I wander: Tokyo

6:54:00 AM

I wander

From the last day of October to 4th of November,
 my family and I took a trip to Tokyo.
I can say that we 'went back' to Japan since our previous one was 
for my parents' 10th wedding anniversary. This time, it was their 20th!

As soon as my dad announced this trip to be official,
three of us (my sisters and I) got so excited in different ways.
For me, I was really happy that I got to travel Japan once again with my family
like we did 10 years ago. To make it even more dramatic,
I've always missed wandering somewhere new with my fam 
because my sister and I spent some years apart from home to study.

After finishing those basic-travel-to do list,
(planning schedules, searching places to stay, reserving, practicing some Japanese words (which I ended up knowing nothing), and finally packing) 
the D-1 came.

I thought I would pass out to instant rem sleep as I do everyday,
but I couldn't!!!!!
My excitement and expectation got more vivid and bigger until 4 am.
And the flight was on 8 am......

I slept for about 2 hours which made my face swell at the end of the day 1.
With all those full bag packs, I and my family started our journey.

I didn't get to use my passport for 2 years since I was back from the states!
The best part was when I got another stamp on the new page.

Up on cloud nine.
Seeing the whole view of Seoul, little sunrise, all those clouds, and the sea at the end helped me to get over the pain in my ears I usually get during the flight.

The first thing we did when we arrived was not taking some good pictures or napping on the warm bed. We straightly went on the subway not knowing how to do what.
I and my sister panicked a little bit at the beginning of this experience.
After nervously browsing through all the maps and getting used to Tokyo metro,
we arrived to our airbnb place located in Sasazuka.

Even though I didn't take a lot of photos of this town,
I absolutely like to encourage all the people to visit Sasazuka if they get to travel Tokyo.
It's not a big or busy place like many other spots in Tokyo;
however, it's somewhere you can be comfortable and take a slow walk 
along the streets aligned with adorable shops and cafes.
We stayed at Sasazuka for 5 days without any complaints.
Actually, it almost felt like we're visiting our friends' town
because we basically stayed there as if we were living there!
Shopping groceries from the local markets contributed to this feeling most.

Day 1.

After leaving all the luggage, my family and I got ready to go to the Ghibli Museum.
As I included Studio Ghibli on my timeless favorites post, it was a must-go place not only for me, but also for my whole family.

My parents were the one who introduced me to the world of Ghibli
 when I was a preschooler. My first film was 'My Neighbor Totoro',
then followed by all the rest of the films made by Hayao Miyazaki.

Ghibli Museum is located near Mitaka station- you can get a ride, 
a shuttle bus, to the Musuem or just walk along the trees.
We wanted to have a good walk, but we were in a hurry!

This golden yellow bus took us to one of the most magical places.

The first scenery I got off the bus.

And as I followed the crowd, I was finally there.
Ghibli Museum.
The whole building is covered in lush ever green ivy that seems like 
an upgraded version of a fairy mansion.

From the entrance door, we were not allowed to take pictures inside.
I was quite disappointed, but soon, I could totally understand the reason why.

Studio Ghibli really shared EVERYTHING in its museum.
From the smallest doodles to the final movies, I got so amazed by every little details and hard works all the people paid.
Without any phones or gadgets allowed, people seemed so happy.
I and my family fully enjoyed this place with our eyes and minds.

On the top of the building, there's a vintage staircase where people can go up
and take some lovely pictures with this iconic Ghibli robot.
It looks lonely in this snap, but it never was.
It was surrounded by people from all over the world so excited to finally meet it.

It got darker when we got out after all seeing all the exhibits and shopping.
Although the atmosphere got chillier, the whole place got even better
with an evening vibe.

Day 2.

The first day of November was our 2nd day of Tokyo trip.
This time we still got confused with the subways, but felt more comfortable.
My mom cooked a nice korean 'brunch' so we could explore more of Tokyo.

We decided to visit Asakusa and Ginza.
Two of the most popular places for travelers and also for Japanese.

There were soooooo many visitors that we decided to pair up 
and meet at the front door. It was interesting to see this japanese traditional building structure. At first glance, it almost felt the same as palaces we have in Korea.
When I gazed closer into every parts and details,
they were never the same.
To me, it felt sharper and colder.
I love how I could experience and compare these two cultures.

Another great thing was that Asakusa screamed Fall!
The stores full of traditional japanese toys, costumes, desserts, etc 
were already stocked up with autumnal atmosphere.
I felt so festive even though I almost got squeezed 
like an orange juice among tons of people.

Busy streets on Sunday afternoon.

Next, we headed to Ginza.
While Ginza is where people usually call a 'luxurious' district,
I got excited about something different.

It was Sunday and the whole streets were car-free!
The broad streets aligned with tall luxurious shopping places 
were not full of cars but people.
I felt so free that I could just walk on the cleanest streets I've ever been
without worrying about random vehicles beeping and rushing.

We had dinner in the local ramen restaurant. (too salty for us that we had to literally pour some cups of water in it!)

Day 3.

Asakusa and Ginza were beyond excellent except the fact that
 it got everyone of us pain in the legs, feet, face... everywhere.
We slept almost until noon and it felt great!

Adults decided to have a day-off.
In my case, I still wanted to go out and see more of Tokyo.
So all the girls went out on our own without any adults.
(although I'm technically an 'adult', I don't consider myself to be yet......?)

This time, we wanted to explore the main city sites such as 
Shinjuku, Harajuku, Rotpongi, Ueno, and a lot more!
We chose Shibuya and Omotesando-Hills for Day 3.

The third day was still tiring and hard to carry even the small shoulder bag,
but we weren't confused with Tokyo metro anymore!
I and my sister felt proud and comfortable at the same time with Tokyo.

Here is one of the epic crossing in the world!
Shibuya Crossing.
I got so excited when I got to walk pass all those people on the crossing
that I really wanted to stand in the middle of the road for some more minutes.

And we were off to shopping!
I got some cosmetic stuffs that I wanted to get in Japan
while my sisters bought some sweet treats to devour on-
the famous matcha kitkat, Peko candies, random japanese snacks.

Of course, we never forgot Shibuya's Disney store no matter 
we were going to Disney Sea next day.
I and my sister treated ourselves with the perfect advent calendar.

We then moved to Omotesando-Hills.

It was another fancy but more modern place to go in Tokyo.
I think I prefer Omotesando Hills than Ginza!
This time, the buildings were a lot more shorter and cuter.
Full of amazing spirits that kept us alive from the painful legs and feet.

The highlight of Day 3 was when we go back to our place in Sasazuka.
Adults were having dinner out and we had to cook our own dinner.
Magically, we did it and it was a blast!
Devoured all and rested on the warm blankets the whole night.

Day 4.

Tokyo Disney Sea
(another post only for this dreamy wonderland)

Day 5.

The last day had come.
We couldn't believe the reality but we needed to go back to our home
or else we would be international lost family.

Based on the pre-Tokyo trip plan, we were supposed to visit Odaiba.
Well, plans may change and we wanted somewhere peaceful.

Shinjuku gyoen was the right one!
It is the park that has some pretty themed gardens.
The weather also got warmer than the first two days we arrived,
so it was really nice to slowly walk in cardigan and jeans.
Plus, the air was toasty enough to feel Tokyo's autumnal look.

A good mixture of green and the city.


We enjoyed the traditional Japanese garden.
Sunlight was warm, sky was blue, and the colors of the nature blended perfectly.

I and my sisters collected some pine cones, dried leaves, and acorns
as if we were little kids. (and we actually used to do this when we were young!)

I love how chilled people were in Shinjuku gyoen.
No one was rushing in a hurry or gazing into their phones.
They were all sitting or lying down somewhere warm to chat and to rest.

 I and my family couldn't stop ourselves from lying down on the grass
even though we were leaving in few hours.
We took a moment to fully feel another side of Tokyo.

Back Home.

And then, we were back home.
This trip to Tokyo has taught me some lessons not only about travel,
but also about life and myself.
(Adjusting in new situations & environments, becoming confident with myself,
taking responsibilities as a sister and a daughter, and a lot more)
I also experienced so much that I would cherish these kissable memories forever
and randomly bring it back whenever I would like.


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