One of the best things I’ve done so far is spend time in Japan. I did not get to go out to the countryside, and most of my time was spend in and around Tokyo. Here are a few highlights if you’re planning to visit.
Japan is a good place to stock up on unusual liquor. The best place in Tokyo is Liquors Hasagawa, where you can find a good collection of liquors, especially whiskeys. If you are unable to decide which whiskey you want to buy, you can try out a couple of them at 100 yen a pop. Everything here is significantly cheaper than duty free, so it makes sense to buy here and put it in your check-in luggage.
There are many things which will be on your to-eat list. On mine was omu-rice, and I had it at Taimeiken Here’s a list of recommended places to have it at.
Eat rice and Japanese curry at CoCoICHI – it’s a chain and available in many, many places, but definitely worth the stop. Cheap and filling, but surprisingly tasty, and they have a decent selection. If you are vegetarian, this place has a few options.
If you are up for a fancy culinary experience, have Kobe beef at an upscale restaurant. We had it at Misono – you can find a restaurant by Googling. Just ensure you get a Japanese person to make a booking for you. Also, be aware it’s going to be quite expensive (we spent about $400). It’s also quite fancy, so make sure you have some nice clothes to wear – no flip-flops, shorts and loud t-shirts.
Visit Shibuya crossing, smoke a cigarette near the statue of Hachiko (all the locals do). Watch the mad rush at the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. Then, eat hand-rolled sushi at any of the streets leading off Shibuya crossing. Look for places with lots of locals and big crowds – they are the best 🙂 We went to Uogashi Nihon-Ichi.
Pasela is a gaming parlor chain. Go there with a group of Japanese folks and have honey toast there. Of course, you can also get a booth and do karaoke or just spend all your time playing video games. But don’t forget the honey toast!
Finally, if you are tired of Japanese food (it can happen!), you can get a really good western breakfast at Jonathan’s – Tokyo’s answer to Denny’s.
Here’s an amazing resource for Tokyo – Uncharted Tokyo: bit.ly/unchartedtokyo
Finally, here are a few pictures I shot on my trip!