Our first day in Tokyo
First off — HAPPY THANKSGIVING! This time last year, Mark and I were in Budapest, carving our own little adventure out of the old European cityscape. This year I’ll be spending Turkey Day back home in California, surrounded by everyone I love. As always, I feel like I have so much to be thankful for this year. Hoping you all enjoy a day filled with that happy, full (of love, and food) feeling, too!
Back to our Japanese journey… With our Airbnb in Shinjuku as home base, we bundled up for a day out on the town. Our jetlag had us up around 5AM, wide awake and eager to see the city firsthand. After a quick breakfast of eggs, Asian pears, and yogurt, we set out to explore on foot. Our host recommended walking through a small neighborhood not far from the apartment, called Arakicho. It used to be an old Geisha District, but now it’s home to a lot of small restaurants and wine bars.
But first, a cheesy staged photo. It wasn’t actually raining, but I had to snap a pic with a clear umbrella. When in Tokyo, right?
This was Mark’s first time in Tokyo, which meant it was his first time experiencing the magic and wonder that is Japanese vending machines! They have these ALL OVER and they’re leaps ‘n bounds above our crappy ones back home. Seriously — so many options (hot & cold!) at the touch of a button.
Another thing Mark got to experience for the first time? The Japanese obsession with these elaborate plastic food displays. I personally love it — you’re never surprised with what you’ll get at an eatery cause you can literally see it before you even step inside.
As we stepped off the main street and through the cramped and charming alleyways, Arakicho came to life with color and cuteness. It was quiet and empty, but I imagine the area gets lively once the restaurants open up for the day. We made a mental note to come back and check out one of the wine bars later, but ended up getting sidetracked by other (equally awesome) things. Next time!
Midway through our wanderings we stopped and grabbed a coffee from one of the vending machines off the alley. And hey – it was actually warm. See! Talk about sophisticated.
After our lazy morning stroll through Arakicho’s winding alleys, we made a pit stop back at the apartment to pick up some hand warmers and city maps. Then we head out for Shinjuku Station, and later Harajuku. More to come!