Appreciation Japan Memory Lane Travel

Neon Lights and Ancient Sites: A Tokyo Photo Diary

I circled around the neon lights and streetwear shops in Shibuya, the sexy times neighborhood of Kabukicho, had a classic Harajuku shopping experience on Takeshita Dori, and stumbled upon expensive thrift shops in Jingumae.

It was one of those cities where, on my first day, I thought to myself: “I’m going to quit my job and move here.”

Although I’ve traveled near and far, ‘far’ never reached East Asia. For years, I’d wanted to visit those major metropolises: Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai. Lucky for me, I found a two-week period in November that I could finally go, a time at which I would also receive paid time off from my work. I chose to go to Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka.

When people ask me what my favorite part was, my answer is always the same. My favorite part wasn’t a single event or specific location, it was walking around Tokyo. I liked to put my iTunes on shuffle and just walk. I circled around the neon lights and streetwear shops in Shibuya, the sexy times neighborhood of Kabukicho, had a classic Harajuku shopping experience on Takeshita Dori, and stumbled upon expensive thrift shops in Jingumae. If it weren’t so impolite, I would’ve been constantly staring in shock, with my mouth wide open and my jaw unhinged. I could not get enough.

My airtight itinerary was filled with visits to third-wave coffee shops (my favorite being Kaffee Mameya and Little Nap Coffee Stand) art museums and exhibits, ramen restaurants (holla to Ichiran Ramen) ten-story arcades, and pancake restaurants. I got the feeling that Tokyo is one of those cities where you can live for ten years and still stumble upon something new everyday.

I could go on and on about my time in Tokyo and, believe me, there will be more and more articles coming about over the next few weeks about my time there. But now, I just want to show you guys a few of my favorite photos from Tokyo 🙂

A side street in Jingumae
A neon night in Shinjuku
A rooftop view of Ginza
Omoide Yokocho
One of my all-time favorite meals, found at Ichiran Ramen
Somewhere in Harajuku
Omoide Yokocho
The giant Gundam statue in Koto City, Tokyo
Outside one of the many Don Quixote mega-stores
A popular multi-story arcade, Taito Game Station, near Shinjuku Station
A coffee shop that I highly recommend: Sarutahiko
Sake barrels at Yoyogi Park
A buzy street in the hipster district of Shimokitazawa
A colorful candy shop on Takeshita Dori in Harajuku
The most perfect pancake I’ve ever had, found at Ginza West
Somewhere in Jinbocho
Prayers hung up at Meiji Jingu Shrine
Little Nap Coffee Stand
Gotokuji Shrine
A corner in Shibuya
A fork in the road in Shimokitazawa
A side street in Shibuya
The escalator entrance to Tokyo Plaza
My beloved strawberry and banana milks
Yet another pretty building
The farmer’s market at Meiji Jingu Shrine

Tokyo is one of the most fascinating cities that I’ve ever been to and I know that I’ll return many times in my life. In fact, I purposely left out some major parts of my itinerary (like visiting Asakusa and Akihabara) so that next time I’m in the city, I’ll still have things to do. I also want to explore other parts of Japan next time I’m there, including Hokkaido, Nara, Nagasaki, Kanagawa, Kusatsu Onsen, and the Mt. Takao Monkey Park.

Japan, I miss you…but I’ll see you soon.

9 comments on “Neon Lights and Ancient Sites: A Tokyo Photo Diary

  1. Pingback: The Best Coffee Shops in Tokyo – Slow Boat Library

  2. it’s certainly a city that leaves an immediate mark!

    Liked by 1 person

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