1. Have a rough idea of where you want to go. Navigating through Tokyo is really tough, especially for first timers. But don’t have a super detailed itinerary because that ruins the fun and spontaneity 😄
2. Bring a map of the city and a subway map with you at all times. You can also rent a wifi device for a really affordable price (¥3000/week or $26-27/week). It’ll save you the hassle of being lost and clueless. Jorudan Train Finder will be your best friend.
(Trivia: Shinjuku station in Tokyo is the busiest train station in the world. You’re bound to get lost here 99% of the time. You won’t only get Lost in Translation; you’ll also be Lost in Train Station! 😂)
3. Helpful words/phrases:
-sumimasen (excuse me/I’m sorry)
-ohayo gozaimasu/konnichiwa/konbanwa/oyasuminasai (good morning/good afternoon/good evening/good night)
- *insert place you want to go to* wa doku desu ka? (Where is *place*?)
- kore wa ikura desu ka? (How much is this?)
- kore wa nan desu ka? (What is this?)
- hidari (left), migi (right)
- arigatou gozaimasu (thank you)
- wakarimasen (I don’t understand)
- wakarimashita (I understand)
- nihongo o hanasemasen (I don’t speak Japanese)
• words and phrases you’ve learned from anime will finally come to fruition hahaha
4. You don’t have to shell out money just to have a good view of the city. There are free vantage points that’ll give you a spectacular city view free of charge!
• If you don’t want to pay ¥2000+ for a view on top of Tokyo Skytree, and you don’t want to pay ¥900 for a view on top of the Tokyo Tower, why not try Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building’s observation deck in Shinjuku? It’s located on the 45th floor, and offers a wonderful view of the city skyline in the western part of Tokyo.
• You can also try Asakusa’s Culture and Tourism Center observation deck located at the 8th floor. You’ll get a nice view of the Skytree and the Taito-ku skyline.
5. Souvenirs? You have a wide option at Nakamise Dori (a 250-meter shopping street heading towards Sensoji temple). Along Nakamise Dori, there are shops selling matcha ice cream and cold matcha tea (for ¥50). Nart recommends you try them! Before leaving Sensoji, I also suggest trying melon bread (melon pan) which is extremely popular in Japan. It doesn’t actually have melon in it; it’s just shaped like a melon, hence, the name 😂 It costs around ¥200. Oh, and get your Omikuji (fortune telling paper) for ¥100 at Sensoji! If you get a good fortune, keep the omikuji. If you get a bad fortune, tie the piece of paper on the racks provided at the temple. You can also get your charms and talismans at Sensoji! I got mine (charm for academics because I’ll be starting med school soon) for ¥500! They have all sorts of charms for different purposes and occasions! 😄✨
6. Go to Don Quijote (DonKi), the biggest discount store in Japan. You’ll find anything and everything under the sun at DonKi for a minimum price! Chocolates, sweets, alcohol, daily supplies- you name it, DonKi has it. The Mega DonKi at Shibuya is open 24/7. Nart approves of you going to DonKi! 🐧
7. Speaking of Shibuya, you HAVE to see the mega famous crossing, Shibuya Crossing, which is also called “The Scramble.” It’s nice to take a video of the people scrambling around like marbles in all directions when the stoplight turns red. Use time-lapse option! Now, many people would opt to go to Starbucks or L'Occitane cafe to get a good shot at the people crossing The Scramble. But why pay, when you can get an equally amazing view for free? Shibuya Mark City walkway has walls made of glass, which will give you a clear view of people crossing The Scramble. Also, do try crossing The Scramble! It’s a fun experience, I promise! 😂
8. Anime goods? You’ve got two options- Akihabara and Nakano Broadway. They’re both Otaku Meccas. It depends on which anime goods you’re looking for, though. Let’s talk about Naruto merchandises:
- I feel like I’ve searched all over Tokyo for Naruto merch, but I ended up disappointed 😞 Anyway, if you still want to try, the first place you should go to is Tokyo station. At the basement, you’ll find the Shonen Jump shop and the TV Tokyo shop. They both sell some Naruto merch. Although Jump Shop sells more Boruto merch now. If you’re still unsatisfied, try the bigger Jump Shop at Tokyo Dome City. It has more merch, but I can’t guarantee you’ll be satisfied.
- If you wanna try your luck in Akihabara, try Akiba Zone. In Akiba Zone, the 1st and 2nd floors are occupied by Lashinbang (and the 2nd floor is actually Hentai land lol). 3rd floor is occupied by Robot Robot which sells more Naruto merch than Jump Shop and TV Tokyo shop. You can also try Mandarake in Akihabara, but I wasn’t too pleased either. I couldn’t find anything at the Animate store.
- If you wanna try your luck in Nakano Broadway, just focus all your scavenging efforts on the 2nd floor. Lashinbang here is a disappointment, but Mandarake here is better. Probably because Mandarake originated in Nakano. You’ll see lots of action figures, and some of them are reasonably priced.
- Overall, if you wanna find Naruto merch in Tokyo, good luck. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. You’ll probably end up as disappointed as I am.
9. Fan of Makoto Shinkai’s works? Head to Shinjuku Gyoen (to the Japanese traditional gardens section) and search for the setting of The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa). Not a fan of anime? No problem. Shinjuku Gyoen is still a beautiful garden to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.
10. Try ramen, sushi, and sashimi. Even once! It’s life-changing 😂
11. Go to Meiji Shrine. It’s splendid, and the aura is divine. While you’re in the area, stroll around Harajuku, the cosplay runway of the world. Try the crepes at Takeshita Dori!
12. Research if there are upcoming festivals somewhere in Tokyo (or in neighboring areas). You might be lucky enough to witness a fireworks or a paper lanterns festival! 😄
13. Rent a kimono (or yukata in the summer), and stride with pride. Some people MAY ask to take a picture with you 😅
14. Take pictures!!! Take LOTS and LOTS of pictures. As long as you aren’t bothering anyone, you’re good to go! It’s Japan! Unleash your photography skills! 👍🏼❤️🇯🇵
That’s it for now, I guess😅
Nart and misstheatricality (Nart’s travel buddy) 💕✨
Ahh I saw your top 3 recommendations for places to go in Japan, and I was just wondering, around what time/season/month, are the tourists the least in Japan?
Hi there!! I’m really glad to hear you’re interested in Japan :D Aside from all the bullshit that goes along with working in this country, it is actually a very beautiful and magical place.
Now, I don’t live in a very touristy-area (so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) but I would say the best “off season” months would be February, June, and November.
Golden Week (end of April - beginning of May) is the peak of domestic travel. Families go on road trips, sightseeing, etc. Obon (mid-August) is another big holiday where many people travel back to their hometowns for family events. Same for the New Year holidays (Jan 1 - 3). Whatever you do, avoid these major holidays and you should be able to travel without too much hassle :D
I think people living in Fujiyoshida will think that I walked on quite a long and erratic way through their city :D
I like this way of sightseeing and in case of Japan it is exceptionally safe and you can walk around without worrying about too much (except of running out of water on a hot day and feeling awful because of dehydration (didn’t happen to me though :)) It allowed me to find hidden gems like the little spring that had a lot of moss around it and had a very clear and cold water to offer :3 There was a very cute shrine right next to it but I cannot read it yet (^-^;) There are many small and cute shrines all over the city too and some very charming looking houses :3
The Volkswagen beetle made me feel a little sad though (^-^;) Whenever I see broken things I want to repair them (^-^;)
The house in the photo beneath it reminds me of the Sentou from Spirited away :3
There seem to be Bozouzoku (I hoped I spelled it the right way (^-^;) I saw several of their modified motorbikes in Japan and I was surprised to see how much work they put into them :o Although I’m not a fan of the sound and noise they make (^-^;) Don’t get me wrong I enjoy listening to a nice sounding engine doing its thing but their pointless revving makes me feel sympathetic with their engines and clutches (^-^;)
I like Fujiyoshida :) It is a nice place to be in, the Udon is delicious, the landscape gorgeous, the houses charming, it is calm and the people are very nice :) I hope I can visit it again although I’m not sure when this will be ✽(′ॢᵕ ‵ *ॢ)✽ஐ
I had a very nice week :) At least in y spare time :D My work isn’t too bad but it is not fulfilling and just something I do to finance my life :) I don’t plan on staying forever anyway so I don’t worry about it too much :)
The weekend was awesome some friends came to visit me and we had a lot of fun :3 Today I went to a museum with these friends and we had another great day (o^-^o) Also I got praised by a real Japanese Daiku (o^-^o) and got called sexy :3 I feel very flattered (o^-^o) As a guy I feel very happy someone thinks of me as being sexy (๑´•.̫ • `๑)
I’m not getting too much work done recently but I’m making progress and want to write a “current state of my projects” article soon :) Now I’m super tired and quite happy (^-^) I think I’ll sleep well and dream of having a girlfriend to cuddle with :3
I wish everyone a great new week with sweet dreams of places you like and friends that make you happy (^-^)/