The Journey Begins: Tokyo

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“Blink and you’ll miss it” they say. Well that’s the truest words I’ve ever heard. Our year teaching in Korea, that’s South Korea for those still asking, has come to a conclusion. I can’t really believe it. We’ve been traveling three weeks and it’s barely starting to sink in that we’re not going back and our time teaching and living there is finished.

The last week in Korea made my head spin. There was too much going on from packing, mailing stuff home, rushed bank trips, saying goodbye to all the students, and squeezing in quality time with friends.

Although it was such a whirlwind of a week we had some amazing last meals and were able to show our college besties around. Having them there cured my homesickness, at least short-term. The familiarity of people from home was very refreshing!

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The last few weeks have been filled with too many tears from saying too many goodbyes, packing/unpacking, taxis, trains, buses, ferries, cities, beaches, and a lot of hotels.

My location ADD is definitely getting it’s fix – maybe a little too much. We have just finished traveling with two different sets of friends so now it’s just James and I. We’re hoping we can slooow down a bit and breathe the air.

Our journey began in Tokyo, the largest metropolitan city in the world!

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Going to the tower or highest building is a must in any city to get a true view of the landscape. We ventured to Tokyo Tower at night in attempt to comprehend this vast, never ending city.

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At most tourist destinations in Tokyo we stumbled across set-up photo shots. Of course being the skeptical tourist you just continue walking by, no one wants to buy their photo for 20 dollars! In Tokyo, however, they would take a picture with their camera then offer a free picture with your own camera. How are they making any profit?

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There are so many quirky things hidden in the humongous city of Tokyo and we were on the search for as many as possible. From hedgehog cafes’ to bunny cafes’ to pirate bars we were able to stumble across only a few of the not-so-ordinary places. We were completely devastated when we read the Robot restaurant was closed for maintenance.

The next best thing, Kawaii Monster Cafe. This is a place to go if you want to see the adorable-ness Japan has to offer. They also have these great “maid cafes”, but you have to put your camera away in those.

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After a colorful meal we watched a quick dance, some flashing lights, and the merry-go-around spin. Cher even got pulled in to join them! She’s a star!

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Akihabara is the place to go to escape the bustling city and dive into a world of gaming nostalgia and also play the newest arcade games.  If you are a total nerdy gamer this is the neighborhood to go. The arcades are windowless and black, a place you could easily lose track of time. 

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All the old wooden doors open once nightfall arrives. People pack into these literal hole in the wall bars which fill quickly, most fit only a max of 8 people.

We weaved through the maze of alleys then planted ourselves among a friendly group of Japanese men. One of the highlights we had in here!

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Is it just us or does vacation add hours when trying to reach a specific destination? We had heard highlights of the famous fish market so we made it a priority to go, unfortunately we were too late. It was completely empty and we were greeted with trucks roaring off to deliver the catch of the day. We accepted our losses, walked through the empty halls, got kicked out, and ate some sashimi.

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Our last night was one of my favorites. We went to Roppongi Hillsa swanky area for people to dress up, walk around, and eat some delicious food. Oh, and not to forget the 360 view of the city on Roppongi Hills Mori Tower.

We watched the sunset and it was outstanding. There are not enough adjectives to describe the scenery. This city is incredible! And watching the sunset was super romantic! 😉 

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We had an amazing time in Tokyo and only saw a tiny corner of it! We love Japan and are certainty not done with this country. Until next time Japan!

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