6 days in Tokyo – What to do
In 2018 (yes, I know this post is long overdue. But to be fair, I never though I was going to start a blog. EVER. Anyway… ) I had quite a busy year. Went back to school for a Masters, quit a unfulfilling job to start a new journey. By the end of the year, I had only 6 days left of holidays, so I though to myself: This year was intense, what I can do to finish the year with a bang?
TOKYO! And in 6 days I enjoyed all the cliche things the city had to offer.
To be honest, I do not recommend going to Tokyo for only 6 days as Japan is not necessarily around the corner, for me at least. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I still mention this trip every chance I get. Not too long a ago I mentioned to a guy, who turns out was from Hong Kong. #awkward!
When you don’t have much time to explore the city you need to be a bit smart with your planning so you can make the most with the very little time you have.
In my case, I wanted to see what I heard about the Orient. I wanted the cliche, the touristy, all the oddity I heard about Japan, so next time, and there will be another one, I can explore the country and hopefully, see how Japan really is.
For my disappointment , I haven’t really seen anything odd. Quite frankly, I saw more strange things in Camden Town in London than in Tokyo.
The strangest thing to me were the toilets. When I got home and saw my pictures, there were quite a few pictures of toilets and I still can’t figure out why there were urinals in the women’s toilets. I think some questions in life will go answered…
Below, you can see a demonstration of my fascination with the subject.
Now, that I made the whole of Japan roll their eyes with my ignorance, I will tell you what was my choice of cliche, touristy, over the top things to do in 6 days.
Day one: The Awakening
First thing in the morning, I woke up hit my head on the ceiling of my capsule hotel room and had breakfast at the closest 7-Eleven. THEY. ARE. EVERYWHERE! I had breakfast 5 of the 6 days there, not a complaint though. I was able to find pão de queijo, which is a Brazilian type of cheese bread. I don’t think I have eaten so many in Brazil as I did in Japan.
With my stomach full of cheese and black coffee. I headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building to enjoy the view of the city. The entrance is free, and is way less busy than Sky Tree. That being said, take a look on the website to see if it is open for visitation.
I then walked around the area aimlessly. I do that all the time, no plans and let’s see if I am able to head back to the hotel. I did.
Day Two: The Excitement is Real
When I was doing my research of places to go I found out about Robot Restaurant. Not really sure why it is called a restaurant, it is barely one. You can eat there some mehhh sushi but that is about it.
The excitement is the show they put for gringos like me. OMG my inner child watching those Japanese series like Jaspion and Changeman was screaming. If you are younger than me, those series are all just like the Power Rangers, the formula has never changed. It is the same since the 1900.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed all the laser show, the live drumming and the fake battles. The cast is so enthusiastic! This is 100% for gringos as the show is, in its majority, in English.
Day Three: The Saga Continues
Day three was all about walking, and getting lost. I took a short train ride to Harakuju, went to Shibuya and just tried to see all the weirdness of the Harakuju girls and boys. I must have gotten there on their day-off. The strangest person there was me.
I did some shopping as Tokyo is all about shopping apparently, with their 7-floor shopping malls and I got lost. A lot. A word of advice, Google Maps is not so great in Japan. That thing made me walk in circles for hours when the temple I wanted to visit was LITERALLY behind me. Sadly, I just noticed the second time around. Ah! Eat some waffles in Harakuju, they are amazing!
Day Four: Regretting my Life Decisions. All of them.
I spend the whole day at Disney Tokyo. I never really cared for it as a child. Never really watched any Disney movies. Maybe Bambi and Snow White. Recently, I saw the Lion King, more than 20 years after its first release. It just wasn’t an interest of mine.
Then you grow up and decide to try other things and… you are hooked on Disney magic. I still barely watch the movies, but the park, the atmosphere, the shows and parades, you can feel the excitement in the air. I have to confess, I cried a little during one of the shows thinking about the year I had and the hope I had for the future.
Then it all went down the drain when on my way out I noticed I had no wifi, and battery on my phone or in the portable charger I bought there.
FYI, there is a good chance your cell phone company does not operate in Japan. You should rent what they call, pocket wifi. Once you rent it, you can pick up and drop off at the airport.
Going back into the saga. Needless to say, I was tired of enjoying life all day and lost, very much so. No battery, no wifi, no Japanese. I knew two words in Japanese and I came back home with three. Besides, Disney is freaking far way from civilization. I had only myself and I. This, was my Sparta.
As I did pay some attention to the Brothers Grimm fairy tales as a child. I pulled a João e Maria (the original name of the tale is Hansel and Gretel) and followed my way back. As I did not have pebbles or bread crumbs to follow back to the hotel, I followed shop stands. Just the Lord knows how I made it.
Day Five: My feet hurt my back hurts but the show must go on
This day I took a little lighter as my body was begging for mercy. Here, I am just giving you a very short version of the things I did. Truth is there was a lot of walking involved and I was tired and in pain, but the show must go on and although exhausted. I was thrilled to be able to be there.
I went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden which is an amazing park (the entrance is paid), with a lake, coffee shop, places to rest and admire nature. I admired nature and enjoyed my favorite sport. People watching. Ahhh…. We are all so weird.
After that, I did some more walking around town and ended up in what I assume was the “red-light district”. There were loads of posters of gogo boys half naked on every shop in that area. And I though to myself: Huh.
Day Six: At this point I am doing this for the family
What do you do on your last day in Tokyo? I suppose you lay low a bit, pack your bags, do some shopping near your hotel. But I am not you and I went all in at Comic Con! In the same Disney spirit, I know very little about it but I wanted to have that experience.
My face in every picture I took there was of a broken person.
All in all, I did what I wanted. Visited all places I could in those short days and I have beautiful memories from this trip. But I must say, Tokyo is a big city and I barely scratched the surface. Nonetheless, worth it every cent and all the back pain.
Note to self: Next time, bring a fork.