When visiting Japan, how many of our foreign visitors enjoy the experience and learn?
Here is something unique and finally different!
I got to visit TeamLab Planets in Toyosu a few months ago and went again a couple of weeks ago. This makes me feel like Alice passing through the mirror and getting to wonderland. what a moment!!
It is a 20mn walk from Toyosu metro station and opposite Shin-Toyosu train stop. you need to book your ticket online, you cannot print it, it only comes as a QR code on your phone
Once there, you must get in with in 30mn of the time you booked, take off your shoes and belongings in the locker and off you go. the team provides you with a plastic pocket to hold your phone.
It takes about 90mn to enjoy it properly but you will get all sorts of senses, velvet, water, noise, smell, bubble, flowers, etc. fantastic!! I will go again.
I tried the evening visit and would not recommend it as it is full of noisy students. My 1st visit was a morning around 10h00 and that was perfect as not too crowded, we could experience the moment to full extent.
There is also TeamLab Borderless that I need to try!
Shinagawa is a business area in Tokyo that offers many advantages, it is central, it is smaller than Tokyo station and therefore easier to locate the Shinkansen platforms, there is less queue at the counter to activate a rail pass for tourists and in general less queue all together
On the other hand, if you wish to activate your Rail Pass, make sure you go from 9.00 to 17.00 only
and the station can be mega busy at peak hours!! watch out!! the station is set as a mega corridor and it can feel daunting to jump in the flow.
Nikko is a historical city 2 hours north of Tokyo in the Tochigi Prefecture.
Getting there is relatively easy although there is a small thing to know when taking the train in Kita-Senju. It appears that the express train needs a reserved seat ticket that you can buy, on top of your nomal train ride, at the gate to the platform
that platform is actually a bit like a Harry Potter special one! you need to go to the indicated platform in the station BUT once there, you need to walk all the way to the end and go through a special passage to a hidden platform for that train
you will then get a very vintage train all in brown velvet, so cute, kawaii desu ne
Enjoy the ride!
You may purchase a combined ticket that will include the return ticket and access to the bus in Nikko as well as the monuments. I did not as Nikko is a very walkable city.
Kobe? Here is a provincial city that feels like a town in the Kansai region. Again, I did not find much to visit there apart from the Kitano area where a lot of European style houses are built along the hill and the garden at the top, you may use the cable car or hike there.
However, I really like the city for the hills and the seaside, the many ramen and small shops and restaurants under the bridges and train rails, The city center has a European flair, arcades, small boutique, cafes with terraces, a walk on the seaside, the place is quieter than Osaka or Tokyo, so this is really a pleasure to spend an afternoon in Kobe
When Japan opened to the world, Dutch and Portuguese were the first to arrive in Nagasaki and then in Kobe because this was the port closer to Kyoto, the imperial city. Nowadays, some houses remain and Kobe is famous for the cakes and the bread because of this past times
Of course, the great earthquake in 1995 means most of the city is modern and rebuild, but sometimes, a good surprise and a nice building pops up.
Osaka is such a contrast compared to Tokyo, very lively, this is the 3rd city of Japan, after Yokohama, and it is a great location 40mn from Kyoto by local train (20mn with the shinkansen), 50mn to Nara, 30mn to Kobe (15mn with shinkansen). People laugh, shout, scream, talk loudly in the streets and bars, there is a special atmosphere here.
Enjoy the capital of streetfood, and shopping, the numerous malls, and the modern buildings, Temma, Dotombori, Namba, Umeda, so much to enjoy, not much to visit but guaranteed great time. After that, I am privileged enough to get the sweets in my room with a view