During Golden Week, I took my first ever trip to Tokyo. Especially since coming to Osaka, Tokyo has felt so close yet so far. As a cultural hub of art and fashion and everything in between, Tokyo has always been a dream city of mine to visit. However, its not as a close as I thought it was in my head. Its about 8 hours away by driving, so my Tokyo dreams would have to wait until a long break. So once Golden Week was creeping up, some friends and I started to plan our Tokyo trip!
We took the Shinkansen there which is honestly such an incredible invention. Taking the Shinkansen took us two and a half hours to get there, when it typically takes 8 hours via driving or bus. The drawback is that the ticket is pretty hefty, and also doesn’t vary whether you buy it early or not (like plane or bus tickets do). So, we ended up reasoning that by taking the Shinkansen there, we would be full of energy to start our trip off, and then at the end of the trip take the bus back so we could just crash at home.
Anyway, here are my favorite things we did in Tokyo.
Something I also really enjoyed and would recommend people to check out was the Team Lab Borderless museum.
I had my initial doubts that it just looked like an Instagram trap like so many “immersive” museums nowadays. But I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually so breathtaking seeing all of the different interactive installations throughout. Ones that were actually really entertaining and beautiful and fun to marvel at and explore and stick around to watch the projections and things change. We spent a good three hours in the museum. I highly recommend, it is such a unique attraction. Especially for those, that other typical landmarks of towers and stuff aren’t your thing.
Another of my favorite things we did was the Mori Art Museum. They currently have the Roppongi crossing exhibition which I believe is a retrospective of Japanese artists that are currently creating work that reflects Japan’s current art scene. Lots of work about artificial intelligence and pop culture.
Also, something on my mind throughout the trip was how people had mentioned to me how different Osaka and Tokyo are from each other. In particular how Osaka is known to be more welcoming, warm, and friendlier compared to folks in Tokyo. Tokyo is known to be the bustling busy city where no one has the time of day to be nice. Essentially like the NYC of Japan I suppose.
After visiting Tokyo, I’m still unsure if I agree with those statements. There were often time where I feel like people were a bit less warm but I can’t tell if I only noticed because I already had those pre-conceptions in my head. Also, I think generalizations like that are also hard to make with such a short stay.
I do wish I had more time in Tokyo, there was still so much to see. I hope I can go back soon!