The Movie Lost In Translation Was A Big Hit Set In Tokyo Japan
Tokyo first came onto my radar after watching the 2003 blockbuster “Lost in translation.” Something about the final “goodbye” scene between Scarlet Johansson and Bill Murray left me itching to visit Tokyo.
After waiting fourteen years to get a chance, I finally got a chance to see the sights and hear the sounds from Lost In Translation, the movie that brought Tokyo into my living room.
A Little About Tokyo
Tokyo is the capital of Japan and as at the time of this writing has a population of about 9 million people. From visiting this amazing city, I can personally say Tokyo is one of the most unique cities I have ever been to.
Lots of things about Tokyo make it unique—from its fully automated toilet seats to its bullet trains, the cherry blossoms of spring, the seamless blend of tradition with advanced cutting edge technology and lest not forget that Tokyo has unbelievable culinary tastes and amazing nightlife.
Getting to Tokyo.
There are two major international airports that service Tokyo, one being the Narita international airport, and Haneda international airport. We flew into Narita International and had a pleasant experience as it is with all things Japanese.
However, it is advised that anyone flying to Tokyo should fly to Haneda International if they have it as an option. Narita international is outside the city of Tokyo and requires quite the commute to get to the city.
Accommodation in Tokyo Japan
Tokyo has a plethora of accommodation options from less expensive hostels to mid-range and high-priced hotels. On average and compared to most cities, I would say Tokyo’s accommodation is pretty expensive so be prepared to feel the pinch in your wallet. I was lucky to have found a quite affordable hostel which I would recommend in Asakusa aptly named “Ace Inn Asakusa”.
Transportation in Tokyo Japan
Tokyo’s Transportation system is amongst the most advanced in the world and it is even more advanced than what we have in my home country of the USA. From buses to trams, trains and bullet trains, getting around Tokyo should be a breeze.
Most of the station stops are written in Japanese but they also have numbers demarcating what each stop is. A tip that will save you a lot of money (if you intend to travel outside of Tokyo) to is that you should buy the Japan rail pass.
For a flat fee, you get to travel to cities outside of Tokyo as many times as you like for a limited amount of time. It cost about USD 500 for me to pick up a Japan rail pass which was good to use for about 30 days.
Food in Tokyo
I found the culinary scene in Tokyo to be quite satisfying with an endless array of street food, food stalls, restaurants and the like littered all around the city. The Japanese cuisine or “washoku” as it is called in Japan encompasses dishes such as Ramen noodles, Yakisoba, Dunburi, Sushi, and Chazuke.
One of the most unique restaurant experiences I had, when I visited, was a trip to the Robot restaurant in Shinjuku and automated service restaurants which had patrons pay at a machine and use the receipt they get from the machine to pick up their bowls of noodles from a conveyor belt.
Paying a visit to the Tsukiji fish market might also be a good idea as it allows you to sample a wide array of freshly prepared seafood.
Note” The Tsukiji fish market is slated to move to Toyosu in the near future.
Nightlife in Tokyo Japan
Tokyo has amazing nightlife and although it is not as crazy as Seoul nightlife, there are still a ton of options to help you dance your night away. Even though there are clubs scattered around the city, I found there to be a concentration of clubs in Shibuya.
If you are a Gaijin (a term used to describe foreigners in Japan) and want to party with other Gaijin, then you can head to Roppongi where they have clubs like Odeon, Muse, and Club six Tokyo just to name a few.
Tourist Sights In Tokyo and Cultural Things To Do
One of the things I enjoyed the most about Tokyo was the endless amount of cultural sights and landmarks one could indulge in.
From a visit to the grounds of the Emperor’s palace to a journey through time at the Samurai museum in Shinjuku. The sights and sounds of Tokyo will definitely keep you occupied for the entire duration of your stay. Here is a list of sights and landmarks you must see while you are in Japan.
- The Robot Cabaret in Shinjuku
- Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street) to get a view of Harajuku Teenage Culture.
- Godzilla Statue in Chiyoda Tokyo and another Godzilla statue in Shinjuku.
- The Samurai Museum in Shinjuku.
- A visit to the emperor’s palace.
- Walk across the world-Famous Shibuya crossing.
- Visit the Meiji and Senso-Ji shrines.
- Visit a Kabuki Theatre.
- Visit a Bathhouse.
- Stroll through one of Tokyo’s many historical gardens.
- Visit the Dover street market in Ginza.
- Stop by a Manga and Anime bookstore.
- Stop by the Tsukiji fish market.
- Catch a sumo wrestling match.
- Visit the Edo-Tokyo Museum.
- Visit the Tokyo stock exchange
- Check out Tokyo tower in Minato
- Go shopping in Roppongi hills
- Go shopping in Ginza.
- Visit the Tokyo sky tree.
- See amazing swords at the Japanese Sword museum.
- Head to the Park Hyatt’s 52nd floor New York Bar in Tokyo
- Learn Origami at Origami Kaikan
- Get seedy at Tokyo’s red light district Kabukicho.
- Indulge in some amazing nightlife in Shibuya.
Final Tokyo Travel Tips
Before I depart I would like to share some final travel tips that would make your travel to Tokyo as amazing as mine was.
- Japanese people take politeness very seriously and it would be advisable to respond in kind. A slight bow while uttering phrases like “Arigato gozaimasu” (Thank you very much) seemed to win me praise with the locals.
- English penetration is very low in Japan. It would help to learn a few basic Japanese words to make your stay a bit easier but to be honest you could probably get by very well in Japan for a short period of time without needing to learn any Japanese.
- In the event that you use chopsticks to eat, do not stab your sticks into your bowl pointing upward. This signifies death in Japanese culture and could get you a few frowns from the locals.
- Please “do slurp” on your Ramen while you are eating your food. To the Japanese, it simply shows you are taking great pleasure with the food you are eating.
- You will get confused more than once by the transportation system in Tokyo because Japan’s transportation system while advanced is quite convoluted. The good news is that the station attendants are very helpful, polite and guide you around the city.
- If you are worried about safety, that shouldn’t be an issue in Japan as the city is mostly safe and Japanese people are literally the most civilized people I have met in any country I have traveled to. However, In Roppongi, I heard of fights occurring amongst mostly foreigners.
- If you go out at night you should know that Tokyo’s subway system closes at midnight and reopens again at 5:30 am. If you leave a bar or nightclub between midnight and five in the morning, be ready to feel the pinch in your wallet as Tokyo taxis are very expensive.
- If you want to do intercity travel, it is a good idea to buy the Japan rail pass as explained above. It will save you tons of money. However, you need to buy the pass before you arrive in Japan and have it shipped to the country you reside in.
- You might be rejected from some bath houses and hostels if you sport tattoos. The level of enforcement of this policy varies from bathhouse to bathhouse.
- In terms of accommodation, I found the Asakusa area to be more affordable than the rest of Tokyo and it still had tons of things to do.
I had a great time during my visit to Tokyo and given the chance, I would definitely return again. I hope you find this write up interesting and helpful, if you do, please share with friends. Till the next time, Happy partytrailing!!!!…
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