7 brisk flying hours from Singapore, Tokyo is a must-visit for many especially for the shopaholics who loves the fashions and shopping as well as for attraction-lovers who will be fascinated with the rich history behind each of these attractions, such as the Imperial Palace, Sensoji Temple, Tsukiji Fish Market for its busy bustling activities, Shinjuku for the shopaholics and for the night owls and scenery-lovers: Tokyo Tower, Rainbow Bridge will be a hot-spot for many.
Landed at 5:30 AM in the morning at Haneda Airport, it was my second time visiting Japan but the first to land at Haneda Airport and I told myself “This will be an exciting journey to rediscover Japan again!”.
After making a brisk pass-through the immigration, i was welcomed by my escort, Mrs Kaiko whom i could feel the friendliness and approachable at first sight. “Welcome to Japan! I can be your mother or grandmother so take me as one”, she laughed after i shook hands with her and she does make me feel like one, with the warmth of someone fetching you when you land in a foreign land.
Land of Rising Sun MUST-GOes
Whisking in a private taxi or airport limousine from Haneda, you will be conveniently linked to Tokyo City in about 20-30 mins and from Narita will take you about 1 hour by Narita Express NEX or Airport Limousine.
One of the best subway to connect places with cushion seats.
From Tokyo City, you can connect to major tourist destinations and other cities by the subway which is one of the most convenient ways to get around Tokyo. Despite the massive number of confusing lines of colours that may appear on the subway map that you might refuse to try your luck hopping onto one, it’s actually quite easy to get around with just a few times of getting lost of directions (harmlessly).
Now who goes to a market like this?
Immersed in the world’s busiest and largest fish market, you will have to sacrifice your sleep for this. Before you know it, the Tsukiji market only permits 120 visitors daily and 30 mins each for a slot of half the group of visitors to watch and experience the Tuna Auction in the Tuna Wholesale Auction section. Besides selling fish, the Tsukiji Market also sells vegetables and dried products all within a compound and it’s usually swarmed with people from chefs to market stall owners to purchase the freshest best produces.
Years of Historical moments from the Shogun to Imperial Family
Count us lucky to be hosted by a knowledgeable escort, we were brought back to 400 years ago when the Shogun was in power of Japan and after a civil war, the shogun lost his power and ended his ruling. After which, the Meiji period surfaces after EDO where the country reopens and international trade begins.
2 bridges were built on-site the imperial palace, one made of stone while the other made of iron where you can see at our jump shot photo above. And be impressed of the high walls and scenery that seperates the land and the palace by a stream of river.
Hoping to see the interior of the Imperial Palace? Only on 2 special occasions in a year: New year greeting day ( 2 Jan ) and the Emperor’s Birthday ( 23 Dec ) will guests be permitted into the vicinity.
Well-known as a famous temple in Japan, the Sensō-ji Temple, Tokyo’s oldest Temple is always flooded with locals and tourists even on a weekday. It had a long history which started from 2 fishermen who found a statue of Kannon in the Sumida River which is located close to the on-site temple and led to the inspiration in the construction of this temple.
Guarding the temple is the Kaminarimon Gate where 2 statues, known as the God of Wind and God of Thunder stands. In the middle, there is a huge lattern that hangs down at a height of 4 metres tall and is now the entrance to the temple.
To pray for prosperity and health, simply scoop the water from the basin and wash both of your hands with a scoop of water. Next, fill the water with another scoop and rinse your mouth with the fresh cooling spring water.
Before you step into the temple, you’ll notice crowd of visitors gathering around an urn. Try scooping a little handful of ash and flap it towards your face. It’s believed to purify your deeds before you enter into the temple.
A few steps away, you will enter a praying hall crowded with well-wishers from all over the world as it is known for its significant and being the oldest temple attracted the tourists to flock here to pray for health and prosperity.
Be amazed of the large number of crowd despite it is a weekday and worshippers coming to the area to pray for each individual well-wishes. A donation container also lies in front where one can freely throw coins through the slots and pray for the wishes you’ll want to fulfill.
Soaring next to the Senso-ji temple proudly stands a 5 storey high Pagoda which overlooks the temple and the nearby attractions like newly built skytree and popular Asakusa. Look at the fine architecture, isn’t it breathtaking?
After your prayers, you can stroll through the streets leading to the Kaminarimon Gate from the Sensoji Temple where you will be welcomed by souvenirs and local delicacies that you can only find and buy them in this historical street.
Where to shop?
For electrical-product lovers, you can have a touch on the newest technology at Asakusa
Shopaholics who have the desire of shopping luxury branded goods or window-shopping to save those burning pockets – Ginza will be a good choice to spend your day along those streets of shops and department stores.
Other shopping districts for the shopaholics include Shinjuku, Shibuya, Center Gai for its clothes and other districts in Tokyo to fill your shopping bags!
Wonder where to go at night for a romantic getaway in Tokyo, Japan? Stay with us on our next post and other current posts here in 3.11 Japan Category.