Tokyo

Treading Through Tokyo

My husband and I wanted an #active long weekend in bustling #Tokyo, #Japan. We got that and so much more when we headed to the bright lights of this big #city. Tokyo is one of those magical cities you won’t forget; ultra-modern, funky, fast-paced, but still beautifully traditional, with amazing #foodanddrink.


Tokyo is one of those places you really have to see to believe.

Heavily populated but impossibly clean, filled with bright lights but quiet and calm at the same time. I wanted to get to know the real Tokyo, the one hidden behind the glittering skyscrapers and neon signs.

Tokyo is one of the those places you really have to see to believe

Tokyo does not have a shortage of hotel options, but we chose the Hotel Wing International Kourakuen because they are liberal with their freebies.

from  $128.36

Hotel Wing International Shinjuku

 1-21-7 Kabukicho, Tokyo, Japan
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Free bottled water, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and a 5 minute walk to the metro station all made for great value for money. It was easy to pop out of the hotel and hop on a train bound for some of the popular parts of the city: Harajuku for people watching, Ginza and Shibuya for window shopping, and Shinjuku for neon lights and organized chaos.

… Harajuku for people watching, Ginza and Shibuya for window shopping, and Shinjuku for neon lights and organized chaos.

One of my favorite ways to get around is by bicycle. I really love hopping on and exploring new parts of a city, and something about locking up a bike on the side of a busy city street makes me feel more like a local. We decided to take this one step further and rent a motorcycle. We rented ours from Japan Bike Rentals and set off to explore on our own, with the help of an English language GPS.

from  $180

MotorBike Rental in Japan

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 Akasaka, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
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Sitting on the back of the bike while the wind whipped through my hair and we zoomed in and out of traffic on the busy city streets is an experience I’ll never forget. For lunch we stopped at my favorite ramen shop tucked away in Roppongi, to refuel with spicy miso bowls and iced green tea before getting back on the road.

Driving around the city all day had an added benefit; we got to familiarize ourselves with the individual unique sections of Tokyo. We spent most of our remaining days wandering from neighborhood to neighborhood, stopping for rice balls and dango. We took our treats into the Shinjuku Gardens, a huge park with great downtown views and if the time is right, the perfect cherry blossom experience. The park has portions dedicated to the traditional French symmetrical style of garden, as well as wild British roses, and of course, Japanese gardens with ponds brimming with koi.

Once I figured out which parts of town I favored, I wanted to move on to my next favorite activity; eating. We booked an entire day with Backstreet Guides to let them show us around Tokyo.

from  $193

Private tour in Tokyo

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 Nishigotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, Japan
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As soon as I saw they arranged a sushi breakfast, I was hooked. We weaved in and out of back streets I’d never be able to find on my own, and the guides let us stop whenever we wanted on our way between sites to pick up snacks.

The last thing on my must-do list on this Tokyo trip was to experience a traditional tea ceremony. The Japanese are well known to be very meticulous with their ceremonies, and it’s a beautiful thing to watch. The ritual of the tea ceremony goes back 1,000 years and it’s not really about drinking tea necessarily, but rather the movements of making it.

…it’s nor really about drinking tea necessarily, but rather the movements of making it

We went to the luxurious Hotel Chinzanso and tried out their new tea room. Everything about it was stunning, the room itself was fantastic and several times I commented that I wished they could bottle up the tea ceremony smells and sell them as a candle so I could remember it later.

from  $295.3

Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

 10 Sekiguchi 2-Chome Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo is one of those magical cities that you won’t soon forget; ultra-modern, funky, and fast paced, but still beautifully traditional.

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