On our way back to Tokyo, we made a short stop in Hiroshima. We stayed one night only but were able to see a lot of places in the city. Sadly we had no time to visit Miyajima.
Everything is at walking distance, which makes visiting the city really easy. Almost everywhere you turn you see monuments dedicated to remembering the atomic bomb and its consequences. I found it to be quite a heavy atmosphere.
Hiroshima’s most famous food is Okonomyiaki (with noodles this time). Yummy!
Tokyo is so huge and there’s so much to do, I don’t even know where to begin! We stayed in Shibuya which was a great starting point to visit the city.
We were there during the golden week which means TONS OF PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!
Harajuku and Yoyogi Park
Harajuku is usually the place where you can find the fashion addicts! On weekends people get dressed up and hang out at the entrance of Yoyogi Park. I’m talking funky clothing, Visual Key, Gothic Lolita, you name it! We got there on a sunday morning armed with our cameras but there were no cosplayers to be found. Damn you, golden week!
There was one guy with a stroller full of cats to save the day though.
When you come to Harajuku you have to get some crepes, they are insane!
After a good meal (so healthy too), we decided to walk through Yoyogi Park and toward Meiji-jingu shrine, where you can see a traditional Japanese wedding if you’re lucky.
What do you do in a city full of skyscrapers? You try to find the best views!
After sunset, we went to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, where you stand in line for an hour to get a free view of Tokyo. The view in and on it itself would be amazing if there wasn’t so much reflection on the windows! It drove me insane! They have a souvenir shop up there and everything is so bright, all you can look at is your own stupid face. You have to press it against the windows if you want to see anything. It’s really sad, because the view would be magical if they just turned the lights down.
We tried our luck at the Bunkyo Civic Center (25th floor) before sunset the next day and it was a better experience by far. There weren’t many people and the windows were huge.
The last view wasn’t free, but we wanted to see the Tokyo Tower up close. We went to the Sky Lounge Stellar Garden and had some cocktails… totally worth it!
Ueno Park is a big park in the middle of the city. There’s a lake with paddle boats and a view of the Tokyo skyline. It felt a little like Central Park to me.
There was a place where you could play with birds like a disney princess!
We wanted to do a themed restaurant and the Moomin Café was perfect! It is a mix of cutesy Moomin shaped dishes and swedish food.
We even got to meet a real life Moomin!
The food was delicious…
… and you get to share you meal with a Moomin!
Nikko is a city in the mountains outside of Tokyo, great for hiking and visiting shrines! You can buy a Pass for 1 day which contains a 2 way train ticket and an all day bus ticket.
Beware! The one Day bus ticket is only valid between the train station and the Shinkyo Bridge. If you pass the bridge you will have to pay… and boy, did we pay! But we were rewarded with a monkey!
There are several shrines in Nikko, Toshogu Shrine being the biggest. When we went to see it we were discouraged by the number of people inside and decided to go see Taiyuinbyo instead. It was amazing and nearly empty… I don’t get it!
I think it is definitely worth spending the night in Nikko, there’s so much nature we didn’t get to see. Hiking there must be amazing.
This is the end of our trip. Japan is an amazing country and I would definitely like to return one day. The food, the nature, the people… Everything was great! You should not hesitate to buy a ticket!
Previously on the blog…
Part 1: Kyoto
Part 2: Kyoto (2)
Part 3: Koyasan & Nara
Part 4: Kagoshima & Yakushima
Bonus part: Tokyo DisneySea