Travel Guides: Japan
I have to say, I’ve never felt a more "we're not in Kansas anymore" moment than when I made it to Japan. The customs, values and culture are so vastly different than the West. I was ready to soak it all in. I traveled throughout a good portion of Tokyo and Kyoto and wandered upon some amazing sights. As always, I’m happy to share insights and a couple of my favorite locations of the trip.
Tokyo City View Observation Deck and Cafe THE SUN
The Mori Tower in Roppongi Hills showcases probably one of the most impressive views of Tokyo that can’t be missed. Here you get a full 360° of Tokyo including one of the best views of the Tokyo Tower. It’s quite breathtaking to see the city in open air and not behind fogged, finger print ridden glass. After you enjoy the sights, have a coffee at Cafe THE SUN. The interior is so incredibly chic and it’s a great pit stop before you begin your next adventure.
Words can’t explain how majestic Mt. Fuji looks in person. I barely snapped this photo when I made it to my destination right before the sun started to set. This particular view is near Lake Ashinoko (Ashi). I really enjoy how the peaks of the trees point to Mt Fuji and make it the center point.
On the other side of the lake lies the Hakone Shinto Shrine. It is one of the most picturesque shrines in Japan and has a ton of history dating all the way back to the 1600’s. Prepare for the long line of people leading up to this picture perfect shot.
Nakagin Capsule Tower
One of the world’s first examples of Japanese Metabolic capsule design in architecture. This building’s style is so rare and stunning to see in person. Next time I’m in Tokyo, I will certainly have to stay here. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a capsule hotel at least once in their lives?
Café Kitsuné Aoyama
As you all know, the first thing I look for when I’m visiting a new city is, “does the city have cool coffee shops?”. Luckily Japan did not disappoint. In Tokyo alone there were tons ranging from owl cafés to quiet little nooks. Café Kitsuné Aoyama was by far one of my favorite coffee shops in Tokyo and I suggest you visit if you’re in the Minami Aoyama area.
You come to Harajuku for the incredibly unique culture and wild fashion. I was expecting to see some amazing costumes, but I ended up being in a fashion show myself. While I was there I met up with the talented Toronto stylist and designers, Hendrixroe and tried on some designer pieces from their Spring/Summer 2019 collection. I was one of their muses for the day and we created some additional content for Japan Fashion Week. One of the more memorable moments of the trip for sure!
It’s the busiest crosswalk in the world. It’s absolutely insane to see in person! There’s so many stores, shops, hotels and entertainment to get lost in when you’re here. Head up to the Starbucks to get one of the easiest birds-eye view of the crossing and see the madness for yourself!
This location is a must if you come to Kyoto. It's also extemely calm and serine. Get here early if you want a shot alone because this shrine tends to get packed rather quickly.
Formally know as Tokyo’s red light district, Kabukichō is now a hot spot for night life and bars in the city. It’s loud, thrilling and the lights are so easy to get lost in. There’s always something to do in this area.
This is an icon for Japan for over 60 years and running. Head over to the Tokyo World Trade Center to get this unique view of this iconic landmark.
Meiji-jingu is one of the most popular shrines in Japan. On some occasions it gets so packed here that you can barely walk. I was fortunate to come here during the work week early in the morning to see the shrine alone. It’s a bit of a walk into the forest to see the good stuff, but it’s well worth it. The air here is so crisp and pure. It’s also worth visiting because there’s so much to see here as well.
teamLab borderless TOKYO
Looking for one of the most Instagramble places in Japan? teamlab Borderless is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It’s a visual journey featuring rooms that tap into your senses and, for me, was quite an emotional experience. It’s just beautiful. Of course, you’ll take a couple of perfect Instagram snaps while you’re there, but the unique experience is what makes it worth visiting.
Last but not least is Kane’ei-ji, a Tendai Buddhist temple located in Tokyo. I personally loved the grounds of this temple and found it one of the more accessible temples to get to. I recommend heading to this temple in the morning to see the entire grounds in all of there glory.
Until next time,
UO Skate Chino Pant