The walk through Yoyogi Park to Meiji Jingu was a lovely walk especially in the late afternoon when the sunlight is streaming through the leaves of the trees. Its a peaceful walk. Visiting Meiji Jingu on New Year's Eve is also a great experience as many Japanese were there to make wishes for the new year. Get your fortune too!
We started this day from Asakusa, by visiting the oldest temple in Tokyo: Sensoji temple (info: temple guide). The charming shopping streets (Nakamise Dori) around Asakusa provide a fantastic opportunity to do you souvenir shopping. Here you can find absolutely everything - Japanese pictures, scrolls, fans, sweets, even swords and kimonos! From Asakusa you'll have a splendid view to Tokyo Sky Tree - it's the perfect distance for making good-quality photos.
I thought Ginza would be just filled with expensive shops selling branded goods I am not interested in, but I'm glad I was mistaken! In the smaller streets off the main Ginza strip there are many smaller shops with some pretty good buys. We didn't have time to explore all the streets.
Disneysea is different from Disneyland. Disneyland is available in Hongkong, Paris, America, and so on. But Disneysea is only available in Tokyo, Japan. Yes, it’s the one and only just in Tokyo. Disneysea has two main show that you won’t and shouldn’t miss. Both show is located on the Mediteranian Sea (at the centre of the lake). The first show is around 2.30 p.m, and the second show is the closing show, at 9.00 p.m. If you want to see it from a good spot, then you must wait there about 1 hour before the show started. It’s really worth it and I’m sure you wouldn’t miss it ! Not only the main show, Disneysea also have some Disney Parade at a certain hour, and it’s also worth to see. Personally, I think that visiting Disneysea for one day is not enough. There are lots of attractions that you should see, lots of rides that you shouldn’t miss, lots of snacks that you should try, lots of cute souvenir that you should see around! Must eat food in Disneysea : Chicken (near Indiana Jones, in Lost River Delta), Churros (I try the one near Toy Story), Popcorn (It’s everywhere), Disney Ice Cream (it’s everywhere), Cafe Portofino (Located near Mediteranian Sea, has a very nice spot, Recommended for lunch, try the one that has cheese and prawns at the top)
We then took the water bus ride down the Sumida River and reached the artificial island of Odaiba in Tokyo Bay. The entire place looks totally different and is always vibrant at any time. Odaiba water front is my favorite area in Tokyo. The view of Tokyo skyline from Odaida is just too awesome!
If the excitement of Harajuku leave you craving some zen, head to Yoyogi Park which is located just next to Harajuku station. It's particularly beautiful during cherry blossom season (at the end of March and the beginning of April) and during the Autumn (September to early November).
After some of the previous day’s Sake induced expletives… head to the Ueno national park. This, my dear, is my reason for Japan… one of the most famous sites for Sakura aka cherry blossom viewing… get all melodramatic with the sweet smelling pink in your life around the Shinubazu pond!
The Tsukiji Market
This is where most of the sushi comes from. The biggest and the best fish market in the world. I couldn't even understand half of the items available there. The market sells around 400 types of seafood, from weeds to caviar. There are two parts to this market, the outer market and the inner market. While the inner market is restricted to tourists on most days, the outer market is equally fun. There are various small sushi counters to grab some yummy delicacy. The best part of this market is the Tuna Auction that takes place early in the morning at 5 am. Very few tourists are allowed in (first come, first serve basis) but it is worth an effort!
Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building
n the Shinjuku Government Building, we go to - I don’t know, this is maybe - around 75 floor. Here, we can see the view below us, and it’s so beautiful. Maybe it has the similar view as Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower (because I didn’t go there, I only have a photostop there), but of course, they have higher view than this. But Shinjuku Government Building is free of entrance fee ! ;)
From Nissan, we stop by the Waseda University. Waseda University is the A list university in Japan. We go into a room that already full of Waseda University Students, and two of the representatives from Waseda explain us about Japan, specifically about Waseda, and two of the representative from IBM Petra Christian University explain a bit about Indonesia, especially about IBM. After the boring part ended, we played a little game with the Waseda University students. It’s really exciting and they are all very kind. They speak English well too ! Unfortunately, because the time given is only for 3 hours in total, we didn’t get enough time to know each other well. I just hope that we can have more time with them
Mori Art Museum
Situated on the 52nd and 53rd floor of the affluent Mori Tower, the Mori Art Museum displays the best of the contemporary art scene of Japan. This is one of the few places in Tokyo, where the view outside is as good as the view inside. Holding solo shows as well as other themed exhibitions, this museum has given space to a lot of famous artists. There are no permanent displays here, but a rotation of exhibitions by famous contemporary artists. After you are done with the galleries, head to the sky deck. A breathtaking view of Tokyo awaits you there!
Nissan Rent A Car
Nissan is one of the biggest car industry in Japan, and they also do some car export all over the world, including in Indonesia. We arrived in a road that full of white buildings, I think all of them belongs to Nissan. When we got inside, Nissan’s employee has already waiting for us. We gathered inside a room where we get a little souvenir, the miniatur of the new Nissan Leaf (Thank you Nissan!) that is super cute. After a short briefing, before going around the building, each of us were given a walkie talkie that can be operated from long distance so that we can hear what the employee is explaining. It’s really convenience, because we can hear what the voice of the employee clearly. When we go around the museum, I was so amazed because some of the engines can move when you click the button. We also happen to see the oldest or the first car that Nissan has ever made. It has a great maroon colour with an oldish yet stylish design. Also, we can get to know the newest product of Nissan which is Nissan Leaf (If I’m not mistaken) which use electricity to power up the engine. After going around the museum, we go by bus to the manufacturing industry. Inside the manufacturing industry is really noisy and smelly. It has the strong smell of oil. I can see some people moving around, but not many. Almost all of the machine / parts production use machine, and few people to control the machine. Even the machine can walk by itself, following the track of the machine that has been made. In the end of the production, there are few people in line, to make sure that the product is all well built (Quality check).
So, NHK Studio Park is like a broadcasting studio that is open for public. A lot of kids go here, because there’s so many interactive games, all about broadcasting, that you can use here. NHK Studio Park is really big, and there are so many things that you can look at. FYI, everything inside NHK Studio Park is all CUTE !!
Tokyo Disney Sea
The rides are really fun: we were saving money so we bought the Starlight Pass (for entry from 6pm onwards, which is really dark in winter) for less than SGD50. Still, we managed to go on three rides in the 4 hours that we were in the park, including time spent queuing! We headed straight for the Tower of Terror and queued for about 1.5hours. It was totally worth it as the right took us to the top for a quick view of the entire park before sinking straight back down again.
There comes the most awaited experience- eating sushi in Japan. Sushi Dai located in the outer area of the Tsukiji market serves some of the best Sushi in the area. Needless to say, it serves you some of the freshest fish in town. The place opens at 5 am so you can go directly here after the Tuna Auction to grab some fresh breakfast. You need to be a bit patient though. There was quite a huge line outside since the sitting area wasn't that huge. But, it serves the best sushi you will ever eat!
Tokyo Skytree Station
The tallest in Tokyo and the second tallest tower in the world. Enough reason to get here. Do I have to tell you that the view is mind-blowing? The 634 ft, Tokyo Sky Tree is second only to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. There is a nice restaurant and two cafes to let you sit and enjoy the view. There is also a glass screen on the floor, which lets you look right down and leaves you feeling a little dizzy. The tower is essentially used to transmit TV and Radio signals. The most amazing part of this tower is the Sorakara point, where the ambiance is created with LED lights which will make you feel like you are floating.
From NHK Studio Park, we go to Takeshita Dori in Harajuku to visit Daiso. Daiso in Harajuku is the biggest one, and it’s so complete, You can found earphone, headset, make up, tie, sandals, neck pillow, yes, everything! and it’s all for 108 Yen (8% tax included). From Daiso (Yeah, we only stop by just for a while, we’re not visiting other places in Harajuku for today), we eat lunch near Harajuku Spain Slope, and then we go to Asakusa Temple.
Roppongi, a district in Tokyo, is famous for its nightlife and restaurants. Being a rich district, it is also known for the architectural designs of its luxury complexes like Roppongi Hills. Roppongi has also made its name for becoming somewhat of a cultural hub with the development of the 'Art Triangle of Roppongi' comprising of 3 art museums - Suntory Museum of Art, National Art Center and the Mori Art Museum. This makes it quite an attraction for tourists. Moreover, the shops, restaurants, bars etc., are quite foreigner friendly. But, the luxury and nightlife culture is also accompanied by a seedy underbelly; Roppongi also has a notorious reputation of being a red light district. I’d looked up a Ramen (this is not the stuff you ate in college. Well, it sort of is, but it has a lot more stuff in it) restaurant in Roppongi but, due to navigational ineptitude, I couldn’t find it. Lost near the red light district of Roppongi one night, what we did find was a really sweet dental hygienist and her coworker closing up their office for the night who walked us 15 minutes to another Ramen restaurant. The woman then proceeded to give us her phone number in case we got lost again and needed help. I told you, the Japanese are awesome!