Tokyo… I do not know where to start. It had never really crossed my mind to go, if I am totally honest, but I knew if I got the chance to I would never turn it down. Luckily for me I had that opportunity a few weeks ago.
I was only there for one week, but it was absolutely brilliant.
Firstly, Japanese people are great. The majority don’t speak much English but that doesn’t mean they don’t try and help you the best way they can. On more than one occasion, we had people walking us to our destination when we were lost. Most of the time they weren’t even going the same way as us, but the were more than happy to help and took us where we needed to go. Everyone we met was extremely friendly and we were lucky enough to make a few friends while we were there.
We went to a few bars whilst there but the best one had to be, Bar 300, in Ginza. Bar 300 is cheap, plays good music and everyone seems to be having a great time. You buy a minimum of 2 tickets on arrival which, for girls works out at about £4 and for guys about £6 (I know!). With that you get any two drinks off the menu, whether that be a cocktail, beer, wine, spirit and mixer, it doesn’t matter. We ended up returning to that bar, for good reason. Ginza has a large variety of bars, so it is definitely a place worth visiting.
In Japan there is so much contrast and by this I mean, one minute you will be walking down the street and come across a modern day sky scraper like the ones you see in New York, then next minute there will be this beautiful traditional temple next to it. It’s very normal in Japan to see old contrasted with new, in regards to the architecture. Whilst there we visited the temples in Asakusa and the Meji Temple in Harajuku, at the Meji Temple we managed to get a glimpse at a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony.
Within Japanese fashion there is also a lot of variety, from very minimalist to the more extravagant side which made me think of the Harajuku girls. The fashion is so interesting to look at, especially the menswear, but it’s worth mentioning to be careful as the clothing in some of the shops is ridiculously small! Shibuya 109 is a must visit, even just to look around. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, it’s hard to explain why but the fashion in the store is crazy.
If you’ve ever been up the empire state building you will understand the rush you get when you look down on New York City from the top, well Tokyo is the same. We took in the scenery from the top of the Mori Design Centre, the Sky Tree Tower and the Land Mark Tower in Yokahoma, each view was breath taking. A small section of the floor in the Sky Tree Tower is glass and looking down through it at night, at that height is surreal and slightly unnerving, but definitely something that should be done.
We were in Japan for Chinese New Year so we thought; why not head off to China Town? Although it was definitely the best China Town I’ve been to, it does get a little bit repetitive with some of the same type of shops popping up, but it is genuinely a really nice place to visit, and it is huge, compared to the other ones I have visited anyway.
There were so many more places we visited and so many things we did in such a short space of time, but equally there were so many things we just didn’t have time to do. Hopefully in a few years’ time I can afford to go back and make up for the things I missed, and also visit the other islands of Japan. If Japan was not previously on your bucket list add it, you will not regret it.
By Tegan Minzie
Third year Fashion Communication & Promotion