Japan is a country with the perfect balance of ancient culture and modern technology. Right next to a shrine that is hundreds of years old, you can get a Manhattan cocktail.
Japan imports nearly nothing. They have a sense of pride that says, “We can do it better.” And they do. Everything that exists in Japan is created with an attention to detail and a degree of perfection that I haven’t seen anywhere else.
Even our hotel bathroom was something to marvel at. The amazing washlet heated toilet seat (pretty much standard everywhere), fog free mirror, and super intuitive shower controls were incredible.
Even things that weren’t invented in Japan are made better there. It’s as if they sent their chefs to Paris, learned to make croissants from the best chefs in France, and then took it up a notch.
Oh the food. Wow. Sushi, ramen, tempura. And lots of French food. In Tokyo, the city with the most Michelin star restaurants, you will find no shortage of french food and french wine.
Tokyo is a city that rivals New York in my list of the top cities in the world. That’s a rank that I thought New York City held with a distant lead, but no longer.
Armed with a ton of great suggestions from our friends (thank you!), and our Lonely Planet guides, we set off to explore Japan.
- Arrived in the evening
- Staying at Hotel Marunouchi near Tokyo Station. Very nice and convenient
- Cocktails at Bar Oak in the Tokyo Station Hotel. Gorgeous spot, killer drinks
- Tsukiji fish market
- Ghibli museum (HIGHLY recommended)
- Shibuya – ramen and shopping
- Dinner and drinks with Sean (Twitter friend)
- Senso-ji temple
- Asahi building – view and beer
- Akihabara electronics district
- Maid cafe (weird but fun)
- Ginza for shopping
- Ginza Lion beer hall
- Four seasons for drinks with Tim, and foie (Apple friend)
- L’atelier Roubechon for dinner, more foie
- Bullet train to Kyoto
- Stayed at Hotel Granvia Kyoto. Ok, convenient.
- Silver Pavilion
- Lots of snacks along the way
- Exploring Gion
- Irish pub
- Traditional tempura dinner – awesome!
- Hotel buffet
- Gates of Shinto Shrine! Incredible.
- Bamboo grove
- Romantic beer by water 🙂
- Golden temple
- Gion for drinks
- Nishiki market
- Train to Tokyo
- Drinks at Park Hyatt (nice but touristy)
- French restaurant (Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais)
- Karaoke for hours!
- Gyoza Ro for lunch
- Harajuku craziness
- Meiji Shrine
- Roppongi: wine bar with 48 wines, self serve machines
- Roppongi Hills for dinner
One of the best trips ever. I already miss Tokyo and want to go back.