WELCOME TO MY WORLD
A little glimpse into my daily life
“I love traveling to new places that make you realize how tiny you and your problems are!”
My angels! I told you, that there were more Japan post to come, and here it finally is.
I have wanted to post this long time ago, but I was constantly fearring to write it, since I have so much to both show and tell you about my bucket list trip to Japan.
First I want to thank for the bottom of my heart Small Luxury Hotels of the world for giving me one of the most dreamy trips of my life, and I am so grateful for Japan Airlines for getting us back and forth safely. The staff was super very friendly, the seats were big and comfortable (which for me is very important, especially when I have a long haul flight.) They had loft of good movies to pick between and delicious food. The flight journey surely kick started our Japan trip the best way possible. If you consider flying with Japan Airlines, then I can highly recommend it!
It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I am sure from the posts I’ve written from there, you can tell how very much I loved every single moment of the trip. If you are considering a trip yourself to Japan, I can only say DO IT – you will NOT regret it. Hopefully my posts from there can give you a bit of an insight into where to stay, what to do when you are there and where to eat etc.
If you are interested in reading more of my Japan posts, then I’ve written a post about my first proper experience at an old traditional Tea room which you can read HERE. And I’ve written an in-debt post about what’s worth to know if you are planning a trip to Japan which you can read HERE.
First stop and last stop on our Journey was Japan’s busy capital; Tokyo. I absolutely loved Tokyo and could easily have spend 1-2 weeks exploring the many different areas. In the capital you will find a good mix of ultramodern architecture and skyscrapers to stunning historical and traditional temples.
One of the things I really loved about Tokyo was how different it was to my imagination. I was most positively surprised with the transportation. It was super easy to get around. Tokyo is similar to most big cities like London and New York. It is split up in different areas, there’s all got their own unique identity.
Where to stay in Tokyo
First stop on our journey; The Tokyo Station Hotel
Our first stop with Small Luxury Hotel of the world was the stunning Tokyo Station Hotel.
It is a big but stunning hotel! It’s located you might have guessed inside Tokyo Central Station and offers 150 rooms. The design is very me; clean, minimal, modern but with a historical touch. The station itself opened in 1914 and a year later the hotel opened, at that time offering 56 guest rooms. It’s since then been under a big 6 years renovation and still showcases some beautiful architecture and history. Every detail is done and made with a deeper meaning, which is what I really love about this place. For example the ceiling in the entrance of the station where you also can enter the hotel is art symbolising safe travels, since thousands and thousands of people daily travel back and forth from the Tokyo Central Station.
The moment you arrive at Tokyo Station Hotel you can see it’s an iconic building with a huge unique piece of history. Round the hotel they showcases old photographs frames of the area and Central Station, where you can dig deeper into the history – which gives you a better idea of how it looked like before. It’s hard to imagine this place surrounded by horse carriages when what you see when you look out is high skyscrapers.
A big plus: About this hotel is that in every room they offer a phone free to use for all guests. The phone you can freely use for calls, texts, internet and for using the navigation.
I found this extremely handy, since I didn’t have any connection when I was in Japan. It made is much easier for me to stay on top of my work and most importantly it helped us girls to get from a-b.
Food: Was heavenly! They have a variety of different restaurants, and not to forget to mention their delicious breakfast buffet that offered everything you could have ever dreamed off!
Dream bath: After a long day exploring Tokyo one thing I was so happy to was the stunning bathroom with own shower and bath. I never really have time to do a bath when I am home, which is why I especially love it when I travel. Even though I was super exhausted and mostly needed the sleeps the hot bath made everything much better!
Second stop on our journey; Hotel Gajoen
Or second hotel stay in Tokyo with Small Luxury Hotels of the world was the unbelievable gorgeous Hotel Gajoen. It is located in Meguro which is a cool and hip area. The hotel is located just by the Meguro river, which doing Cherry Blossoms season should be a magical spot for photographs! The neighborhood is lovely and quite and is home to some artsy streets and good coffee shops.
Hotel Gajoen welcomed us with a traditional tea ceremony overlooking the area of Meguro before we got a tour round the hotel. It has 60 rooms spread over three floors, and is a quite big hotel but it still has a homey and cosy feel to it. The rooms are beautiful and the bathroom are pure goals! You’ve even got your own steam bath, separate shoer and a big bath with jacuzzi – just so sad I didn’t get to try either the jacuzzi or steamed bath. BUT next time I sure will, because it looked like a dream! Imagine having that in your own house one day..
When I search for a good hotel I like it to have some charm and history. Don’t get me wrong I love modern, but a place with a history have in my opinion just a bit more charm to it? Here Hotel Gajoen ticks all boxes. They have even got their own museum displaying the oldest tearoom ever in Japan and lots of other unique traditional Japanese art pieces!
The rest of the building holds some award winning restaurants, conference rooms and even evens rooms for weddings. In peak season Hotel Gajoen alone can host up to 30 weddings per day! Yes, I had a hard time believing it too, but it’s they and they do have 30 weddings booked per day – it’s crazy. It is one of the most popular places in Japan to get married, and they are booked up years ahead.
What areas to explore in Tokyo
Tokyo is separated into different areas and these should be some of the best once to explore:
Ginza; Ginza is one of Tokyo’s top shopping districts with lots of exclusive big beautiful shops and malls. It is packed with design boutiques, as well as cocktail and sushi bars.
Shibuya; Is known as the youthful, entertaining and buzzy area. Here you will find lots of shops, shopping malls, restaurants etc. This is also where you’ll find the busiest pedestrian street crossing in the world.
Harajuku; was one of my personal favourite areas. Buzzing Harajuku is known for it’s colorful street art, amazing vintage stores, quirky fashion shops and other unique boutiques. It somehow reminded me a bit of Shoreditch/Brick Lane area of London. Here you will also find small bars and trendy cafes etc.
Uenzo; Should be the best place to watch the stunning cherry blossoms. I dream to go to Japan doing cherry blossoms season one day. If you are lucky enough to be there doing that time then Ueno park should be the place to go!
Roppongi; If you are looking for the perfect place to go out for an unforgettable night Roppongi is the area for you. Been there – done that! Us girls got back to our hotel at 5am in the morning, and had to leave for the airport 10 to 7am – so yeah, it was a successful night with lots of dancing and karaoke. It’s the district where locals and tourists mix in buzzing late-night bars and clubs. I am sure you will love it as much as we did!
How to get around
Railcard: When we traveled around Japan we all bought a Rail Card. It can save you lots of money, especially if you plan to travel a lot. You can buy a special unlimited pass that allows you to travel free within specific areas. A good tip would be to look into it before you leave as it’s worth buying before you go.
Language: In spite of the language, I actually found it surprisingly easy to travel around Japan, especially thanks to my favorite travel app CityMapper which tells me exactly how I the easiest way get from A-B and, in my opinion CityMapper is much better than Google Maps.
Safe: Never before have I ever felt so safe in a new country. Not even once did I feel uncomfortable or felt that I should hide my bag or camera away. Japan is the country in the world with the lowest crime, and it’s actually unbelievable just how safe you feel in this big city. Everyone are respectful of your private space. Even when we 4 girls went out late at night, we didn’t feel “scared” or unsafe at any point.
Where to eat and drink in Tokyo
Fun fact: Dine in the malls. I know it sounds a bit strange, and I had to get used to the thought at the start until I realized that in Japan that’s just a thing. Most department stores and high building have got a whole floor just for food and restaurants. Sometimes that’s at the lowest floor or at the top of the building. You’ll find branches of some of the city’s best restaurants on department store restaurant floors and these places are often very easy to enter.
Cocktails: Looking for the perfect place for drinks or dinner overlooking Tokyo, then you must go to New York Bar at The Park Hyatt. It is a popular place, so make sure to reserve a table. We spend the most cosy evening here with drinks and live music!
Best restaurant I’ve ever been to: Yet the titel says it all! Roppongi Robataya is without doubt the most unique restaurant experience I have had in my entire life. It doesn’t get more traditional, authentic and Japanese than this. Here the chefs sits in front of you surrounded by the fresh ingredients. The whole night they are sat cooking in front of you on their knees. Every time you order something the chefs shout out the order en Japanese, and the same when they serve it, and all the staff shouts it back – it’s hard to explain, but so worth the expensive prize.
Ice Ice baby: You might have seen my funny Tokyo ice cream photo? It’s shot at Eddy’s Ice Cream. It wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve ever had, but it is fun, so Japanese and located in a buzzy and cool area.
For my fella coffee lovers: Pench coffee shop is the place to go my angels. It opens at 8am-11am, so it dedicated for all early birds out there. The coffee is so worth a visit! Another coffee place there should be dreamy is: coffee Mameya.
The best Ramen in Tokyo: They say the best Ramen in Tokyo you will find at Ichiran Ramen, and gosh you are right!! You will need to visit, it is mouth watering delicious and gives you a real tradition experience.