Tokyo – Yanaka and Ikebukuro

Wow, guess I fell a bit behind keeping my entries up regarding my time in Tokyo.

Where to begin, I was going to divide my time in Tokyo up by going to Takayama, but either my age or all the walking caught up with me and I decided to stay in Tokyo for seven nights. Never really thought I would want to stay in Tokyo that long, but it is such a diverse city.

For the first half of my time in Tokyo I stayed at Ryokan Sawanoya in Yanaka. Yanaka was very enjoyable. It had more of an old Tokyo type feel. During my time in Yanaka I went on two tours. One tour ended up being free for guests of the ryokan, because it was the first offering of the tour. The first part of the tour was really good. There was a tea ceremony and then we attempted to make tea ourselves. It was quite funny, I am pretty sure people felt sorry for me, at one point I had five members of the team running the event all helping me out. In addition to the tea ceremony, there was also a rakugo performance in English. That definitely was my favorite part of the event. In a rakugo performance there is only one actor on stage and they do all the voices in the story. There are only two props used, a fan and a small cloth. It sounds as though this type of performance is getting popular in other countries, I recommend finding a performance in your area. After the rakugo performance, it was craft time. We made a small byobu, which is a Japanese folding screen. We only had time to do one side of it, but it was definitely fun to make. I will finish it when I return home. The end of the first half of the tour was listening and participating in a song used for sumo. After the first half of the tour was done, the second half was rushed and focused mainly on sumo. It was a bit disorganized, which was understandable as it was the first time they ran the tour.

My next tour was a walking tour of Yanaka. There were two interesting parts of that tour. The first was the cherry blossoms blooming in the cemetery. It was very pretty. The second interesting and fun thing was getting dressed in a kimono, which wasn’t part of the tour but it was a free offering by a photo studio that just opened. Definitely not complaining about getting it free, as I know some of the tours where you dress up in a kimono can be quite pricey.

Lots of time was spent relaxing in the ryokan as they had two Japanese style baths, so nice. The windows in the bathing area opened up to a small garden.

One of the days I took a day trip with another person I met from Canada. We went to Niigata. While there we went to a fish market, which was quite interesting to see. I also got a cafe mocha at a cafe and the barista made the cutest design. After the market we went for sushi. Best sushi ever. So fresh, as the city is right on the sea. Went on a tour bus around the city. Definitely has a nice river area and parks. Dinner was at an izakaya. The food was so good, I had tempura and the shrimp tempura was the biggest I have ever seen. I also tried pickled firefly squid, which was tasty.

Yesterday my body was done I stayed in all day as all my adventures caught up with me.

Today I switched to my third hotel in Tokyo located Ikebukuro. My room is on the 36th floor and the view is amazing. It was another quiet day, did some shopping and booked the airport bus for tomorrow morning. May venture out tonight to take in all the lights.

There will be another post about this trip as there are lots of things I have realized about solo travel. This has been a life changing experience. I also will miss the food.

Thanks for reading.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 127 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: