Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tokyo By Night

Tokyo is a frenetic, fast-paced, neon lovers, dream of a city. When the sun goes down, it lights up with it's neon billboards and skyscrapers so that it almost seems like it's daylight outside. At night, it seems like a whole different place than the one you walked around earlier that same day.
















Our first evening in Tokyo we headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building located in the Shinjuku neighborhood to visit it's free observatory. We waited in a fairly short line to go up at sunset and watch the sky darken and the neon turn on. (There are two observation decks but only one was open the night we were there. Hours are 9:30am to 11:00pm) It's a 360-degree view (all interior) of Tokyo.












I knew that I wanted to try yakitori - which is grilled chicken served on a skewer traditionally at happy hour. But since I don't speak or read Japanese I couldn't decipher where to go get it. We had read in a guide book some of the places that were known for happy hour so we just headed in that direction. There were hawkers outside some of the restaurants so we just went with one of those. And it was a good decision.















We later determined - we think- that this was a popular chain restaurant - but we didn't care. It was great! We took off our shoes and had yakitori, salmon croquettes and sushi. Much fun and good food! And very reasonably priced.




One of the most famous places in Tokyo is Shibuya Crossing. Rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world, and located in front of  the Shibuya station, all lights at this intersection turn red at the same time and everyone "scrambles" across the street. There is a prime viewing spot from the 2nd story of the Starbucks across the street. You will need to purchase something to sit at a table there and...good luck finding a seat. It was so crowded when we were there we just stood to watch.












On our last evening in Tokyo my daughter used a restaurant review site and GPS to take us to a restaurant located near Shibuya station.  Gonpachi Shibuya is located on the 14th floor of what looks to be an office building. The elevator empties you into a very cool restaurant with a yakitori grill and tatami rooms with low tables. By far my favorite restaurant we went to in Tokyo - and I would go back again if I return. Maybe every night if I could afford to.  (Be aware this restaurant is not cheap but is good for a special splurge night)








My daughters then went to the Sky Bar for very expensive cocktails to celebrate our week in Tokyo. Me - I successfully navigated my way back to the hotel by subway because sometimes sisters need some time alone together without their mom. And sometimes mom's are just tired after a week in Tokyo.


Photo Credit: Most of these photos were taken by my oldest daughter. Thanks sweetie!


How about you? Have you been to Tokyo? And did you go out at night?



I'm linking up! Please visit: Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox,,Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and A Southerner!









20 comments:

  1. I haven't been to Tokyo yet but we're dying to go! It looks like such a gorgeous city at night - I've been getting into more and more night photography (specifically city skylines) and I feel like that would be a great city to practice in. Thanks for linking up with the #WeekendWanderlust :)

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    1. Tokyo would definitely be a great city for practicing your photography. Thanks so much for visiting Ashley!

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  2. That was a wonderful looking week-long experience. I loved it all vicariously and would do exactly the same things myself. I love Japan and live in North Queensland Australia, so am quite close. We fully anticipate returning (we have previously been to Kyoto and Osaka. When we visit Tokyo I will look your post up again. Pinned to my Japan Board for easy reference. :)

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  3. That was a wonderful looking week-long experience. I loved it all vicariously and would do exactly the same things myself. I love Japan and live in North Queensland Australia, so am quite close. We fully anticipate returning (we have previously been to Kyoto and Osaka. When we visit Tokyo I will look your post up again. Pinned to my Japan Board for easy reference. :)

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    1. Thanks so much Jan! And I would love to get to Kyoto someday - and Mt. Fuji. One week was definitely not long enough!

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  4. I am dying of envy in here! Tokyo is like a dream city to me. I like that it is both a day city. It is interesting anytime. I will like to visit all the places you show in here (and eat the food too!).

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    1. Thanks Ruth - and I hope you get to Tokyo for all the food!

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  5. I would love to go to Tokyo some day. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. Hope you get to go someday! Thanks for visiting!

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  6. Tokyo must be totally different from what we know. How is it by night, safe enough to walk around? Are there places to avoid, too? #TPThursday #greyworldnomads

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    1. When I arrived at 11:30 at night there was a girl walking by herself outside my hotel and I was amazed. It is such a safe city and I never once felt unsafe or threatened. They have a very low crime rate all over Japan. Very good question though! Thanks for visiting!

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  7. Tokyo at night was awesome! I almost had my head taken off by an umbrella walking across the street at Shibuya station though :) The food in Japan is awesome! Sushi, ramen, okonomyaki were some of my favs!

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    1. The Shibuya station area is tricky, isn't it?And can you believe I didn't have any ramen when I was there? Guess I'll have to return!

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  8. I love yakitori! I ate it at a great little food stand in Shibuya. I tried to up to the observation deck in the government building, but it was closed when I was there. Just one more reason to head back. It looks you all had a great time! #TPThursday

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    1. Wasn't the yakitori great? I loved the whole "happy hour" experience. And we did have a great time - love traveling with my girls! Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Giving your daughters an opportunityfor a night on the town by themselves? Priceless.

    We have not yet been to Tokyo so it was really nice reading about your experience there. I really like how all the lights at Shibuya Crossing turn red simultaneously. Too brilliant for words! Thanks for sharing this on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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    1. Thanks Linda! - and thanks for visiting!

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  10. We absolutely love Tokyo! It's such a lively city an you're right that nighttime becomes a totally different place. Glad you enjoyed the food and attractions like Shibuya crossing. My kids love eating yakitori too and live on bento boxes. We were just there again a couple of weeks ago and were lucky enough to see the cherry blossoms.

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    1. I bet it was so wonderful to see the cherry blossoms! I can't wait to go back - and hopefully in springtime! Thanks for visiting!

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