Photographer: Daniel | Route: Shibuya Crossing to a small Shrine near Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Route: Shibuya Crossing to a small Shrine near Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
My parents have been visiting Tokyo for many years but neither I nor my husband had ever been before. We all decided to plan a trip together. Some of our time in Tokyo was seeing parts of the city that my parents were familiar with but much of it was explore new parts together and seeing a city through each other's eyes. I was fascinated by the different districts that make up the city. It's such a different way to organize a large, metropolitan city. My favorites were Jinbōchō, home to 160+ bookstores, and Akihabara, where you can find all the electronics you never knew you needed. But I will never forget The Robot Restaurant. After my husband and I went, people asked if we liked it, which is usually a yes or no question. But neither answer felt sufficient. There was too much to take in to just like it or not. Instead I've decided that I experienced nothing else like it and it will forever be engrained in my memory. It felt like a live-action version Dance Dance Revolution combined with a story line from the cartoons I used to watch as a kid. For 90 minutes colored lights flashed and electronic music filled the air while the characters of the show danced and interacted with the animatronic robots. The Robot Restaurant is filled with 99% tourists, however I still think it's worth going. While they serve food, book your show before or after dinner and enjoy some drinks instead. There's too much good food in Tokyo to waste a meal here.
Get a Suica card! You need cash to do this, but at the airport you can get a Suica card which works for the trains, taxis, and in many convenience stores and restaurants. Speaking of restaurants, you must go to Roppongi Robataya, a robatayaki (meaning fire-side cooking) restaurant. From the moment you walk through the door you're greeted with a colorful array of fresh vegetables, meats, and seafood (including a tank of still-swimming tiger prawns and abalone). Two chefs kneel in front of their charcoal grills and make each dish to order. This is not a line kitchen--each chef knows how to prepare, cook, and plate each dish masterfully, treating every ingredient with respect. From start to finish, each bite is delicately seasoned to heighten the true flavors of the main ingredients. If you have a few hours in your schedule and some room in your budget, please do not leave Tokyo without eating here.
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