Tokyo part 1: our trip to Japan

The first part of our trip to Tokyo

It was time to leave. We looked out of the windows of the Milan airport and were already fantasizing about what we would find in Tokyo. The food, the culture, the people who lived it … what was waiting for us? Was it really like it was seen in the movies?

All these questions and curiosity resonated in our mind and within a few hours we would have had our answers. From the stories of those who had already been there, we realized that we were waiting for a place totally different from what we are used to: perfectly timely (if not in advance), extremely clean and tidy and where people have a great respect for other things. “Ok, we’ll see,” we thought. So we embarked on that flight that would have landed us in Japan 12 hours later.

Landed, we were a bit stunned, both from the many hours of flight and jet-lag, but the adrenaline was so much in wanting to discover this new city. We continued to shift our look to the right and left to be able to observe as many things as possible.
We took the train that from Narita airport would take us to Tokyo, and after finding the apartment that would be our home for those 10 days and set a little, we went out because now it was already time for have dinner. What could we ever try on our first evening in Tokyo? Exactly, you have already understood: sushi! it was very good and seeing it prepared in front of us allowed us to taste it even more!

We were satisfied with our first dinner, having savored the real sushi and the kindness with which the cooks interacted with us, even though they could not speak a word of English. Just think that only 4% of the population speaks this language and if you are wondering how we chose what to eat, we based either on the figures in the menus, or using a fabulous function of google translate, which through the use of the camera translates in real time what you are framing, in English. He saved us a couple of times!

Along the path that led to our apartment, there was a supermarket. We went in to buy some breakfast products and went out with an enviable reserve of sugar. Enrico was eager to try all those things that can only be found in Japan: he was the experimenter of sweets and sugary drinks!

The next day we were full of energy to discover this city. As soon as we left the front door, we had already taken dozens of photos. Everything was so new, different and special. To cover a hundred meters, we would have spent half an hour … we were very enthusiastic!

The temples were the thing that fascinated me the most. They were scattered throughout the city, even in contexts in which you never would have said to find one, immersed in high and modern buildings. Everyone was different from the other and everyone attracted our attention in some way.

What you will see below is the Sensō-ji, the oldest temple in the city and one of the most important. It was really enchanting and it was wonderful to see the tide of people going there to pray and their rituals.

This expanse of green roofs are the Asakusa markets where the owners sell products ranging from food to handmade souvenirs! I would have bought everything … and we were just on our first day!

These Melonpans were delicious. It was a little sweet bread and if eaten hot it was even more delicious!

Lunch time had come and we were impatient to try some other typical food. With the mobile phone in hand and the Tripadvisor app open, we went to a place with excellent reviews (to find the places to eat when we travel I always use it!). Entered this place, we feel perfectly immersed in their culture. We take off our shoes and we are taken to a table around which we would sit and at the center of which a plate was placed. Who had been there, suggested to eat the Okonomiyaki and I can assure you that they were a real discovery! The manager of the place followed us step by step in the preparation of this dish, bringing us first a bowl with all the ingredients inside, making them then mix and then pour on the heated plate in the center of the table. A fabulous experience and they were libidinous!

Along the streets of the center we came across a lot of details or people who caught our attention, but among all, the one that surprised us most was this, that is to see the characters of Mario Kart (plus an intruder Minion) circulate through the streets of the center on board real Go Kart! And it was very funny. We also met them other times in other areas and our amazement was the same! These are episodes that are difficult to get used to!

For the series “like in a telefilm”.

To head to the SkyTree and admire Tokyo from above, we moved into a office district. The employees had just finished their work shift and had come out of the building. They were dressed the same way and even the women’s trenches were the same!

As I mentioned earlier, we were heading towards the tallest tower in the city, the Skytree Tower and the sunset was coming (perfect timing). From up there we could admire that vast expanse of buildings and have a vague idea of what the extension of Tokyo was.

From the top of the tower, the show was assured and when the sun’s rays came out from behind the clouds, the view became even more interesting. It almost seems like an apocalyptic vision, don’t you think?

It was dark and this meant it was time to have dinner. What continued to please us of Japanese restaurants was that besides being small and with a reduced capacity, you could always see from outside (even the local) what the cook was doing. To be prepared in front of our eyes the food that will be eaten in a short time is wonderful.

The following day, we saw them again! Fantastic! On that day, a visit to the Emperor’s Palace and the exploration of the surrounding neighborhood awaited us!Faces from “visit to the Imperial Palace”!

Seeing this contrast between the new and the old was strange.

And here they are again! They were everywhere, day or night, somehow we always met them! Here we are in the Ginza district, certainly the most enlightened and full of shops place in Tokyo! It had been another busy day and it was time to return to the apartment.

The following day we started with moments of collective hilarity … this is what happens when four photographers are on holiday together!

Ok, I have to explain this to you, but don’t ask me why Andrea and Enrico have tried this to torture their feet! It was a path that stimulated the various areas of the sole of the foot, deriving many benefits … we girls haven’t tried this but from men’s first impressions, it seemed to have worked.

This is the place where we ate the best sushi I’ve ever tasted in my life. We were in the fish market district, famous for good sushi. Always thanks to the trusty Tripadvisor, we found where the place was and after waiting an hour in a row (if there is a row, there will be a reason), we entered. Inside, on two separate floors, there were eight seats around the counter (this explains the reason for the line!), But that wait deserved! The food was presented in a truly splendid way and the care with which the chefs made the various dishes was bewitching. Too bad it was not allowed to take pictures inside, but I will have a vivid memory of that experience!

The beauty of Tokyo is that you can see a lot of strange and special things even just walking along the streets of the center … like this dog with a lovely cut!

Right near the fish market, there was a park that was marked on our To Do List of places to visit. Inside, an explosion of cherry blossoms!

Also inside this park, there was a typical style bar … we had to try it! They served green tea accompanied by some particularly sweets to counteract the bitter taste of macha (green tea, as they call it).
Well … I had to put this picture because it’s the reaction of the first time we tried the real green tea, or macha. Let’s say we have other tastes: P

Here it is, that place on the water was the one where we tried the macha! Leaving aside the culinary experience, the context was really beautiful!

All around, flowers! Find the intruder!

And here we are again in Ginza, the shopping district. Obviously we girls did not miss this opportunity and we went into a Pandora shop, to give us a special souvenir, since the day before we had not had the time!

And while we were choosing the charm that we liked the most, the guys came out and saw a rooftop terrace on the roof, they asked how to get there and (after notifying us) they went on the rooftop! They made a sensational discovery because that roof was a charm! p.s. those two over there are Eleonora and I (with the yellow coat).

And here we are on the rooftop! Beautiful, isn’t it?

This was the first part of our trip to Tokyo, but next week I will continue with the second and final chapter of the trip! I can’t wait to tell you about the other experiences!

I wish you a wonderful day,

Ilaria

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