Day 1: Tokyo Vacation, 2023

In April, D and I were finally able to go back to Japan together for a vacation. We used to have an annual trip to Japan until 2019, and in 2020 we had to cancel our Hiroshima trip with a heavy heart. So leading up to our recent travel to Japan, we were both quite excited and considered the upcoming trip a reunion of sorts with our one of our favorite destinations in the world.

Because it was Sakura, the flights and the hotels were pricier. As we planned the trip, we made several changes from Hiroshima to Osaka, and then ultimately deciding to go to Tokyo and Lake Yamanakako to see Mt. Fuji at a better view. In booking hotels in Tokyo, we chose to stay in Ueno during the first leg of our trip, and then at Shinjuku upon arriving from Lake Yamanakako. We also downloaded apps like a subway guide, Google Translate, and a restaurant booking app.

On our first day in Tokyo we explored Ueno, Akihabara, and Ginza by foot. In Ueno we started off looking for cherry blossoms at a nearby park from our hotel. We heard that the peak of the cherry blossoms were seen a week before we arrived, so we were quite happy to see some trees still bearing the vibrant blooms.

Nippori South Park, Ueno

We walked on to have breakfast near the Ameyoko Shopping District. We enjoyed window shopping here as the streets were not crowded. The vintage items, shoes and clothing were quite interesting, and browsing through them was a breeze.

A few minutes later we reached Akihabara where we had late lunch. Akihabara is known for its electronics, and anime and manga shops. D checked out Yodobashi Akiba, while I mused on the vending machines we saw in almost every corner of the streets. I can probably dedicate a separate blog about the variety of items that can be found in Tokyo’s vending machines. What I saw so far were the ones selling cold and hot drinks, pork cutlet sandwiches, sunblocks, ice cream, pastries and chips.

Akihabara and sushi lunch

Another several minutes we reached the new Tokyo Station. Now this place is more familiar to me as it is closer to where I go to during business trips. But this time I saw it with a different perspective as I wore my tourist hat. As usual D went to an electronics store, the Yamada Denki Concept. I, on the other hand, admired the Yaesu Flower Greeting display outside the Tokyo Midtown Yaesu. The flowers were so pretty!

At Ginza we had afternoon coffee and cake at Cafe Kyonbunkan. The wait staff gave us a good windowside seat where the we had fun watching the busy shopping street below. I found that the cars were blocked off the street and so there was only foot traffic at this part of Ginza. Sych a fun and surreal walking experience!


D and I did more window shopping in Ginza. We then had chicken and fish curry dinner at the Old Delhi restaurant at ExitMelsa. I had been keen on trying out this restaurant as it is next to the unagi restaurant that I always go to during work travels. Their food was delicious and I now have found another restaurant option to go to when I am back in Ginza.

We decided to go back to the hotel early as we would have an early morning trip to Yamanakako the next day. Much as we wanted to walk back to Ueno, it started to drizzle so we ended up taking the train. Needless to say we were exhausted, but we had our much needed cardio, and our minds engaged with memories of the good food, the pleasant encounters and delightful views from our Day 1 in Tokyo.

By MrsWayfarer

Living Free and Making a Difference


  1. You had a lovely time playing tourist in Tokyo, given that you’d done business trips prior! Your tour around the vibrant districts of the Japanese capital gave me massive nostalgia for my time there several years ago, and I can’t wait to read more about your Japan adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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