Tokyo Day One: Shrines, Chidoriga-Fuchi Park and Tsuki Ji Fish Market

It’s finally time to share the blog posts about our Japan and Korea trip!  And I’m going to start this series off by saying I have never packed so well in my entire life.  Everything matched, everything worked together, I could dress things up or down, I was COMFORTABLE, and I didn’t over or under pack!  I’m still pretty shocked because normally I’m a classic over packer.  If you’re looking for a packing list for a week to 10 day long trip that will have weather in the 40s to 60s, make sure you check out this blog post because it all worked perfectly.  It all fit in a carry-on sized roller bag (though I checked it), a backpack (which really just carried my laptop, camera and stuff for the flight) and a medium-sized crossbody purse.  Here is a pic of us before we got on the plane to Japan!  Can you tell we were excited for a little alone time?

traveling to Japan

 

Tokyo Day 1

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After just a few hours in Tokyo I realized that most Japanese women work off of the same outfit template that includes a midi skirt and a khaki trench coat…and I must say, I loved it!  And now I want a real trench coat.  They all looked so chic and modest and comfortable and and it’s a look that works for women of all ages.

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white New Balance sneakers | jeans (very high rise and very flattering, wearing size 27 but could have gone with my normal size 26 because they stretch out a bit…I’m 5’5″ and 127 lbs) | striped tie back sweatshirt (such a versatile piece) | white t-shirt (my favorite one and super affordable) | tortoise scallop hoop earrings | Burberry scarf (similar)| Coat (old, Burberry) | purse (old, Kate Spade)

I wore my new favorite jeans which are super high-rise and very comfortable.  I sized up to a 27 (normally a 26), but wish I’d gotten my normal size.  They didn’t really lose their shape or get baggy, but they did loosen up a tad.  I wore these white sneakers I’ve had for years, but for some reason they rubbed my heal wrong and I wore my favorite blush Walmart sneakers the rest of the trip (seriously, best $16.97 ever spent).  Layering was key on this trip, so I wore my favorite white t-shirt under a tie-back sweatshirt, which I used with both workout/athleisure and casual/jeans outfits throughout the trip.  I own it in the striped pattern as well as the blush color and I can’t recommend it enough.  Over top I wore my old Burberry coat (an investment but it has gone the distance and will never go out of style) and my Burberry scarf, which is great for spring days because it’s not wool.

Our first full day in Tokyo consisted of a lot of walking (and an early morning workout in the hotel gym).  We stayed at the Tokyo Hilton in Shinjuku (the west side of Tokyo) and we (I) decided we should walk all the way to Chidoriga-Fuchi Park to see the cherry blossoms and the Imperial Garden.  Along the way we stumbled upon a few different shrines, which seem to be tucked away between tall modern buildings and in small parks.  They’re all incredibly peaceful and beautiful to see.  The one from these photos is Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku.

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We kept wandering (through intermittent sleet and rain…I’m glad we brought an umbrella) and eventually ended up at the park and the East Imperial Garden.  We were in Tokyo from March 22nd through the 27th and while the cherry blossoms were beautiful you could tell that they weren’t in full bloom yet.  Supposedly Chidoriga-Fuchi is a wonderful place to see them, and even though we didn’t get to seem them at their peak it was still breathtaking.  We also saw a lot of runners, and it seems as though running along the perimeter of the park is a very popular route.  I wish we had been a bit closer so we could have run there!

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After meandering the park for a while we realized we were hungry.  We ended up inside a little food hall and stopped at what turned out to be a Chinese restaurant.  We didn’t intend for our first meal out in Tokyo to be not Japanese!  Regardless, I had some good soup that helped warm me up and we also enjoyed a round of beers.

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Next we caught an Uber to the Tsuki Ji Fish Market.  I had heard that this was a sight to behold, and there were so many vendors selling fresh seafood and kitchenware and things to eat.  We ambled along just soaking in the sights, sounds and smells, until we realized we were pretty tired from traveling all day the day prior and then walking all day.  We caught an Uber back to the hotel and passed Tokyo Tower along the way.

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After some time in the room we went down and drank gin and tonics and played rummy at the bar.  We always travel with cards and it’s a fun way to visit and chat and spend time without the tv on.  Stay tuned for Day 2!

 

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Katie Vail
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