I visited Tokyo in 2018 for work and absolutely fell in love. I was only there for a week and had very little free time, but the city was incredibly captivating and every moment blew my mind. I was lucky enough to stay in Harajuku, probably the coolest part of Tokyo. We rented a huge Airbnb, which is strange for Tokyo as most of the apartments are tiny, and it was just off of Takeshita Street. Thanks to the amazing location I was able to take a lot of the coolness in on my journey to work every day.
Here are my top 5 things to do in Tokyo:
That area evokes all the sense, the amazing fashion, the smells of the restaurants, the different music pumping out of each shop, you’re fully stimulated when walking around Harajuku and it is absolutely mesmerising. There is so much to do and see there, it’s actually easy to spend a week there alone. A few places I would highly recommend:
Tokyo 135° – an incredible vintage kimono shop. I had to stop myself from bringing home a gorgeous kimono, I obviously regret my decision.
Daiso – Japan’s equivalent to the Pound Shop but with Japanese goods. I spent hundreds of pounds on stickers, colouring books, Hello Kitty products and random bowls. Everything in there is 75p so I’m not sure how I spent so much… I did also have to pay extra for my overweight suitcase at the airport.
All the vintages shops – Harajuku is an area of contrasts, you’ll find stores selling bright pink cosplay/lolita fashion and then turn the corner and it’s vintage Adidas tracksuits and hop hop inspired vintage clobber. I think that’s what I love most about the city, it’s a city of contrasts.
Now known as my favourite place in the world. Puroland is the Sanrio theme park located about thirty minutes outside of Tokyo. It is basically Disneyland for Hello Kitty fans, which is perfect for me as a not only do I LOVE Disneyland but Hello Kitty is my favourite character ever, probably bias as I worked for her for over 2 years. Puroland is one of the most intense places I’ve ever been, it’s like Disneyland on steroids. It’s not big but there is so much to see, do and spend your money on, you could be there forever. As I was filming some content for Sanrio, my team were lucky enough to have an escort throughout the day which meant we went on all the rides without queuing and had the best seats at the show. I will definitely be visiting Puroland again as it has stolen a little piece of my heart.
Did you even go to Tokyo if you don’t have a Shibuya Crossing photo? Me and the team had some fun stopping traffic to get some top content. Shibuya is also a really nice area with loads of shops. We visited some stores, a pop up Sanrio character cafe and the MASSIVE MUJI store which was a place of wonders. Until that visit, I didn’t know MUJI sold clothes and I was actually in heaven walking down every aisle seeing what they had compared to the tiny London stores.
Akihabara is bloody cool. It’s the “underground” part of Tokyo full of arcades, anime and maid cafés. We visited on our last night as a group and had the best time hopping from arcade to arcade and later to the karaoke club. I am a huge karaoke fan so doing it in Tokyo was top of my list, needless to say, Tokyo delivered and I had the best time. Singing Despacito in a Karaoke club in Tokyo is definitely one of my top 10 fondest memories.
MAD JAPANESE EXPERIENCES
Whilst I was there I visited some random places! We ate at about 5 Sanrio Character cafés including Hello Kitty, Tuxedo Sam and Pom Pom Purin. Between us we also visited the cat café and hedgehog café. My team went to one of the Maid Cafés before I arrived but I had the pleasure of watching a shop at the Robot Café which is absolutely MAD. I won’t spoil it for you as you have to see it for yourself, but something I will say is take your camera as the bar upstairs is the best place for a photoshoot and the toilets are wicked. Also, popping into grocery stores is very cool… I came home with an unimaginable amount of random snacks and found out I love sparkly saké.
I can’t wait to visit again with more time, there’s so much I want to do and there are so many more parts of Japan I would like to see.