My Top 5 Tokyo District’s you should know

Takeshita Street of Harajuku – Instagram

5. Harajuku / Omotesando

Harajuku is the most fashionable place to be. The place, where young Japanese designers open up their little shops, and fashionistas meet up for the Fashion Walk. If you’ve ever heard of “Kawaii“, this is where the Kawaii culture is beeing embraced to the fullest. (Harajuku is home to the Kawaii Monster Café for a good reason)

The “Takeshita Dori” – Takeshita Street is a shop filled little street right in front of the Harajuku station. If you pass the street, you will soon arrive in Omotesando. A quiet bigger street with lots of Luxury Brands at the main street, but if you just walk through side passages & through the neighbourhoods, you can explore many little shops. Take the chance to get a piece there, because it probably exists only once! (Takeshita see above!)

Of course there are many other shops like H&M etc. Definitely take a look at one of many thrift shops. Japanese take very good care of their clothes, they might look like they were never worn! And if you’re lucky, you’ll even find a cheap, second-hand Dior Dress! (Honestly, you can!)

If you’re done shopping and need to relax, you can take a break in one of many Cat Cafés. In case you’re not into cats, you can try the Dog, Hedgehog, Bunny or Owl Café (& Many more).

Western looking Ginza

4. Ginza

Ginza is a place to go, if you have money – there are lots of department & foreign luxury brand stores, luxury restaurants and car shops (more like car ‘showrooms‘). If you don’t like that “high fashion”-thing like I do, I’d still recommend you to go! In some department stores, you can go up to the rooftop and have a crazy amazing view over Tokyo, without having to buy something. I even found a shrine once on top of a building! (Ginza SIX GARDEN)

You can also find some very luxurious Japanese Brands, decoration their stores in a very beautiful traditional Japanese way.

Akihabara – (source my instagram)

3. Akihabara

Anime fans may already know this place – Akihabara is the Anime – and electronic district of Tokyo. You can find all the nerdy stuff here. If you’re a gamer, this is also the place to go. There is a huge amount of electronic stores, enough to build your own computer! And also, of course anime & manga stores and even a couple of cosplay stores.

The famous Maid Café’s which are always a big thing in TV documentarys about how crazy Japan is, this is where they are located. If you’re looking for a culture shock, definitely come here! (I’m a huge Anime fan, so this was more like heaven to me than anything near a “shock”)

Shinjuku (pic source my instagram)

2. Shinjuku

My actual favorite district of Tokyo since it has a little bit of everything. But especially known for it’s nightlife and entertainment. Lots of karaoke bars, clubs, restaurants and bars. People will tell women to “Take Care” there at night, since there are many outgoing people. But it’s also a nice place for shopping, during the daytime. The station is said to be the biggest train station in Japan.

I always recommend this district, if someone would ask me where to stay in Tokyo. Since the station is so big, you have many entrances to enter all around the station and of course very good train connections. Furthermore, there are many shops that are open 24/7, good restaurants and a shopping district, and it’s all close to the station.

The Robot Restaurant (source Wise.travel)

One famous restaurant around the area is The Robot Restaurant. You can pre-order the tickets, or just go there and ask for availability in front of it, since it’s more like a ‘Robot Show’ than a restaurant.

Besides the nightlife (Kabukicho area), Shinjuku also offers a skyscraper area, including the Metropolitan Government Building. A nice place to have a free & nice view over Tokyo. There’s an elevator bringing you to the observation deck on the 45th floor – for free!

1. Shibuya

SHIBUYA CROSSING

Shibuya is probably one of Tokyo’s most well known districts and home to the infamous Shibuya Crossing. The crossing is known to be the busiest crossing in the world, with over 2.4 Million people crossing this street every day. It is also a famous Movie Scenery spot (such as seen in “Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift“, “Lost in Translation“, “Resident Evil“. The crossing, right at the “Hachiko Exit” of the station, is surrounded by big colorful screens, which look amazing day & night.

Shibuya Scramble, with view on the famous shopping center “Shibuya 109” (Pic Source)

Shibuya is also a nice spot for shopping and many restaurants. Especially theme resaurants or theme café’s with extravagant interiors are located in this area. There are also a couple of night clubs around.

You probably saw the movie, or know the true story of the dog Hachiko, who waited at the station everyday, even after his owner has passed away. That’s right, this is the station where that famous dog has waited. They made a tribute in form of a Statue of Hachiko at the station, make sure to not miss it!

Enoshima 江の島 & Kamakura 鎌倉市, Holiday feeling near Tokyo 東京

My 6 months in Japan have passed so fast & I’m reflecting all the memories I made so far. There’s many ways to keep precious memories of your travel adventures, for example a travel diary, like my friend used to do it! She’s reflecting her days in a diary where she writes down every single day of her journey.

I’m a lazy person so I’d skip a lot of days so instead, I take a loooooot of pictures & videos which I cut into one single Video (If I find the time, of course)

Kamakura 鎌倉市

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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine

Kamakura 鎌倉市 is very lovely city at the seaside, south of Tokyo 東京. It’s one of myfavorite places to escape the busy city life of Tokyo 東京 & it’s not even that far away! Especially in summer, you won’t believe to find such a beautiful beach just so close to Tokyo City. Also, if you’re an Anime fan you may know some places, as Kamakura 鎌倉市 is often used in Mangas/Animes  (Elfen Lied, Fukumenkei Noise, Gokukoku no Brynhildr, etc.).

Kamakura also has a lot of very beautiful Shrines, & make sure to stroll around some neighborhoods as the houses there are really pretty.

 

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Bamboo Forest in Kamakura, Hokokuji Temple

Enoshima 江の島

Enoshima 江の島 is an island close to Japan’s coast. It is connected to the land with

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Sunset View from Enoshima

a bridge, from Kamakura 鎌倉市. Once in Kamakura 鎌倉市, you can easily go to Enoshima Station by train (Enoshima Electric Railway “Enoden”) & walk from there. This train is actually pretty famous during Summer time, as the Hydrangea are blooming & it drives right through some beautiful sceneries. The Island is very beautiful & full of nature, so

bring your camera to take some amazing photos!

 

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Walkthrough path on Enoshima

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Cute flower path on Enoshima (Good Photo Spot 😉 )

If you want to see more of Kamakura 鎌倉市 & Enoshima 江の島, check out my short Travel Video on YouTube! As I mentioned before, I like to keep memories in form of Videos 🙂

8 things you should know before going to Japan

If you are about to travel to this crazy country, you should know a few things before getting infected by a culture shock!

Japanese people can’t say “no”

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somehow 

Well, that’s not bad right? But it is, when you are lost & ask strangers for the direction. Japanese can’t lose their faces and say “I don’t know”. They  will just tell you “eeh.. I thinks it’s this way” even though they have no idea. You should at least ask 3 people, or visit a local police cabin right away. Those police stations are simply there to help you if you’re lost or something like that, as Japans criminality is pretty low.

If you meet someone important, bow down!

japanese_bowing_etiquette

Short explanation

 

The deeper you bow, the more respect you show. This would be appreciated if you’re about to meet someone importent, like the boss of a company or a priest.

 

 

Bring cash instead of a credit card!

You should exchange your money at the airport before you go somewhere. Even though Japan is such a futuristic country, it’s also very traditional. So in most stores, you pay with cash (they also prefer if you give them just the right amount of money). There are a lot if ATM’s so don’t worry if you forget to exchange at the airport.

Don’t leave tips!

Seriously, in Japan it’s like you’d tell them they’d need money. Not even to the taxi driver! Even though the waitress is extremely friendly and helpful, it’s their culture, they don’t want anything in exchange. I’ve even heard that a taxi driver ran after some people just to give them back their money.

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an example

“Modern” toilets?

Everybody knows that the Japanese have the most crazy toilets; some play music, some of them even talk to you, but not everywhere! If you go to a public toilet, be aware to find only a hole on the ground. Japan, futuristic & traditional.

 

Enjoy going by train as a tourist!

There’s a cheap train ticket, only available for tourists! It’s the Japan Rail Pass! You can choose the regions (for example the main island “Honshu“) and the duration (1-2 weeks) and you pay a small amount of money (depending, 300-400$) and you drive train during these weeks! It’s pretty useful, trust me. Check it out on: www.japanrailpass.net

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Looks like a passport

The adapter plug!

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looks like this

This is a common thing to be forgotten when travelling to another country! Just go to a electric store in your country and ask for an adapter plug for Japan. If you forget to (like I did) there are adapters available in most hotels, don’t worry.

Avoid Summer in Japan

Summer in Japan is veeeery hot. And wet. That’s because the Taifun season takes place in Summer. Even though it’s hot, the air-condioning is going crazy, so watch out of getting a cold. Check out the weather before you go.

super-taifun-neoguri-rast-auf-japan-zu

Source “T-Online”

Well, I hope there few things have been helpful for you to plan your trip to Japan. Don’t worry, it’s just nice to know, but If you forget one of those things, they will just kindly remind you!

Sabrina
(all pictures in this post belong to their owners & are not mine)

Fun day at Universal Studios Japan! (USJ)

(Scroll down for the German part – Runter scrollen für den deutschen Teil)

The first thing, that my letter friend Mayo san and me did when we met, was going to the Universal Studios in Ōsaka 大阪市.

There’s this story coming to my mind, every time I think of that day at the Universal Studios with Mayo san. Let me tell it to you;

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Glad to have my umbrella back!

I brought my umbrella that rainy day, like many other people. It was quite annoying to carry so I wanted to leave it in a locker. Unfortunately, my umbrella wouldn’t fit into the lockers they had at the Universal Studios, so I just left it in a corner nearby. I’ve heard somewhere, that Japanese people are very honest in that case & and wouldn’t steal. At the end of the day, Mayo san & me were so curious if my umbrella would still be there. When we walked around the corner, there were like 3 more umbrellas laying next to mine!

 

Anyway, let’s get to the USJ part.

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Characters of the Anime “Attack on Titan”

Japan is the country of Anime & Manga, that’s why they got plenty of Anime parts in their Universal Studios Park. Like Evangelion Neon Genesis & Attack on Titan! (which was the reason why I, as an Anime fan, wanted to go there)

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Mayo san & Me being eaten by a Titan

BUT! They have a Harry Potter section in the park as well, which you can enter after paying a little extra fee. It’s totally worth it! ‘Cause they’ve recreated the Hogwarts Castle and guess what’s inside?

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Hogwarts Roller Coaster in Universal Studios Japan

A 4D cinema-roller coaster! So you sit in a cinema chair 4D roller coaster, looking at a 3D sc
reen while this machine even changes rooms during the ride! You’re in the perspective of Harry Potter himself, flying through Hogwarts and it’s famous places. It seemed so real that you forget everything around yourself and really feel like being inside!

 

 

 

 

I feel like going there again so badly while writing this…

————German Part —————–Deutscher Teil———————–

Das Erste was meine Brieffreundin Mayo san und ich getan haben, als wir uns trafen, war ins Universal Studios in Ōsaka 大阪市 gehen.

Da ist diese Geschichte, die mir jedes mal einfällt, wenn ich an den Tag mit Mayo san im Universal Studios denke. Lasst es mich euch erzählen;

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Froh meinen Schirm zurück zu haben

Wie viele andere auch, hatte ich an diesem regnerischen Tag meinen Schirm dabei. Weil es ziemlich nervig war, diesen mit mir herumzutragen, wollte ich ihn in einen der Schliessfächer, welche sie im Universal Studios hatten, unterbringen. Leider passte mein Schirm da aber nicht hinein. Daher habe ich ihn einfach in die nächste Ecke gelegt. Ich habe mal gehört, dass Japaner sehr ehrlich sind in dieser Hinsicht & nicht stehlen würden. Am Ende des Tages haben Mayo san und ich neugierig, ob mein Schirm noch da ist. Als wir um die Ecke abbogen, lagen schon etwa 3 weitere Schirme da!

 

Wie auch immer, kommen wir zum USJ-Teil.

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Charaktere des Animes “Attack on Titan”

Japan ist das Land des Anime & Manga, deswegen haben sie auch einige Anime-Bereiche in ihrem Universal Studios Park. Wie zum Beispiel Evangelion Neon Genesis & Attack on Titan! (Was auch der Grund ist, warum ich, als Anime Fan, dahin wollte)

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Mayo san & ich werden von einem Titan gegessen

ABER! Sie haben ebenfalls einen Harry Potter Bereich, welchen man nach einem kleinen Aufschlag betreten darf. Es ist es aber auf jeden Fall wert! Denn die Japaner haben das Schloss Hogwarts nachgebaut, und ratet mal was es da drinnen gibt?

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Hogwarts Achterbahn im Universal Studios Japan

Eine 4D Kino-Achterbahn! Da sitzt man in einem 4D Kinosessel/Achterbahnwagen auf die 3D Leinwand schauend, welcher sogar während der Fahrt den Raum wechselt! Man ist in der Perspektive von Harry Potter selbst, welcher durch Hogwarts und all seine bekannten Orte fliegt. Es wirkte so echt, dass man alles um einen vergisst und es einem so vorkommt, als wär man wirklich mittendrin!

 

 

 

Während ich das hier schriebe, bekomme ich stark das Bedürfnis wieder dorthin zu gehen…