We arrived in Tokyo just before Golden Week; a week-long stretch of holidays after students finish school. This is generally a very busy time in Japan where people go overseas or travel domestically. Luckily for us the city was quieter than usual so we had a bit of time to explore and get our heads around the train lines.
I actually had a job interview on our second day in Tokyo, for a part-time design job. We headed all the way out to Urayasu (near Disneyland) and walked around for a bit. My interview went well and I basically had the job, so that was a huge relief!
We spent the next day wondering around the beautiful Yoyogi park in Harajuku. We didn’t get a chance to go on our holiday last year because it was closed due to a Dengue Fever outbreak (I didn’t know that was a thing in Japan!) We explored the Meiji Jingu temple and the northern parts of the park, then walked through Shinjuku. We briefly stopped in at the huge Takashimaya Times Square department store, which would’ve been much more exciting if we had money!
That night we wondered around our neighbourhood some more, found some really nice restaurants (including a British one with fish & chips!) and ate some delicious curry.
Over the next couple of days we explored north Asagaya and took some nice river walks. The Zenpukuji river is just a 10 minute walk from our apartment and it’s really long, so it’s great for a relaxing evening stroll.
We also spent a lot of time setting ourselves up. We opened a bank account (after one very unsuccessful attempt), found a sim card (data only unfortunately) and managed to fill out all the necessary paperwork at our ward office before the big Golden Week holiday. It was all quite stressful because we were feeling very helpless not knowing any Japanese. Luckily we were doing all these things together so we could just laugh it off and keep going!
Roppongi and the waterfront
After opening our bank account in Roppongi, we took a really long walk through Azabu-Juban, past Tokyo Tower, and all the way down to the waterfront. It was a really nice, calm afternoon and we sat opposite Odaiba enjoying the sea breezes.
Yoyogi Park and Omotesando
The next weekend we were back at Yoyogi Park, but this time at the southern end, where they hold events and festivals every weekend. It was Cinco De Mayo and we were very excited to be eating some Mexican food! We were actually really surprised at the amount of restaurant stalls and all the Mexican people in Tokyo. We had delicious burritos and frozen margaritas and wandered around taking in the music. Later we walked through the big, main part of Yoyogi Park which we missed last time. It has such a nice atmosphere with all the leafy green trees and the huge grassy park. Definitely a good picnic spot!
We walked around Omotesando and went to some of our favourite spots from our holiday last year. We eyed up plenty of things to buy later!
Shimokitazawa and Koenji
Over the next few days we explored some old and new neighbourhoods; we walked a few hours to Shimokitazawa, and had a great time in our neighbouring area; Koenji. After the Golden Week holiday I started working part-time and Rob had a lot of interviews to go.