As many of you are probably aware if you keep up to date with my blog, you’ll know that I have been ridiculously excited to finally head to Japan. We departed Dubai at 8am with a half load over to Haneda which was really nice. The flight over was lovely, a really good crew, a nice 2 hours in the crew rest where I got to sleep and just two services with many of the passengers sleeping. Landing into Tokyo at 11pm we disembarked, collected luggage and checked into the hotel. I headed upstairs to bed to try and sleep before a day of exploring although Tokyo is GMT+9 (so five hours ahead of Dubai) meaning I wasn’t really that sleepy, but I finally switched off after watching some tv on my iPad.
I woke at 8:20 the next morning and got changed ready to go meet some of the crew to go and see what Tokyo is all about and most importantly eat some sushi. Grabbing a couple of maps and metro map (as we’d heard how crazy the Tokyo Metro system is) we made our way over to the Asakusa Sensoji Temple which was a 25 minute journey on the metro.
Making our way through the first “gate” there were lots of stalls selling locally made gifts and produce. We stopped to purchase a couple of things like magnets, postcards, sake gift sets before going through the second gate to the temple.
To the left of the temple was a small traditional Japanese garden filled with little ponds of Koi Carp and a couple of women dressed like geishas were wandering around.
Feeling pretty peckish as none of us had had breakfast we thought it was definitely time to find a place for sushi, so we jumped back on the metro in the direction of Shibuya to hopefully find a good sushi restaurant. We stumbled across a little restaurant which had a fair few locals eating lunch there, so we thought this must be good. We managed to grab a space for 6 and we came at a good time, as ten minutes later, there was a queue right out the door of the sushi place!
The sushi was incredible and so so cheap. I had a total of 4 plates of sushi, a large bowl of crab miso soup and a drink for the equivalent of £4.20! You’d pay that for just one dish back at home in the UK!
Now full up on a lot of sushi, we decided to go to the Meji Shrine but wanted to walk over as it was a glorious day getting up to 32 degrees celsius. The walk up to the shrine was lovely, through a forest of really tall trees that sheltered you from the sun every now and again.
We arrived at the entrance to the shrine where we were able to wash our hands in a traditional washing facility. One of the crew had visited before and had shown us what to do, and then we went through the entrance. However, upon entering it was quite disappointing and was just an open space with a couple of buildings and trees. Quite underwhelming after the walk up to the shrine, although still glad we ventured up there.
Next it was on to the Harajuku area, the concierge had told us it was a really cool area of Tokyo and that there would be lots of girls there in the quirky Japanese outfits and was a nice area to wander around. But again, this was a little disappointing as it wasn’t really much more than a shopping district.
Following on from this we went back down the famous Shibuya Crossing which is a really crazy busy crossing in Tokyo which has people crossing from all directions, check it out in the video below so you kind of understand the sheer amount of people crossing every time the lights change:
And we managed to take some photos weaving in and out of the people and also managing to walk backwards, which I was pretty impressed with.
It was now getting towards 4pm and we needed to make our way back to the hotel so we could sleep before the wake up call back to Dubai. It was a really lovely trip, especially as we got crew rest on the way there and back. I enjoyed Tokyo, but I wasn’t really overly impressed with it. It’s a great place to visit, and everyone should go, but I’ve been told Osaka is much prettier and nicer than Tokyo. I had another two Tokyo’s this month, but I’ve actually swapped off them. One for Taipei in Taiwan and the other for Seoul in South Korea, two new countries and destinations for me to tick, so I’m looking forward to those! I’m also flying with my house mate to Taipei, so that will be great fun.