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Tokyo
IN November I fly to Okinawa – I am pretty excited about the upcoming trip so I will (once again) look back to my last journey to Japan.

I already wrote about my time in Kyoto, Koyasan and Nara a few months ago but I didn’t write about Tokyo. There is no specific reason for that – maybe it’ just a little hard to do a metropolis with 37 million people justice. I will not try to write a guide about the best things to do in a couple of days, there is simply to much and you can’t be wrong anyway. I will tell you in chronological order what I did and you can decide for yourself if you would like to walk in my footsteps ;).

Equipment

When in comes to photo equipment I had a small Ona Bowery bag and several camers and lenses with me:

Sony NEX A6000 with SEL1018 UWA Zoom
Olympus OMD-EM-1 with M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8
Olympus PEN E-PL5 with  Samyang Fisheye / M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8

Day 1 – Arrival and Accomodation

We booked an accomodation called NUI Hostel, located in Tatio, not far away from the Skytree. I can highly recommend that place if you don’t mind a rather “simple” place to sleep. The Hostel has a very nice bar, great food and many locals visit the place. Sometimes some bands play gigs and it’s great place to get in touch with other people, the employees are also very friendly.

Day 2 – Skytree (or not), Senso-Ji and a park

Since our hostel was located near the Skytree we went straight to that place on the next day. Unfortunately at that time it was still Golden Week, the holiday season of the Japanese. You had to queue for four hours on that day – to qualify for the real queue :D. So we skipped that and decided to come back another day. Photos from above will follow later, I can show the Skytree from the bottom though:

The Japanese are very friendly people by the way. We made a selfie in front of the Skytree and some older man, I guess about 75 years old, offered to take a photo of us. He wanted to get the best angle possible so he lay on the ground on his back and was perfectly familiar with the camera, impressive!

After we left the Skytree area we went to the Senso-Ji temple – that area was also very crowded. I was able to make one of my favorite photos of the vacation there because for me it captures the essence of the whole trip: Crowded places, a strong identification of the people with their country but calm and friendly faces. That’s why the following picture became the featured photo of this article.

Not far away from the temple was a small park and I was lucky enough to witness a traditional wedding. I tried to be discrete because I didn’t want to disturb the couple. I didn’t had a tele lens with me so I had no chance for some close up photos. These weddings are not as serious as you might thought they are though ;).

Day 3 – Cat Cafe, Table Tennis World Championships and Tokyo Tower

The third day is not much about Tokyo attractions because two events were on the agenda – a visit in a cat cafe and the Table Tennis World championships that took place at that time. Since I am a Table Tennis player I bought tickets for the World Championships in advance for the semi finals, were Germany and Japan could possibly be opponents – and that’s what happened. I didn’t have a long telephoto lens with me so I was not able to make photos of the action itself but here are some impressions from the crowd instead, including a selfie.

The atmosphere was great and since Japanese people are polite the guys directly next to me clapped their hands for the German players, too :).

We also visited one of the many cat cafes in Tokyo on that day – a must visit for a cat fan like me!

We also had a chance to take a look at the Tokyo Tower in Minato:

Day 4 – Yoyogi Park, Shibuya and Akihabara

The next day was also a very active one – the Yoyogi Park is very relaxed though:

The busy Shibuya crossing is something that everybody has seen on photos already for sure – of course I had to see it for myself!

Akihabara is also worth a visit – I didn’t see a Maid Cafe from the inside but the area is also impressive from the outside!

Day 5 – Skytree and Harbour

When the Golden Week was finally over the crowds in front of the Skytree were significantly smaller – after waiting for about an hour we were able to enjoy the spectacular view from the top:

Since the Skytree visit didn’t fill a whole day we also went to the slightly less popular harbour – you can see a giant Gundam statue there:

Day 6 and street photos

Here are some photos from the final day and some impressions from the people of Tokyo. I am really looking forward to my trip to Okinawa, make sure you don’t miss my article and the photos – for example by subscribing to my newsletter!

I hope you enjoyed this short trip to Tokyo. If you have questions or some suggestions regarding Tokyo feel free to write it in the comments below!

                        

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Pierre Aden

I’m a photographer located in Frankfurt, Germany. When I am not travelling / taking pictures I like to play Table Tennis / Squash or watch TV Series. I work in a German bank in the Anti-Money-Laundering department.

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