tokyo, japan | best moments, part thu
on our way to Japan we exchanged $100 USD each at the airport (such a rip off btw - I would try and do $50 tbh - I didn’t need the entire amount) just so when we landed we had some money to pay for our way to our air bnb. It was mainly for a snack + our train ticket into Tokyo.
I wished I had more time & applied for a travels reward credit card tbh. I straight up did cash / atm withdraws my entire trip and spent more than I planned LOL. my best advice would to give yourself a daily limit for food and shopping. my Japan trip had no limit. my heart was full. my bank account - not so much. hella worth it though, no regrets.
There's a family mart (kind of like a 7-11) at every corner and I would just just the ATM.
straight ca$h flowwww. bring a cute coin purse or ziplock bag.
sidebar: there are really cute $1 stores - where everything is $1 - you can get yourself a cute coin purse in Japan. I was suppperrrr ratchet. I used a ziplock bag the entire time (LOL!!) and got a cute coin purse on my last day! UGH.
umbrellas. every airbnb we stayed at had umbrellas for us to use :) they're so cheap at the store too. don’t be pressed over them. we ended up donating ours to our last airbnb because carrying one got so annoying.
Despite being the best freestyle planner + traveler I didn’t get to do three things on my first trip to Japan. Don’t make my mistake. Please live out your dreams.
My 1st mistake: Mario Kart in the streets of Tokyo (especially at night!) - what a great way to see the city... cruising though in a go kart dressed up as Princess Peach. poor planning on my part. I didn't look up the requirements until I was in Tokyo and realized without an international license I can't ride the go karts. Make sure you get your international drivers permit before you go!
My 2nd mistake: Robot Cafe
If you're lucky enough to experience the Robot Cafe on your first trip to Tokyo, bless you.
My 3rd mistake: McDonalds in Japan.
I love eating McDonalds in all the countries I visit, LOL. I wished I tried the cherry blossom drink + strawberry pie + fried chicken wings! If you guys go, please take pics + send them to me. I'LL NEED A FULL REPORT BACK, K THANKS.
Your first night in - try your best to fight through the jet lag. Plan to arrive around 3pm Tokyo time.
Most likely you’ll be up at 6am everyday for the first couple of days…. good thing you got me and you know I got good taste in food ;)
1. Experience Udon larger than your head. Tsurutontan Shinjuku
A very rainy Shinjuku at 6am cos jet lag …this restaurant closes at 8am so try to not take your time in the morning…plan to eat breakfast, grab coffee, explore how peaceful Tokyo is …then go back and get ready. I was ugly until 11am-12pm tbh. that’s when everything else is open anyways. things open so late over there.
I would recommend sharing this and ordering a couple other things to try.
The bowl I got was good but wasn’t amazinnnnggg. It was a 7/10 for me but definitely a great udon place to experience.
Honestly if you go to Japan and only have Ichiran and go write a yelp review on how it’s the best ramen you’ve ever had in your life I’m gunna assume you think Panda Express is great Chinese food.
Don’t get me wrong guys. Ichiran is BOMB. It’s open 24/7. They’re not cooking / changing their flavors for our American palettes but you’re in Japan. EVERYTHING IS FUCKING BOMB. Ichiran is just the tip of the ice berg. Ichiran is a chain ramen franchise. Like in n out on the west coast. lol. in n out if fire. but so is umami and shake shack.
If you don’t really ever eat Ramen start here. It’s such a great place to order through a vending machine (please bring cash aka your ziplock bag full of coins) ….but know from here you need to eat so much more ramen before you can compare. plz.
individual setting here is so lovely. you can really focus on your bowl of ramen and soft boiled egg :) I ordered extra garlic + nori.
3. famous udon in piss alley. Kameya Shinjuku. open 24.7
there are only two things on the menu. Udon or Soba noodles? I went with udon.
NOW THIS IS SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT. best bowl of udon I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was about $4-5 and so so fresh!! you order (basically point to what you want because the owner only spoke Japanese), pay, and will get served up with the most magical bowl of broth + udon + tempura.
We got this as our last meal before we took the bullet train to Kyoto. I wish I had more time to go back for another round.
experience an omakase lunch in Tokyo (cos lunch is cheaper than dinner, DUH).
In America omakase dinners are easily $250-$300. If you’ve ever watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi that’s an omakase meal. It’s up to the chef to prepare a lovely meal for you depending on whats fresh that day at the market. It could be anywhere from 10-16 pieces + dessert. THIS WAS MY #1 PRIORITY WHILE I WAS IN JAPAN. I wanted to experience a beautiful omakase lunch in Tokyo. I CRIED TEARS OF JOY. best $77 lunch I have ever spent and my top meal in Japan. (to tell you the truth all the food in japan was fire)
Amy, thank you for the recommendation. GUYS, BOOK ONLINE and book before you go. Another rookie mistake. Thankfully we came back to Tokyo to fly home so I squeezed in this lunch perfectly.
Book it here: https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/ginza-iwa/reserve
WOW. I witnessed a legend at work. every single cut + piece was magnificent. my 2 favorites were the sweet shrimp + eel. I was so stuffed I couldn't even walk after lololol. after the meal was over the chef offers to remake any piece you loved. everyone walks out STUFFED. and if you’re not full he’ll keep making your favorites. s/o to the awesome couple from Brooklyn we met that day. HAPPY WEDDING TO YOU BOTH x.
1) Eat each piece in one bite. (watch this video! s/o munchies)
2) Use your hand to carefully pick up each piece and only dip the fish side in soy sauce. I’d suggest not even fucking with the soy sauce so you can enjoy the flavors.
3) DO NOT ASK FOR NO WASABI. guys, I’m going to tell you how it is. don’t be that person. if you’re super picky and have a bunch of food restrictions, this wouldn’t be a meal for you.
imagine if someone came over your house to eat a dish you were famous for and made you substitute almost all the ingredients. the dish wouldn’t be your special dish anymore.
Japanese culture is HUGE on respect and asking the chef for no wasabi is a sign of you not respecting his art. eat everything. even if you don’t like it. you want to be a great guest.
cup of noodle museum (go early!!)
check the times + go early. I loveeeeeee cup of noodles. Experiencing the museum was so fun. It’s super small but yolo when in Japan.
prepare to walk your ass off and prepare for your body to be sore. I’d suggest buying some REALLY comfortable shoes. nike flyknits will keep you goin’.
I ended up getting 1 full body massage + 1 foot massage because I was so sore from walking!!
capsule hotel — Akihabara Bay Hotel (Female Only)
the whole point of traveling is to get out of your bubble and learn about the world around you + different cultures + GROW.
the concept of a capsule hotel is so interesting to me! Japan is truly the only place that has it and ever since I was young this idea has always been archived in my brain. I researched a bunch….
let’s just say hotels in Japan are a little underwhelming unless you’re staying at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. air bnbs are the way to go my friends! back to this capsule hotel idea. I wanted to just try it! experience it. see what it’s all about.
I found a beautiful BRIGHT + PINK / FEMALE ONLY capsule hotel in Akihabara (which is the amine district) in Japan. Everything looked modern and clean and most importantly, SAFE. It was only $37 a night! the front desk girls all spoke english + was super helpful. DUH. I BOOKED IT.
I was so impressed at comfortable I was immediately. it was pouring rain. we were traveling from Osaka that day and I had so much luggage I was really over it. I was about to donate all my clothes to the streets of Japan. the capsule hotel was so brightly light and quite. you had a locker, house slippers, and PJS to change into. the shower / restroom area was fire.
there was a washer + dryer in case you wanted to wash your clothes.
the shower had the best water pressure ever. there was a vanity area where you could get ready in the morning.
The bed itself was so spacious. I’m 5/2 and had so much leg room. The a.c is blasting so you didn’t feel trap ever. There was a t.v in your little bunk. my only complaint was that the mattress sucked! it wasn’t soft and super thin. if you’re a true G try stealing someone else’s and doubling up, lol. I didn’t want to take photos because I didn’t want other girls to feel uncomfortable. just google them!
selfie soft serve
I ate whatever I wanted, including soft serve every single day and came back skinner + fit. I’m telling you guys… if you walk enough and only eat fresh foods — your body will thank you.
this was probably the richest soft serve I ate. like eating a stick of delicious butter. the most premium price + tasting. NOT COMPLAINING.
soft serve selfie cos duh.
Bar Plastic Model in golden gai.
of course we found the only bar bumpin' west coast rap. our bartender had an Oakland A’s hat on and we knew that Bar Plastic Model was our home away from home. basically it felt like a homie from high school’s garage that turned into a bar, LOL. super small (like all the bars there) but had the best snacks!! he was so chill we were playin’ music off our phones got turntttttt. after this I had a drunk photoshoot in the family mart down the street. ahaha best bar.
I hope you guys LOVED my Japan travel best moments. I'm seriously ready to go back. I know I've been listing all my favorite food spots, but in all honestly the people of Japan will touch your heart. You won't come back the same. The culture really inspires you to do everything proudly, kindly, and be happy in the moment.
You don't even have to speak the language or understand the culture...you'll get to experience the magic when you're there. It's super hectic, and crowded, yet so calming and gentle. Japan sends you home better than you came.
p.s if any beauty brands want to send ya girl back out there. HOLLA.