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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bitten By The Travel Bug : Tokyo (Day 1 & 2)

Hello peeps!

It's October already.. that's a few more months to the beginning of a new year !

It's been another one of those eventful months , I embarked on a totally unexpected solo trip to Japan  and I decided to extend my trip because I wanted to make the most out of it. :D

My only regret was that I wished that I had documented my solo day out better.. But that's one of the hardest things to do when you're travelling alone in such a busy city.. plus it's hard to walk around with a selfie stick/go pro and trying to take pictures with a bunch of shopping bags.. If you understand :p

But I did plenty of Snapchat updates ! So if you do follow me there you'll see firsthand that I had quite a happening day :p

Day 1
managed to catch the last few rays on sunlight!
As I arrived at night (around 10pm), most of the shops were closed.. and I decided to take a taxi (which turned out to be crazy expensive! Lesson learnt - taxis in Tokyo will burn a hole in your pocket T.T )



Gotta love convenience stores in Tokyo, I got hungry and was a little worried I wouldn't be able to find food.. but there were sandwiches & bentos available .. so my dinner was well taken care of!

But first, let's talk accommodation. This was my first experience with AirBnb (so many firsts on this trip!) and I chose this quaint little studio apartment in the Setagaya district owned by an awesome host (Sayuri).

Great view apt. 5min from Shibuya - Apartments for Rent

Apartment in Setagaya, Japan. studio type apartment fully furnished, 10th floor and above, view of Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree, 5 minutes to Shibuya, located in Setagaya-ku Tokyo. The access map with photos will be sent to you after receiving your reservation. We offer quite and... View all listings in Setagaya
I cannot emphasise this enough : make lots of inquiries when it comes to Airbnb because you need to find out which suits you best - regarding the area , nearby transportation & convenience stores/food.

I'm a rather meticulous planner. I need to have every single detail down pat before I start my trips, so this was rather unorthodox for me because I never really planned anything much (How to plan? Plane tickets were bought less than a week to go.. heh. )Thankfully , my overall experience with Sayuri had been awesome . If budget is not an issue, I'd highly recommend that you stay here. Prices are seasonal , but mine was about 89 euros per night.



  Day 2

..was spent exploring cafes and shopping.
My trusty guides for the day (kindly provided by Sayuri) & Essentials (Pocket Wifi from Visondata and a spare phone containing apps essential to my survival :p) 
My initial plan was to focus on Shibuya because I didn't want to overwhelm myself..
but then I realised that with Ultra Japan coming up I wouldnt have much time to explore anyway.. So I decided to follow my instincts and ended up in Shibuya, Shinjuku & Harajuku ( the three main shopping heavens, if you will) 

So the stores i frequented were (but are not limited to) Commes Des Garcons for my sister and her friends ; Les Merveilleuses Laduree makeup & checking out the famous Takashimaya times square in Shinjuku.

It started to pour halfway through.. and I was so thankful that I brought an umbrella along. 
no shame because everyone does it anyway.. and besides, they're transparent!
I was wandering rather aimlessly, but I guess lady luck decided to smile on me because I stumbled upon one of the "must try" cafes - Streamer Coffee Company, where I had the best Mocha I'd ever tasted. Trumps KL & penang cafes.. sorry guys!
A photo posted by Gillian Ong (@gilly214) on

I'd never really expected to get caught up in the rush hour crowd ( I guess the time difference never occurred to me ) and so I went along with it . I arrived at Shinjuku shortly after , and promptly got attracted by the sight of macarons..
With nothing much to do after exploring shopping malls.. I decided to head to Harajuku instead.
I did go there with a purpose.. to find Laforet Harajuku (where Les Merveilleuses Laduree was located) :p I must say japs are really passionate about their work.. I had the most fun & engaging experience purchasing makeup ever.




Slowly, I got rather hungry ..  and Rickho (I was texting her the entire time) asked that I go try Ichiran Ramen. So i made a u- turn back to Shibuya and had my dinner..
A photo posted by Gillian Ong (@gilly214) on
( a super fun experience, will be documented in the next post )  and afters, hopped on the train and went home . One thing I could never get used to in Tokyo is that their stores close really early (8pm in Harajuku & Shinjuku ;  9pm in Shibuya - as told by a local).. so there really isn't a lot to do after nightfall.
and so i was basically sitting at home doing this.. :p 
Well.. Except for the part where i got hungry and the 24 hour bento store next to the apartment was calling to me.. :p

But i'd done enough damage for the day, anyways.

More soon,
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