We are here in Shinjuku, which is famous for–What was that? Oh my god! Run!
I just wanted to meet Godzilla. There he is! Okay, okay wait a second. Let me explain. Ever since I was young, I have been obsessed with the idea of visiting Tokyo.
So much so that over the years I started writing a book sized list of all the things that I absolutely had to see there. This year Emma and I finally made the trip and we had one week to make the list a reality. So meeting Godzilla on top of Hotel Gracery. That’s one big tick. My name is Ryan and this is my Tokyo bucket list.
Now, before we get onto the weirder stuff let’s cover some Tokyo essentials. 3 things that you absolutely have to see on a first time visit. First up, walk the Shibuya Crossing. The busiest interchange in the world. Your 2 best options for free views of the Shibuya crossing are either the Starbucks. Or from Shibuya station.
Although obviously, you do have to buy a drink in Starbucks to enjoy that free view. We’ve done this so many times now it’s too much fun! Also, remember to say hello to Hachiko the dog whilst you are passing through.
The next thing that we had to do was climb the Tokyo Skytree and get the best view of the city. On a clear day, you can even see Mount Fuji on the horizon.
The third must-see is Senso-Ji. The oldest temple in Tokyo to get your first taste of the spiritual side of Japan.
Okay, so the next thing we’re about to do is big. Hidden within the streets of Akihabara is somewhere very special. Real life Mario Kart! There was only ever one choice. Definitely one of the more expensive things to do in Tokyo but oh man it is so worth it.
That might have been the best thing I’ve ever done. I’d always heard that Japan is crazy expensive. But when it comes to eating sushi from a conveyor belt restaurant, a big thing on my bucket list, it really doesn’t have to be pricy. If you’re looking for seriously budget conveyor belt restaurants in Tokyo, your 2 best options are Genki sushi and Mangosuthu.
Now Genki Sushi is where you have a touch screen in front of you and whatever you order comes rushing to you on a conveyor belt, it’s very very cool. Or there’s Gansosushi which is a more traditional style conveyor belt where the chefs just prepare things, they put it on the conveyor belt and you pick it off. See the problem with all of this amazing food going past you is that I will eat it all. I’ll eat all of it. The plates are going to stack up. You can order things if you want to but if you really want to do that then Genki Sushi is your best option.
There are so many options. So that meal which was 5 plates of sushi each came to £9.30 in total so Japan doesn’t have to be expensive. If Sushi isn’t really your thing, you can also find some incredibly cheap tempura and ramen restaurants. This meal cost a grand total of £4. So cheap food is easy to find, but what about that crazy Tokyo nightlife?
Luckily I had heard about a very special type of bar. So last night we went to check out one of the 300 yen bars. Which as the name suggests has a menu full of drinks and food that all costs 300 yen each? Which is about £2.50. See some things can be really expensive in Japan but some things don’t have to be. I mean you can get overcharged for food, you can pay a lot for drinks but if you do some research it really doesn’t have to be that way.
Next on my list is some classically Japanese budget accommodation. You absolutely have to stay in a capsule hotel. The Nine Hours chain has some really cool futuristic capsules in locations all over the city.
They are a lot bigger than you think. When you are inside the capsule there is plenty of space to move about. The changing areas and the lockers and the showers are all really really nice, immaculately clean. What did you think Emma? Great, great night sleep, very comfortable and the best thing is that I didn’t have to sleep next to you!
Burned. The biggest sport in Japan is not sumo, it’s not football, it’s actually baseball. So I’ve always wanted to see a game here. And tonight we’re going to see the Tokyo Yakult Swallows verses the Hiroshima Carps.
Big game! And yes, they are named after the delicious probiotic drink. One of the great things about Japanese baseball games is that you can bring in your own food and drink, including alcohol. Which gate are we at? 5.
They have these girls running up and down with kegs on their backs serving beer to people in the crowd. They look like Ghostbusters. They all wear different colored outfits which represent different breweries from around Japan. So that’s quite cool. It’s a t-shirt gun time!
Love a good sponsor. Go Yakult! So when the Swallows are doing well, all the fans get out these tiny umbrellas and they start throwing them up and down like this. It’s brilliant! The umbrellas don’t come out a lot because the Swallows aren’t that great.
But such a good experience, I’d recommend it to anyone even if you’re not a sports fan, not a baseball fan come here because it’s so much fun. From one Japanese obsession to another. Japan has the highest density of vending machines in the world, with approximately 1 vending machine per 23 people. You can find classic style one and some even more modern ones too. Selling everything from soft drinks to ice cream, from hot drinks to cigarettes. So I’ve heard that there are vending machines in Japan that sell self-freezing coke and I think I’ve found one so let’s give it a go.
So if you take a sip, close the lid and turn it upside down it should instantly turn into a coke slush. Is it just a cold coke? This very very sad. Yes! When you come to Tokyo you absolutely have to visit an arcade, there are literally hundreds of them all over the city.
This place just outside Ikebukuro station is 5 floors of gaming. The first two floors are crane machines. Oh man!
The next floor is music and dance games. You would not believe the noise in here, it’s insane! Next we have straight up video games like Final Fantasy, even FIFA.
The next level is satellite games so this is online gaming. If you’re putting in a long shift you can even order food right to your game. The other game stations you will see are Pachinko slot machines which from what I can make out are a kind of like pinball. I don’t know, somebody explain it to me in the comments please. it looks amazing!
Ok so this might sound a bit weird to have on your bucket list but I’ve always wanted to use a Japanese toilet. So as you can see there’s a variety of options for me to choose from here. There’s a privacy button so let’s give that a go. It plays some lovely relaxing water sounds in case you’re a bit loud. Deodoriser, oh that smells nice. You’ve got the front spray there for the ladies and the rear spray so let’s give that a little go.
Oh! To be honest, that’s one of the more basic options, I’ve had one that had a heated seat, one that goes up and down for you. Adjustable.
Ok, so I am about to fulfill a childhood fantasy. We are about to go to the Pokemon Centre in Tokyo. Pika Pika!
Caught you! Ok, I’ve found him, the best Pokemon there is. It is kind of just like a Pokemon version of the Disney Store, but at least we can say that we have been to the official Pokemon center. When I was at school, I had an art teacher called Mr. Hunter and he ran an after-school movie club. One week he showed us a film called Spirited Away, which is an animated film by Studio Ghibli. After I saw that I became completely obsessed with their films.
I watched so many of them. And today we are going to the Ghibli Museum which is a pilgrimage for any fans of the studio who want to learn some more about the history and see some of the original artwork. Which is your favorite? Definitely Totoro.
The museum is actually in a forest in Mitaka which is 15 minutes train ride from Shinjuku so it’s very easy to get to. There’s no photography or video allowed inside which I think to be honest is quite a good thing because it adds to the whole mystery of this place because you know you dont really know what’s inside. And it’s not a museum in the sense that it’s just artwork on the walls, it’s very immersive and interactive and its really like a maze as you wonder around all the different levels. They let you explore at your own pace as well. I think one of the main messages of this place is just a love of film and a love of the process and it shows you that in such an interesting way. So we’re just sitting in the cafe now and they even have their own Studio Ghibli beer.
And if I’m honest, my list just went on and on and on. We explored the streets of Harajuku. I don’t feel cool enough to be here. Took pictures in Purikura Photo Booths. Tasted the most amazing Japanese whiskey in the tiniest bar I have ever been in. Tokyo exceeded every expectation that I had for it.
It’s a city that demands that you get onto its energy levels and once you’re there it’s a completely unforgettable experience. And you know what I didn’t even get to finish my list. So anybody fancies a sequel? Thank you so much for watching this video if you liked it make sure you leave it a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel.
And I just want to a massive thank you to everybody who has subscribed so far. Last week we hit 1000 subscribers which is just blowing my mind so thank you so much. And I can’t wait to show you the next episode.