More recommendations from my favourite areas in Tokyo… If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here [click!]
This area is a bit messy, simply because its so large. Shinjuku has Isetan, which has a great selection of ultra-hip yet upscale Japanese designers. It’s like the Barneys of Tokyo, and they have some unreal fashion. The Park Hyatt is also around here and it has the New York Bar which probably is one of the most beautiful bars in the word—a nightly amazing jazz band and an unreal view (also the best wagyu beef burger I have ever had, hands down). Sit in the bar area, not the restaurant. This is a must-see must-do, regardless of whether you’re a sucker for Lost in Translation—especially for one of your last nights in the city (it just sums things up nicely). Go there and you’ll know what I mean. Warning/side note: It’s on the expensive side, but if you don’t want to spend a lot you can simply just go for a drink. Or a beer–beer is good. Anyone who knows me knows whenever I’ve had just $5-6 in my account, I’d still, in most instances, spend it on a beer with a good view over necessary things like food and bus tickets any day…priorities, priorities.
We also went to a robot restaurant one night, which in all honesty, I thought would be a bit of a waste of time. It turned out to be two hours of constant laughing, though. Saif is very into Japanese manga and anime, so he recognised a lot of the music and characters. I’ll let his face speak for itself! It made me so happy to see his excitement during the entire show, I think I have as many photos of him as I do of the robots…
The robot show is kind of like a really noisy musical with half naked women and robots but it’s wildly entertaining and excellent for pre-drinking. Definitely not for everyone, but we really enjoyed it…
After the show we went to this streetfood style Gyoza place. Beers and gyozas was the perfect combination to end the adventure we had just experienced…
Nakameguro is a really cool bar area along a beautiful canal. During cherry blossom its definitely you’re best option for bar hopping. When spring arrives, you can basically take your glass with you and walk door to door for refills while you drunkenly admire the cherry trees and the blossoming, right outside. How good does that sound? If you go at night and are confused on where to start for a drink, start at this bar called Cabin. Very chilled, and you can stroll down the canal starting from there (the owners are amazing). There’s also a really cool bar, inside of a chicken shop. Find the chicken shop and then ask around for a secret bar. I’ll let you figure out the rest on your own (just remember, you heard it here).
A very touristy but great area if you want to see the anime/manga/slightly perverted side of Japan. There are lots of video game centers and maid cafes, cat cafes, hedgehog cafes, you name it. We didn’t do much except toy shopping in this area, but I’d still say its a must-see if you’re in Tokyo. It is basically all you’d imagine Japan to be, and then some. A big tourist activity is to drive go-carts down the busy streets of Akihabara dressed like Super Mario characters—I unfortunately did not get a chance to try this.
The side streets of Harajuku have some amazing stores but I find the main street too touristy. It has some fun all-you-need make up stores and some yummy fried vanilla custard thingys, but other than that its a walk away from Omotesando, so you can easily drop by here while you’re in the area.
A few more things to check out:
- Tsujiki fish market – It’s very touristy and people start going at 4am to eat at local sushi places. Its known for the freshest fish in the world (the best tuna in the world is flown to this market, and auctioned out from here across the globe). I would recommend going to a restaurant around here at night, as it will be less crowded, but still unreal
- Another great/fancy sushi experience is Sushiya. Book way in advance–I’ll be writing a separate post on our sushi experience in Japan, so in case you’re interested keep an eye out for that one
- Hakushu for unreal wagyu, kobe and teppanyaki
- Two Rooms bar is a really nice cocktail bar, voted one of the best in the world
- Go to Imperial Gardens on a nice day–it’s really, really beautiful
- Have loads of softies (ice cream)
- Go to Ueno Park one day just to stroll or bring a bottle of wine and snacks and just sit. It turns into quite a party by the afternoon (at least during cherry blossom)