Thursday, April 28, 2011

Roppongi Perfect For Young Nightlife

So after a long day of walking around Tokyo and visiting so many amazing historical sites and learning more about the country, all of us wanted a little time to ourselves. So where was the best place to go out, have a few drinks, and dance a little bit with your friends? Roppongi, especially if you are in your twenties. You will find people from all over the globe who go out there. Bright lights, thousands of people, and night clubs and food places everywhere. It's just New York City in the sense the city never sleeps!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sing it Out

What is one of the most popular things to do while in Tokyo you ask? Karaoke of course. I couldn't believe it myself but on almost every few blocks you would see some glass building with a front desk and three workers standing behind it. That is where people may go on their lunch breaks, to throw a party or to just have a good time with friends. You sign up for as long as you'd like to go in for. The one I visited had seven floors and the room sizes varied. The first time I went was with the other fourteen students on our trip. Since we had a bigger size group we had a room with couches, a big screen tv, and a mini stage that lit up different colors. Let me tell you we all had a blast! We hung around, had a few drinks, and sang out a few songs.

Well because me and my roomate had such a good time we decided to go back on our own! This time our room was much smaller because it was the two of us. There was two couches and just a tv screen. Still, we had an awesome time.

After seeing and enjoying the karaoke over in Tokyo I was really bummed coming back to the states knowing we don't have something like that over in the states. However, I'm glad I did it and I completely recommend it to anyone traveling to Japan because suprisingly it is a big part of their culture!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Years In Japan

Best part about being in Japan in December? Easy. New Years at Zojoji Temple! The temple is located right near Tokyo Tower, you can only imagine how beautiful the place was lit up! Hands down it was the most amazing experience I have ever had. The celebration was so culturaly different than ours. Thousands of people came out to the tower to enjoy food, festivies, and to pray at the temple.

For the first hundred or so people who arrived recieved a balloon. When the new year rang in, everyone let go of their balloons and then the gong was hit 108 times. These are a few of the Japanese traditions. Another tradition they follow is recieving arrows. Seeing how everyone was celebrating 2011, citizens would recieve an arrown with a rabbit attached to it then bring last years arrows to be burned.

                                                           Balloons released at midnight

The food was absolutely amazing! Specialties they served were chocolate and strawberry bananas covered in sprinkles, baked potatoes, noodles, mooshi, and much more!

It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Something Fishy

Tsukiji fish market is the world's biggest wholesale fish and seafood market. The key is going very early in the morning to watch the unloading of the tuna. However, when we visited this was closed to foreigners because the tradeing and unloading of the fish can get too intense for visitors. They can get in the way and even get hurt in some cases. The market opens at 3 AM! We went at 9 AM to see all of the other parts of the market and hopefully miss the "rush" of people. This was the first place I was able to visit and travel to in Tokyo. When we got there I was immediately overwelmed by the loads of people travleing up and down the rows in the market. As I explored the market, I entered the heart of the market where the huge fish are killed, sold and traded. I've never seen such big fish in front of my eyes before. It was so cool. It's definitely something you need expeirence for yourself. I highly reccomend it!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's Talk Sensoji

When staying in Asakusa near our hostel was one of the most famous temples called Sensoji. It is the temple that attracts most of the tourists that visit Tokyo. The Sensoji temple is one of the oldest and most significant temples. There and also the other shrines you walk up into the shrine and there is a "prayer well," as what I like to call it, that you say a prayer and throw a yen in. The reason why these temples are so special are because the spirits of ancestors are said to live in there and clear out all the bad in ones life.

Also outside of the temple is a fourtune slip where you put a coin and shake a number out of a cylinder. After you find your number on one of the drawers and pull out your fourtune. If you like your forutune keep it! If not then tie it on a tree or a board which is suppost to bring you better luck.

Always remember tho the first thing you do when you go to a temple is make sure to purify yourself with the water! For all my fellow travelers who went with me to Tokyo...lets not pull a Mary Alice and drink from the purification!

Our group in front of the temple!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The City of Shibuya

If you enjoy a city like New York than I 100% recommend you see Shibuya. Right when you get off the subway and enter the city it looks like a replication of Times Square. Billboards, thousands of people, and the countless amounts of stores made me feel a little overwelmed at first but once I started walking  and picked where I wanted to start I didn't want to stop!

Ladies if you love to shop I suggest you head to 109. It is nine floors of endless clothing, shoes, and accessories. Each floor is catered to a certain type of style and let me tell you just about EVERY style is displayed. A few blocks from that is a huge Forever 21, H&M, and if you're feeling like you want to shell out some money you can hit up Burberry. Majority of the women in Shibuya wore knee high heeled boots with a short skirt, a cute top, and their hair was always done up. Men tend to wear nice slacks, collared shirt, and a man purse is a common trend.

If you're hungry you'll have no problem finding food. There is every resturant from Japanese to Italian to French to Irish pubs. And let me tell you, the food in Shibuya is excellent quality.

If you're wanting to head further from the main area of Shibuya there is a more upscale area that also replicates a little bit of New York City on fifth ave except this area goes for miles. The street is light up beautifully and the only types of cars you'll see cruising through these avenues are Range Rovers, BMW's, and Mercades. The streets are lined up with designer stores from Ralph Lauren to Fendi. But turn down one of these streets and you'll get into an area filled with expensive little boutiques and cafe's.  Even if you're not planning on making any crazy purchases it is worth checking out and taking some pictures of.

There's so much I could say about this city. This is a city that I think everyone needs to visit and it is good for all ages!

Tipping : You do not need to tip anyone at a Japanese resturant. The fee is included into your bill so enjoy the food!


Good Afternoon: konnichiwa

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Destruction in Japan

I would just like to take the time to say how saddened I am by this tragedy that has struck Japan. I encourage everyone to help out by donating money, food, supplies, anything they can in order to help the individuals who are suffering at this time. I'm sure everyone knows by now that Japan was hit with an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 followed by a deathly tusnami. This is Japan's worst disaster since 1923 and now the devesation and death toll are being compared to WWII. The tusnami itself has taken out towns and villiages and it looks as if nothing had ever existed. The death toll is now over 3,000 and is estimated to reach a shocking 10,000. The destruction wasn't as bad in Tokyo compared to the rest of northern Japan however, it still did damage. Many civilians now fear the high amount of radiation and are worried about how stable the nuclear power plants are. After shocks are still being reported and are being rated higher than a magnitude of 6 which is still considered a big earthquake.

While I was in Tokyo my hostel was down the street from a little local bar called Longchamp II. A young beautiful Japanese woman named Yuko owned it. It was her opening night when we first arrived our group had been her first customers. We had made such good friends with her and most of us kept in contact with Yuko after we left, including myself. When I first heard about the earthquake and tusnami I immediately thought of her and if she was okay. The amazing things about social networks is how quickly messages get through to others even from a whole other part of the world. Yuko and I are facebook friends and after the news of what was going on in Japan I went on her page to see if she had updated any status's. To my suprise she had told everyone she was ok however she was still feeling a lot of the after shock. I had told her I was glad to know she was safe. Her concern was she had no idea if some of her friends or family members were safe which I'm sure was the concern of many.

What happened in Japan is beyond horrifying. You would have never thought such a disaster could actually happen. Many lives have been lost, people have been injured, villages have vanished, and now rescuers are still looking for any surviors. Again, any help to these people would be more than greatly appreciated. If you're intrested in doing so American Red Cross is always taking donations.