We made it safely to Tokyo and spent the past 2 days exploring. So far the verdict is that Tokyo is amazing! The locals are extremely nice, transportation is fast (but confusing at first), and the food is delicious.
First, the flight from Honolulu on ANA was so easy and comfortable. The food was the best airplane food you’ll ever have.
Arriving in Akihabara
It took a while to get used to how the subways and trains work, and to find our hotel. Until we did, we were tired and confused.
At one ramen shop, we tried to ask for ramen with no meat. The waiter didn’t speak much English, and asked if horse meat was OK instead of pork. After we explained that we would eat fish, but not horse, the waiter personally took us next door to a different restaurant and showed us how to order our food using a vending machine. The ramen we got was really good.
Tsukiji Fish Market
We arrived early at the Tsukiji Fish Market while the vendors were still quite busy. It was quite a unique and great place to visit with all kinds of shops selling all kinds of goods, not just fish.
The Imperial Palace grounds were massive and beautiful, but we couldn’t go inside. We took pictures at the moat surrounding the palace and then moved on.
We stopped by the famous restaurant featured in the film Jiro Dreams of Sushi and took a few photos outside. Since we didn’t make a reservation 4 months in advance and cough up several hundred dollars for dinner, we skipped the actual meal and ate at a nearby hole in the wall instead.
The Asakusa Temple and surrounding shops and streets were very old and very beautiful, but packed to the gills with other tourists as well as locals offering their prayers.
Tokyo Sky Tree
The Tokyo Sky Tree looked cool from afar but ended up being somewhat of a tourist trap. There’s a shopping mall at the base of the tower, and it costs $20 a person to go to the top. Since we would have had to wait 2.5 hours and pay $40, we skipped the view. We’ll get a better (and free) view when we visit Roppongi.