Travels: New Years in Japan

I had the opportunity to travel to Tokyo, Japan this past winter holiday. I had a great time and wanted to share a bit from the experience. I’ll keep the writing brief and let the pictures tell the story.

I. The Flight

Great flight. Connected through Chicago, tons of time to read; but most impressed with the excellent quality of service of ANA NIPPON AIRWAYS.


II. The Plan

In order to make the most of the 18-day trip, Vickie and I built out a daily schedule. Each day was dedicated to exploring 1 specific neighbourhood and had a highlight or a main attraction to see; followed by a suggested list of possible activities.

Click the photo to see more details!

Japan Schedule

Alberto and Vickie’s JaPlan!

III. The Neighbourhoods

Neighbourhoods explored:

  • Denenchofu
  • Jyugaoka
  • Harajuku
  • Asakusa
  • Ginza
  • Shambashi
  • Akihabara
  • Ikebukuro
  • Shibuya
  • Shinjuku
  • Kyoto
  • Mitaka
  • Atami


Highlight: Walking to Tamagawa River

Sights of the Day:

  • Denenchofu Station
  • Horai Park
  • Tamagawa River
  • Maruko Bridge
  • Shinmaruko
  • 7/11
  • Ramen House
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Denenchofu Station

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Horai Park


Highlight: Meiji-Jingu Shrine

Sights of the Day:

  • Omotesando Street
  • Omotesando Hills
  • Kiddy Land
  • Takeshita Dori
  • Togi Shrine
  • Yoyogi park
  • Meiji-Jingu Shrine
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Meiji Jingu Shrine


Highlight: Tokyo City View

Sights of the Day:

  • Roppongi Hills
  • Tokyo City View
  • Mori Art Museum
  • Tokyo Midtown + Uniqlo
  • Noodles with Akiko
  • Don Quijote (Store)
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Tokyo City View

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Roppongi Alley


Highlight: Sensoji Temple

Sights of the Day:

  • Kaminarimon Gate
  • Sensoji Temple
  • Five Storied Pagoda
  • Nakamise Street
  • Asakusa Shrine
  • Japanese Candy
  • Tokyo Skytree
  • Sumida River
  • Asahi Beer Tower
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Nakamise Street

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Kaminarimon Gate


Highlight: Tsukiji Fish Market!

Sights of the Day:

  • Ginza Wako Clock Tower
  • Kabukiza Theater
  • Tsukiji Fish Market
  • Tsukiji Hongan-Ji (Temple)
  • Department Store Basement Food Court Market



Highlight: Sega Store!

Sights of the Day:

  • Sega Arcade
  • Race Car w/ Akiko
  • Sofmap (Videogames)
  • Bic Camera (Electronics)
  • Tokyo Station
  • Imperial East Garden
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Highlight: Ramen and Drinks with Jose Chen!

Sights of the Day:

  • Ichiran Ramen
  • Kabukichu
  • Sasuke @Golden Gai
  • Torikizoku Izakaya
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Godzilla Alley

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Ichiran Ramen


Highlight: Kaiten Sushi

Sights of the Day:

  • Hachiko Statue
  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Center Gai + Koen Dori
  • Kaiten Sushi (belt + tablet)
  • Torikizuko w/ Jose Chen
2018-01-03 17.01.25

New Year’s Hachiko

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Kaiten Sushi

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Shibuya Crossing


Highlight: Fushimi Inari Shrine

Sights of the Day:

  • Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari-taisha)
  • Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Sannenzaka
  • Ninenzaka
  • Yasaka Hokanji
  • Kinkakuji (Golden Pavillion)
  • Ryoanji Temple (Rock Garden)
  • Ninnaji Temple (Heian House)
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Fushimi Inari Shrine

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Sannenzaka Street

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Zen Rock Garden

III. Highlights

We Got Engaged!

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Drinks with friends!

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Sasuke @Golden Gai

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Drinks @Ginza

Shyukaen Yunohana Zen Ryokan

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Ryokan Dining Table

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Ryokan Room

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Ryokan Rotenburo (Hot Spring Tub)

Studio Ghibli Museum

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Ghibli Museum

Shuji (Caligraphy) with Obachama

WhatsApp Image 2018-02-04 at 11.26.20 PM


WhatsApp Image 2018-02-04 at 11.26.33 PM


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The Train System

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Japanese Train Routes

Mount Fuji

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Mount Fuji

Vending Machines

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Vending Machines with both Hot & Cold Beverages

Electric Toilets

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Electric Toilet

Bowls and Bowls of Food



Highlight of the trip: Family Time!

I just want to appreciate the opportunity to spend time with Vickie’s family and learn about her family’s Japanese heritage. Tokyo is a fascinating place to explore and the food in Japan is incredible.


That’s it for now. Cheers till next time!


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