Tokyo: Part 1

Mom and I recently took a trip to Japan. Direct flights from Atlanta (and of course from Hong Kong) into Narita. We arrived late on Wednesday night and had a trip planned for a week in Japan. After an interesting subway ride, we dropped our bags and hit the streets searching for some dinner. Note-pack light when you travel to Japan, right Mom?

We picked a random noodle shop, complete with bibs, that didn't disappoint.

Mostly men in all the restaurants.

Modeling the bib. I guess they figure the tourist can't handle slurping the noodles.

These little groundhog things were everywhere!
I hit up the local convenient store to check out their offerings.

The next morning is a gorgeous. This was the view from our hotel window. Our plan was to explore Ginza.

Here I am trying to get directions for the day from our hotel staff

Spring blossoms

Interesting advertising

We took the subway

Store windows of Ginza

Itoya is a great stationary store. Five stories full of goodies. Highly recommend!

Afterwards, we traveled over to the area called Asakusa. These were some fresh eels outside a restaurant.

Tempura lunch

Stalls leading to Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple is an ancient Buddist temple in the Asakusa area. It is Tokyo's oldest temple and one of its most significant. Pilgrims have shopped the small stalls surrounding the area for centuries.

The entrance to the temple is dominated by the "Thunder Gate". This imposing Buddhist structure features a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning.

Lots of ice cream shops in this area

Locals enjoying their ice cream

People making their wishes for the gods to grant

We broke down and got a cone

That evening, we headed over to Roppongi to check out another neighborhood.

Wendy's. Something that Hong Kong doesn't have but wish it did. Mmm spicy chicken sandwich...

Their version of the Dollar Store.

Monkeys for sale at the local  pet shop. Hard to see with the reflection.

Dinner at Jou mon (5-9-17 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo,03-3405-2585), a place my friend Allie recommended. A great Hakata-kushiyaki place that won't break the bank. I loved the free corn soup you got upon arriving. Delicious! Took some searching to find the restaurant as it isn't well marked, but definitely worth the search. The locals were happy to try and help us find it. It was sort of unbelievable how out of their way they would go to make sure you didn't get lost. This happened throughout our trip in Japan.

All sorts of choices of meat to grill up, although we played in pretty safe. Best thing on the menu was raw horse, served sashimi style. Yikes!

View from our hotel when we returned.

Loved the packaging they used.

Accommodations: Park Hotel, located in Shiodome. This is sort of near the business district but super close to multiple subway lines. Check Tablet Hotels website for deals. 
Flying from Atlanta? Check Delta Airlines for the best deals. 

Getting into Tokyo-Take the train from the airport (~45 minute train). This train will take you to the main Tokyo subway line. I recommend taking a taxi from here to get to your hotel. Ask your hotel to email you hotel name and address written in Japanese before you arrive. Everyone seems to want to help you find your way, so just ask!

Helpful phrases= "sumimasen", which means excuse me. We said this a lot to get people's attention to help us find our way! Followed by "arigatō gozaimasu", Thank you.


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