I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. For your typical reasons of being into games, anime, extremely salty food 😜. Being British we also share the Japanese passion for queues and excessively saying sorry…

Visiting Japan with my best friend Chris was something we always talked about in my 20’s. I wish we could have made it happen before he sadly passed away. I did finally make it on my 43rd birthday with my wife and my two boys (13 & 16).

My family wasn’t as hot on visiting Japan as I’d always been. It just wasn’t really a place that was massively on their radar outside of Wagamama and Sushi. During the great COVID lockdown whilst stuck in our house and working from home we decided to watch a huge pile of travel content YouTube. From webcams across the world to more curated content old and new.

Of course, a portion of these were people based in Japan. From Abroad in Japan, Only in Japan, Sharmeleon, Rion Ishida, Tabieats, Tokyo Creative,Junk Food Japan, Tokidoki Traveller and Seerasan my family started to get as interested as I was in what Japan had to offer.

With my eldest son reaching 16 and finishing his GCSE’s my wife Jen proposed we have a big blast family holiday and she said she’d like us to go to Japan! The planning then began and we’ve just got back from two week trip! I’m going to post about our experienceson the journey as well as some of my favourite pictures on the trip. So here we go!

Travelling out

We flew out with British Airways on my birthday. The flight was scheduled to be twelve and a half hours but ended up being closer to fourteen and a half as there was a faulty chair stuck in recline which kept us on the tarmac as engineers hacked away at it.

I’m aware unless you are willing to pay in the mid thousands of pounds the golden days of air travel are over, but boy I was shocked at just how dated and worn out the interior was. Torn/dirty trim visible and my in flight entertainment headphone socket would only work if I kept my hand on it to position it correctly. I can’t believe other carriers are this poor. Last time I flew was to Florida in 2017 with Virgin and that felt more modern than this flight. My family was a little more forgiving than me, but I would actively avoid flying BA in future given the choice…

They did however have their own BA/Brewdog collab beer on the flight! Delicious! 🍻

Finally we did touchdown in the afternoon Japan time, got our JR Pass,the essential Suica Cards and made our way on the Monorail to our first hotel!

Hotel 1 - Mimaru / Area - Akasaka Tokyo

Our first hotel Mimaru was a great experience! We’d booked their more traditional Japanese style room vs their more western offering, which comes complete with a small kitchenette and (as seems to be standard in Japan) a refrigerator.

Comfortable, clean and surprisingly spacious, with friendly staff and an incredible roof terrace to relax on. We got some food from the konbini over the street, spent some time on the roof terrace taking in the incredible views, sneaking our first peek at Tokyo Tower!

After that we had a wander around the area discovering the local mall at Tokyo Midtown. The first of many malls it would turn out on our journey! Japan does these shared spaces of office, residential, commercial and recreational areas so well. They’re a joy to explore.

As we walked up through the park we couldn’t believe the volume of the crickets & cicadas!

The walk back from Midtown gave us another glimpse at Tokyo Tower on the way back

We couldn’t resist another trip up to the terrace to take in the night sky either!

Tomorrow’s itinerary would be the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and then a trip to Akihabara, Tokyo’s “Electric Town”!