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 🙂

Jidouhanbaiki自動販売機 – Japanese Vending Machines

When you think of Tokyo, one thing should come go your mind; Vending Machines! or in Japanese a Jidouhanbaiki自動販売機 !

Of course they are not only a big thing in Tokyo 東京 but all over Japan! You could even live without grocery stores but Vending Machines! That’s because they have a wide range
of different stuff in those Jidoihanbaikis 自動販売機 . For example Drinks, Hot Coffee, Hot Soups, Umbrellas, Bananas, Fresh Eggs, Hot Dogs, Flowers, Ties and much more.

 

 

 

 

They actually got their international attention, when a curious rumour made it’s round. The rumour said, that there is a Vending Machine that sells USED pants of cute girls. Anyway, there are some Vending Machines that sell underwear, but not used ones, so it’s never been profen.

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You can read about anything you touch 

They recently presented a new modern form of Vending Machine with an additional feature; The Touch Screen Vending Machine! It looks like it’s from an futuristic Anime.

 

 

 

 

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Depending on the location, the products in those vending machines are different! So if you are in Tokyo 東京, there may be some products you’ve never seen in Osaka 大阪! Or even in different parts of Tokyo 東京 itself, for example Akihabara 秋葉原. Akihabara 秋葉原 is the Electrical & Animeアニメdistrict, so you may find more Anime related stuff in Vending Machines.

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This is what a 1’000 Yen Vending Machine looks like

 

During my 2 weeks stay in Japan, I’ve been looking for one thing. A rare kind of Vending Machine; the 1’000 Yen (10$) Vending Machine! They sell about 30 products which you can see on the screen but what you get, is a surprise! Maybe you get a useless toy, or even a new iPod!

 

I hopefully get the chance to find one during my Language Stay in September! follow me on my Instagram to find out If I’m going to be lucky: @mylittlejapanworld

 

All pictures used in this post are not mine, they belong to their original owners!

 

Some unnecessary knowledge about Japan

Japan can be a strange country sometimes, but that’s one more reason I love it so much! I’ve researched some of my favorite facts about this extraordinary place on earth to share them with you:

You can buy isles in Japan!
They may not be cheap or too big but hey, an isle in Japan! If you are interested anyway, go check out www.aqua-styles.com/island_japan.html

The biggest crossing in the world
is of course, the famous Shibuya Crossing! Everytime the light goes green, up to 15’000 people are crossing the street!

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The Shibuya crossing from above, right next to the Shibuya train station.

Oshiya – Pushing people for a living? 
Maybe you’ve already seen it on TV or social media; a man in uniform, that pushes people into a full train – and that’s his job! Well, what else do you expect in a 40 million people city at rush hour? (Ps. Oshiyas exist since 1955)

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A very old picture of Oshiyas, pushing commutes into the train!

Hikikomori?
Japanese people, mostly young people, that live in their room. Only their room. For months or worse – even years! Yes, like the nerds in the movies that only watch Animes & play video games the whole day, but that’s not funny at all! They are overwhelmed by the tough Japanese society. Even the parents are ashamed to have a Hikikomori in their family, so they don’t talkabout it. Because of that reason, many Hikikomoris don’t get the help they’d need.

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Illustration of a Hikikomori

Fell asleep at work? Totally OK in Japan!

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“He must have been working hard”


Inemuri – that’s how they call it. Which means being awake physically but asleep in mind. There are any reasons: The Japanese have very long working hours & u
sually long trips to work, so there’s no time for sleep. So if you sleep at work, your colleagues will think “he must have been working very hard”

 

What does the chicken say?
In Japan, they use animal sounds (like meow or bark) for some animals, we wouldn’t even guess! some examples:

Cat/Neko                                    “Nya” (kinda accurate)
Dog/Inu                                      “Wan Wan” (hmm)
Chicken/Niwatori                     “kokekokko” (I mean, what?)
Kickup/Kakkou                         “ho hokekyo”    (say it loud!)
Horse/Uma                                 “hihiin“(depends on the pronunciation, I guess)
Monkey/Saru                             “kikii“(Never, ever heard a monkey speak)

Of course there are many more strange things about Japan, but for now this must be enough. Stay tuned for more soon!

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“KOKEKOKKO !!”

All pictures in this posts are not mine and belong to their creators

Animal Cafés in Japan! (Cats, Bunnies, Owls & Reptiles!)

(I’ve decided to do a German translation as well – see below)

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Small Rabbit Café in Shibuya, Tokyo

Japan is not the biggest country, but one of the most populated on earth. With such a minimum of space, it’s getting tight for living room, especially in big cities like Tokyo. Many Japanese people can’t afford to own pets or even have no space for them. But there’s a solution for this problem: Animal Cafés!

 

 

 

 

There are Cat, Bunny, Owl and even Reptile Cafés in Japan! Relaxing and drinking a cup of or coffee while petting 3 cats, what else could you want?

On my trip to Japan in 2015, I’ve been visiting Owl, Cat and Bunny Cafés. I liked the Owl Café the most, they had the most space for the animals & even closed the Café from time to time due to “Animal Breaks”.

 

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Very small Cat Café, right next to the Bunny Café

 

 

(Ich habe mich entschieden den Blog auch auf Deutsch zu führen)

Japan ist zwar nicht das grösste Land, aber eines der meistbevölkerten der Welt. Bei so wenig Platz wird es immer enger mit dem Wohnraum, vor allem in Grossstädten wie in Tokio. Sehr viele Japaner können sich deshalb keine Haustiere leisten geschweige denn , haben Platz dafür. Doch dafür gibt es eine Lösung: Tiercafés!

Katzen, Hasen, Eulen und sogar Reptilien Cafés gibt es! Gemütlich einen Tee oder Café trinken, und nebenbei mit 3 Katzen spielen, was will man mehr?

Bei meinem Japan Trip im April 2015, habe ich ein Eulen, Katzen und Hasen Café besucht. Das Eulen Café mochte ich am meisten, die Tiere dort haben viel Platz und das Café wird auch mal wegen “Tierpausen” geschlossen.

When the sun goes down in Tokyo

If you want to see the city view of Tokyo from above for free, (not like Tokyo Tower or Tokyo Skytree) then your option is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building!

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building has a height of 243 meters. If you enter the building, go to the elevators – there’s an extra elevator that only goes to floor 45,which is free of charge!

You can look out of the windows and enjoy the view of beautiful Tokyo. There are even gift stores and Cafes! So amazing, I wish I’d have spent more time there.

Unfortunately, there were some clouds at the horizon, orherwise I would have spotted Mount Fuji!