Through My Lens: Welcome to Tokyo

Japan is not a popular destination for many South Africans, mainly because it is expensive to get there. Tokyo itself is also quite pricey, but if you really like Japan, then it is definitely worth saving up for. Tokyo is a very big city, with the largest number of inhabitants in the world. This place offers a seemingly unlimited  choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining. It is an amalgamation of worlds with historical temples, futuristic architecture, green spaces and nice residential neighbourhoods.  No matter your taste, there is something for everyone. My advise would be to figure out what you would like to see and explore before arriving, as being spoilt for choice in Tokyo can get very confusing.

I chose to see  the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka as my first outing. Rori and I are  huge fans of anime and animated films, and being able to see where Hayao Miyazaki, the grandmaster of animation,  created his magical animation was a must. One has to book months in advance to gain entry into the museum. Photos are not allowed, instead you immerse yourself in the magic of animation and it makes a difference in the experience. We explored Mitaka a little afterwards.

Then it was off to Minato for the Tokyo Art and Book Fair at Kyoto University of Art & Design, Tohoku University of Art & Design Gaien Campus. The fair is held annually  and includes independent publishers, galleries, bookstores as well as individual artists and art groups. We met up with an old friend and made new ones there, including Andile Buka, a fellow South African who happened to be showcasing his book, Crossing Strangers.The night ended up in Tokyo Skytree, in Sumida, with the view of the city.

On our second and last day in Tokyo, we headed for the Harajuku district in Shibuya. There, we explored the contrast of the popular youth culture and fashion in the bustling Shibuya, and the Shinto shrine, Meiji Jingu and its surrounding forest.

Enjoy Tokyo Through My Lens.

Through My Lens series is a project that aims to look at some of my favourite adventures through a series of simple images.


Ghibli Museum & Mitaka

Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4329

Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4328Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4325Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4324

Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4317

Tokyo Art Book Fair.

Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4340Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4334Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4342Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4339Miyazaki & ArtBookFairIMG_4346

Ended off the night in Tokyo Skytree.

Tokyo SkytreeIMG_4360Tokyo SkytreeIMG_4362Tokyo SkytreeIMG_4393Tokyo SkytreeIMG_4397

Meiji Jingu


Harajuku Hey.


Our Tokyo journey ended here. We packed up and caught a Shinkansen in Tokyo Station for the next destination, Kansai.


16 thoughts on “Through My Lens: Welcome to Tokyo

  1. I’m hoping to visit a friend in Japan within the next year. Not many people from Ireland visit Japan either for the same reasons you mentioned. I love your style of blogging. Seeing a place through your eyes tells way more than a standard Wikipedia type article. I had no idea there was so much green around Tokyo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! and yes, It is quite pricey, but I was thankful to have a friend living there to guide me. I was also surprised that there are so many pockets of green in Tokyo. It was really a breath of fresh air!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My whole Japan experience to date has been two layovers in Osaka on the way to London from Sydney a million years ago. I would love to go back but was a bit put off by the cost. You have inspired me to take another look and consider Tokyo now.


    1. Ah… I also went to Osaka, it was a wonderful experience. I would suggest that you visit more than one place when you are in Japan since the cost of getting there is a bit high, then it will be worth it! I found that things become cheaper once you are outside of Tokyo, but it is a definite must!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That might be tricky given I usually only have a week break at a time. It’s possible to get a cheap flight from Oz these days but unfortunately for Sydney Siders these are usually not direct (through Cairns, Brisbane or Melbourne) which is a bit annoying. Good to know it gets a little more affordable outside of Tokyo.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ghibli Museum is really really cool and the tickets are quite cheap. It is cheapest to get the locally, at any Japanese Lawson’s Store (they are everywhere), trying to get them through agencies from anywhere becomes very expensive. Some agencies charge up to 600% more, so be careful.


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