Tokyo is every bit as massive as I expected, full of skyscrapers, flashing billboards, and busy intersections. It is truly something to see! But Tokyo is surprisingly charming at the same time. Hidden just a few train stops away from the hustle and bustle of areas like Shibuya are spacious green parks and tiny local coffee shops. I did not realize that each area of Tokyo would have their own character and history. Of course, it’s no surprise that every area in this city is incredibly clean – even though you rarely see a trashcan!
Kamakura is the perfect day trip from Tokyo. Once a political capital in Japan, this ancient city runs at a welcomed slower pace and is full of rich history. The Daibutsu is a must see. This incredible Buddha statue has been standing here since 1252! Just a few blocks over from the temples and shrines is a thriving beach town. When sitting on Zaimokuza Beach with an acai bowl or frozen cocktail in hand, it is hard to imagine you are just outside of the world’s busiest city!
Favorite things to do in Kamakura, Japan
Do: Zaimokuza Beach
Harajuku is easily one of my favorite spots in Tokyo. It truly has something for everyone – from high end stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Chanel to bright kawaii shops and themed cafes on Takeshita Dori. It is sensory overload! A trip to Harajuku is never complete without a rainbow colored cotton candy or sweet filled crepe.
Favorite things to do in Harajuku, Japan
Drink: Lattes at Reissue
Yokohama was our first adventure after arriving in Tokyo. We had dinner on the water and did some shopping at Marine and Walk before checking out the Red Brick Warehouse. Later, we made a trip back to Yokohama to check out the CupNoodles Museum. (Am I the only one who has called them Cup *OF* Noodles?!) Word to the wise – stick with the ramen and do not try the CupNoodles soft serve. It is not a joke when they ask you to choose between soy sauce and curry ice cream!
Favorite things to do in Yokohama, Japan
A little late for a holiday recap but with so much traveling, I feel like I just got my suitcases unpacked 😉 We spent Christmas this year in Pittsburgh with my family which was wonderful! We got to see their new house, my brother and his fiancee flew in from Arizona, and it was the first time we all woke up together on Christmas morning since before I got married. We had dinner on Christmas Eve at Stations Square and my parents surprised us with Christmas Day tickets to the Steelers game. We did a traditional Christmas morning before decking ourselves in black and yellow and meeting up with the rest of our extended family to tailgate before the game. We had blast and the fact that the Steelers won at the very end made the day even better!
We spent New Years in Austin, Texas with Rob’s sister Erin and her boyfriend. Austin was on my travel bucket list and worked out perfectly as a midway point between San Diego and South Carolina to meet up. We ate our weight in breakfast tacos, rang in the New Year on 6th Street, and fell in love with the city.