• Christian Grotewold

Lost In Japan


It has been a while since my last blog post, but I wanted to return with a GREAT one. And, what better way to make my comeback than with a blog about my most recent trip... to Japan! I have always wanted to travel to this beautiful country, mainly because a lot of the things I like originate from Japan - Pokemon, Zelda, Spirited Away, Okami, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and sushi! This time around, I asked my sister to come with me on this adventure since it's a country we both absolutely adore - and were also treated to some things by our incredible grandparents.

The hotel we stayed at was the Royal Park Hotel Tokyo, and it was very conveniently located - right next to the Tokyo City Air Terminal which has direct buses to Narita Airport and has a subway station right outside! The hotel was an absolute dream, with multiple restaurants inside it, a tea ceremony room, a gym, and a Japanese garden. After 21 hours of traveling, one would think we would want to rest... but no, we began our adventures with a bus tour around Tokyo. I recommend getting a hop-on/hop-off bus tour, that way you get to really experience everything at your own pace.

We got off at Asakusa, where you'll find one of the most beautiful shrines in all of Tokyo. As soon as we got there, we were immediately obsessed! So far, I had not seen anyone wearing any kimonos but even tourists were wearing them here! Asakusa is a very big place with many small shrines around the main one, all of which you can go in and pay tribute to the different spirits. The gardens that surround Asakusa are also a sight to see, with bridges and small rivers all around it. If we could have stayed here all day, we absolutely would have. But there were even more things to see, like the marketplace and cafes outside of the shrine.

Around Asakusa shrine, you will find different areas and each offers more or less the same types of souvenirs and traditional Japanese dishes. As we ventured into the stores, we came across one of the famous Owl Cafes - something that you absolutely must do if you ever go to Tokyo. Essentially, it is an enclosed area where you can interact with different types of birds (mainly owls), and other exotic animals. You can pet them, hold them, and of course... have coffee with them.

The next day we continued our bus tour, and while we waited for the bus to arrive, my sister and I ventured around the area and came across another cute shrine! Honestly, sometimes wandering around is the best way to find the absolute best places. So do not be afraid of getting a little lost, it might be the best thing that happens to you!

We finished our bus tour by hopping off at Akihabara, the famous Electric City. Here you will see countless buildings with multiple floors dedicated to arcades, anime, themed-restaurants, and even sex shops! Think of this place as Times Square on steroids, packed with people. Once we had our fill of walking up and down all those buildings, we made our way to one of my top spots on my list... the Pokemon Mega Center! As soon as we got to the location, it was obvious we were in the right spot since everyone was either playing Pokemon Go or carried bags from the store. The Pokemon Center is located inside a GIANT mall, all of which was pretty much decked out in everything Pokemon. They even had an exhibition for the latest movie coming out. I was thrilling here, it was hard not to buy everything...

The next day, we spent the entire day at Ginza - one of my favorite areas in all of Tokyo. This area resembles 5th Ave from NYC, with all the designer stores and people dressed with the latest fashion. I recommend going to Matsuya, which is a giant department store that houses the iconic Restaurant City on its top floor. Every restaurant was mouth watering, so you can choose any one and you are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face and belly. Also, if you go on a Sunday (like we did), you get to walk around the streets freely! They close down the area, so no cars drive by. Perfect for street shots! Towards the end of the day, my sister and I walked from Ginza all the way to the Imperial Palace... which was closed... but the view and gardens were definitely worth the walk.

Finally, the day I was most looking forward to had come... it was Team Lab Borderless day! This is a CG museum that focuses on the influence of art, science and technology and creates a one-of-a-kind experience to anyone that attends. I really cannot stress this enough, this museum is an ABSOLUTE MUST! I recommend going on a weekday and in the morning, that way you can avoid the waves of people that usually go. Nevertheless, we still faced a 40min wait to get into the museum and MANY people already inside. So, be patient and do your research to know exactly in which rooms you want your pictures. Outside of the museum are other really cool things to do; you have the giant ferris wheel that overlooks all of Tokyo, a racing track, and a mall!

If you love Disney as much as my sister and I do, then Tokyo DisneySea is another MUST. DisneySea is the only park in all of the world that is inspired by the sea, and boy did it live up to its name! It reminded me a lot of Epcot, with all of its tributes to different countries. My sister and I let our inner kids out, and went full out with our Disney gear, and with the attractions we went on. At this park, you have an unlimited amount of Fast Passes, so make sure to go early and head over to the attractions you want to go on the most and request Fast Passes for them. They do run out, so choose wisely!

One area in particular that completely blew us away was the Lost River Delta area, it truly looked like you were in a Mayan/Aztec civilization! Plus... this area stole my heart away by having super cute Simba stuffed animals... which I totally bought. The rides that impressed us the most were, the Indiana Jones and Journey to the Center of the Earth rides, they surprised us at every turn! (We also had NO IDEA what anyone was saying so everything was a surprise).

It was a trip I will remember and treasure, always! As you can see, it was also very different from my other adventures. Usually, I go for the historic route but this time, I wanted something modern and futuristic. Next time I visit Japan, I will definitely visit more historic sites. I want to give a special thanks to my grandparents for accepting my sister and I on this trip and showing us some incredible places! And, a very special and big thanks to my sister for coming on this adventure with me. Until next time, Japan!

#Travel #Tokyo #Japan #TeamLab #TeamLabBorderless #Disney #Disneysea #DisneylandTokyo

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