Attractions @ Tokyo : Travel Ideas

Tokyo city view from an observatory deck

Edo City, the old name of Tokyo, was the de facto capital of Japan from 1603 during the Tokugawa period. A mixture of new and old, the city is now sprawling with skyscrapers with criss-crosses of train lines easily confusing travellers. In between the small lanes right in city centre, there are still hidden gems of the old style of living, reminiscence of simplicity in history.

The 2020 (revised to 2021) Summer Olympics is conferred in Tokyo on 23 July 2021. Although still in a locked-down era, travel ideas are aplenty for a future visit.

A few things are etched in memory during the visit a decade ago in 2011 :

Shinjuku is filled with neon lights and the train station was brimming with commuters rushing everywhere. Quite a scary pace. Personally, I found the Yamanote line, the circle line around Tokyo city, a most convenient route to follow.

Peaceful gardens with beautiful water & pathways for city dwellers to wind down

In our first ever visit, staying in Shinjuku involves walking along small alleys towards the hotel. Midnight Diner comes into mind. Glancing over the bento boxes available at the various eateries are always a delight.

Parking spaces are few in the city and really expensive. Vending machines are everywhere!  

Vending machines everywhere, selling almost everything

In the midst of the fast-paced city, there lies beautiful parks & corners of small alleys giving totally peaceful vibes. In the autumn, lying down on the grass in the park while enjoying the breezing wind and watching the browning leaves is heaven on earth.

Favourite activities – just lie down to doze off in the sun with breezy wind

Temples are dotted in the city, one popular temple being Sensoji Temple or Asakusa Kannon Temple. A big lantern at the entrance welcomes visitors. Various shops dots along the main path towards the main hall. Buy a plate & jot down your wishes.

The welcoming lantern
Wooden plates of wishes. Mine is somewhere in there too!

Food lovers make long queue at the outer market of Tsukiji Market to have the freshest seafood available. The wholesale market whereby auctions were done is now closed, but the outer market & restaurants are still open.

2011 Outer Tsukiji Wet Market
Fresh seafood everywhere!

Side Day Trip to Mount Fuji, Hakone & Owaku-dani Valley

Yeay! 5th Station. Very cold even though in early November
Foggy day at the 5th station Mount Fuji
Peak a little shy …

First visit to Tokyo is always recommended together with a visit to Mount Fuji. Day trip is common, but the mountain is very shy and getting a clear view is unpredictable. On the day of visit, it was foggy all the way to the 5th station. An intermediate stop at the hot spring, the smell of sulphur is strong at Owaku-dani Valley. Stop by for a hard-boiled egg at the hot spring. Taking a different route with a cruise over the lake, saying goodbye during the sunset cruise ship is a beautiful view.

Sulphur smell wafting towards you @ Owaku-dani Valley
Views @ Hakone
Early sunset @ the lake cruise

Personal experience in Tokyo has been great, whereby people are always courteous and willing to go out of their way to help in finding directions, even with language barrier.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s