I had six days in Tokyo, but really the first and the last day were travel days, so I didn’t do much on those days. Instead, I relished the four days sandwiched in between. I’m glad I didn’t visit Tokyo until I was a bit older and I have gotten to travel a bit more. The younger version of me would’ve just gone through a checklist of all the stops I see in every blog about Tokyo without really appreciating the cool, cool vibe of this city.

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Since I traveled slowly, I was able to do more exploring, getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and somehow finding my way back. “As long as I find a train station, I’m gold,” was my mantra. I figure from any train station, I can always check a map and find my way back.

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Walking was key. I left the hostel around 10 AM every day and returned around 10 PM. My base was a hostel in Asakusa, so I was able to visit Sensoji temple twice. Once at night, when it was the most photogenic.

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This also means I was a short train ride to Akihabara, known for its many electronic shops and collector’s items. I went inside one building and just got amazed at all the electronics available. It was quite overwhelming.

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I really liked the Shibuya area, just visiting the many different shops and going into quieter streets, finding cute cafes. My favorite discovery would have to be Nonbei Yokocho (‘Drunkard’s Alley‘), primarily because I was not seeking it out. I was just really walking around the different alleys crisscrossing Shibuya and stumbled upon this gem of a place in busy Tokyo.

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There’s also Yoyogi Park and the famous Meiji Shrine, which was just adjacent the very funky Harajuku district. I think this best illustrates the contrast of the old and new in Japan. So incredibly cool. I loved this place. On the same day, I met my cousin in Shinjuku, another very busy area that we got to explore a bit.

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Lastly, I met my old friend from elementary school and she took me to the Shiba-koen district to go up the Tokyo tower and see the sunset views, and to Odaiba to see the giant Gundam statue. I loved seeing her and just catching up. I haven’t seen her since we were kids.

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My last day in Tokyo, I spent finding last minute gifts and sending out my remaining post cards. Then I took the bullet train back to Osaka to get on my flight back to Manila.  I had 15 days in Japan. I wished it was longer. There’s still so much more to see and experience. I will definitely be back.

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