After my trip to Korea
in April, I took a flight to Japan and spent a few days in Tokyo and Kyoto. In this thread I'll share a few photos from my time in Tokyo, where I was joined by @ColDayMan
A few things to know about Tokyo since I'm a nerd about this stuff. Although we think of Tokyo as a "city" it's actually a "prefecture" which is sort of like a state. Historically there was a "City of Tokyo" which was inside of a "Tokyo Prefecture" but these were merged in 1943 into what is now called the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. So inside of the modern-day Tokyo Prefecture there are 26 cities
in addition to 23 "special wards"
that are not part of any city and report directly to the prefecture government. Those special wards were essentially boroughs of the former City of Tokyo and are mostly operated like independent cities today except that some services are provided by the Tokyo Prefecture government.Chūō (special ward)
Rainy night in Ginza:
Next morning in Ginza:
This historic portion of Tokyo Station opened in 1914. It was largely destroyed during World War II and subsequently repaired, but not fully restored to its original design until 2012.
Tsukiji Fish Market:
I did not make it early enough to see the famous fish auctions but there was plenty to see around the market.
This nigiri from a vendor at the Tsukiji fish market is probably the freshest sushi I have ever, and will ever, eat in my life. I attempted to pick up a pre-packaged container to buy. The guy asked me if I was going to eat it right away. I said yes, and he insisted on making a fresh one for me. Sliced from the fish and into my mouth within 2 minutes.
Around Tsukiji:Chiyoda (special ward)
The Akihabara district is known for all of the shops selling electronic as well being the center of video game and anime culture:
Mmmmm...Taitō (special ward)
The Asakusa district is famous for the Sensō-ji temple and the surrounding shopping streets.
From Asakusa, you can see the Tokyo Skytree as well as the Asahi Beer Hall, affectionately known by locals as 金のうんこ ("the golden turd"):Sumida (special ward)
The Tokyo Skytree, completed in 2011, is the tallest tower and second-tallest structure in the world, behind only the Burj Khalifa.
Needless to say it has some awesome views. (Click play on the video and then start scrolling down.)Shinjuku (special ward)
Popped into an izakaya
made friends with the locals:
Shinjuku Station:Shibuya (special ward)
Shibuya Crossing a.k.a. Japan's Times Square:
On my last day in Japan I decided to head out to the western parts of Tokyo to check out an area called Kichijoji. I believe I read somewhere that this was rated the most livable neighborhood in Tokyo, and I can see why. It's a very comfortable density that allows residents to have a little yard space, be within walking or biking distance of medium-density shopping areas, and still be a short train ride away from the densest parts of Tokyo.
As you can see, there is a lot of biking around this area, and lots of bike parking as well:
But the real reason I was out there was to visit this cat cafe
After that, I grabbed a bento box, got on the Shinkansen
and headed for Kyoto! See you in the next thread...