A WEEK IN TOKYO

 

Tokyo is an incredible, crazy and vibrant city that has been at the top of my destination list for so many years! I couldn’t believe that I finally got to visit Tokyo this year, and it lived up to my expectations and more. I wanted to share with you all my favourite parts of our week, and of course some photos. Make sure to also check out my previous posts on this trip which can be found below!

 


EXPLORING CENTRAL TOKYO

 

Most of our time was spent in the city centre exploring and finding the little gems of Tokyo. Shibuya is of course the hub of activity here, with its famous crossing. I’d recommend going up to the Starbucks at Shibuya crossing – it is super busy but gives you the most incredible view! You will notice in the pictures below the amount of brightly coloured signs and posters on each building – Tokyo is completely filled with colour and sound everywhere you go. One of my favourite things I saw was the Mario Kart road race where you get to dress up as the characters and race in real go karts throughout the city centre, something that I can only imagine taking place in Japan! In Shibuya there is a statue dedicated to ‘Hachiko the Faithful Dog’ who is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, and here sits two beautiful cats who seem to keep the dog company all day long! No one is quite sure who they belong to or where they have come from, but they are so cute as you can see below. As I said there are so many brilliant places to be discovered in Tokyo, just by spending your time walking around, using the public transport and discovering.

 

IMG_2430

IMG_2376

IMG_2420

IMG_2377

DSC_0704

DSC_0701

DSC_0705

DSC_0712

DSC_0717

DSC_0861

IMG_2383

IMG_2388

IMG_2386

IMG_2422

IMG_2433

IMG_2835

IMG_2837

IMG_2839

 

Make sure to check out Tokyo’s famous ‘Purikura’ photo booth shops! Here you can do your hair and makeup and head into a photo-booth where you are told how to pose. Then onto an editing room where you can change your eyes and add stickers and effects! This was so fun and seems to be a huge part of teen culture in Japan, with lots of girls coming specially dressed up to take pictures.

 

IMG_2843

IMG_2848

 


 

POKÉMON CENTER

 

The newly opened Pokémon Center is a must see! We only went to the store, but you can also pre-book to go to the Pokémon themed cafe, which given more time would have been great to visit (click the link for more details). Be prepared to enter one of the craziest rooms in the world. The store is filled with everything Pokémon from face masks to toys. It’s an incredible store with great service, as always in Japan, and brilliant products on sale. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is anxious in crowds as It’s extremely busy and loud.

 

IMG_2431

IMG_2437

IMG_2438

IMG_2359

IMG_2368

IMG_2355

 


 

TEMPLES AND SAKURA IN THE CITY

 

We were lucky to see the first few days of Sakura season when we were in Tokyo. The best of these were at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, located in the beautiful Oyogi Park. Seeing shrines and temples in the middle of the city was something I didn’t think was possible – somehow these places seem to retain peace within the madness of Tokyo. We also found some beautiful Sakura at the Imperial Palace, also pictured below. At night I would highly recommend visiting the Sensoji Temple which is one of Tokyo’s oldest temples, founded in 628! This temple is breathtaking day and night, but the night lighting seems to make it even grander.

 

DSC_0760

DSC_0732

DSC_0728

DSC_0740

DSC_0742

DSC_0761 (6)

DSC_0762

DSC_0766

DSC_0768

DSC_0770

DSC_0772

DSC_0776

DSC_0777

IMG_2415

IMG_2947

NCDE9395

MVQA8194

MCUH8355

IMG_2871

IMG_2824

 

 


 

 

GREAT BUDDHA

 

We went to see The Great Buddha of Kamakura at Kotokuin Temple, about an hour out of Central Tokyo. Being located on the coast, this bronze statue has been destroyed multiple times by typhoons and a tidal wave and therefore since 1495 it has been standing in the open air. The Great Buddha is truly breathtaking, whether you are religious or not this is an unbelievable sight. There is lots to explore at the temple as well for example there are lots of blessings and gifts for sale and you can also go inside the Buddha to see its construction, which is pretty amazing and also very scary! I would definitely recommend taking the train to Hase Station and seeing the area around it, there are beaches and great views as you can see below. It is important to remember that this area is on the coast and therefore prone to natural disasters so check news and weather updates before going!

 

IMG_2900

IMG_2873

IMG_2867

IMG_2914

IMG_2915

 


 

 

I just wanted to mention a few final things that I loved! One was a small gig in Tokyo where we met the most wonderful band called Jebiotto. They were such brilliant performers and it’s always great to see the music scene in different countries. The Japanese arcades are also brilliant and crazy places, perfect for evening times, alongside the Karaoke buildings where you can get your own private Karaoke room and drinks for such good prices! In Tokyo we also visited the Mocha Cat Cafe which was so fun, the cats here are really playful so definitely check it out if you’re an animal lover.

 


 

I want to go back right now! Visiting Tokyo was such an incredible experience that I wish I could  relive. Tokyo is often seen as a very expensive city, however we found that it was still cheaper than London when trying to find food, drink and activities. Also be open to exploring areas that are on the train routes out of the city, for example the Great Buddha and snow monkeys were both out of the city centre. Make sure to check out my other posts on Tokyo, and the rest of my Japan trip, they are all be listed below and in my sidebar! Keep up to date by subscribing on WordPress or via email. You can contact me at elena@elenaswanderland.com

 

ELÉNA. 

Advertisements

THE RITZ-CARLTON, TOKYO

 

I had the pleasure of exploring The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo which is situated within the city’s tallest building. The reception is found on the 45th floor and from there the stunning hotel rooms offer views across Tokyo, with floor to ceiling windows. Within the hotel can be found seven restaurants, a spa and pool, Club Lounge, and event spaces. Before I share with you all my experience at the hotel, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Maaya Arakawa who offered me this wonderful experience and for her great expertise which helped me write this post!

 

DSC_1041

 


THE 45TH FLOOR


 

The 45th floor is the main hub of The Ritz-Carlton hotel. Upon arrival you will find yourself in the beautiful reception area with views across Tokyo. A lobby bar and lounge is in the centre with people meeting for business and pleasure, having afternoon tea or some of the cocktails from the bar menu. One of the best things I noticed in this hotel was the high standard of service provided by staff members who were so kind and willing to help with any of your needs.

On the 45th floor you can find a range of restaurants, including La Boutique which showcases contemporary chocolates and pastries, created by French Pastry Chef Jimmy Boulay, Azure 45 a Michelin star restaurant offering exquisite French dining and the Towers restaurant serving wholesome food in a very cool and contemporary setting. However my overall favourite was Hinokizaka which offers Japanese cuisine in four areas for Kaiseki, Teppanyaki, Sushi and Tempura. Pictured below this restaurant offers incredible Japanese food, with meals prepared freshly in front of you, and the rooms are beautifully decorated with traditional Japanese design. You can eat sushi with a view of Tokyo, or eat in the Teppanyaki room where you will choose from a fine meat selection offered by the chef. A private room is also available here with traditional floor seating and a wonderful view of the city. These restaurants are not only for guests but the public too, so are well worth visiting.

 

IMG_2784

IMG_2782

IMG_2781

IMG_2780

IMG_2778

DSC_1050

DSC_1049

 

The lobby bar is also a fantastic location for a chilled drink after a long day, or a business meeting. As you can see below the Lobby Lounge and Bar serves what must be one of the most expensive cocktails in the world – totally around £13,000! Sadly this was not what I ordered, but the bar here offers a varied range of drinks including a great cocktail selection which is always important – I actually tried a Sakura themed drink! We were lucky to be served by the fabulous Kiver Yong who was a pleasure to meet. He went above and beyond to ensure that all our needs were met, whilst also being super friendly to my family and I. In the bar you can also listen to some live music with a pianist situated above a water feature which is so relaxing to listen to.

 

IMG_2793

IMG_2792

 


THE CLUB LOUNGE – 53RD FLOOR


 

Exclusive to Club Level guests, the 53rd floor offers an array of Club suites and rooms, some of which are considered to be the most luxurious in Asia. When booking, the Ritz-Carlton website provides information of the view you get in each room, which I think is a great feature, whether you would rather see Mount Fuji or the Tokyo Tower is totally up to you. Club guests also have access to extra privileges and the service here is described as the ‘pinnacle of hospitality that will make your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo unforgettable’. One of these privileges is the Club Lounge, in which Club members have seperate check in to other guests, and access to four areas: reception, garden terrace, dining room and library lounge which overlook Mount Fuji and are each designed for a different atmosphere for morning, day and night. I have some pictures below of this area, but definitely click this link to see the incredible suites and rooms on offer.

 

DSC_1042

IMG_2767

IMG_2769

IMG_2775

IMG_2774

IMG_2772

IMG_2770

IMG_2768

Just imagine waking up to this view out of your bedroom window! Absolutely incredible, and I was really impressed with what the bedrooms had to offer here at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

 


SPA AND FITNESS CENTER


 

As soon as you step out of the lift and into the spa you are instantly relaxed. The hotel uses their original Crystal Bamboo scent on this floor and it matches both the beautiful setting to which you enter, and also the calm and friendly staff members that are their to meet you. This day spa, fitness center and pool has the most incredible view of Downtown Tokyo, and also offers spa treatments using the renowned Sodashi and ESPA products. A relaxing day at the Spa can be finished with an evening swim with a view of the bustling city, which is hard to find anywhere else! Being the tallest building in Tokyo, a stay at The Ritz-Carlton is an unbelievable experience and the service you receive here would be hard to beat.

 


 

I am so happy that I got to see into this beautiful hotel, with an unbeatable view of Tokyo. Five star hotels are of course always expected to offer a great service, but the Ritz-Carlton really went above and beyond, and showed why it is easily one of the best hotels in the world. Staying here not only offers a great nights sleep, but it has so many special aspects that ensure you will have an unforgettable experience. I would also recommend visiting the Lounge bar or the incredible restaurants on the 45th floor, even if you’re not a guest at the hotel.  Check out the Ritz-Carlton website for more details, and thank you again to the wonderful Maaya Arakawa for allowing me to explore The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

 

IMG_2788


 

If you enjoyed my post then feel free to like and comment down below! You can contact me at elena@elenaswanderland.com and send me you’re own experiences in Tokyo or the Ritz Carlton. To keep up with my posts follow me on WordPress or email, both are detailed at the bottom of the post and in the sidebar.

 

Eléna x