Top 10 Things to do for Tokyo First-Timers

It’s been a very long time since my last post. I am sorry! I have been busy working but also enjoying the city during the weekends. Still have some stuff to sort, but I’m getting there. Since it would have been impossible to blog every day, and also a little bit boring, I decided to write a Top 10 post about visiting Tokyo for the first time. Some of them are touristy, some maybe not so much. And here they are:


1) Eat ALL the Ramen!

Ramen at Ippudo, Ginza

You have never tried real Ramen if it wasn’t in Japan! After eating Ramen in Japan, you will understand the purpose of everything. You will feel accomplished. You will understand why you exist: We all exist, so we can enjoy the beautiful taste of Ramen <3

Enough said! Convince yourself!


2) Play!

Whether it’s  UFO Catchers or Gatcha Pon Machines (the surprise egg machines where you put in a few 100 yen, turn the knob and wait for a kind of surprise egg coming out which has a figure inside. You can see me play them here and here), your visit in Japan is not complete if you skip playing these colourful machines.

3) Shibuya Crossing


Actually, when I was standing in front of the Shibuya crossing, I didn’t immediately recognise it. Then I asked myself if this was really the crossing and I looked around: There was the Hachiko statue behind me, the Tsutaya Starbucks in front of me and the Shibuya 109 on my left side, and only then did I realise that this was the crossing indeed. Crossing it was an exciting experience. It felt like I now really belonged to Tokyo. Crossing it without bumping into someone is a real skill that I can now proudly claim to have managed. After crossing it, you have to go up the Starbucks to take a time-lapse and several zoomed-in photos. I could never get bored of this view.

4) The Konbini Experience

7/11, Family Mart, Lawson, just to name a few of the most important life-savers in Japan, a.k.a. Konbinis (Konbini <– Convenient Store). You WILL go there, and you WON’T regret it. They will be your go-to places as soon as you start living here. But even for tourists they have everything you want at any hour. Be it tissues, water, hot drinks, warm foods, alcohol, masks, toiletries, ATMs, anything! And who knows, you might catch yourself in front of one of the shelves, deciding what to get because they all seem so intriguing, and ending up buying nothing because the struggle was just too hard :’D You can have a little review of a 7/11 here. 


The bread section at 7/11
One of many Bento Box options
Sakura snacks you can get at 7/11

5) Harajuku Bucket List

From the Rainbow Cotton Candy, to Purikura to Harajuku Crepes to aaaalll the shopping (Daiso, Wego,…), you can spend all your money and all your time in just this little street called Takeshita Dori. It’s probably the only street in the world that will get your Yens out of your pocket before you even reach the end of the street.

Totti Candy Factory
Line Friends Store
Harajuku Crepes
Sailor Moon Store at La Forget Omotesando


6) Get lost in random alleyways


No matter where in Tokyo you go, you will most definitely stumble upon some picturesque alleyways, that look like straight out of a movie or even an anime. Some of these alleyways I found were so beautiful to me, they almost made me cry. Most of them were in Asakusa.

7) Go to an onsen

Since you can’t take photos at an onsen, this point is going to be without visuals. Still, it’s one of the most impressive and interesting experiences you will have in Japan: being naked and relaxing in some hot springs with random, equally naked strangers (don’t worry, everything is gender-separated). The first onsen I went to was an indoor one in Asakusa. It was quite nice. But the outdoor onsen by the Fuji mountain was an unforgettable experience.

8) Visit a temple/shrine

Tokyo is bursting to the brim with temples and shrines. You will have a big choice of all the different types of temples and shrines. Still, there are some especially beautiful ones that you wouldn’t want to miss. One of them is the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa which I also like to call little Kyoto of Tokyo.


9) See Tokyo from Above

There are many different ways to see Tokyo from above. You can either pay a lot of money and go up one of the iconic towers that are The Tokyo Tower or the Skytree. If you do this, you won’t be able to see the tower, you are standing on, itself. Or you can visit the Mori Art Museum and finish it off with the observation deck on the top. But if you don’t want to wait in a long line, nor pay a lot of money, then the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku is the best option. It didn’t even take me half an hour from the entrance of the building to the top.


10) Go to a Themed Cafe

Hedgehog Cafe Harry in Harajuku


There are endless options for themed cafes in Tokyo such as Robot Cafe, Animal Cafes, Disney-themed cafes, anime cafes, character cafes,…

I went to a bunch of character cafes and I also checked out the Kawaii Monster Cafe which was an experience for itself. The Hedgehog Cafe was super cute and a very new experience to me. Beware, though! The prices of these cafes are higher than usual cafes and restaurants in Tokyo.

And this was the end of the post. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to leave a comment and like.

What about you guys? Have you ever been to Tokyo? What are the must-do things in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading!





ABC – Travel List: J – Japan, Johannesburg, Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

It’s quite remarkable how fast I managed to finish choosing the J-letter destinations. The country was 100% clear already, and I only had to decide upon the last two options which was done quite quickly as well, due to the fact that there actually are not so any places starting with J. Here is my choice.


1. Country: Japan

Bildergebnis für Japan

Japan has been on my must-travel list since my childhood already. I think I have even wanted to visit this country even before I wanted to visit the USA. I have actually given up on visiting America, but my interest for Japan as been growing even more ever since I have lived in China for 10 months. I can tell you right now that this post is gonna be enormous with all the places and cities I wanna see in Japan. Maybe, I can even make all of this come true :D


Bildergebnis für Tokyo

Tokyo cityscape with Mount Fuji in the background is a classic sight. I wouldn’t want to climb up Mount Fuji, but anything that has the mountain in the background is an amazing place to see. More about that later.


Bildergebnis für shinjuku gyoen

Shinjuku Gyoen is THE place to be during Sakura Season. Just Shinjuku in general is a must-see I guess.


Bildergebnis für shibuya

The most iconic sight of Tokyo must probably be the Shibuya Crossing. Seeing this always amazes me. It makes me feel so small thinking about all these people walking in the same or opposite direction as me. I had a similar experience in Shanghai, when crossing the street in front of the Bund with SO many people it made me feel kind of excited and small at the same time.

Bildergebnis für shibuya hachiko

Another must-see: The Hachiko statue at Shibuya Station. If you have seen the movie, you know why I wanna see it. I just hope I won’t start crying :'( If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you doing? Leave everything, and go watch it!

-Meiji Shrine

Bildergebnis für meiji shrine tokyo

-Kiyomizu Dera

Bildergebnis für kiyomizu dera tokyo


Bildergebnis für Sensoji

-Takeshita Dori in Harajuku

Bildergebnis für Takeshita dori

Takeshita Dori is this huge, crowded street in Harajuku where you can find anything from cosplay shops to cotton candy cafes and several pet cafes (cat, dog, owl, hedgehog,…). I would probably spend half of my money here if I’ll ever get to Tokyo, but who cares, right? :D

-Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree

Bildergebnis für Tokyo Tower

The Tokyo Tower, being the Eiffel Tower of Japan, is the iconic modern landmark of Tokyo. It serves as a radio station, but I think you can also climb up the tower to get a view, but I heard it to be quite expensive and the view should not be that amazing. I guess it would be better to get somewhere higher, where you can actually see the Tokyo Tower included in the skyline, such as…

Bildergebnis für Tokyo skytree

.. the Tokyo Skytree of course! I heard the lines are extremely long, but it should be worth the wait. I would definitely do it :)


Bildergebnis für Akihabara

THIS must be paradies on earth for all the geeks, nerds, otakus and gamers, tourists and locals alike. I’d definitely be able to spend my whole day in this area, with all the gaming arcades, merch shops and maid cafes awaiting me :’D

Bildergebnis für akihabara pokemon center
Bildergebnis für Akihabara

-Yoyogi Park

Bildergebnis für yoyogi park

Another famous park for Hanami, but this being more popular amongst young people and cosplayers.

-Izakaya: Bakawarai Junsui

Bildergebnis für -Izakaya: Bakawarai Junsui

Youtubers EatYourKimchi have already considered this Izakaya bar as the most amazing bar not only in Japan, but in the whole wide world. This has to mean something, so that’s why this location will be very high on my dinner plans in Tokyo. Just any izakaya in general should be on everyone’s Japan List if you really wanna try authentic japanese food that is not too expensive.


Ähnliches Foto

Reds and oranges must be the general colours that pop up in our minds when we hear Kyoto. The photo above was taken at the Daigoji temple in Kyoto, and it looks divine. I think I can’t imagine a more beautiful and serene garden as this.

-Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Bildergebnis für arashiyama kyoto

It’s a wish of mine to wear a traditional kimono in red and walk through this bamboo forest…

-Fushimi Inari Taisha

Ähnliches Foto

Another dream destination! Again, I’d just walk around in a kimono all day in this place, trying to shoot photo over photo. It’s just a wonderful, impressive place.

-Kinkaku Ji

Bildergebnis für kinkaku-ji

The golden temple of Kyoto, probably looks best when the trees are turning red and gold in autumn as well.

-Himeji Castle

Bildergebnis für himeji castle


Bildergebnis für okinawa

I seriously didn’t expect Okinawa to be THAT tropical! It looks amazing! I’d seriously love to live here!


Bildergebnis für hiroshima heute

I think visiting Hiroshima leaves everyone heartbroken, reminiscing of the horrible atom bombs caused by the US. I have seen some videos about the museum and how the people who visited it were starting to cry, and they weren’t even japanese people, they were foreigners.

-Itsukushima shrine, Miyajima Island

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Doesn’t this look magical? Just like out of a fantasy movie.


Bildergebnis für Hokkaido

Hokkaido seriously looks tropical as well, althoug it’s usually quite freezing :’D Japan has some seriously beautiful beaches, I am heavily impressed.

This is the Cape Kamui, Shakotan.

Here is a link with even more things to see and do in Hokkaido, since I can’t include all of them. Especially the Lake Biei and the Shibazakura speak to me a lot.


Bildergebnis für Nara

Aren’t they just beautiful and cute at the same time? I’d love to spend my whole day with these lovelies <3


Bildergebnis für osaka

I think Osaka is a cheaper and less crowded alternative to Tokyo, so I’d actually like visiting this city. And I feel like it’s more relaxed with less touristy spots and sights and more every-day life of locals.

Bildergebnis für osaka

This is Osaka Castle and it looks royal! Worth seeing in Osaka I’d say.

Bildergebnis für osaka glico

This is the famous glico running man of Osaka. Everyone takes photos here. Why, you ask? Because glico is probably one of the most famous candy brands in Japan (they produce the Pocky sweets), and the logo is world-famous.


-Beppu Onsen

Bildergebnis für beppu onsen

The Beppu Onsen is actually not directly located in Fukuoka, but it is easy to get a connection from there, so that’s why I mentioned it here. Visiting an onsen is a must-do when in Japan, so here I just looked up the best Onsen places in Japan, and Beppu was one of them.

Miyagi Zao Fox Village in Shiroishi

Bildergebnis für fox village japan

Japan is seriously famous for anything animal-themed: There are not only pet cafes, but also areas of wild animals roaming about (deer park in Nara, cat island in Thashirojima, and also a rabbit island in Okunoshima)

Bildergebnis für cat island japan
Ähnliches Foto

Oh my, what a wonderful, dream-like country Japan is. I am quite afraid that if I will finally get there, I might not come back :’D although that’s actually something exciting rather than frightening.

Well, the post is already too long, and I haven’t even finished yet.

2. City: Johannesburg

Bildergebnis für Johannesburg

I have already heard so many amazing things about this city in Africa, that it really makes me wanna visit.

Here are some things you can do:

-Lay on the beach

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I actually didn’t expect the beach to look like this. It kinda reminds me of the Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

-Apartheid Museum

Bildergebnis für apartheid museum

Didn’t know there was a museum like this in Johannesburg. Definitely sounds super intersting and I think it would be worth a visit.

-Krüger National Park

Bildergebnis für krüger nationalpark tiere

Of course, a safari tour should not be missed out when you are in Africa, no matter which city. But if you even have a nationalpark as an option, one should definitely visit it.

-Mandela House

Bildergebnis für mandela house

In general I think that there are not as many touristy sights in Johannesurg as in other places. It seems to be more of a relaxed city with beaches, cafes and nice music to explore while you go.

3. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Jeju Volcanic Island and lava tubes

Ähnliches Foto

I have heard many great things about the South Korean island Jeju, but I didn’t know that it was famous for its volcanic tubes.

Bildergebnis für jeju volcanic island and lava tubes

It actually is quite a picture-worthy place that should be on anyones South-Korea travel list.

With this, I will finally end this extremely long post. I am really sorry that it got so long, especially the part about Japan, but I hope I could give you some nice and new ideas about places to go and things to see.

Tell me about your J-letter destinations at the top of your travel list. I’d be happy to find out about more places to add on my list.

Until next time!

Thanks for reading and travelling with me.

Merveille.Bildergebnis für jeju volcanic island and lava tubes