Wandering the streets of Asakusa

Touring Tokyo with a local

Looking at the roses in HIbiya
Straight off the plane, HIbiya Gardens does wonders for jet lag.
Roses in HIbiya
Roses in HIbiya
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The gates of the Imperial Palace
At the top of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
At the top of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower
Wandering the streets of Asakusa
Wandering the streets of Asakusa
A pallette cleanser at two Michelin star restaurant L'effervescence. Tokyo is home to so many Michelin stars. While they may seem out of reach, if you opt for the lunch session, it can end up being around £40 per person for a four course meal.
A pretty pallette cleanser at two Michelin star restaurant L’effervescence. Tokyo is home to so many Michelin stars. While they may seem out of reach, if you opt for the lunch session, it can end up being around just £30 per person for a four course meal.
Walking through the markets towards Sensō-ji
Walking through the markets towards Sensō-ji
Our guide for the day advised us that the markets near the temple were actually really good for shopping.
Our guide for the day Isa advised us that the markets near the temple were actually really good for shopping.
Outside a stall that sold hand made fans - some of them were ££££
Outside a stall that sold hand made fans – some of them were ££££
At the temple you can put in some money to read your 'luck' at the temple
At the temple you can put in some money to read your ‘luck’ at the temple
Luckily ours was good (thank god, and thanks to our guide for the day!), if you don't have a lucky piece of paper, you can tie it a nearby wire for good luck.
Luckily ours was good (thank god, and thanks to our guide for the day!), if you don’t have a lucky piece of paper, you can tie it to a nearby wire for good luck.
Underneath the temple gate
Underneath the temple gate
Washing your hands at the temple before entering.
Washing your hands at the temple before entering.
Walking through Ueno Park
Walking through Ueno Park
Isa took us into a Pachinko place - Tokyo's scarily noisy version of poker machines.
Isa took us into a Pachinko place  – Tokyo’s scarily noisy version of poker machines.
The streets of Shinsaibashi
The streets of Shinsaibashi
Inside a manga cafe in Akihabara
Inside a manga cafe in Akihabara
Akihabara, aka Tokyo's electronics district.
Akihabara, aka Tokyo’s electronics district.
Sushi breakfast at the fish markets
Sushi breakfast at the fish markets
A big mama tuna
A big mama tuna
Baby bonsais
Baby bonsais
Shinjuku Gyoen
Shinjuku Gyoen
My favourite store in Harajuku
My favourite store in Harajuku
Just a pram full of cats in Harajuku
Just a pram full of cats in Harajuku
Robot cafe craziness in Shinjuku. I loved it. Don't bother ordering the food though. Arrive drunk if you can.
Robot cafe craziness in Shinjuku. I loved it. Don’t bother ordering the food though. Arrive drunk if you can.
Photobooth action in Shinjuku
Photobooth action in Shinjuku
At metal bar Godz
At metal bar Godz
The sleazy illuminated district of Shinjuku
The neon lights of Shinjuku
The view from our room at Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier
The view from our room at Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier

It was only a few weeks ago now, and yet it feels like a dream. Four days in Japan’s big smoke, a city of 13 million people. I’d been to Tokyo once before for fashion week, but this time it was different. This time it was all about taking the city’s culture in and seeing it through a local’s eyes. To get the full experience, we travelled with Inside Japan as part of their self guided Gastronomic Adventure. That gave us an itinerary that featured the best the city had to offer, including a private half day tour with Tokyo local Isa, which was perfect for truly getting to know Tokyo, getting off Ginza’s main street and into a dingy manga cafe.

Must Dos: Shinjuku at night, Tsukiji Fish Markets at the crack of dawn, the Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa, the view from Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, a fancy dinner in Ginza, the Robot Cafe just for giggles. 

Must Stay: Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza Premier. I was in love with this hotel and really didn’t want to leave. All of their rooms have incredible views of Ginza and the buffet breakfast was phenomenal.

Must Shop: Stock up on Uniqlo whenever and wherever you can, it’s so much cheaper than in London. For the most choice, Ginza boasts the largest Uniqlo store in the world. The shops of the electronics district, Akihabara (the new Harajuku according to Isa) are so fascinating.

Must Eat: Michelin star meals for lunch, sushi for breakfast at Tsukiji, sushi for dinner in Ginza, ramen from Ippudo, pocky from wherever you can get it.

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