Day One

Shibuya, Omotesandō, Harajuku, Ginza and Shiodome

Omotesandō 表参道

We started the first real day of our trip with a quick breakfast in our Shibuya hotel before walking to Omotesandō just a few miles from our hotel. It was a sunny day around 16°C.

I brought along a pocket reflector too to get some good portraits.

Lots of interesting buildings lined the neighborhood. We walked past Omotesandō to Meiji park before heading back to Harajuku.

While walking back I noticed a Muji store logo and we went to check it out. It ended up being a huge multi-level store, very much like a small Ikea including things from luggage to food.

Omotesandō Hills shopping mall
This long line is for a popcorn shop.

We stopped by a fun conveyor belt style sushi restaurant called Heiroku Sushi just across the street from the Omotesandō Hills shopping mall. As plates come around you just take whatever interests you. Pricing is based on the type and color of plate the dish is served on. When you're ready to checkout they just count your plates to come up with the total.


It was not uncommon to see people wearing kimonos, even in the middle of Tokyo. One thing that may stand out as odd is that many people wear surgical face masks. The Japanese tend to be much more considerate when they are sick and wear them around town, especially on trains. Or just being cautious in general.

Ginza 銀座

After lunch we took the train to Ginza, another upscale and populous shopping district in Tokyo, to meet up with my friend Ben Guild. The first stop was the Apple Store of course, then we walked around and saw the Sony Store.

Ginza crosswalk adjacent to the Apple store

Imperial Palace 皇居

We walked to Imperial Palace Gardens but unfortunately it was closed this Monday so we would have to visit another day for the tour. It's located where the Edo Castle used to be. There's a large park area along with various moats and huge stone walls. Just a short walk from Tokyo Station it was surprising to see such history right in the middle of the city.

I was able to get a few shots from the outside of the palace, the Kokyo Gaien, of the Nijubashi Bridge.

Imperial Palace Gardens

After having walked almost 10 miles this day we went back to the hotel for an hour to relax before heading out for the night.


We then took a few trains to get to Shiodome to go to the Park Hotel Tokyo in the Shiodome Media Tower building. We met up with Ben again, as well as my friend John Britton who I learned was also in Tokyo at the same time.

We picked this hotel in particular as Anand knew the bar manager, Suzuki-san, who wrote a popular book on mixology.

Then we walked to the 48-floor Dentsu building to get a nice view.

Dentsu Tower, Shiodome

The last stop was dinner in Shibuya, where we made a point to swing by the Shibuya crossing again.