Century old temples and beautiful gardens are located next to buildings at the cutting edge of technology. Japanese ladies dressed in the traditional kimono are passing by people dressed like anime characters. Tokyo seems to be the perfect blend between tradition and modernity.
Japan!! Finally!! My brother had been living in Japan for 8 years when we finally managed to go and visit him! We were so happy to be all together in Japan! We spent a few days in Tokyo and Kyoto before going to Sapporo where my brother lives.
Tokyo was our first stop when and we truly had the feeling that we had reached another planet! Not speaking a single word of Japanese did not make it easy for us to explore the city. Taking the metro, ordering food at the restaurant, finding your way… everything seems complicated when you do not speak Japanese. The fact that people do not speak a lot of English does not help. It was such a relief to be accompanied by my amazing Japanese sister-in-law.
We only spent one day in the Japanese capital but it surely was dense and full of surprises. It enabled us to have a first glimpse of this amazing metropolis and made us want to go back!
We stayed in a hotel in the Kanda district and we began our day in Tokyo exploring this typically local area. We were immediately plunged into another world when walking around these little streets.
Asakusa and the Senso-ji temple
The atmosphere of ancient times is still palpable in this traditional district of Tokyo. The Senso-ji temple located in this district is Tokyo’s most traditional and colorful temple.
To reach the temple, you will first enter through the imposing Kaminarimon gate, which was first built more than a thousand years ago.
You will then go through the Nakamise shopping street. It will lead you from the Kaminarimon gate to the Senso-ji temple. You will find many traditional souvenirs. I resisted the temptation to buy too many souvenirs so I just took pictures!
And you will finally reach the Sensoji temple. This popular Buddhist temple was built in the 7th century.
The little streets next to the temple will take you to the many traditional restaurants of the area. Once again I had my favorite lunch: gyosa and ramen. I loved these little restaurants where you need to take off your shoes and where you are actually sitting on the floor, with a space beneath the table for your legs.
Cruise on the Sumida river
The Sumida river is at a walking distance from the Senso-ji temple and from there you will have an amazing view on the Asahi Beer Hall and the Tokyo Skytree.
The Asahi Beer Hall was designed by Philippe Stark and was completed in 1989. It is the headquarters of the famous Asahi Breweries and it is considered one of Tokyo’s most recognizable modern structures.
Next to the Asahi Beer Hall, you will see the Tokyo Skytree tower. With a height of 634 meters, this broadcasting tower is one of the tallest structures in the world.
The Hamarikyu Park
At the end of our cruise on the Sumida river, we reached this beautiful traditional garden.
Discovering this peaceful garden was very pleasant after a day walking in the busy streets of Tokyo. With its ponds, little bridges, traditional teahouse, this garden was the perfect place to take a break before going back to exploring the capital.
We finished our day in the Akihabara district, which is a paradise for manga lovers with its many stores dedicated to anime and manga. It is even more amazing by night!
– Our trip to Japan –
Click on the markers for more details