December 2018. It was our first time in Tokyo, a bit implausible for Filipinos who practically take the country by storm during the summer break, and now even the holidays for a chance to experience snow. Suffice to say, we now know what the fuss is all about! Japan’s capital is every bit what I expected in my dreams, and so, so much more. For a city girl like me, navigating the busy, hectic, sometimes manic streets of Tokyo is akin to a hamster in a very elaborate cage/colony that I never wanted to get out of. I lived for the rush of crossing busy Shibuya, running to catch a train, squeezing into tiny restaurants and watching the rest of the city do the same thing day in and day out. I loved how the Japanese pay attention to the most minute details, like the time to make everything around them functional and pretty. I enjoyed how bright the streets were at night, how safe it felt even at the wee hours and how they valued space (or a lack thereof) by using each millimetre. And don’t even get me started on the shopping! You can easily burn a few hundred thousands in a day if you let yourself go; same goes with the food, albeit there are lots of cheap eats for the budget-conscious. I couldn’t help but compare it to my hometown which is light years away in terms of almost everything and felt a sense of sadness mixed with awe on how it was so possible to have all these conveniences if only things were different. While we barely scratched the surface of this magnificent city, I think we did pretty well exploring, eating, shopping and bonding to last us until our next visit.
Here are some of the highlights of our trip, all shot with my trusty iPhone 8 that I whipped out about ten thousand times a day when I’d see something wonderful.
Omotesando & Harajuku
Sneaker shops galore!