7 Things to Love About Tokyo

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Tokyo was crazy but in the best way.  It’s pretty overwhelming and can get fairly confusing navigating the streets and subways stations, which are fairly intimidating feeling like their own small towns, but there are plenty of things to love about it, too.

Even if you’re on a tight budget, Tokyo is worth a visit.  It can be seen on the cheap, but don’t forget to splurge a little and have some fun.  This guide to Tokyo will help you plan the best trip possible.

 1. People

People in, well, all of Japan are very helpful.  I had to ask for directions (surprise!) to Uobei, a deliciously cheap sushi place, and they didn’t know so they Googled the directions for us.  Talk about helpful!  We also needed directions (I hope this doesn’t surprise you anymore) to Harajuku from there.  I never really felt in danger, but like all places, still, be a little cautious, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself!


2.  Transportation

Transportation in Japan was a confusing and frustrating thing, but it’s also awesome and efficient.  First, the subways.  The stations are like small towns.  They can be confusing, but they have everything, including Wifi.  Make sure to pay attention to the signs.  One minute you’re on the right track, the next, no more.

Second, taxis.  I never took one because they are fairly pricey (and Japan was already going to push my budget, but it was totally worth it and I’m dying to go back), BUT the doors open on their own and the drivers all wear tuxedos.  I mean, how is that not awesome?  Next time I will take one just because of that.


Third, buses.  Curse the bus stops by Tokyo Station.  Curse them!  They are very confusing, nobody knows which is which, and they’re clustered together, but still far enough apart to be a hassle if you’re at the wrong one.  Give yourself lots of time to find the right one, too.

We needed to catch a night bus at 11Pm that cost around $80 US and could not for the life of us find it.  We were sent all over and to the same stops multiple times, but none were right.  At about 11:15 we tried one last one, AND IT WAS RIGHT!  They waited for us!  It was the best way to end the night.  AND a bonus, the bus was a zillion degrees, no need to wear everything you brought to stay warm!  If night buses don’t sound like something you want to do, consider getting a Japan Rail Pass.

3.  Shibuya

Known for the famous people scramble, I was drawn to Shibuya and I’m not really sure why.  Of my six days in Tokyo, I was probably there four of them.  Yeah, I couldn’t stay away.  It’s also the home to the delicious Uobei that I mentioned above.  I really enjoyed it at night and it’s just a short(ish) walk to Harajuku from there.


4.  Streets

It was really fun to just wander down small side streets.  You never know what you can find, and it’s usually where the best places are hidden.  I loved seeing all the signs with no idea what they said.  The plastic food in the restaurant windows.  Vending machines everywhere.  The stuffed wolves and weird Spanish dog rat things.  My favorite coffee shop was down a bunch of side streets, and it was wonderful!  So weird.  I love it.


5.  Temples

Temples in Japan were of a whole new variety from what I was used to seeing in Taiwan.  I loved both, but the ones in Japan seemed much less crowded, that I went to at least, and more peaceful.  Looking back I wish I would have gone to more, but hey, there’s always next time, right?


6.  Food

Food.  Food.  Food.  Sushi.  Tempura.  Japanese beef.  Sushi.  Need I say more?  I will, here are some of the best places to eat in Tokyo.


7.  Asakusa

I may be more biased toward this one because my hostels were here both times, but I loved Asakusa.  It has the Seneo Ji Temple.  It has the weird gold bean root thing.  it has my favorite coffee shop.  It has Skytree.  It has a whole street that’s painted orange.  What’s not to love about Asakusa?  I don’t think I ever really knew my way around it, but every day I managed to get back to my hostel in a timely manner.  I would definitely stay there again.  It’s bustling, but not too bustling if that makes any sense at all.  If not, maybe just go there.


Have you been to Tokyo?  What did you love about it?  Do you want to go?

74 thoughts on “7 Things to Love About Tokyo

  1. This blog post makes me appreciate that we are all so different in this world – imagine if all of us had the same food or same entertainment. But here all seems so different! What is that pink place in the very beginning that looks like an arcade? And, who is the guy? 🙂 Reminds be of a story – a friend of mine recently told me, when he went to Japanese sauna and they had the special robes there, he took one and wore it, turns out, it was only for women, so attendants had a blast laughing! Reminds me of the time I drank tea from soup bowl in China, how is one supposed to know? 🙂

    1. I’m not sure who the guy is, but I love the picture, it’s one of my favorites from my trip. That’s funny about the robe and soup bowl! haha. I definitely agree that it’s awesome how different people and cultures are and that we get to experience all of it!

  2. There so many things to love about Japan. Number one is the food, second is the cherry blossoms and a lot more! I can’t wait to visit it actually, just looking for the right time and squeeze it to our travel plans. 🙂

  3. Ahh can’t wait to finally see Tokyo! It looks amazing! And cool to hear that the taxi drivers wear tuxedos and the doors open automatically? What!!! It seems so futuristic haha 🙂

    1. It’s a little pricey, but there are affordable options. Sushi train conveyor bel things are cheap, but the food is worth the price for sure. I’d say it’s all worth it really!

  4. I can’t even tell why, but even though I know very little about it, Tokyo has this strangely special appeal to me. After reading your post, I do at least know a few names of places that I want to visit one day – instead of just one mysterious unknown city 🙂 Also, I know it’s just a really small detail but how great is it that you ended up on a night bus that wasn’t freezing? 😀 I get cold so easily and can never bring enough stuff to stay warm, so I love the thought of that 😀 Safe travels!

    1. Hahah right? The night bus was SO HOT! I was expecting freezing because everything you read about them anywhere, they are cold, so I was dressed warm and they gave us a blanket and I was over there like lets get this window open! haha. I’m glad this helped give you a better idea of what Tokyo is like! 😀

  5. Japan has been at the top of my list for SO LONG, I’m just waiting until I have enough time to do it justice (aka not on my breaks in the middle of February when it’s cold). Definitely pinning this for later!

    1. Yes! I wish I was there longer! It’s easy and fast to get around (on the bullet trains) but there’s just SO MUCH to see! My trip was last minute, so I didn’t plan much and wish I did a little more. Also don’t be afraid to splurge there! Give yourself a good budget for what you want to do.

  6. My friend has recently spent a year in Japan (not just in Tokyo but all over). She has said nothing but lovely things about the Japanese people. I am keen to go and experience the culture, the food and the people. First stop of course would be Tokyo so thank you for making me even more keen to visit.

    1. Of course! 😀 I’m glad it helped you want to see it more! The people were so nice, it was crazy. After our night bus, we were trying to figure out how to buy train tickets at some train station who knows where at 5 AM and this girl helped us buy them and showed us where to get off and what to do next since she wasn’t going quite as far. She was super nice, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if she walked us to the hostel, either!

  7. Wow! Tokyo looks awesome. It’s on our itinerary for our world trip this year so really looking forward to experiencing some of this. The public transport sounds very confusing but the Mario go-karts on the road look hilarious!

    1. Yes! That’ll be super fun, I’m super excited for you! haha. Transportation was pretty confusing, but eventually I sort of got the hang of it. I’m sure if you look confused or lost, people will help haha

  8. Great post! I really want to visit Japan. I’m from Canada and currently living in Europe, so Japan feels like it would be a completely different and unique experience from anything I’ve done before. LOVE that Mario Kart reenactment!

    1. Definitely! That was one of the first things we saw when we were walking around and it was hilarious! I think it was a tour of some sort. I don’t remember where I heard that though?

  9. Great post! I really want to visit Japan. I’m from Canada and currently living in Europe, so Japan feels like it would be a completely different and unique experience from anything I’ve done before. LOVE that Mario Kart reenactment!

    1. Mmm there are some pretty bright areas, but not all of it was. The area by Tokyo Tower was pretty tame. And Kyoto wasn’t very bright, but I still loved that.

  10. There are so many reasons to love Tokyo! I’ll fly back in a jiffy if I could afford the yen and the time! I’m rather upset that I didn’t get to see those Mario karts on the road! Was it an event?

  11. The temples we’re definitely our fav things of Tokyo! Totally agree with you on how the streets give it a charm too! Crazy tons of people, it’s nuts!

  12. Yes, I have been to Tokyo. Yes, it was really confusing, but when we started to understand it a little bit, it was great. I liked Meiji shrine, river cruise, Asakusa and view from above at night. Thanks for your insights and gorgeous pictures.

  13. I can’t wait to visit Tokyo but I feel so challenged by the language barrier 😀 Was it easy to get around using just English?

    1. It was easy enough. Signs were usually in English, too. The hardest thing was finding a stupid bus stop. If you need something like that, save the name or whatever in Japanese to show people. It helps immensely.

  14. Tokyo is so cool! I would love to spend more time there ^_^ I only had a couple days, I feel like you could spend years and not see it all!

  15. I’d die if I saw that MARIO KART race in real life.I’m going to make it one of my life goals 🙂 I have such great memories of Tokyo and cannot wait to return

  16. I’m headed to Taiwan in May and was trying to do a stopover in Japan, now I’m bummed I didn’t make it happen. Next time! I am curious about what that gold sperm looking thing is in the last picture lol.

    1. Hahah, That thing fascinated me too. Japan was actually a last minute trip for me when I was in Taiwan, which I LOVE! That’ll be a super fun trip! Where are you going and for how long?

      1. I really enjoyed Hualien and Taitung. Hualien is a good base for Taroko Gorge, which I wish I explored more. I just kind of wandered around and explored the cities while I was in them. There’s a cool dragon bridge by Taitung, I’m not sure how to get to it (I was on a tour around the island then in Taipei on my own.) I liked the beach in Taitung, the water was really rough and it was winter, so I just wandered around the area. Go to all the night markets and try all the food! Even the stinky tofu haha. I have a bunch of Taiwan posts, too.

    1. It wasn’t one of the places I was like, I need to go, but I wanted to go somewhere else after Taiwan, before the Philippines, so I picked it because it was easy to get to and I love it!

  17. I love to know what kind of food I am going to eat before I travel. I suffer from IBS so it doesn’t come as a surprise that I am so careful. That being said it doesn’t stop me from traveling. It just makes me more cautious. But Hey! Sushi is great. I love it though my husband wasn’t a big fan. How was the Japanese steak?

  18. Damn many of these photos look like something in a cartoon movie! I would love to go there one day but I have also heard its one of the most expensive cities so you need to go there with a big bag of money 😛 I also heard they have more automatic machines than people (like these machines where you put in money and you get a thing like candy, condoms etc.). I have this idea that Tokyo is like being on another planet out of space 😛 Hugs, Nana

    1. Haha, it wasn’t horribly expensive. I averaged about $88 US a day, but that includes transportation which was fairly pricey and a lot of unnecessary coffee haha

  19. I agree with all of these! Asakusa is my favorite neighborhood in Tokyo! It has a magic old-fashioned vibe you can’t get anywhere else. And of course the food in Tokyo is amazing! I love it all.

    1. I do actually! The first was Hostel Nui. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but the downstairs is a bar/restaurant that allows smoking inside. I didn’t like that part and the beds weren’t very comfy. I just didn’t love it. Then when I went back I stayed at Bunka, which I really liked. It’s new and super nice, but not horribly social. The few I stayed at weren’t. Most have restaurants on the main floor and a little kitchen area on the top floor to hang out in I guess. Then in Kyoto I stay at Khaosan Kyoto Theater I believe. I liked that one a lot and actually met fun people there to hang out with. I’d highly recommend it, and it’s in a good location!

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