Also see last post if interested in more on Tokyo/Kyoto eg. food trails   TOKYO – Kyoto – Food trails by train including a homestyle cooking class

We spent a few days just walking around Tokyo – taking in both the natural and urban landscapes and having a rest in between like in this photo below:

International Flights from Australia on this trip – Sydney to Tokyo;  Tokyo (Narita Airport) to London

Flight from Sydney to Tokyo takes approx 9.5 hours but the good thing is that there’s only about an hour of difference in time zone.  We find it a good way to get to/from Europe plus it’s such a fascinating culture/country – we look forward to returning!

A 5 night stay at the Hilton Tokyo (photo below):

We usually like to stay in smaller hotels but sometimes in larger cities that’s not always ideal.  We would rate this Hilton 4/5…great location near gardens where many of our photos here were taken;  lovely indoor pool;  free shuttle bus to station etc.   However, in 2013 the staff weren’t as well trained as other places we’ve been to;  for example, at the time they didn’t know much about the local attractions such as their famous garden only a short walk away.  We got better information from the Net and nearby Tourist Office instead.  We arrived feeling ok, not particularly jet lagged due to similar time zone to Sydney, and walked across the road to a large cafe (a Dendy? Franchise…haven’t seen 1 outside of Asia).  This was a good find as we returned for breakfast each day;  the breakfast at the hotel was expensive/top end dining so not what we were after, just a small/quick breakfast before sightseeing.  The cafe we liked was interesting too…many locals went there on their way to work but they also offered foods for a more Western taste.

Ask for an upgrade at this hotel if you go!  We had booked a standard room but as cane9157240-6118-4b5e-aaab-75d6c13a039e be seen from the photo we stayed in a spacious suite – especially considering that rooms like this in Tokyo are usually comparatively very pricey!  They actually offered the upgrade for a small amount more.  We loved the Japanese style of decor – simplicity combined with elegance.  After busy days of sightseeing it was like returning to a calm oasis in the afternoon.

SHINJUKU GYOEN NATIONAL GARDEN...maybe pack a picnic lunch &/or check if the Tea House has been reopened?

We were told that the “blossom had passed it’s peak” but we were still impressed by the beauty…off to enjoy a beautiful autumn day in Canberra so will post more photos tonight:)

Photos below:  Historic landways of Shinjuku;  a fun night out in Shinjuku district


Tokyo Central Railway Station

Next time we’re in Japan we might go to…


Yokohama’s Chinatown, Japan’s largest, is more kitsch than cultural but has a raucous, colourful appeal. It’s a popular destination for hungry visitors from Tokyo, just 30 kilometres away, and as a result is crammed with an estimated 600 eateries, from stalls selling steamed buns to noodle shops and grand banqueting halls draped in gold-leaf dragons. Souvenir stores spruik cheap, imported Chinese toys, fashions and chopstick sets, along with more upmarket jade and handicrafts. Amid the hubbub is ornate, 1873 Kantei-byo Shrine, dedicated to the god of prosperity and prettily illuminated in the evening with strings of overhead lanterns. See  (From “Six of the Best Chinatowns in Asia”)….Canberra Times 26/3/17