Tokyo – Japan

Finally, after 3 years of waiting we were able to take our dream trip to Japan. Postponed since April 2020 due to the Covid 19 pandemic and with Japan being one of the last countries to fully open its borders for tourism all I can say is it was really worth the wait! We had a trip planned that would take us from Tokyo to Fujiyoshida and on to Kyoto before returning to Tokyo all in the space of just under 2 weeks.

Arriving on the afternoon of Nadine’s birthday after an extra long flight – via Helsinki and over the North Pole to avoid Russian air space, we explored the city at night and got stuck in to a classic Japanese pastime… Karaoke!

The following day we headed to Zaou in Shinjuku. Zaou is a seafood restaurant in which you have to catch your own fish. The restaurant is on a boat and you take a fishing rod and choose the fish you want to eat for lunch by catching it. I wanted some Horse Mackrel sushi and sashimi… turns out that the Horse Mackrel is a feisty little sea creature and didn’t want to take the bait despite the best efforts of an 8 year old Japanese boy giving me tips! Luckily for me I love prawns and they were a bit easier to catch so we requested them to be cooked tempura style.

Tokyo comes to life at night, with neon signs; busy smokey alleyways filled with 5-person Izakaya and busy crossings and streets – It makes for challenging but rewarding photos. I was snapping away for the whole holiday!

As with any big city – We had to get up high to see the city – the expanse of the Tokyo Metropolis is incredible and we could just about see Mt. Fuji through the hazy sunset.

Tokyo is a classic case of ‘Old vs New’, a sprawling city with temples, shrines and ornamental gardens dotted throughout the city. Nadine and I walked on average 25,000 steps per day exploring and taking in the sights. Starting day 3 right with a visit to one of Harajuku’s many petting cafes, this one filled with micropigs.

We travelled to the Koto area of Tokyo to visit the very popular ‘Team Labs – Planets’ immersive art installation. Removing shoes and socks and being warned to roll our trousers up beyond our knees before entering a dark room with deep cushioned floors and walls was somewhat unnerving especially as I was suffering with a niggling knee injury, however the whole walk through experience certainly lived up to the hype… LED light rooms, smokey watery projection rooms, vomit inducing projector mirror rooms and finally an immersive ‘garden’ room filled with thousands of living orchids suspended from the ceiling in motorised columns that move downwards to engulf you in the mirrored room.

A key feature of the whole trip to Japan was food. I am by no means a ‘foodie’ but there was just so much to eat, new things to try and everything was prepared with such pride, precision and high quality ingredients. I have many, many photos of me eating…

Tokyo Food:

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