A tast of the old town – Shitamachi
Shitamachi means „downtown“ and is the place to experience a taste of the old town Tokyo atmosphere. The most famous district of Shitamachi is named Asakusa. At its heart you will find Senso-ji Temple with its well known giant red lantern. This is a great place to explore the culture, visit the popular market street next to Senso-ji and learn more about some rituals associated with visiting a temple of course. At the market street you will find plenty of smaller gifts and souvenirs. The charm of the area is preserved by the tendency to re-purpose older buildings rather than rebuild. The old town was the perfect place to spend a cozy afternoon. You will be surprised about how lovely it is.
Modern buildings and luxury stores – Welcome to Ginza
When I saw Ginza for the first time, I had the impression that I arrived at the Fifth Avenue in New York. Chuo-dori, the central street of Ginza, has a lot in common with the Fifth Avenue. Numerous modern high-rise buildings and luxury stores characterize this part of the district. Ginza was destroyed by fire in 1872, by an earthquake in 1923, and by bombing during World War II . But this upscale neighborhood has always been the spearhead of Tokyo’s modernity and architectural diversity: Buildings made of brick, stone, concrete, iron, glass. Ginza is definitely a modern part of Tokyo that has grown over the decades.
Shrill and loud – Hello Harajuka
Harajuka is lively, funny, touristy and a concept for the young Japan. It is designed for people with a different taste. Most of it is designed to meet the needs of manga culture. That’s why you do not have to be surprised that you see many Japanese who show this culture in public. Not far from the road, the cosplayers and goths meet on Sundays. The streets are filled with clothes shops for young and funky Japanese. Boring shopping malls? No chance! It has countless extravagant shops with items mainly for teens. If you like cotton candy and fancy ice cream, you can buy real artwork here. Many imaginatively dressed young and old people and colored houses, especially pink houses, can be seen in excess. Harajuka is really entertaining and a district for the younger audience and the young at heart. People, who want to buy crazy, shrill things are spot on. It is a really extraordinary place. And by the way, Brian and I also made a piercing at this place. We wanted to keep up with the trendsetters in Harajuka ;-). The people in the piercing studio were very friendly and our piercer did a great job. So if you want to do a piercing in Tokyo.. I can really recommend the studio EXTREME Body Piercing.
A spectacular view over Tokyo – Tokyo Skytree
Brian and I really wanted to see Tokyo from the top. We had to choose between the Tokyo Skytree and the Tokyo Tower. We decided us for the Skytree for the simple reason that it is almost twice as high as the Tokyo Tower. It is a broadcasting and observation tower in Sumida. This tower provides an incredible view over the city. Of course, such a prospect has its price and its tourists of course ;-). We payed for a ticket 4000 yen (35 Swiss francs). But honestly, in all countries we always pay incredibly much for famous towers or high skyscrapers. I always find it worthwhile to look at a city from above, no matter what.