Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seoul to Japan to Seoul - Tokyo

The last two days of Japan were reserved for the enormous city of Tokyo. Just picking a neighborhood to stay was daunting. Do you pick a traditional neighborhood, a party neighborhood, a centrally located neighborhood, a touristy neighborhood? Tokyo has them all and even multiples. And since Tokyo is so huge, the neighborhoods are fairly spread out so it's a fairly big deal if you don't want to hotel hop every night.

The neighborhood I chose was Shinjuku. It's a party neighborhood that is located in the northwestern part of Tokyo and also is very close to the world's busiest subway station in Shinjuju.


Much time was spent wandering around through markets, getting lost on the winding streets and window shopping at interesting stores. But one of the things I really enjoyed was visiting one of the popular cat cafes. You pay a fee for the time you spend and can also buy coffee or tea and desserts as well as cat treats to lure the cats to you since it is only allowed to pet the cats, not pick them up or hang on to them. There were two floors in the cat cafe that we visited. After getting a badge, you removed your shoes and washed your hands before walking into the cat room. There are lots of different kinds of cats and lots of toys to play with them as well as couches to relax and drink your coffee while you watch the kitties.

Photo   Photo

There are two towers in Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Sky Tree. The Sky Tree is listed as the world's tallest tower. It's used as a broadcasting tower but with obvious tourist attractions on a few of the higher floors as well as a plethora of shopping opportunities surrounding the base. I visited the tower at night and it was indeed breathtaking. The sparkling city lights of Tokyo stretched as far as I could see in every single direction I looked. It was jaw dropping gorgeous, really. Photography is quite difficult due to the bar placement around the windows and the interior light reflections at night though.



PhotoPhoto

I sampled sushi, soup, dumplings, fish dishes, bakery delicacies, and amazing handmade ramen. The food was superb and I miss it intensely.

Photo  Photo  Photo      Photo

Japan was a truly amazing country and someday it would be fantastic to return and see more of the islands and countryside and also see it during cherry blossom season. But until then, the memories I made are wonderful and lasting. I hope you enjoyed my tales and pictures. This was the send off I received at the airport...fitting don't you think?  :)

video


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've already begun another travel adventure; not for work mostly, but for play. Watch for a new entry soon detailing the beginning of my most recent trips!