Japan in 3 days - Tokyo
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
For reference, I took a train from Narita to Tokyo: https://goo.gl/maps/BAYHVwon3ipEjU1z6 . I did get lost midway because I took the wrong train and I don’t read Japanese. But people were very helpful and someone told me if I moved to the other car I won’t have to get off the train and wait for the next one. I also didn’t realize the tickets I got were for a reserved seat so I was sort of “upgraded”, but it didn't seem necessary because it wasn’t crowded. It was also a weekday and early, like 8 or 9 am.
My first tourist stop was Harajuku. I’m so happy I took an awkward selfie in front of it because that historic station was demolished in 2020 and replaced with a new and modern design station. I timed my 2 hour train ride perfectly because I made a reservation for the Cat Café Mocha https://catmocha.jp/harajuku/ around the corner from the station. If you’re an animal lover, plan ahead to visit one of the specialty cafe’s because the line gets long. They’re great at limiting occupancy so the animals don’t get overwhelmed. I got to the cat café in time for their morning feeding and I was greeted by Mugiko, with the curly ears and Sunflower who was obviously the diva of the place. I got my latte in the vending machine and sat around with the cats owning the place. I saw my future: cat lady.
After that peaceful moment I went to Takeshita Street, a walking shopping street packed with all kinds of fashion boutiques, especially kawaii and anime, cute animal cafes and themed restaurants. The gate is the entrance to the Harajuku area in Tokyo. It’s easy to get overwhelmed but if you take your time and explore the buildings, you’ll find some gems like the Pompompurin Café https://pompompurincafe.com. Their menu changes but when I was there I had a beef with gravy dish with the yellow pompompurin rice on top.
It’s really hard not to keep eating when in Tokyo. One of the most instagrammable places I discovered was Rainbow Sweets, https://rainbow-sweets.com/. They make your choice of ice cream mix in front of you and you also pick the cone or cup or crepe that it goes into. While you wait you can also walk through a little walkway decorated with all sorts of rainbow inspired colors and mirrors and so much more!
After lunch and dessert, I knew I had to walk it all off so I decided to go to Akihabara, Electric City, which is about a 30 minutes train ride from the Harajuku station. If you’re a gamer and anime collector then this is THE destination. There’s a reason why it’s called electric city: all the electronics you can think of is in this part of town! I don’t know about games but I know game ads and game stores when I see one. And their arcades… you can stay in one for a whole day only taking a break to walk across the street to the Naruto ramen shop.
I went to one store and was overwhelmed. I felt like crying tears of joy! When I left and crossed the street, I realized I was in the Sega Akihabara Store No. 1. I just found out last year that 2 of their stores in the area closed down. Thankfully I got to see the original store. I kept walking around and tried a couple of the claw toy vending machines but no luck. I checked out the figurine shops and as a cosplayer I almost bought out one store but my suitcases were full and I couldn’t afford them anyway. By 4 pm I was exhausted and hungry again. So I headed back to Narita for another 2 hour train ride.
Back at the hotel, I decided to try the international buffet restaurant but honestly, I stayed in the sushi section. It’s all-you-can-eat make-your-own sushi!!! It had a ramen station also, next to the soba, udon, and tempura. I ate my money’s worth. I slept great that night. Happy and full.
At the airport, I was early for my flight as usual, I checked out one of the lounges I had access to. I didn’t want to go home yet but thinking back, it was a satisfying trip. Three days in Japan is really just 2 because 1 is just traveling around and sleeping. I would do a full 2-weeks next time with an adventure to Kyoto and truly experience some nature at the end of exploring Tokyo and other cities like Osaka and Yokohama to see the Gundam mech.
And that’s my short trip to Japan. Consider it a preview.