Oh Tokyo, you had me at konnichiwa!! I always dreamed of Japan and I always imagined it was gonna be amazing but I was wrong… It’s beyond amazing!
During my SE Asia solo trip I was planning to go to Japan for my birthday but plans had to change a little. I got stolen a considerable amount of money when I was in Bali so that changed everything I was planning and instead I spent my birthday in Koh Tao (not complaining at all). But thinking ahead before even starting my trip, I booked my return flight home with a 24 hours layover in Tokyo just in case…
I was coming from Thailand and I was super excited about my long layover in Tokyo before heading home. I got to Narita International Airport (NRT) around noon and ready to explore the city for the few hours I had. Central Tokyo is around 1 hour to an hour and half from Narita depending on how you want to get there. The most comfortable way to get to Tokyo station is by the JR Narita Express (NEX), this train takes an hour and is around 3000 yen one way. Other easy and inexpensive way is to take the bus, it takes a little longer around 1 hour and a half depending on traffic and is around 1000 yen. There’re also other trains and several bus companies available just ask at the airport to see what times and prices work better for you. Taxi is another option but is way more expensive.
I took the bus to Central Tokyo and wandered around a little bit and then went straight to Shibuya. I was so in love with Tokyo already. Its vibrant atmosphere, the people, the cleanliness, the vibe, everything about this city is just something else. I walked for so long around Shibuya I lost track of time and suddenly it was night already.
I didn’t have anything booked to stay that night so I got into this standing bar and ordered a beer and connected to their wifi to search for a place. While I was there I met a great group of people, specially one of them. They were also travelers, I joined them and I ended up having a really good time with them all night. The next morning my flight was at noon so I took the bus back to Narita but I got lost in Central Tokyo and couldn’t find the way to the bus station. When I finally found it the bus was already full and I had to wait for the next one, I was already behind on time for my flight and after one hour and half I got to the airport to find out I missed my flight to Costa Rica.
That was my first time missing a flight and didn’t know what to do because I didn’t have much money left and my credit card wouldn’t work. After a couple of hours of figuring out what to do and with the help of ANA Airlines that by the way were amazing and helped me so much, I decided to go to Tokyo again and make the most out of my situation. My flight was until the next day so I just put my bags in the lockers and this time went straight to Shinjuku.
Long story short, missing my flight ended up being amazing! Instead of 1 day in Tokyo I had 2 days to experience a little of this incredible country and got the chance to meet someone really cool who made my layover even greater than it would’ve been, so thanks again thingi 😉
For me is hard to say what’s my favorite city or country because I love so many but if not my favorite, Tokyo is definitely on my top 3! I’m totally crazy about this place and I can’t imagine how much more I’m gonna love Japan when I go back to explore the rest of the country.
Here are some of the things you can do or places to see if you have a long layover or just a short visit in Tokyo:
- Shibuya District
- Shinjuku District
- Roppongi District
- Robot Restaurant (wasn’t able to get in but looks awesome!)
- Golden Gai or “Piss Alley” in the Shinjuku district. I really recommend it, is more of a local spot than tourist destination. It’s a series of really cool small bars in six narrow alleys. If you go find Albatross, is very nice.
- Do some shopping. They have great stores and a lot of cool and crazy stuff everywhere.
- Sensō-ji. Tokyo’s most visited temple.
- Eat everything you can, Japanese food is the best!
What other things/places would you add? Thanks for reading and happy adventures 😀
Photos by me