There are only two good things about coming back from a holiday; seeing the people you missed and sorting through all of your fun purchases. It’s only been a few days since returning from Japan and I’m already wanting to go on holiday again.
This is just a little wrap-up post about things I did in Japan and what the best eats were. If you have any questions at all feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do the best I can to answer.
Where to Stay
My friend and I chose to stay at Hotel Century Southern Tower in Shinjuku for the entire two weeks. Its proximity to Shinjuku Station (about a minute walk) was a huge bonus, the staff were exceptional, the views were amazing and the price was great for the quality of accommodation we stayed in.
How to Get Around
Especially if you’re staying in a hotel near one of the major JR train stations, a JR Pass is the way to go. We paid about $550AUD for a two week pass but it’s well worth it, especially if you’re planning on doing some bullet train trips to Osaka or Kyoto (they go for over $100 each way!) The taxi prices aren’t too bad if you’re only travelling a short distance and can split the price between a few people. For the first 2km the price is fixed at about $9.00AUD.
Where to Take the Kids
Obviously Tokyo Disney Resort is the big one here and actually isn’t too expensive for under $200AUD for a 2-day passport so you can get into both Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea (pictured below). If your budget doesn’t stretch that far, the Studio Ghibli Museum at Mitaka is just a short train ride from Shinjuku and tickets are around ten bucks. Obviously these are some great activities for adults too, I had a bitchin’ time!
For the Adults
You can’t go past a good night of Karaoke at a karaoke bar. Most have booths with an extensive English song catalogue with drinks available as well.
Meiji-Jingu Shrine in Harajuku is an amazing site to see, traditional buildings, archways and a tea house are surrounded by trees and there’s an iris garden inside which is absolutely beautiful. It’s right near Harajuku Station too, so super easy to get to and close to the shops in Harajuku as well if you want to do the whole area in a day.
Loving Hut is such good value for money whether it’s for lunch or dinner. At dinner time you have a selection of about six main meals which are served with salad, sides and dessert for about $13AUD and at lunch a set pre-prepared lunch box for about $8AUD.
Mos Burger is pretty easy to find and we managed to locate one everywhere we went. Still falling into the cheap eats category, the vegan burger is about $3.00AUD but you may need a couple!
Chaya is the place to be for both atmosphere and extensive vegan selection. Open for lunch and dinner, a set meal starts at about $30AUD with several options increasing in price from there as well as an a la carte menu.
The only place I stumbled upon without the assistance of the interweb, Vege Kitchen & Cafe in Shibuya was a total score. Super cheap lunch options starting at around $9.00AUD right up to lunch and dinner set menus for around $60AUD it’s perfect for a break during or after a long day of shopping.
Shibuya Crossing, just outside the Hachiko exit of Shibuya Station, is a sight to behold. The best view can be seen from the Starbucks across the road; try to get a window seat and watch the lights turn green while masses of people cross the street. Especially spectacular in the rain with all the umbrellas!
Japan is totally one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been. The vegan food isn’t as easy to come across as say the US however taste-wise Tokyo definitely gives it a run for its money. Unlike a trip to Europe or to some extent America, you can see a lot of Tokyo and the surrounds in a much shorter time. Next time I go, I’ll either just stick around Tokyo for a week or perhaps do an additional week in the Osaka/Kyoto area (we did a day in Osaka but it wasn’t long enough).
So that’s it, Japan all wrapped up for you in a neat little package. Now I just need to think of where to go next…