We flew out of Hong Kong headed for Tokyo. We arrived around 2:00 PM and were quickly through customs with our bags. We took the express train to Nippori Station and then the subway to Shinjuku. The express train was very nice and clean, and we were thoroughly impressed at the way all of the seats were rotated to face forward.
It was about a fifteen minute walk from Shinjuku Station to the hotel. We opted to stay at the Hilton Tokyo, which wasn't our favorite hotel, but we couldn't complain since it was a comfortable place to stay. We decided to stay close to the hotel on the first night since we were exhausted from the flight. We wandered around a bit and had some great sushi at a little restaurant across the street that was recommended to us by the concierge. One of the first things we noticed when we got to Japan was the respect and politeness of the people. It was also one of the cleanest places we'd been to on our entire trip.
On our second day in Tokyo, we decided to do something a little out of the ordinary for most, but something awesome for us! Since we had already made the effort to see Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Hong Kong, there was no way we could be in Tokyo without going to the only Disney park in the world that we had yet to see. So we strapped on our Disney shirts, like the Disney dorks we are, and headed out to face the crowds!
Having just been at the park in Hong Kong, it was fun comparing the differences between the parks. Out of all of the Disney parks we've been to, one thing is for sure, the Japanese take the prize for wearing the most crazy Disney hats. There were hats everywhere! We are also happy to report that there were no fish balls and we were super excited to find churros! They even had pumpkin churros since it was the beginning of Halloween month at the park.
The next day turned out to be one of the most fun days we had in Tokyo. After breakfast we decided to hop on the metro and head down to the Takeshita Dori, which is filled with fun, crazy shops featuring all kinds of cosplay outfits and Scott's new favorite shop, Candy A-Go-Go. He hadn''t been able to find any gummy candies for a while, so he was in heaven with the selection they had.
From Takeshita Dori we walked further down to a cool hipsterish neighborhood in Harajuku that was filled with lots of thrift shops featuring American brands. We also stumbled upon a little chic restaurant that was the best meal we ate in Japan.
After our late lunch, we headed to the Tokyo Dome. The first night when we got to the hotel, with the help of Ken (the awesome guy at the concierge), Scott was able to score us some tickets behind home plate for the Yomiuri Giants vs. the Yakult Swallows. We purposely got to the dome early so we could check out all of the team shops and buy some hats for the game. Unfortunately, we had to go back and fourth between three different shops to find the hat that Scotty wanted (he's rather particular about his hats).
We grabbed a couple hot dogs on the way to our seats. The game was slow starting out, but turned out to be really exciting at the end, with the Giants taking the win! The crowds were very reserved compared to MLB games in the states, and they also had designated chants for each player. We chanted along, pretending to know what we were saying, even though we had absolutely no clue.
The following day we spent checking out the chic Roppongi Hills area, with lots of fancy shops and restaurants. We had a sushi lunch at a conveyor belt sushi place. It was delicious!
In the evening we wandered the vibrant streets of Shibuya. When the sun went down the buildings and signs lit up like a smaller version of Times Square.
On our last day in Tokyo, we tried to get out early and down to the Tsukiji Fish Market. We didn't get to see much of the action, but we still walked around a bit, and also checked out all of the little sushi shops featuring fresh fish from that morning.
After the market we went to the Yoyogi Park, which was beautiful. We walked to the Meiji Shrine that's in the park. When we got there, a traditional Japanese wedding was just finishing. It was really neat to see the procession. We also wrote on a prayer tablet that we hung with all of the others.
We headed to the airport soon after our visit to the park. We loved Japan and wished we had more time to spend there. We will definitely be going back at some point, but until then Sayonara!