Japan- The land of the rising sun .
This is a country I have visited many times but it still intrigues and amazes every time.
This trip includes places I haven’t visited in the past , Kyoto , Osaka , Kobe and Nara .
On arrival you get a warm feel with everything running in perfect motion. People are most accommodating, one such story where a lady helped out to two stranded tourists in the middle of tokyo station navigating us to our hotel. No compensation , no scam , someone willing to help .
Our First day in Tokyo, must see the Tsukiji fish market , the largest fish market in the world . The fresh fish sold here , can be served fresh in London or New York within 24 hours .Side streets sell an array of fresh fresh that makes a brilliant meal and the best value lunch to be had in Tokyo . Fresh sashimi at its best ! Also many street vendors selling spices and souvenirs at attractive prices compared to midtown pricing .
After lunch , take the subway to visit the Imperial Palace and the surrounding gardens , well kept and managed . A small museum in the East Gardens of the Palace , worth a visit and all areas are free to the public . A short walk away is a photo op , outside the imperial Palace , home of the Japanese Royal family , see photos page .
A major landmark site is the controversial shrine is the Shinto shrine ,we visited during the afternoon , absolutely jammed with tourists both local and foreigners , some foreigners who I was surprised to be visiting this shrine and buying many trinkets at the malls around the temple .
Ginza , the upmarket and yuppy area , the usual Main Street stores as well as the local brands available . Roponngi Hills also a great area for shopping as well as getting a bite to eat , or just watch the city buzz .
Tokyo has improved so much in the past 10 years since my last trip ,prices are more acceptable ( but still probably most expensive city is Tokyo , in our world trip ) .
Tokyo offers the most Michelin star restaurants outside Europe, however been on a backpacker budget , this is outside our budget. Best strategy is to walk down side streets and you will find a small family run noodle shop , or a sushi counter or ramen shop . Prices are very reasonable with the food prepared with great care and attention.
Tokyo is a city where you will never go short of food , drink and warm hospitality .