Could it get any hotter in Japan then our first week? Well, yes. We made our way to Tokyo for the first time! Flying into Haneda airport was one of the better decisions we made; compared to Narita airport (which we flew out of) it is a breeze to hop on a bus and get into the city.
One of the dilemmas a lot of people face while travelling is where to actually stay when you haven't been there before. You want to find some place convenient for your planned activities, ideally affordable, and hopefully an interesting neighborhood. After some quick research (ahem, Googled "hipster neighborhoods Tokyo") we settled on an AirBnb in Shimokitazawa. Easily the best decision in our entire trip; its streets are littered with cheap eats, thrifts shops, and hair salons.
There is not as much as Kyoto in terms of temples, shrines, and palaces but they do have a few cultural attractions. Instead of temples mixed in with the tall modern buildings it seemed like every attraction encompassed many city blocks and were surrounded by cherry trees (which probably look amazing in the spring!). However, in the peak of summer it was still quite lush and provided a great amount of shade for all of the wandering travelers. Compared to Osaka and Kyoto, there was a significantly larger amount of tourists (makes sense as it's the largest and most well known city in Japan) so we spent a lot of time people watching. If you want to spend a couple hours off your feet I'd suggest to find a coffee shop that overlooks a crowded tourist destination (not the Starbucks over Shibuya cross though unless you want to wait in an hour+ line though).
|necessary cat picture|
Also, after a week and a half wrestling my hair I decided to walk into a random salon and chop it off to my shoulder (really I've wanted to for quite some time). The stylist was very careful in making sure she understood me; she even drew a picture of the cut before she actually did the first chop. As she went on it was mostly exclamations of "kawaii!"
|R-Fritters in Shimokatazawa|
Coffee: Bear Pond espresso (just be courteous)
Food: Crepes in Harajuku, kaiten sushi on the weekends
Drinks: Flower bar Gardena
Destinations: Meiji Shrine
|Intense ramen, Wine in a flowershop, R-Fritters, and a pancake pie from J.S. cafe|