Tokyo - The REAL City That Never Sleeps
When an opportunity arises, there's only one thing to do, and that's to say "yes." You bet you know what my answer was when my friend asked me if I'd accompany him on a trip to Japan only a week later! Within seconds, my flight was booked and I was excited to celebrate my 24th birthday in my home country! I won't lie, I had my doubts, was it worth it to spend 12 hours on a flight just for 4 full days in Tokyo, Japan's capital? Looking back, I'll go with WORTH IT.
So what I'd do with 4 short days in one of the world's most hustling, bustling cities? Roamed the colorful kilowatt lit streets, drank sweet Japanese whiskey, hunted for temples and buddhas, shot two music videos and ate food that made me cry tears of joy.
So let's start with the food, you're in Japan so it's hard to go wrong. Even the food at the Japanese corner stores will taste better than half of what you can find in the States. This trip, what really blew me away was this cute, well hidden, 24-hour ramen shop called (according to TripAdvisor): Niboshi Ramen Nagi Shinjuku Golden Street Honkan.
We stopped by this hole in the wall at 3am after a night on the town, so excuse my weak excuse of a food photo, I'll blame the fact that it was dark out and I was slightly intoxicated and ready to inhale these noodles! What makes Niboshi so unique from anything I've tried is that they use a fish-based broth and get this... ramen noodles AND wide flat noodles! All freshly made and with such a lighter taste than America's most loved thick and creamy pork based ramen. I will definitely be stopping by again next time I'm in Shinjuku!
With all the excitement in Tokyo, I knew I needed to spend at least one day seeing more of the history and traditional Japan. I decided on taking a short day trip to Kamakura, only an hour or two by train from Tokyo, to explore temples and see Diabutsu, the giant buddha. The most memorable experience had to be writing my wish at the temple, can you spot mine?
As much as I love to travel, nothing makes me feel better than being productive and I feel so lucky that the stars fell into place and I was able to shoot not one, but two music videos in my favorite country! I was so fortunate to have friends who were already in the area and willing to take time out of their busy schedules to create with me. Shout out to Christian Virgil Reyes (@chrisvirgil) for shooting the video for "Tell Me" by producer Kiba (@kiba_music) and myself and for recommending me to Jamie Macgregor (@temporarytruth) who shot "Werth the Chase" for Witty (@reallywitty) and myself. You can peep the vids below, comment and let me know what you think!
To wrap it all up, while 4 days was hardly enough for a city the size of Tokyo, I'm glad I made the spontaneous decision to jump on a flight out. I can't wait to come back to this country, hopefully for a month next time so I can really immerse myself into the beauty that is Japan and eat more mouth watering food! If anyone's thinking of taking a trip to Japan and needs a travel companion, you know who to holla at!
Tips and Tricks for Tokyo
- People in Japan are super friendly, most people speak English but learn a few basic phrases to show you care and everyone will be willing to help you!
Hello - Konichiwa
Thank You - Arigatou gozaimasu
Excuse me - Sumimasen
Where is BLANK - BLANK wa dokodesu ka?
- Robot Restaurant - Part tourist trap / part something you gotta do at least once. I won't say too much about this but it's one of those things you gotta experience for yourself. Go early to take advantage of the wild decor in the lounge (something no one told me beforehand unfortunately) you and your Instagram can thank me later.
- Eat sushi, Duh.
- ALWAYS carry a photo copy with you of the hotel you're staying at! Don't make the same mistake I did, I forgot my copy after one night going out and the taxi took me to the wrong hotel (think of a chain hotel like Holiday Inn... there's several of the same name hotels within blocks of eachother). After my cab ride I had to wander around the streets of Tokyo by foot but luckily, no one sleeps in this city and people to love to help you out!