Today’s plan was to hit a lot of the more famous central locations within Tokyo.

Shibuya, Shinjuku and a quick roam around the natourious Kabukicho.


A Timelapse of Shibuya crossing as the blur of people cross the street

Of course, where else do you start apart from at the famous Shibuya Crossing! I once heard Chris Broad say it’s just a crossing and he doesn’t understand the hype, and I can absolutely see what he means 🤣

The back of a street sign covered in colourful stickers

It’s a lot smaller in person than I expected. It was cool to see and walk across, and see some of the other local legendary spots like 109, but Yeh… I wonder if tourists to the UK feel the same way about Piccadilly Circus

The entrance to basketball street in Shibuya. Colourful ribbon streamers welcome you to to the neighbourhood

I remember Times Square truly taking my breath away the first time I joined onto it… Maybe I’m just mor of an old grumpy jaded bastard now. 🤪

Myself stood next to the Hachico statue

Next was some posing next to Hachikō’s statue famously paid tribute in the Futurama Episode Jurassic Bark. A dog waiting for his sadly deceased humans return until he passed away himself.

The pair continued the daily routine until May 21, 1925, when Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while he was giving a lecture to his class, and died without ever returning to the train station at which Hachikō waited.

Each day, for the next 9 years, 9 months and 15 days, Hachikō awaited Ueno’s return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

This is probably one of the most popular “I’ll meet you at….” Places in Shibuya, and there was a literal queue for photo’s with the famous monument.

(From what I could tell, the sash was about Olympic selection for Volleyball in France… 🤷‍♂️)

The rain pouring onto Shibuya bus station whilst the sun still shines

This was our first taste of rain in Japan as well with a couple of random heavy but quickly clearing showers. Rain in such high humidity was very confusing for the senses. It was refreshing more than annoying and almost felt like it was evaporating or just integrating with the humidity before actually hitting the floor.

Commuters cross an overhead bridge with umbrellas up

A time lapse of a man made river in the streets of Tokyo

We nipped around the corner to Shibuya Stream a multi purpose development/skyscraper that is the home of Googles Japanese HQ (Which we accidentally almost entered whilst wandering, quickly going back down an escalator whilst a very panicked guard gesticulated 😜).

The LED steps leading up to Shibuya Stream showing colourful splats of paint

My son stood on the LED Shibuya stream stairs

This place had an amazing animated staircase which we loved.

After a Starbucks recharge, we wandered the streets looking for some of the shops we were interested in, including DAISO… a ¥100 store selling pretty cool home wares. Imagine a Poundland that is well run, clever and considered? Even saying that does it a disservice to how cool it actually is.

My son holding a Korean style hot dog on the streets of Shibuya

My son got a Korean style corn dog with ketchup and rolled in sugar… Not really my kinda thing, but he said it was really good. 🤣

After visiting several large stores and doing some retail therapy, the rest of us got hungry as well!

A small plate of raw tuna sushi with yuzu dressing

For lunch we got conveyor belt Sushi from Kura. This was amazingly cheap and fun! You order and pay on a tablet and wait for your food to zoom along the conveyor. Every 5 plates you eat and post through a slot on the table gives you a chance to win a toy as well!

The quality of the fish and rice was far superior to any Sushi we’d had in the UK. I can’t even imagine how good the premium Sushi places would be.


Next was a walk through Shinjuku with af focus on Kabukichō, or as I know it from the video game series Yakuza, Kamurochō which is modelled from this location. It was really odd to walk down streets and (roughly) know what was coming up because you’d walked around it in a video game 🤯 It’s obviously not 1:1, but the hight notes were absolutely there. This is Tokyo’s “Red light/Entertainment district” and is full of neon, posters and alleyways.

Me stood in front of the historic red tall Kabuchicho gate

A sticker encrusted air conditioning unit on the backstreets of Tokyo

A ginormous electronic billboard and advertisements on the streets of Tokyo

We also checked out the very new and shiny Tokyu Kabukicho Tower and played the crane games in the Bandai Namco arcade they have. The Izakaya themed restaurant hall was breathtakingly atmospheric.

My kids wandering the purple lit crane game machines in a Namco game centre

The colourful neon interior of the restaurants in Kabuchicho Tower

We did wander down Golden Gai as well. 200+ small bars shoved into six tiny extremely atmospheric alleys. Most of which only fit around 5-6 people!

If you can manage the members only bars, cover charges and other requirements, a very good night out can apparently be had!

Unfortunately these roads are private and require a (extremely convoluted and confusing to obtain) permit for any photography/film purpose, so no photos from me of this area I’m afraid 😔

An evening roam around Akasaka

With extremely tired feet, we ate at Nakau a “fast food” restaurant selling Japanese staples such as curry rice and Donburi bowls. You order at a machine that prints tickets for your order, find a seat at the bar and the chef takes your tickets, bringing your food a few minutes later. I had the pork cutlet and curry rice that was delicious. Other family members had fried ticket, and the unagi 1, all of which was fabulous.

A black and white photo if us stood at the bar seating of a Japanese fast food restaurant

Curry, rice and pork cutlet served

Recharged and with full bellies, we decided to visit Hie Shrine the “hidden” 2 shrine in Akasaka with its stairway of Torii gates.

On the way there we spotted a car showroom named Bingo with some exceptionally expensive and rare cars. There was a sign on the door saying please come in and feel free to take photos, and we took them up on the offer! On the way out a staff member chased after us to give my children some stickers which they were delighted with.

What an amazingly cool and relaxed company. Sadly, I think their offerings may be slightly out of my price range 🤣🚗💨

A portrait of a Tokyo street at sunset. Skyscrapers loom in the background with powerful looking clouds.

A bright yellow Ferrari F50 supercar shining in a showroom

We reached the shrine at the very end of sunset and took a wander down the Torri path. Incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.

A stairway with bright red Torii gates spanning the entirety at sunset,

Back in the hotel after a quick Combini treat run, I relaxed with a Chu-Hi and we drifted off to sleep.

A huge can of grapefruit Chu-Hi alcoholic drink!

Tomorrow our first Shinkansen ride to a new city! 🚄

Kyoto here we come!

  1. Grilled eel with a teryaki style glaze ↩︎

  2. I guess just lesser known really… ↩︎