DAY 3

SHINJUKU GYOEN PARK
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Kids enjoying the luscious green  manicured lawns of Japanese garden!

Shinjuku Gyoen  is one of Tokyo’s largest and most popular parks. Located just a short walk from Shinjuku Station, the paid park’s spacious lawns, meandering walking paths and tranquil scenery provide a relaxing escape from the busy urban center around it.

Shinjuku Gyoen has gardens, woods, a large and picturesque pond, and hundreds of cherry trees (sakura) which make Shinjuku Gyoen one of Tokyo’s most popular cherry blossom viewing venues in early April.Most beautiful being the Japanese traditional garden.

Consider bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying the scenic beauty of this beautiful , serene garden.

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SHIBUYA CROSSING

It would be a shame to come to Tokyo and not take a walk across the famous intersection outside Shibuya Station famously know as the Shibuya crossing. It is an unquestioned must-visit for any trip to Tokyo. Shibuya Crossing is the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing. When the lights turn red at this busy junction, they all turn red at the same time in every direction. Traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides, like marbles spilling out of a box. There’s a particularly hypnotic view over the crossing from the Starbucks on the 2nd floor of the Q-front building across the street (though it’s hard to get a seat).We were so hypnotized by this moment of organised chaos that we were seated at the Starbucks for over an hour.It has appeared in the films “Lost in Translation” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” while making appearances in numerous music videos, newscasts, and animated programs. Perhaps nowhere else says ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ better than this.

The surrounding area of Shibuya is a lively, popular destination for people of all walks of life. It is a popular nightlife spot filled with bars, clubs and izakaya, and weekend revelry is a common sight. It is also a trendy shopping district.

HACHIKO STATUE

One can also visit the Hachiko statue. The Hachiko statue area is the busiest meeting point in Tokyo. Hachiko was a dog back in the 1920s who came each day to meet his owner after work at Shibuya Station. His owner died but Hachiko continued to come each evening to the Station to wait. This continued for around ten years.

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Hachiko Statue and also a meeting point for many!
 A small statue of Hachiko sits outside the station. The statue is recognizable by everyone in Japan. It’s on television all the time. It’s a thoroughly famous spot.
TAKASHITA - DORI
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The main entrance of Takeshita-Dori.

Takashita-Dori is a pedestrian shopping street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants in Harajuku in Tokyo, Japan.Enjoy mouth watering food and crepes here. Crepes are famous all over Tokyo , we happened to have them at Takashita-Dori. Also be sure to reach here early , we reached a bit late and everything was about closing.

 

OMOTESANDO

Referred to as Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees, Omotesando is a one kilometer long, tree lined avenue, serving as the main approach to Meiji Shrine. Numerous stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants, including several leading fashion brand shops, stand along the avenue. This area generally caters to an older and wealthier clientele than Takeshita Dori.

Day 4

DAY TRIP TO FUJI SHIBA SAKURA FESTIVAL AND MOUNT FUJI

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This day we took a guided tour to few of the gardens displaying the pink moss ( pink flowers ) with the backdrop of Mount Fuji accompanied by strawberry picking and sake tasting.

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Pink Moss !

We set out very early and started our tour around 7 in the morning .The Fuji Shiba Sakura Festival is held in the Fuji Five Lakes area away from Tokyo at the base of Mount Fuji.It is  festival of flowers which gives color to Mount Fuji.The best time to see the flowers varies  but usually falls into the first three weeks of May and we were lucky to see these as we missed the sakura blossoms though we did manage to see a tree or two , the final remains.

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Beautiful shaded tulips with the background of Mount Fuji which is hidden behind the clouds!

Although we did manage to see the pink moss and varied  and unimaginable colours of tulips , the weather did not favor us and we could see Mount Fuji.We managed to see glimpses of Mount Fuji from the bus as the clouds cleared on and off but couldn’t catch a clear full blown view.

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Tulips in unimaginable colours!

After visiting the shiba sakura festival we were headed to our strawberry picking . This was the highlight of the tour .The strawberries were farm fresh and delicious.I haven’t tasted such sweet and delicious strawberries ever. Fruit picking is seasonal and strawberry was the fruit of the season.

After Strawberry picking we were headed for sake tasting.Most delicious sake and i different flavors such as apple, grape and peach.

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Sake tasting!Regret not bringing back bottles!

After the enjoyable tour we were dropped off at Shinjuku and from there we were headed to Golden Gai.

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Dinner at the very famous Coco Ichibaniya! Chicken Curry rice with Iced Latte!
GOLDEN GAI

Golden Gai is an architectural wonder tucked away in a corner of the giant centre of commerce and entertainment that is Shinjuku. The twentieth century wasn’t an era that was kind to Tokyo’s architectural heritage – most buildings that didn’t fall down in the great earthquake of 1923, or burn down during wartime air raids, became a victim of Japan’s ‘economic miracle’ of the second half of the century, when almost the whole city was redeveloped in concrete. Golden Gai doesn’t contain any grand buildings or monuments, but is simply a tiny fragment of old Tokyo that has miraculously survived, albeit hemmed in and dwarfed by high rise developments all around. It allows a glimpse of what the city was like in the recent past – a unique record of a way of life that has nearly been bulldozed off the map.

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The interiors of a tiny old bar!

Golden Gai consists of six tiny alleys – much too narrow to get even a small car down – lined by almost two hundred tiny bars.Most of the bars have a cover charge, though a small number are free to enter.Although I did not enter any of the bars , the experience of walking down this tiny alley was like revisiting the past.Filled with people of all age groups , this is a place to go with a group of friends and chill late night with a glass of sochu!

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One of the 6 alleys of the Golden Gai!

Stay tuned for more adventures and places to visit  in Tokyo!