Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Still alive you guys!

I haven't posted anything in a loooong time ( one year and six months to be exact ), but here I am once again wether you like it or not!

It is refreshing to be writing again and this time I will be sharing my experience about Japan! Planning a trip to Japan wasn't an easy task, but I will share some information that was useful for me before I went, in case you are planning to go. Also this trip was mostly sponsored by my grandfather who was so kind to give me such a wonderful gift!

To plan for our trip I watched a loooot of youtube videos and I must say it helped a lot, since I knew nothing about Japan. I went with my mom and we stayed for 9 days in total, which isn't a lot, so I really wanted to see as many things as possible. We stayed mainly in airbnb apartments and one night in a capsule hotel which ended up costing us 350 euros per person for the nine days. Out of those nine days we spent five days in Tokyo and four days in Kyoto. We also did two daytrips from Kyoto to Hiroshima and Nara.

Hint 1: If you are planning to travel mainly by train in Japan like we did, consider getting the JR pass. It cost us about 220 euros each for seven days and you can take as many trains as you like ( except nozomi trains and some other bullet trains ). You can also use it to take some specific metro lines in Tokyo! Be careful though because you will need to get a stamp in your passport at the airport when you get to Japan otherwise you can't use the JR pass...or you could, but I wouldn't take the risk. We bought ours when we got to Japan from Shibuya Station, but I read online that you used to be able to buy it only online so please read carefully about it if you want to get one!

Hint 2: Also you might notice that the metro lines in Tokyo are craaaaazy! Make your life easier by getting a pasmo or a suica card. You won't need to get a ticket for each trip you do and it will save you time and energy. We got our pasmo cards at the airport and we paid 3000 yen ( about 23 euros ) of which the 500 yen was a deposit that we got back when we returned the cards at the airport. You can recharge your pasmo card at any station if it runs out of money. On the plus side you can also pay with your pasmo card on many vending machines and I even saw some restaurants accepting pasmo cards!
Also, use google maps! I always checked the routes on google maps before going anywhere because the metro map was super confusing for my brain.

Day 1 in Tokyo

So on our first day in Tokyo we went to the Tsukiji fish market, Ginza area, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Takeshita Street and Shibuya crossing! We stayed all day out and went back to our apartment around 10 pm with swollen feet. This was definitely not a relaxing holiday, so be prepared to have good shoes with you!

Tsukiji Market

Saw a huge line by this place and we had to try this strange yellow thing everybody was eating on a stick. I turned out to be a sweetened omelette that they made in these square pans to give them the shape! 
 You could find vending machines in every corner! What a great invention! I have never been so hydrated in my life! 
 More street food! 
I know you will get sick of the food pictures, but that is part of the whole experience! Matcha green tea ice cream, I wish I could say it was as delicious as it looks in the picture, but I was highly disappointed. I am not used to this kind of flavours so for me it had a very fishy and grassy ( is that even a word?? ) taste. You can't go to Japan though without trying something with green tea in it at least once! I am very open to new flavours so I decided to give green tea another chance so I tried green tea as a drink and once again couldn't stand it. I gave green tea 3 chances to wow me but nope! I am sorry for you green tea lovers out there, but it wasn't my cup of tea.
 We headed to the Ginza area after the fish market, which is a commercial district and has also great buildings if you are interested in architecture.
 Am I the only one who finds this strange? 
 Of course you can't miss great architecture like this, designed by one of the most famous architects in Japan, Toyo Ito.
 Or this, a couple blocks down from the previous building by Jun Mitsui and Associates Architects
Tokyu Plaza is close to Takeshita street and it has a very nice rooftop where you can sit and relax!
 Audi Forum by Creative Designers International ( CDI )
 Shinto Shrine
 Some fancy stuff!
Shibafu Park
Takeshita Street! Absolute chaos! 
Dior store by SANAA
Obviously you would put fur in a glass brick, the obvious choice! You don't really notice it when you look from afar.
Prada store by architects Herzog and de Meuron
Hachiko Memorial Statue at Shibuya crossing
Last but not least, our first dinner in Tokyo! Don't ask me what it is, I just picked something out of the menu and this is what they brought me. Everybody was telling me that the prices in Japan are really expensive, especially if you go out to eat but we paid 1200 yen each ( 9 euros ) for that whole thing you see in the picture, which is about the same price you would pay in Greece if you went to a proper restaurant. Also this place was in the super touristy area so you would think that the prices would be even higher.
So that was our first day in Tokyo! I was planning to post all the things we did in the five days we stayed in Tokyo, but I think this is enough for now!

Stay tuned for more!