Outfit details: White Crop Top (wearing XS, great basic!) | Sweatpants (organic cotton unisex! I’m wearing XS in snow melange) | Blue Coat (real wool, very warm, wearing size small) | Sneakers (sooo comfy and true to size) | Carry-on Bag (not my normal carry-on but it fits so much!!) | Suitcase (this brand is amazing! I bought 2 of these in 2021 when I was moving to Hawaii and they are such high quality!)
Welcome to part 3 of my Japan recap!
By far the most eventful day! We first met up with my friend Chihiro who I met 14 years ago on a sponsored trip to Guam. This was the first time we have seen each other since and she now has a beautiful little girl! It was so fun to see her and we got breakfast at this spot called Fuglen in Asakusa, which I really enjoyed! The food is Norwegian and it was both healthy and very flavorful! We ordered the Norwegian Waffle with Brown cheese, Sour Cream and Berry Jam (A+), Norwegian Waffle with Scrambled Egg, Sausage and Spinach (A) and Norwegian Waffle with Smashed Avocado, Tomato Paste, Fresh Leaves, Goat Cheese and Poached Egg (A++). My sisters and I shared those 3 plates and it was the perfect amount!
Afterwards we went to a kimono rental spot in Asakusa called Vasara, I believe this is a pretty big chain and Vasara has many locations around Japan. It came out to about $100 per full look – which included the kimono, undergarment that peeks out at chest, bow in the back, socks, slippers, bag, hairdo and hair flower. We then walked around in the pouring rain and massive crowds and “tried” to take photos! I say we tried, well because our toes ended up getting soaked from the puddles and so our feet started to freeze, plus there were just people everywhere and the wind was trying to break our umbrellas… we did end up getting some pretty good photos though 🙂 It was funny because tourists kept taking photos of us, probably not realizing we too were tourists.
Afterwards we found a random little hole in the wall ramen spot before returning the kimonos. The ramen spot (I don’t know the name, sorry!) had an Indonesian/Japanese twist and we all thought the food was fantastic!!!
Then we rushed off to a tea ceremony (also in Asakusa) and that was a lovely experience learning about the cha-do, “way of the tea.” I was studying Japanese before the trip (I need to get back on that) and I learned k0cha is black tea. I kind of feel like this was the most Japanese culture experience we had during the whole trip!
After that we then met up with one of my followers named Natsumi. She has been following me and all my sisters for so long and as soon as we met her we just felt a connection which was amazing! We wanted to keep hanging out with her so we got dinner together at a delectable spot called Towada. We really enjoyed all the food here!
Overall I just loved Asakusa and wish we had visited this place earlier so we could have explored it more!
Departure day 🙁 We got our $5 breakfasts at Sukiya again – love this spot!!! And then we grabbed some last minute souvenirs and snacks from a nearby grocery store. My flight wasn’t until much later but I didn’t want to figure out the trains on my own with my luggage so I left with my sisters at 11 am in an uber. We were told it would be 25,000 yen by the uber driver the day before (he went on and on about how expensive it would be to book in the app) and then Chantel who had the first flight out, realized her flight was delayed and we tried to contact him for later pickup but for whatever reason we couldn’t figure out how to contact him!! And then to top it off when we got in the uber he said to book it on the uber app (30,000 yen), which we wouldn’t have done uber if we knew that’s what would happen! And then he gave us 5,000 yen “refund” in cash but it was all just so ridiculous!! So yeah then we literally hung out at the airport all day lol. Super sad! But low stress and fairly productive which I always prefer 🙂
Day 6 & 7 Conclusion/Takeaway:
- Loveeee Asakusa – Fuglen, Kimono rentals at Vasara, ramen in a hole in the wall, tea ceremony, Towada, tons of restaurants, souvenir and gift shops!
- Sukiya is a great spot for a quick, inexpensive, healthy breakfast/lunch. Also you must try their roasted sesame salad dressing which is on every table! So good!
- Book private shuttles to and from the airport ahead of time
In retrospect there are a lot of things I would have done differently:
- I think I would have gotten a booster last year ha ha
- or I would have gotten a free PCR test if I had just done it earlier (the “instant” one we did was $300 each!!)
- Reserve owl cafe up to a few weeks before trip
- Reserve private onsen up one month before the trip and also stay in Hakone at least 1 night – ideally 2!
- Add Pasmo to your wallet!! This is actually a BIG tip!!! We had SO many issues trying to keep loading it with cash, since the machines don’t take credit card and there are almost no debit machines anywhere! So yeah it is just way easier to refill your card and you never have to worry about finding the card (for me I always had to dig around in my bag for it!!) and ALSO what is cool is that a lot of little shops and restaurants take Pasmo but not credit card for payment.
- Use Google Lens or the Translate app which is on everyone’s phone by default! You just aim the camera at the foreign language and it translates it instantly. Or you can just tap the little icon that shows up on your screen whenever you have a photo on your phone with text. When you tap on it, the “Translate” option pops up and you can just choose translate and it translates immediately 🙂
- Bring your best pair of walking shoes since the best way to get around is walking and there sure are a lot of hills and concrete.
I also didn’t get to go to all the places I wanted so here are some other spots I wish we visited:
Ogawa Coffee Lab, Shibuya Sky, Disney Sea, Team Labs, Universal Studios, Kyoto (There is a sushi making class in Kyoto called Atelier Sushi that we were excited to try!), Osaka, Nara Park (close to Kyoto and Osaka), Tokyo Tower.
I hope you guys enjoyed my tips and recap! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂