Solo Travel Report 1 Week trip to Tokyo (24th May 2019 – 1st June 2019)
The Wild Adventures of Tega
Day 0 24/5/19
I took the Austrian airline flight from London Heathrow to Vienna and had a 5 hour gap to the next flight from Vienna to Tokyo Narita airport.
Met another solo traveller in Vienna who was spending a week in Tokyo and a week in Seoul, South Korea.
It was a 10 hour flight from Vienna to Tokyo. Had time watch the three movies on the in-flight entertainment.
Food service was nice on the plane and the customer service was excellent.
Day 1 25/5/19
Arrived in Tokyo Narita airport at noon. I felt like I was getting a stomach bug but it must have been from the flight duration.
I collected my Pocket Wifi from the customer service desk at the airport and took the airport bus to Shinjuku station.
At the station, I collected my Suica Card. It was straight forward and easy collecting it from the machine.
Shinjuku was the area I would staying in during my week in Tokyo. I checked in at City Lonestar Tokyo which a few minutes away from Shinjuku Sanchrome metro station. From Shinjuku station it was a sort of confusing at first to find my way to the hotel but got there by taking one of the metros.
I did a bit of sightseeing for a while after checking into the hotel. Walked down to the Kabukicho arches and found somewhere to have dinner. Had Gyudon dish at one of the diners and went back to the hotel afterwards because I was still feeling Jetlagged from the flight.
Day 2 26/5/19
I decided to go to Harajuku in the morning. I had some croissant and toast in the hotel. Breakfast was included in the hotel. I wouldn’t call it five star breakfast, but it’s enough to get through the morning.
To get to Harajuku I took the Fukutoshin line from Shinjuku Sanchrome metro and came off at Meiji-jingumae ‘Harajuku’ station.
I ventured to Meiji Shine which looked amazing and spotted some people getting married. It was a lovely spring day.
The sun was shining strong and it was so humid. I spent a few hours there then decided to check out Yoyogi Park. There was a thai / Japanese festival that occurred that day. It was nice to sit down and watch the performances. Had fries for lunch at the park. Not very Japanese like but the fries were so tasty and long.
I went back to Takeshita street to view the area and shops in the afternoon. I also got to check out Omotesando. Very Youthful and vibrant area.
I walked down from Meiji-jingumae ‘Harajuku’ station to Shibuya which was roughly a 20 mins walk. Checked out Hachiko Statue and took a picture of it. Crossed shibuya crossing which I remember has been filmed in many movies like fast and furious: Tokyo drift.
I spend some time exploring the Shibuya area and went back to Shinjuku for the evening.
I checked out the Shinjuku metropolitan building. It was pretty cool viewing the Shinjuku skyline at night. I saw Shinjuku Gyoen park from the building and few other places. It was free to go inside and view.
Day 3 27/5/19
I decided spend most of the day in Akihabara because of my interest in video games and technology.
I walked to Shinjuku station from City Lonestar hotel which was roughly a 20 mins walk. Shinjuku Station is one of the biggest train stations I’ve been to. It feels bigger than Grand central station in New York. I’m not surprised I got lost in it a few days ago.
I took the Chuo-Sobu line to Akihabara station.
Browse some of the shops not too far from the station to view their anime products and video games. I saw a few dragonball z items and super sentai which is power rangers in the west.
I went to Super Potato afterwards to play some of the retro games like super smash bros melee on the Nintendo gamecube. It was nice seeing the retro consoles like the super Nintendo all the way to the latest console. I spend some time at Club Sega afterwards and played some arcade games and also ufo capture machines. The ufo capture machines can be quite addictive after a while.
I saw people doing Mari car in the street it was pretty cool seeing people driving around the city in go-karts. If I ever came back to Japan I would definitely do that.
Akihabara felt like a massive comic con where you get to see your favourite things and seeing people dressed as maids in the street.
In the evening I went back to the hotel and went to one of the Italian restaurants nearby to have pizza. The pizza was delicious and I tried conversing with the waiter in Japanese. Practising my Japanese.
Day 4 28/5/19
The day was spilt into two. The first part I went to Ueno and the second part I went to Asakusa.
I first visited Ameyoko which isn’t far from Ueno station. Ameyoko market felt similar to some of the markets I go to in London. It was nice seeing the native people buying goods and selling doing their day to day living.
After that I went to National Museum of Nature and Science. It was interesting reading the history of Japan and how it came to be as a country. I enjoyed the aritifacts that were on display and it showed how things were in other parts of the world.
No trip to another country could not be complete without visiting the zoo. I went to Ueno Zoo and loved seeing the pandas, polar bears, tigers and gorillas. It was cute how the panda looked like when it was posing for the visitors to see.
I spent most of the day in Ueno and then went to Asakusa.
Asakusa I spend some time viewing the temples around Sensoji. Nakamise Dori was filled up with stalls, shops, souvenirs. I had to try some of the Japanese pastry. That day the weather was a bit overcast and it was drizzying a bit while I was there.
I walked from Nakamise dori to Kaminarimon which where I explored the temples within. It was lovely seeing this cultural aspect of Japan and how every district I’ve been to so far is very different. I could see Tokyo Skytree from the Sensoji. It was an amazing sight to behold.
I went to Tokyo Skytree after I finished at Sensoji. There’s a train you can take from Asakusa to get to Tokyo Skytree or you can walk it. Tokyo Skytree had some shops on the ground floor and restaurants. I went up to the Tokyo Skytree Observation deck. It was amazing viewing the Tokyo skyline and seeing places I’ve visited already. Maybe I’m a little scared of height but I didn’t go to the last floor which had the glass flooring. I didn’t want to be looking below while looking at the glass floor.
Day 5 29/5/19
Odaiba was the next place on my list I wanted to visit. I took the Yamamote line from Shinjuku station to Osaki station. From Osaki Station I took the Rinkai line to Tokyo Teleport.
I went to Palette Town and went to the Toyota exhibition centre. It was intriguing the type of technology they were using on the cars and the type of cars they were building for the future. I played an interactive game where I drove a car with petrol and another on hybrid. It was different to see I would save more on hybrid. I checked out Venus fort afterwards and had some lunch in one of the food courts.
Later on I spend some time in the indoor Sega theme park. I tried some of their vr games, went on some of the rides and they had a dungeon similar to London dungeon.
Fuji Television was the next attraction. I used to watch Digimon as a kid and I remember the building being the same one where Greymon fought in the anime. It was nice to see the things they have worked on and have in production. I remember Fuji Television is one of the track sponsors for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. I’m a big formula one fan if you couldn’t tell.
I got to see a replica of the statue of liberty and took a selfie close to it. I never had time to visit the statue of liberty in New York so it was nice being upclose to the one in Odaiba.
I ventured back to Shinjuku where I got something to eat in the diner. I had a friendly Japanese person paid for my dinner that evening which was a nice gesture.
Day 6 30/5/19
I went to Shinjuku Gyoen park which is roughly a few minutes walk from City Lonestar hotel.
The weather was lovely that day and spend a few hours relaxing in the park. I took some selfies and had some ice cream in one of the stands. It felt more chilled out compared to the other days but I wanted to have time to enjoy the outside and nature.
I went back to the hotel in the afternoon for a couple hours and after that went to grab something to eat.
I didn’t really explore Shinjuku so much during my time in Tokyo so I spend the afternoon at the mall not too far from the main station. I had fun trying out a massage chair and looking at some of the cool item they had.
Later in the evening I went to a karaoke bar in the Shinjuku area and spend an hour at the booth. It was first time doing Karaoke. I felt it was nice to a traditional past event that most Japanese people love doing. I had the booth to my myself so I didn’t feel shy or nervous at all singing. Maybe I would have been if they was a few people around.
I already had seen Avengers Endgame before my trip to Japan. I decided to watch it again. I went to Shinjuku Piccadilly Cinema. It was nice watching it again and having the same feelings towards it. It was interesting noticing the difference in western cinema vs an eastern cinema.
I had to try some KFC after I watched the movie. I would say I’m biased but I preferred the UK KFC compared to the Japan KFC. But maybe it might have been the meal I ordered.
Day 7 31/5/19
Today was my last day in Tokyo before my flight back to London tomorrow. I did brought some gifts for my family members, my girlfriend at the time and some co-workers.
I brought the Meiji shine arches as a gift for one of my family members, photocards showing famous places in Tokyo for my parents and a fridge magnet for my sister. I brought a lip stick container for my girlfriend at the time. Packet of Kit kats for my colleagues and family members.
I went to Nakano Broadway to do some sightseeing. I heard Nakano Broadway was quite popular in the earlier days before Akihabara. Some of the stuff you could get were similar in Nakano Broadway.
There was a Japanese fast food restaurant where they had burgers and fries. It was very tasty. I must have had some double bacon cheese burger with fries and an apple juice.
Spent a few hours in Tokyo station checking out the Tokyo character sheet. They had things to do with Pokemon, Lego and other related anime shops.
I enjoyed karaoke so much the day before, I went to do it again in the evening. I guess as something to do to remember my time in Tokyo.
For dinner I had katsu chicken with rice. I ate a lot of rice during my time in Tokyo but I loved eating it.
Went back to the hotel to do my packing for my trip back to London.
Day 8 1/6/19
It was time to head back to London. I felt sad going back because I enjoyed my trip in Tokyo. A lot of the Japanese people I met were friendly, kind and approachable. I liked my stay at the City Lonestar Hotel in Shinjuku. The customer service was very good. The negative was the bed pillow was a bit too strong and the room space felt kept small. But other than that it was good.
I went to Shinjuku station where I went to catch the shuttle bus to Narita airport. My flight was at 1:30pm and I checked in a few hours prior.
It was around the same flight time from Narita airport to Vienna and then changing at Vienna for my flight to London Heathrow.
I really enjoyed my stay in Tokyo the last one week. Next time I should make it ten days because they is so much to in Tokyo and to also venture parts outside of Tokyo. Next time I would like to head to Osaka and Kyoto.