We arrived at Narita airport from Melbourne on an overnight flight feeling tired and sore - having spent the last 10 hours *trying* to sleep but were ready to take on Tokyo with everything we had left.
After arriving, dropping our luggage at a friend’s work because we couldn’t check in to our Airbnb for until later that afternoon we walked into the first ramen shop we could find. Just like you would imagine, it was just wide enough to fit a bar counter for about 7 people to eat at with a kitchen just as narrow behind it.
After being greeted by no less than all 3 chefs/waiters behind the bar, we took our seat in between the local business men (salary men) and ordered the set lunch menu which included a large bowl of ramen with a broth that could cure anything an overnight flight can leave you with, 4 pieces of handmade gyoza and a bowl of rice. We pretty much inhaled everything in front of us and stumbled out of there with full bellies and huge eyes, ready to take on this crazy place I’d missed so much. Not even an hour later Josh turned to me and said “I know we’ve been here all but 2 hours, but I could live in Tokyo. No, I want to live in Tokyo”.
Last week marked 9 years since I’d first visited Japan and Tokyo. I’d lived here for 1 year as a student on exchange when I was 16 years old and still can’t believe that it took me this long to come back, but I already know I’m not waiting another 9 years.
We spent the afternoon walking through the super cool Daikan-yama neighbourhood which had frenchy vibes, lot’s of vintage stores, designer boutiques and an abundance of cute cafes.
In the evening we met with my (very first!!) friend in Japan, Karin, who took us out for Yakitori (Japanese-style fried chicken) and various other Japanese food. It was wonderful to catch up after all these years. We had a really great evening and so enjoyed letting Karin chose everything off the menu. As with most overseas trips, one of the main objectives is to eat as much as physically possible and to try and say yes to everything. Needless to say we were more than happy with Karin’s choices.
Over the next days we walked no less than 10km each day (mostly unintentional, as we got lost a lot) and got to know some more of Tokyo’s varying neighbourhoods. To be honest, I spent most of the time with my eyes wide saying “I cannot believe this place exists”. By the third day I felt like I was going to explode from visual inspiration.
I’m excited to start sharing some more places we visited and tips on where to eat and what to do, incase anyone reading is planning a trip to Japan!