Travel Stories

A travel blog for a long-term expat, backpacker, traveler, ESL teacher, and photographer. 



As I had a couple of days left from my vacation days, I tacked them onto a weekend and took a four day trip to Tokyo. I am not a big fan of capital cities so, as I expected, I wasn’t too interested in exploring Tokyo and I decided to escape the city life and explore the beautiful scenery outside Tokyo. However, I probably spent a day and a half exploring some bits and pieces of Tokyo. I stayed in a wooden pod hostel with about 28 beds in a room and two showers for the entire hostel. One must see was the busiest intersection in the world – Shibuya Crossing. There were cross walks in all directions and when the lights changed on a Friday night, it was swarming with thousands of people. It was hard to photograph and find a decent location to photograph it. Also, I didn’t want to carry around a tripod so I was limited on what I could do by hand.

When in Tokyo, I spent the grand majority of my time exploring the area around Shinjuku. I was trying to meet my friend by the East exit in Shinjuku on a Friday Evening and the amount of people everywhere makes you undoubtedly claustrophobic and impossible for you to be in a rush. I was almost 45 minutes late because of getting lost and I was frantically trying to find the East exit but because the way the station is designed, the exits are sooooo far apart. Anyways, as it turned out, my friend was also late so it didn’t make a difference.

I did manage to visit Tokyo's most famous temple the Meiji shrine as well. Here there was a wedding photo shoot that was in very old, traditional clothing and thus was very interesting to observe. It was a strange temple because it is in the middle of Tokyo and so green and forested.

Lastly, I also took a pit stop in Akihabara. This area is supposed to display innovative electronics and it is a paradise for anime lovers. There are tons of shops with just anime toys. Additionally, this area is famous for Maid Cafes where you get overpriced food and waitresses to act as your maid and take photos with you. I’ll never understand the cutesiness. I asked my Japanese friend about these cafes and he blushed and pretty much said that these are more for lonely guys and that he had never been. I wish I hadn’t been traveling alone so I could have experienced it because going alone would have been awkward, haha.

Here's more photos.