had a little trouble with the taxi driver – he didn’t know where the restaurant was and didn’t speak English, but thankfully a kind lady came up to our taxi and managed to give the driver directions. What a nice person!
One of the reasons we went here was my good friend Jill (OnePinkHippo) and I visited a Hard Rock Cafe in NYC a few years ago, and ever since then whenever either one of us goes to one anywhere we get each other a tall Hard Rock Cafe glass – the ones you get with one of the specially made drinks. Unfortunately Tokyo’s restaurant didn’t have any glasses for sale! Boo!!
We had a nice dinner and some drinks, visited the gift shop, then made our way back (again, trying to communicate with the taxi driver was a little difficult – he wasn’t sure where Shibuya Crossing was even lol). We looked around Shibuya a little bit then headed to bed.
And so ended our first day! Super busy, even though most of it involved sitting down doing nothing but watching films and snacking lol
I think I will end this part here, as I feel I have waffled on a bit too much as it is hehe But I hope you have enjoyed hearing about our adventure so far! I will be posting reports of this trip every day this week <3
Have a lovely week, guys!
Read Part 2|Harajuku, here