05.06.2016 19 °C
The flight from Thailand to Japan was CAD$602 for a 16hr 5min nonstop ride to the city of Tokyo. The hotel I stayed at was the Edo Sakura, a 3-star place in the Tokyo Prefecture for CAD$189 per night. This totaled to around $567 for my 3-night stay.
I got up early on the first day to take on the renowned city. I started off by taking a 14min or 7.7km cab to have breakfast at Sushi Dai. I then took another 51min or 34.8km ride to the Ghibli Museum. The ticket at the door was CAD$11.96 and was worth the visit. I then met up at Akihabra for my scheduled 3.5hr tour I booked online for CAD$129. On the tour I first ordered a complimentary drink and sang popular tunes in a private karaoke booth with the other tour members. We then dressed up as our favorite comic book characters and posed in a purikura for personalized digital photos. Next, we all ordered tea or coffee and were welcomed 'home' at a maid cafe and visited Don Quijote to search the vast complex for our own personal treasures. After the tour I took a 21min or 8.5km cab to Kihachi food for dinner. After a traditional Japanese cuisine I ended the day by taking a 12min or 3.2km cab to Tokyo tower to see it light up in the night.
The next day I traveled to Yokohama to visit a more traditional side of Japan. After eating breakfast at the hotel, I took a 50min or 42.2km ride to my first stop: Sankeien Garden. It was opened to the public in 1906, and the natural beauty and terrain of the Honmoku coast are preserved in the expansive grounds, and buildings of historical import. I then took a 10min bus ride and a 15min train ride, finally getting of at Minatomirai Station. I walked on foot for about 8min to reach the Cupnoodles Museum. It is a hands-on museum where visitors can enjoy exhibits and workshops featuring instant noodles. One workshop allows participants to select their own ingredients to create their own ramen. Next, I walked 15mins to the Sea Bus (Seabass) station for a 350 yen boat tour that connects the east exit of Yokohama Station, Minato Mirai (Pukari-sanbashi), the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and Yamashita Park. I then walked 20mins to the Yokohama Marine Tower which was built to commemorate the Port of Yokohama's centennial anniversary. It has a two-story observation platform with panoramic views of Yamashita Park and Minato Mirai, with a cafe, restaurant and bar 100ft above ground. I finally ended my day by walking 5min to Yokohama Chinatown for a dinner at Chungking Szechwan Chinese Restaurant.
On the final day I spent a day at Omiya, starting off at Musashi Ichi-no-miya Hikawa Shrine which was a 52min and 32.8km ride from the hotel. It has a special stature and 2,000 year old history. The temple approach is about two kilometers long, and the Ni-no-torii gate is the largest wooden torii in the Kanto region. The vermilion-painted sacred bridge and tower gate are beautiful, along with the grounds that are filled with tourists and locals all year round. I then took a 15min cab to Shindoyamaya for a lunch at a traditional ryokan (inn). I dined in a room built in the sukiya-zukuri architectural style, for a delicious meal incorporating lots of seasonal ingredients. A few minutes away was the Omiya Bonsai Village, where I drank the renowned soft drink of Boncider for 200yen. Finally, I took a 15min shuttle to the Railway Museum which was filled with exhibits such as a steam locomotive, a train conductor simulator and a miniature train. I also stopped at the bento shop at the musuem before heading home.