Tokyo: Borderless

Thanks to the Yamanote line basically all of Tokyo is easily accessible. This light green line runs in a circle around the city. You can catch it every couple minutes unlike the dreaded DC Orange line.

If you bought the JR pass it is free to you. As such getting everywhere is a breeze as you just catch this line and transfer as needed. Some of the trains in Tokyo are privately owned so you’ll have to pay again at some transfers. We didn’t get the JR pass which I don’t regret. It is about $300 and includes most of the trains in Tokyo and around the country. I liked having the freedom to choose whatever line we wanted without being worried we weren’t getting our money’s worth.

Staying in Shibuya didn’t mean we had to stick to the west side of the city. With only 4 days in Tokyo we had to be strategic with our neighborhood choices. Here are the ones we started in and then explored from there on the east side.

KOTO

This was one of the coolest exhibits I have ever been to. Forget all those instagram paradises you have been with brands aka anything I’ve ever worked on. Borderless is an immersive light exhibit that takes different artistic concepts and brings them to life in incredible ways. It is about $30 and we spent 3 hours there mesmerized. Because it is a light installation photos are challenging but it is more about the interaction than anything else.

Doors opened at 1030am, we got there a bit after that and there was already a huge queue. Because Japan is so effective we moved through quick enough. I am glad we went so early because by 1pm there were lines to get into most of the rooms which we avoided.

  • Rainbow Bridge

You can take the train straight from teamlab to the fish market. Apparently it has since moved to another larger location but we went for lunch at the old one. The train ride across the water and over a bay takes you off Rainbow Bridge. Google shows me that it lights up at night so we missed the main event it seems but still gorgeous views of the city over water.

  • Tsukiji Market

The once main fish market in Tokyo has since dwindled down to just a few rows of shops. We came around 2pm and most of the shops were already closed. We did find one incredible restaurant that served the freshest sushi. We grabbed some matcha ice cream and walked around checking out the open stalls.

  • Ginza St

Nearby is the shopping mecca st Ginza which hosts all the famous brands. We walked around and stumbled by a crazy leather goods/ luggage store selling everything for $48. I was in a market for a new luggage and only came with a backpack so the perfect item to fly home with. Check check!

ASAKUSA

  • Nakamise Shopping Street

When you exit the train station to head towards the temple you will walk through this shopping street. If you needed any souvenirs of any variety they can be found on this street. There are two gates to the temple and this street is right after the first gate.

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  • Senso-ji Temple

This temple was erected in the 600s and is one of the oldest in Tokyo. You can pay 1000 yen or like .80 cents, then shake this container of sticks with characters on them. The characters correspond with drawers which have fortunes in them. Good and bad fortunes are there and I snagged a bad one. The good news is you can tie your bad fortune to a post and leave it at the temple. There is something cathartic about it, leaving this bad news behind and moving forward into the park, you feel elevated.

  • Ueno Park

Being from DC, the annual cherry blossom blooming is something I’ve always looked forward to. Coming to Japan and being there around the same time with my mom felt like perfect timing. Luckily there is a gorgeous park near the Senso-Ji temple and via instagram I could see some where already in bloom. We headed over to grab lunch and take in Japan on our last day. It got up to the 70s this day so the trees were showin off for us. The most fitting send of for my mom and I to head towards sunny Australia… or so we thought.

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