We were awakened by a magnitude 6 earthquake in Osaka, giving us a sudden urgency to jump out of our traditional tatami mat beds, giving us a full Japan experience, complete with earthquakes. The room was shaking like crazy, and Pao and I were just staring at each other in shock, as we did not know what we’re supposed to do. Thankfully, buildings in Japan are engineered very well to withstand such earthquakes, even of great magnitudes. But God is always good to keep us safe and unscathed despite the intensity of the earthquake.
From Osaka, we needed to take a 3.5 hour shinkansen ride to Tokyo. We were full of energy coming from Osaka en route to Tokyo, but we got stranded for almost 4 hours in the train station because train lines were suspended due to the earthquake making us miss out on most of the items on our itinerary that day. But with the best travel buddy in the universe, nothing can go wrong as we just let spontaneity guide us through our stay in Tokyo!
Tokyo—Japan’s capital and Japan’s most populous metropolis! We visited tidbits of Tokyo in less than 2 and a half days, and it was still not enough to experience Tokyo in full! But nevertheless, with its fast-paced, always-in-a-rush city life, we managed to adapt and travel our way across Tokyo!
Before getting started anywhere else, we had to see one of the best loved dogs in history. Every dog lover who has watched the movie Hachiko would definitely make it a point to visit Hachi in Shibuya station. We couldn’t just visit Tokyo without saying hello to Hachiko, the dog who waited for his master every day in front of Shibuya Station, and continued to do so for years even after his master had passed away.
Shibuya is known as one of Tokyo’s most colorful and busy districts, swarming with shopping, entertainment and dining, popular among the younger generation. Of course, we had to cross Shibuya’s busiest intersection deemed as an “organized chaos” . We kept on crossing the intersection many, many times for the fun of it!
With 333 meters, Tokyo Tower is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, and the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower. We went up the observatory at 150 meters , and got a good bird’s eye view of Tokyo. But I can’t help but compare the view with that of Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, obviously, Umeda got my vote!
We are very grateful to have a great friend who warmly welcomed us while we were in Tokyo! We had such an awesomely filling and memorable dinner with our friend, Akinori Suzuki, who took us to a very good teppanyaki restaurant that our taste buds will never forget! Truly, we were able to have an ultimate dining experience in Tokyo! Allow me to indulge into posting all the food we sampled during that night!
“Teppanyaki a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan, which means iron plate, and yaki , which means grilled, broiled, or pan-fried. In Japan, teppanyaki refers to dishes cooked using an iron plate, including steak, shrimp, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and monjayaki.”
Pao would never leave Tokyo without getting a one-on-one interaction with his beloved life-sized robot, Gundam, in Diver City! Pao was seriously like a little boy in a toy store as he admired every single segment of Gundam!
Odaiba features futuristic architecture in a man-made island, and two of our favorite landmarks here are the Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo’s very own Statue of Liberty!
Our hotel was situated in Shinjuku, where we spent most of our time in. We mostly toured Shinjuku on foot, and we were pretty much mesmerized with the towering skyscrapers around us!
Pardon the cheesiness, but we can’t just pass through this LOVE sign in Shinjuku without taking a photo! Hopefully, we get to take a picture with all the LOVE signs across the world!
Obviously, 2.5 days were not enough to tour most of Tokyo, as we missed out on a lot of spots due to the earthquake (but we admit, we pretty much got endeared more to the Kansai region of Japan).
But like all the countries Pao and I visited, there will always be a ‘bitin’ factor that would encourage us to come back and see the place once more like we’ve never seen it before!