It was a very intense 10-day stay in Tokyo (I didn’t post anything on the blog during these 10 days…). We saw so many things, very varied. We’ve enjoyed a lot our stay here.
Tokyo was one of the cities that I was the most eager to discover during our world tour. It is such a great and vibrant city but it somehow fell a little bit short of my expectations, which once more confirms one of my strongest beliefs: “life is a question of expectations”. I don’t really know how to explain why but maybe it is because there were no astonishing highlights (such as the Kremlin and St Basil for Moscow or Pudong skyline for Shanghai). It’s difficult to express my feeling; in fact, Tokyo is great but not “as” great as I expected. Shopping in Harujuku was not as fashionable and eccentric as I thought, Shinjuku’s neon-lit streetscapes don’t look as much sci-fi as I expected; Kabuki-cho is not as hot as I wished; Senso-ji not as spiritual as I supposed; there were not as many cosplays in Akihabara as I expected (in fact there were none); the tuna auction at the Tsukiji Market was not as animated as I assumed; the Miraikan museum was not as mind-blowing as I hoped; we didn’t eat as many sushi as I anticipated (our mistake); the gardens were not as zen as I expected… In summary, I was expecting a much trendier, wilder and more futuristic city. But I like this city and I’d love to come back!
What we liked most / our highlights (reminder: the places / activities need the “vote” of each family member to be included in this list):
- Airbnb house (at more than 400 Euro per night, it exploded a bit our accommodation budget…) and its trendy Naka-Meguro and Daikanyama districts. In particular, Ludivine loved having her own room!
- Halloween in Shibuya streets
- Sushi-ya restaurant
- Onsen in Hakone (‘Hakone Urgo’)
The following places nearly made it to the top list (short of one “vote”):
- The “fishing” restaurant (missing Cedric’s vote)
- Our karaoke experience (missing Cedric’s vote)
- The procession in Hakone (missing Cedric’s vote)
- Hakone Open-Air Museum (missing Jules’ vote)
- Kua’ Aina’s burgers (missing Isabelle’s vote)
The 3 kids also enjoyed Takeshita-dori, the Purikura experience (mainly the second one) and the Cat Café. Jules and Florence liked the Yurikamome monorail (like me) and the Odaiba Kaihin-koen park’s promenade.
Isabelle and I enjoyed the dumplings at Harajuku gyoza-ro (like Jules), the Sumida Hokusai Museum, the Golden-gai, the Tadao Ando’s exhibit (also liked by Florence), our morning at the Tsukiji Fish Market and the Miraikan museum (also liked by Jules).
I also liked very much the Akihabara pop culture district (which probably doesn’t exist anywhere else than in Tokyo) and the Prada building.
More specifically: Isabelle and Ludivine liked the Shibuya Crossing, Isabelle and Jules liked the Senso-ji temple, Isabelle and Florence enjoyed the picnic in the Shinjuku-gyoen park and the view from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Yanaka Ginza Street was enjoyed by Jules, Florence and Isabelle.
To visit / do during next stay:
- Edo-Tokyo museum
- Ghibli museum (our biggest regret; I was really looking forward to visiting this museum with the kids).
- Metro line (Chuo line) at rush hours (to experience the pushers)
- A night out in Shimo-Kitazawa district
- Meiji-jingu (Meiji Shrine)
- Sunamachi Ginza
- View (and picture!) of the animation of Shibuya crossing from the top
- More culinary experiences (mainly sushi of course!)
Thanks Monica for all the good advices you gave us for Tokyo!