Here we are, at last, in Tokyo! After a month spent in Osaka, we are relieved to finally change our airbnb because ours in Osaka starts to get drunk (it’s too small and badly arranged), very noisy because of the works and the bad insulation and even Internet doesn’t work anymore
It is therefore with surprise and relief that we discover our superb Airbnb in Tokyo, a 15 minute walk from Tokyo train station
Part 1: Travel Diary
Note: Since Tokyo is very large and we frequently move from one neighborhood to another, we prefer to group places of interest by zone/neighborhood in our travel diaries, not in chronological order. All these visits were made in several days.
We start the visit of the Nihonbashi district with a short walk in front of the department stores with long history. We go to the basement of Misukoshi to buy a wagashi (traditional pastry), the one wrapped by a leaf (that we don’t eat). It is fresh and good!
We then visit the Nihonbashi Bridge, built in 1603. It used to be made of wood, but due to several fires, it was rebuilt 19 times, and today it is a stone bridge with two arches, and damaged by a road that runs just over it
We are mega curious to visit the biggest Uniqlo store in the world: Uniqlo Ginza. It has 12 floors
To be honest, there isn’thing exceptional, I find that despite the many floors, the products are repetitive and I prefer the Uniqlo in Osaka on 4 floors
On the other hand, the surroundings are nice with large pedestrianized streets on the WE
From Uniqlo, one realizes that the building opposite, Ginza Six, has a superb terrace
Now let’s go to Tokyostation. In the basement of JR station, there are two streets: “Tokyo Ramen Street” and “Tokyo Character street”
The Tokyo Ramen Street is composed of many restaurants, including a dozen very famous ramen restaurants
A little further is the “Tokyo Character Street”. This is the place where anime characters or emblematic of Japanese culture have their own store: like Hello Kitty, Pikachu, Sailor Moon…
As we live not far away, we usually go to the basement of the Kyobashi Edogrand building for lunch
It is located in a business district with many skyscrapers. It looks like the United States
There is a yakiniku restaurant that I like very much, the Ushi-Jirushi
Yakiniku is a Japanese method of cooking meat and vegetables on charcoal, gas or a hot plate. The main ingredient is marinated beef
In Japan, almost all restaurants offer cheap menus for office workers at lunchtime, between 500yen and 1000yen. Since beef is expensive in Japan, it is cheaper to come at noon
Let’s go now to Tsukiji Fish Market
On the way, we see this: modernity vs. tradition, it’s beautiful!
The market we visit is the outdoor market, with many seafood restaurants. They provide a map to the tourist office. Even with the plan, we are lost because it is too big
One chooses by the nose a restaurant that proudly displays the carcass of a huge tuna
It’s very good, and very fresh… It cost us around 12€/person
We can also spot handmade Japanese knives..
…and strawberry mochis. Mochis with a white strawberry cost a little more and it doesn’t necessarily taste better
We also see, in vegetable stores, melons at 60€ each. Anyway, because of the lack of arable land, vegetables and fruits are expensive in Japan and some species with AOC are really expensive
Restaurant level: we discovered, near our home, soba restaurants (a kind of grey noodles). It is more popular here in Tokyo than in Osaka, where they prefer udons. I tested the “soup” version and the cold noodle version to dip in a cold sauce. And like Japanese people, I prefer to eat them cold, dipped in a sauce
We also went to an izakaya (tavern where you can taste all kinds of Japanese specialties). The restaurant is called Hatchobori Mosuke. It’s quite expensive (about 2500yen per person), but very refined and above all very fresh. The advantage is also to discover new Japanese dishes. For example this assortment of sashimi where there are fish that we don’t know about
And the waitress also comes to show us a huge seafood basket and we can ask her to cook this or that fish in such and such a way
As for me, I tested a broth (?) with delicious pieces of beef
I highly recommend you especially if you want to change ramens, gyoza, sushi, sashimis and tempura
There is a nice park where there is a statue of freedom in Odaiba. It is a replica of the Paris Statue of Liberty, made during the year of France in Japan. Note: Odaiba is a neighborhood on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge (you can also cross this bridge on foot instead of taking the subway)
It’s especially the location of two important scenes in the series itazura na kiss (mischievous kiss) that I like very much and that I’ve told you about here
The view is really impressive!
It feels so good! Especially since there are a lot of food trucks today, full of Argentinean specialties because it’s the festival of Latin America today (with Argentinean tango etc.). JB is too happy to eat an empanada and a bit of beef on the Argentinean barbecue
Part 2: Practical Tips
Our airbnb cost us 935€ for 14 days, or 66.7€ per night, near the Ginza district. If we had to choose again, we would have preferred to be in the Shinjuku district, less quiet, but with more cheap restaurants
Meals are accessible, maximum 1000yen/person for lunch, and if you like sushi, maximum 2500yen/person for dinner.