Saturday, March 11, 2017

Continued | Top Ten Things To Do In Tokyo

Can't get enough of Japan. My favorite travel destination just keeps on giving me more reason to stay there for good. In fact, I've been thinking of studying Nihongo to understand and converse with the locals on our next visit.

6. Experience Japanese Culture To The Fullest.

Japan's culture is unique and will totally give you an entirely new travel experience. Japanese identity is intricately weaved in almost everything that you see in Japan. The minimalist order, the simplicity in design and architecture, the politeness of the people, all combine together to create a harmony that is pleasant to the senses of the visitors. I can ensure you that your trip to Japan, wherever you come from, will be enjoyable and memorable. Savor the scent of miso in Ramen, get lost in the intricate subways, bow your heads as you interact with the Japanese people, be awkward in attempting to try the vending machines and using the chopsticks - essentially, get lost in translation and let the entire experience be fluid and smooth and don't try to make your trip so perfect to enjoy Japan to the fullest.


7. There is an abundance of Instagram-worthy Street Fashion Snaps.

I really have to say, Japan is the fashion capital of Asia. Their style and penchant for fashion is one of the best in the orient. They have mastered the art of minimalism and the desire to make everything look so expensive. Now is the time to take your mad photography skills and your discerning eye and grab those fancy moments in the fast-paced streets of Shibuya, Harajuku, Ueno, Asakusa, Ginza, etc.

8. Shop until you drop.

Tokyo may not be in the top list of cheapest countries in the world, but Tokyo does not disappoint in the shopping department. It may not be as cheap as its Asian neighbors, but Japan has caught my eye and hijacked my wallet.

Come to Ueno and get the feel of Divisoria or Bangkok or Hong Kong. Ueno has a long alley of shops that sell affordable bags, cosmetics, shoes, souvenirs, jackets, pre-loved designer bags. Its manic, yet there is order in chaos in this vibrant strip of shops and food stalls. Your 5,000 Yen or Php 2,400 will come a long way, believe me. Wallets prices are around 500 to 1000 yen. Anello bags are from 2900 to 4000 Yen. Backpacks around 3000 to 4000 yen. Trolley bags from 3900 to 6900 yen. Winter jackets from 1000 to 5000 yen and premium quality jackets up to 20K Yen. It's like the Divisoria only less stressful.

Kinshincho as they say is another shopping mecca though I cannot confirm since we only have a few hours left in Japan when we went here. Pressed by time we hurried towards Maruki (or Marueki? Google please) and went straight to Seria - a famous 100 Yen shop in Japan, much like 'Can Do' and the more famous 'Daiso'. 100 Yen is already a bargain although you have to realize that the actual price will end up to 108 yen due to tax. As a rule in Japan, they say you can only enjoy Tax deduction when your single purchase reaches 5000 yen. Anytime lower than that will make you pay for the tax. But still 108 yen to PHP is like Php 48. Super cheap no? I bought 28 items in Seria and it was a good run :)

There is a Lawson 100 Yen shop all across Tokyo though not as many as the regular convenience stores such as Lawson, FamilyMart and 711. But if you happen to come across a Lawson 100 Yen Shop (the Lawson sign board is colored green as compared to the regular Lawson store which is blue), take the opportunity to find affordable items such as Japanese Mayonnaise ( I know right ), Chili Oil, Noodles, extension cords, ziplocs, 500ml Shampoo and Conditioners refill pack, and many more. You will be surprised that your 1000 yen or 500php can go a long, long way with Lawson 100.

Anime enthusiast? Toy collector? Feeling the need to splurge into gadgets? Go to Akihabara (one station away from Ueno) or go a little bit further by going to Nagano.

9. Go To Japanese temples of shrine, a break from the eccentricities of modern Tokyo

Don't let your trip be swamped by the modern side of Japan, occasionally immersed yourself in Japan's history by going to the Imperial Palace Garden or in the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. Though a bit touristy, a trip to Japan will never be complete without visiting this religious shrines that is reminiscent of Japanese culture and tradition.

My recommendation - The Sensoji Temple, a train station away from Tokyo Skytree.

10. Lastly, enjoy the moment. 

Stop worrying about your job back home and savor this rare experience to experience an entirely differently world full of surprises. The people of Japan are one of the kindest souls in the world, you will surely enjoy their extreme politeness and courtesy. The weather is amazing and most of all it's just a four hour trip from Manila :)

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