japan part 1: yokohama & tokyo.

We were forunate enough to spend our spring break visiting a good friend of mine in japan. I visited Beijing about three years ago, and fell in love with exploring and photographing Asia, so japan was definitely on the top of the list of places I wanted to visit. Although I knew I was going for some time, I still had a hard time believing this was actually happening. i don’t think i have ever been THIS excited to go anywhere.

Needless to say, I loved japan! We were there at the height of the cherry blossom (sakura) blooms, and that alone was a sight to see. We explored yokohama, tokyo and kyoto. Our trip was fast, but we made the most of it! We did and saw so much, yet there is so much there to see and do, i feel like we hardly even scraped what there is to do in japan.

Our friend lives in yokohama, so we spent the first day exploring there. We started at a ramen museum, where I had my first go at some vegan ramen (which was so amazing! this was probably my favorite meal of the whole trip) rode the ferris wheel in the center of the city, then walked around chinatown, which is the biggest in japan. This is also where we saw our first glimpse of sakura.

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Tokyo! The next morning we took the subway into Tokyo. Our first stop: Shibuya crossing, so that we can see the statue of Hatchiko! We walked around for a bit, had a fantastic lunch at Nagi Shokudo, walked through Harajuku, rested and people-watched in Yoyogi Park, then headed to Shinjuku to see the Robot Resturant. 

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Harajuku: maybe just a tad busy….
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Have you heard of the Robot restaurant? Everyone told us we needed to go, and its rated as one of Tokyo’s top attractions. We bought our tickets ahead of time, and didn’t really know what to expect. I will tell you this – if you want to feel like you’ve arrived in tokyo – this definitely does the trick! Its a campy, loud, sensory overload filled show complete with dancing girls, gorillas, sharks, robots and more! Definitely check it out. Its located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, where you will find the red light district, as well as a ton of bars and nightlife. 
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We headed into tokyo for another day – We started for vegan ramen at T’s Tan Tan at Tokyo Station, then explored Nakano and Koenji. Koenji has a more hipster-y vibe, full of vintage and handmade stores – We found a great shopping arcade – we that had a ton of anime and fun movie and toy memoriablia, as well as great japanese snacks – This area is known for its punk-scene and this is where alot of shows take place. It was a good change from the hustle and bustle of Shibuya and the more known sites in Tokyo. If you find yourself this way, check out Base Records. its small, but has a great selection of underground punk records. We did some shopping and had a good vegan dinner at Meu Nota.

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I guess I didnt take alot of photos here – this was the only time we really “shopped” so i guess I was busy doing that!

stay tuned for part two: kyoto!

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