Day 7 : The Metropolis – Tokyo
The cherry blossom in Tokyo blooms slightly earlier than Osaka. In Osaka we witnessed the dull leafless tree waving goodbye to winter and the nature changed its skin into lively colors of early spring. While in Tokyo, we celebrated the cheerful colors of spring and we were greeted by the magnifying beauty of full bloom sakura.
1st Pitstop : Ueno Park
Known by the locals as “forest of art” is one of the most popular park for Hanami (flower viewing) in Tokyo. There are other park such as the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden which is also one of the most popular park for hanami in Tokyo, however the entrance to the park is subject to admission fees. In view of that, the best option for low-cost hanami experience is to have it in Ueno Park because its free!
Paper lanterns were hung throughout the park for Yozakura (Hanami at night) and picnic is a must in Ueno Park. Hence, don’t forget to bring your own picnic mat and bento pack (in our case we had sandwiches & snacks) for a picnic at the park.
This park is one of the famous park for hanami picnic. To secure a decent spot under the cherry blossom tree, consider being here before 9am. The place will be packed with locals in no time afterwards.
2nd Pitstop : Ameyoko Shopping Street
It’s located within less than 5 minutes walk from Ueno Park and you may go on a shopping spree there. Ameyoko has multiple rows of shops offering food, clothing and accessories at a decent price.
3rd Pitstop : Uniqlo
One of the most noted Japanese clothing brand. Though the brand has the presence in many part of the world, purchasing the merchandise from its birthplace has a slight advantage.
You may find merchandise tagged under the Nippon Omiyage design line which were designed by range of international artist to document the characteristics of the cities around the world. I personally love the design which aesthetically distinct to Japan such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Fuji Mountain, Osaka Tigers, Sushi, Dontonburi, Shibuya Scrambled Crossing and many more which might not be available in any Uniqlo outlets in any other part of the world.
Friendly Tips :
For tourist who purchase above 10,000 yen, the 8% tax will exempted. You just need to present your passport at the cashier counter, they will exclude the tax from your bill and attached the Tax-Exempt for Export slip in your passport.
4th Pitstop : Asakusa
Home to one of the popular sightseeing spot in Tokyo i.e. Kaminarimon Gate and Senso-Ji Temple. We strolled along the walkway from the famous Kaminarimon Gate heading towards Senso-Ji Temple and there were hundreds of variety souvenir shops along this walkway.
There were hundreds of variety souvenir shops along this walkway.
The nearer the shop to the temple, the cheaper the price. So don’t get too excited to shop and started buying at the first shop u stop from the Kaminarimon Gate. Walk further towards the temple, the price is worth the wait.
Tokyo Sky Tree is conveniently located about 20 minutes walk from here.
5th Pitstop : Shibuya & Harajuku
Again! haha.. We only covered a few shops the night before as we were late and most shops were either about to close or already closed, hence we were here again to continue exploring (read: shopping) at the area.
– End of Day 7 –