Posted by: evedlewis | October 7, 2015

Chuseok in Tokyo — September 2015

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We had a four day holiday weekend for Chuseok in South Korea this year, so I decided to take a quick trip over to Tokyo. I have visited the beach in Osaka before, so this was my second time traveling to Japan. However, this was my first time staying in the city.

I must say that I was very shocked at the calm and quiet energy in Tokyo. Like Seoul, Tokyo is a very busy city with millions of people. However, the noise level was extremely low. I didn’t hear any honking horns, there were no loud voices and there was no screaming or boisterous laughter. I didn’t see any running, pushing, bumping or scurrying. I saw lots of people, shoes, legs and feet moving. But — I heard — no noise. This was a very weird, surreal and twilight zone type of experience coming from the constant hustle and bustle and circus type atmosphere of Seoul.

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While walking around and using public transportation in Tokyo, I heard soothing nature noises like running water and pleasant bird chirps coming from public speakers. I think the Japanese government has made a conscious effort to keep the people in a very sedated and hypnotized state. Very different from the loud Kpop and rap songs blaring from the public speakers in Seoul.

The people in Tokyo also spoke in very quiet voices. I could hear them speaking, however, the tone was very low and polite. I have never heard the words “Thank you” used so much in my entire life. Most of the people said “Thank you” numerous times — even when it was unnecessary.

There were signs everywhere in Tokyo, which served as reminders on how to act and behave. I was surprised to see signs instructing people to hold on to handrails, arrows telling people which way to walk and posters that read “Do Not Rush”. This created a very different atmosphere compared to that of Seoul, which is more of a daily chaotic rat race where people compete and fight for space and resources. In contrast, everything seemed strangely organized and orderly in Tokyo.

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I was debating on whether or not to experience a capsule hotel for my first Tokyo visit, but I decided against it. Instead, I booked a really nice and cozy place in Asakusa, which was a perfect choice. I stayed at the Hotel Hokke Club Asakusa, and I was completely satisfied with everything there. Nice staff — nice room — great breakfast buffet — and awesome wifi. 😉

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I booked my trip using Expedia. The hotel and flight cost was $725, and my total budget for this trip was $1,200.00 for three days. Tokyo is much more expensive than Boracay and Thailand, so I was prepared to spend a little more than usual per day.

The public transportation costs are very high in Japan (with a starting fee of $6.00 per taxi ride), so much of my money went towards getting around the city. The subways and buses are less expensive, so I spent most of my time using the subway. I went to three major areas: Shinjuku, Shibuya and Asakusa. My hotel in Asakusa was an hour away from the airport and the other two areas were even further out.

Although there are tons of things to do in Tokyo, I was a bit limited with my time. I was able to enjoy some beautiful city views from the Tokyo Tower, a daytime street festival in Shibuya, and a night tour of Shinjuku. During my night tour, I was able to see night views of the city from the Tokyo Metropolitan government bldg (for free), and I also enjoyed dinner at an authentic Japanese style BBQ place. The night ended with some fun and memorable pictures taken in a super cool photo booth, which edits your captures to the max within minutes!!! Lol. 😉

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If I had more time, I would have definitely gone inside the famous Robot restaurant in Shinjuku, visited a hot springs place, and gone to the Tokyo SkyTree Tower.

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I also didn’t eat much of the food in Tokyo. I did have some fabulous Japanese curry, delicious grilled meat and veggies, and I had some famous homemade ice cream sandwiches. However, I didn’t have a chance to try Japanese noodles or sushi. I actually don’t like sushi, so the Japanese curry was enough for me.

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On the positive side, the rumors about the city being spotless are all true. Most of the subway stations seemed to glisten and shine as if they had just been buffed and polished. The subway system was also very easy to figure out and navigate, which was a major plus. On the negative side, free wifi is very hard to come by, which was very annoying. I had the most stable wifi connection in my hotel room, but not so much outside in the city. Bathrooms were also very hard to locate. Therefore, my two biggest complaints about Tokyo would be the limited access to free wifi and the lack of public bathrooms.

Overall, I had a great trip. I would love to go back and do more of the things that I didn’t have time to do this time around. I think five full days in Tokyo would have been better for me. I’m glad that I finally got a chance to see the big city for myself, and it was nice to compare and contrast everything in Tokyo with my experiences in Seoul. If you have a chance, I would encourage you to visit Tokyo for your next week-long vacation. There is so much to do and see there. Happy Travels!!! 😉 Check out more photos on my Instagram account: @KoreanKream

Cool Tours through Trip Advisor >>>> http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g298184-Activities-Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html

Top 10 things to do in Tokyo:
http://www.placestoseeinyourlifetime.com/top-10-things-to-do-and-see-in-tokyo-6936/

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