Giveaway! + 1 Day Tokyo Itinerary

Are you planning a quick trip to Tokyo? Maybe you have a stop-over or you just want to get as much as possible out of every day you spend in this multifaced city. I’m currently staying for a few months in Japan and my family will join me next week so I have been doing a lot of research. The list below is my example of a perfect day in Tokyo if you’re short on time. Enjoy!

(Also today I have a giveaway for all you people reading my blog!
You can find it from the end of this post.)

Tokyo Travel City

Breakfast in Tokyo

Let’s start our day in Tokyo with breakfast! Mornings are maybe my favorite time in the capital city of Japan because there’s nothing better than starting your travel day in Tokyo with some delicious pastries. Tokyo is the city of cafes so just find one fitting for you and eat something tasty. Don’t forget to replace your morning coffee with something more local like matcha latte or chai tea.

Morning in central Tokyo

(Tokyo Station, Character Street, KITTE, Kokyo Gaien, Imperial Palace)
After the breakfast in Tokyo, it’s time to start our one day adventure around Tokyo. There’s no way you can see all the major sights of Tokyo in so short timing but my Tokyo itinerary includes some of my favorites. The character street found under Tokyo Station is definitely one of the must-see things in Tokyo and Japan. This “street” or better-said corridor is full of shops of different brands from Pokemon to Totoro and anime characters. You could call character street the heaven of everything cute!

Tokyo Imperial Palace

After exiting Tokyo Station continue your way to the close-by building named KITTE. You can do some shopping in this luxurious mall or even visit the museum but the thing I find must experience is on the top floor. KITTE’s rooftop garden is one of the best views you will see during your morning in Tokyo. The view towards Tokyo Stations older quarter is just what you need to take those cool holiday photos in Japan.

Tokyo Old Railway Station

When you have taken enough photos and admired the views of Tokyo, it’s time to walk towards the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Don’t worry, if I couldn’t get lost finding it you can’t either! It’s just a small walk away from Tokyo Station. Unfortunately, the palace grounds aren’t open for public but you can walk around the Palace Garden. One of my must things to do in Tokyo. The admission is free so you can spend as much or as little time walking around the Japanse garden as you want.

Lunch in Tokyo

Depending on when you get hungry, I recommend eating lunch somewhere between leaving the central Tokyo and going to Ueno. It’s very easy to find restaurants in Tokyo so don’t stress too much! I’m not the expert when it comes to different dishes in Japan (I usually just eat randomly what looks good) but I would recommend for you tempura, tonkatsu, ramen or okonomiyaki.

food

Eating out in Tokyo may seem scary because you never know if the staff will speak English. Fortunately, most of the menus have photos or you will be handed English menu automatically. Many places will bring you the bill with your food (hidden to a case) and after eating you have to take it to the counter. But this is not the only custom so you should just follow what the locals do or ask for help.

Afternoon in Akihabara and Ueno

(Electric town, Ueno Park, Senso-Ji)
You may not have time to see all three places I mentioned (especially if you fall in love with Ueno as much as I did) but you can try! Start from the electric town of Akihabara and visit some of the countless anime shops, electronic stores or theme cafes. If you want to experience something that’s only a Japan thing, Akihabara is just the place you need to add on your Tokyo itinerary. Choose your favorite from the long list of cafes and restaurants differing from maid cafes full of cute girls in maid uniforms to animal cafes where you can pet everything from reptiles to owls.

Tokyo Ueno Streets

From Akihabara, you could take a train straight to Ueno but walking the kilometer will be an experience on its own. Don’t worry, there’s no way you will get lost! Just walk the street next to the train tracks above you. If you want true Tokyo dinner, eat in one of those small restaurants under the tracks. On your way to Ueno, you should wander around the colorful shopping streets and even try local gambling game – Pachinko. I couldn’t tell you how these cames work even if I wanted so my tip is just to put some coins in and mash the buttons. It’s not hard to understand why Japanese people love playing these games. The colors and loud noises have their own charm.

Museum in ueno park

When you finally find Ueno Station, you can’t miss Ueno Park right next to it. You could spend days discovering new things in this one park and especially on weekends there’s always something happening from street performers to festivals in Ueno Park. My favorites are the tunnel of red torii gates to Hanazono Inari Shrine, watching the tourist boats and waterlilies in Shinobazunoike Pond and, of course, getting a thai latte from the cute Starbucks to drink it next to the large fountain.

Sensoji Temple Tokyo

If you don’t spend your whole afternoon in Ueno Park or want to skip it to see more of the religious sights of Tokyo, make your way towards Senso-Ji. If you are on a budget, feel free to walk from Ueno to Senso-Ji and check out the interesting kitchen equipment stores on your way. Senso-Ji is one of the most important shrines in Tokyo. However, you shouldn’t get scared of the word shrine because Senso-Ji can be so much more! Shops full of souvenirs, locals wearing kimonos and yukatas, short walk to the statue of “Golden Poo” (yeah, don’t skip this one!), and perfect photo spots everywhere.

Dinner in Tokyo

For dinner, I have two choices for you. If you have enough money, find a sushi place! If not (or if you want to the more local itinerary in Tokyo), buy food from a convenience store. Don’t laugh at me! This is a very normal thing to do in Japan and in fact, the food is DELICIOUS. They will even heat it for you and give you chopsticks. Just find a small convenience store (bigger markets don’t usually heat the food for you) – for example, 7/11, Lawson or Family Mart.

food2

Evening Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya

(Shopping, Metropolitan Government Building, Nightlife)
I know my Tokyo itinerary includes too many things to do in Tokyo. But if you’re leaving late or have all night to hang out in Tokyo, continue your way to Shinjuku or Shibuya after Senso-Ji. You can start by shopping. All of these streets – Shinjuku, Harajuku and, Shibuya – have shops worth your visit. Shibuya is more trendy and fresh, from Harajuku’s Takeshita Street you can find the oddest fashion items ever and Shinjuku is perfect for visiting all kinds of stores (my favorites are definitely the “English bookshop” Book Kinokuniya, Tokyu Hands and Tower Records).

Tokyo nightlife itinerary

After a small shopping spree, I recommend adding the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building on your itinerary. Sounds dull, I know. Many people skip this attraction just because they don’t do enough research. Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building is one of my favorite things to do in Tokyo. Despite the name, it’s an observation tower. Or well, in fact, two FREE observation towers. The north observation tower is open until 11 pm so you should have enough time to visit here and see Tokyo from the hights despite how long time the other things on my Tokyo itinerary will take.

Tokyo Itinerary

I don’t party a lot but if you only have one night in Tokyo there’s no better way to spend it than giving the party life of Tokyo a go. Shinjuku and Shibuya side of Tokyo is just perfect for this. There’s something for everyone from big multistorey nightclubs to small cellar rock bars (went once one of those but its story for some other time…) Those travelers who want to experience the whole “Japan is crazy” atmosphere should book tickets to popular Robot Restaurant. Their shows are truly one of the kind…

Tokyo Itinerary - Shinjuku

Giveaway with GPSmyCity

(This giveaway has already ended… Sorry!)

Are you a traveler like me who loves discovering new cities by walking around on their own? In that case, you will love this opportunity to win a one-year subscription to GPSmyCity‘s mobile app. The app will turn your phone into an audio guide in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

GPSmyCity has given me this change to giveaway 10 annual subscriptions to their app for my readers! So, in two weeks (to be more specific on Sunday 26.8.2018) I will randomly choose 10 winners from people who have taken part in this contest.

How to participate in this giveaway? It’s easy! Just go to my Twitter @LostViivi and answer the question in tweet pinned to my profile. Or go straight to the tweet HERE to tell me “What has been your favorite travel destination of 2018?” You don’t have to follow me but it will make contacting you a lot easier in case of winning.

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Like always all comments are more than welcome and don’t forget to take part in the giveaway. And if you like my blog I recommend you to check my Twitter because what would be better than reading crazy travel stories in real time?

With love,
Lost Viivi

5 Reasons to Love Long-Distance Flights

Usually, we complain when facing too long travel times. 5 hours sitting on a train, 12 hours flight from Europe to the USA or cheap but forever long bus trip. First thing coming to your mind is probably torture. You can’t move or do anything. You just have to sit there in this small seat you get and wait for a long time so you can exit the vehicle in your dream destination.

I admit that if I can make a choice taking the longest route would be my pick but that doesn’t mean I hate long-distance flight or any form of long distance traveling. That’s why I decided that today I want to share 5 reasons I think that every once in a while all of us should sit alone in an airplane for hours. If you don’t think too much, it will be an amazing experience.

1. Get unplugged from the world

Okay, this isn’t as true anymore as it was about a year ago because most airplanes start to have wifi in them. But you can still do the choice to not use it and be unplugged during your long-distance flight. In the current world of social media and always being available being off the grid for hours is a luxury. No need to worry what everyone else is doing at the moment or telling everyone what you are experiencing. Just enjoy the moment and amazing views outside your window.

2. Read a book, watch a movie or just sleep

People often complain that there is nothing to do on long-distance trips. But I want to disagree! You can read a whole book during that time or even watch few movies. If you are a blogger like me, it’s a good moment to try to write some random posts ready beforehand. (Totally have never done that because I am lazy but in theory!) Most modern airplanes and even some of the cheaper options have movie screens.

In some cases, you have to share the screen with others and watch whatever the airline has decided but increasing amount of airplanes have gotten own screen for everyone. You may not believe me but the movies, music, audiobooks, games and TV series you can find are amazing! There is often some of the latest and hottest entertainment available. I can’t even remember all of the movies I have watched in airplanes but for example Wonder Woman, Now You See Me, Me Before You, Descendants, Tangled, Brave, and so many more!

3. You never know who you will meet

Sometimes long-distance flight will be like winning a lottery. And sometimes it’s like losing badly. You will never know who you will sit next to. Have I ever told about the time when I sat next to someone who told me that if the airplane dropped he had a parachute and the two of us would survive (I am low-key scared to death of flying so I was probably looking like the hell was breaking loose…) Also during my first solo trip flying from Finland to Japan, I met this super nice girl during layover who made me realize that maybe I truly could survive traveling alone in foreigner country.

Sharing armrest with someone for hours is a surprisingly intimate experience. Don’t be that annoying person who talks nonstop during the ten hours flight but you can always try to start a conversation. Every person has their own story and something new to teach you.

4. Get things done easily

You have a lot of time so why not to catch those undone things that have been waiting for too long! Those who are still at school like me can do their homework that they for some reason didn’t do before the trip and others can just plan their budget for the trip, work or really anything you can do sitting without internet. If are guidebook kind of person and not online travelers, sitting on a plane for a long time is also a perfect opportunity to plan your coming trip. One of the best tips I have for those who are a little late with their travel planning is to look through the destination introducing videos most long-distance planes nowadays have.

5. Dream eyes open (or closet)

Maybe it’s just me but there is nothing better than daydreaming for hours and napping in between. Stare out of the window or close your eyes and let your mind wander. What you want to do at the destination? What kind of dreams do you have? Or maybe you have had these amazing ideas lately you have wanted to think over? And you can always just create a million stories in your head during the flight. There is enough time to make your own mini-movie in your mind. But like I said maybe this is just my creative writer’s brain loving this? In that case, you can just sleep and try to prevent the lack of sleep caused by traveling.

airplane

Hello everyone! Look I didn’t have another few months break between the posts this time. Today’s post is a little different from my blogs usual style. What do you think? Some of you may know that I currently mostly work as (travel) content writer for other people. The style I use for those articles is starting to rub off on my own blog writing too. Maybe it’s a bad thing maybe not…

Like always any comments, feedback, and opinions are more than welcome. Next week I will be sharing photos from my Iceland trip with you but if you want early sneak peek check out my Instagram. And those who miss my random rambling should stalk my surprisingly active Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Safe travels and merry Christmas,

Lost Viivi

Photo Diary: Rome

Welcome to yet another photo travel diary! This time we will visit Rome and I will share some photos from this trip I made with my mom a few weeks ago. This time I won’t add any text or explanations but just let the images tell you the story of our trip. Be prepared for too many photos of old buildings but also some sides of Rome you won’t see as often in travel diaries. Enjoy!

airplane

rome

tourists_rome

summer_rome

rooftops_rome

Rome Pyramid

rome_breakfast

rome_metro

rome_history

ancient_rome

rome_colosseum

colosseum_rome

sidestreet_rome

church_rome

spanish_steps

rome_spanishsteps

Different side of Rome

streetart_rome

Street art Rome

Side street of Rome

Different side of Rome

And there was some photos from my Rome trip. If you look at the closely, you can clearly see in what part of the trip my mum left back home and I was left behind alone to Rome. (I will give you tip: street art is my passion!) Have you ever visited Rome or do you maybe recognize any of the places seen in my photos? Like always all comments are more than welcome!

Don’t forget to follow my InstagramFacebook and Twitter!

With love,

Lost Viivi

Travel Diary: London pt. 2

Hello there and welcome back to read about my London adventure! If you haven’t read the first part you can find it from here: Travel Diary: London Also if you are wondering where the day 3 disappeared it will have its own post later on.

Why? Because otherwise this post would have been too long and I really want to dedicate whole post for Harry Potter studio tour and Madame Tussauds museum. But now let’s continue the story! (And btw thank to my sister who took that crazy bird photo… She is fearless!)

Day 4: Natural History and Shopping

I recommend living in hotels with breakfast because finding something to eat sound easier than it is in reality. Once again buying breakfast was causing us unbelievably huge problems. You would think it’s easy to find breakfast cafe from London but that’s total fantasy. We walked the whole few kilometers to the Natural History Museum without finding any cafe for us to eat.

Hyde Park Afternoon Walk
No breakfast here…

First we went through the security check where they didn’t check us properly like too often in these situations. Apparently Finns or our lost selves don’t seem dangerous enough to need proper security checks. After that we continued our mission to find breakfast and managed to find the most unhealthy but tasty looking chocolate cake I have ever seen. Of course we bought pieces of it for us to have as breakfast.

I have few words about the free Natural History museum. Dinosaurs, mind games and huge whale. Yep, that sums up our morning. Besides us there was a lot of school classes. When we left the museum we even accidentally walked in one of the school groups and got some wondering looks from the teacher.

Natural History Museum London

After surviving out of the museum (we didn’t go to every exhibition because it would have taken the whole day!) it was time to go shopping. We went to a few shops but in the end did most of our shopping in the Primark. Don’t judge me, I’m student and live on my own so shop full of cheap clothes is like a heaven.

I bought two more pairs of the jeans I had bought the last time. Even if those jeans made me looks like a smurf after I took them off. That feature is still part of them. I don’t know if I should be worried of them leaving ugly blue color to my skin? Well, at least the jeans only cost like 7€.

Animals in Natural History Museum London

But yeah that was our fourth day. The evening went planning our last day, buying some bubble tea and starting the impossible packing. I had totally forgotten how much I loved bubble tea. I even bought matcha one because it’s one of the foods I can’t get from Finland and I think I can’t live without!

Day 5: Hard Rock Cafe and Touristy Things

We didn’t have a lot of plans for our fifth day but ended up doing a lot. Our first stop was breakfast at Hard Rock Cafe. We had been arguing (well not arguing but just being indecisive together) should we use the metro or walk through Hyde Park. We ended up doing the last one and it was good decision!

Hyde Park Crazy Birds and Tourists
Thanks for my sister who took this photo. I would have never been brave enough to be so close to the birds! And I should be the animal carer of this family…

We saw more birds on our way and even crazier tourists trying to hug and befriend the birds. (You shouldn’t do this. Bad for the animals and unhealthy for you..) 

When we finally found the Hard Rock Cafe it was closer us than we had tought. The staffs were kind and place amazing so definitely recommend for everyone to go when in London! It was meant to be our breakfast but we both ordered cauliflower burger. It was vegetarian dish where the hamburger steak was replaced by cauliflower. I would eat all my burgers like that if it was possible.

Hard Rock Cafe London Vege

At this point it didn’t even matter that our breakfast was so fulfilling because we had eaten odd breakfasts everyday. Bento box, Fish & Chips and chocolate cake to name some of our crazy breakfast choices. But hey, we were on vacation so no reason to eat reasonably.

After the fulfilling meal we continued towards Buckingham palace and the royal shop we had promised to visit for our mom. Luck was on our side because once again the walk was shorter than we had expected. And on when we arrived to the palaces gates there was someone (probably important person) exiting the palace in horse carriage. So cool!

After the palace gates experience and realizing there was nothing to buy in the royal shop (just normal more expensive souvenirs) we decided to continue our walk. Next destination Big Ben!  I know we already went there once but my sister had forgotten her polaroid camera so we had to return to take photo for her.

Big ben and Telephone box London

Once again good decision because this time we decided to be more touristy than on the first time and lined to take photos of us with Big Ben and red phone booth. It was so funny how people would pose with the booth and even more people line up to wait for their turn to take the photo. No way for anyone to really use those phones to call. Tourist takeover!

Surprisingly even after taking some photos and buying souvenirs from stall next to the Big Ben we had almost half of the day left. It was time to head to get some culture experiences and what would be better place for that than Tate Modern museum?

The museum was huge. I mean I had known there was many floors and exhibitions but it was bigger than I would have never imagined. In my opinion too much art to see in one day. I have always loved museum and modern art and this museum immediately rose to one of my favorite museum. And one important point to mention is that the museum was free to attend.

Tate modern museum London modern art

We even found one exhibition from Finnish artist. We were wondering out loud why would there be Finn’s works in this popular museum when behind us woman said in Finnish “Why not?” and disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. I never get used to other Finns leaving our beloved home country and making contact on odd places.

After the museum visit it was time to return back to our hotel. We packed our too full suitcases and tried to sleep early because the next morning it was time to leave.

 

Day 6: Time To Go Home

We woke up too early to make it to our plane. First we had to take metro to the train station and then find the right train. I thought we would have more problems but fortunately the trains station has prepared for tourist and there is huge signs to find the right track.

Metro London Cool

We arrived early to the airport but then suddenly we almost had to run to make it to our flight. The airport really is huge. And the plains to Finland leave from the farthes corner possible. No, I’m not even kidding. We had to walk trough the whole airport to get to our gate.

This time I sat next to my sister but it was causing some problems. We wanted to see the same movie so if one of us was ahead the other one got spoilers before hand. Can someone make the plane TV’s sync and show the movies at the same time? Let’s just go back to the time where everyone had to watch Brain Games from the shared tiny TV.

So there was my London travel diary. I hope you enjoyed my long boring commentary. Have you ever been to London? And maybe done some of the things we did?

I will write again next Friday with the story and review from Harry Potter tour and Madame Tussauds. Have an amazing weekend!

With love,

Viivi Severina

Travel Diary: London

5 days in London is far from enough. This city is full of places to see and things to experience. However 5 days is just enough to fall in love again with the lively city. London, I will return one day and hopefully that day will be sooner than later!

Day 1: To Harrods without sleep

plane

Our bus to the airport left 3am so I didn’t get any sleep before that. We flew with the new Finnair A350 airplane and the movie selection was too good (Now You See Me 2 is everything!!) for me to even try sleeping. My sleepless night plan however backfired right away in London… We got safely and without problems to our hotel where the staff informed us that our room would be ready in four hours. Too much time to kill for me who hadn’t slept and for my sister who just happened to be sick.

harrods2

We left the hotel with a map and no plan. Our first mission was to find food and then while having mini picnic in the Hyde Park we tried to plan our afternoon. The decisions was hard because both of us just wanted to go and sleep in the hotel. In the end we decided to visit the luxurious Harrods.

Maybe not our best decision…

If you haven’t visited Harrods let me tell you it is amazing fancy shop where you would imagine rich people shopping. Fortunately there was a lot of tourists beside us so our “travel day straight from plane” styles almost fitted in the huge department store.

harrods

I have three tips for visiting Harrods:

  1. Get lost. There is no way you can find all the sections, floors and places. There is so many rooms full of stuff that it just is impossible.
  2. Visit the food/tea/sweets floor. So beautiful!
  3. Get amazed by the toys they sell. It may sound funny to recommend Harrods’ kids’ floor but it is the dream of every human. Good looking girls and boys are showing how to use the different toys. There is anything kid can hope for.

So after a while my sister started to complain she was too tired (why is she always sick when we travel together?) so we returned to the hotel and surprisingly our room was ready almost hour in advance. It was time to rest for a while.

rainbow

At the evening I left my sister to sleep and went for evening walk in Hyde Park. I would walk around there forever. The funniest thing in that park are the animals (and people taking photos with them). When you approach the birds with your camera huge gang of different birds immediately come for you to find food. Scary and cool at the same time!

My nature photographer side went crazy so here is some Hyde Park photos:

love

birds

hydepark

hydepark2

hydepark3

 

Day 2: Super Tourists Bus Touring

What would holiday be without hop-on-hop-off bus tour? Because my sister was still sick we decided to take our first day easy and go around the city on bus. It wasn’t as easy as we tought it would be… But maybe didn’t come as surprise for you because a lot of things go like that with me.

 

In the bus company’s website it said their office is in Baddington station. Well it wasn’t. We went to the station, saw place with the bus company’s logos and went in. Then I told I want to buy the tickets but the clerk informed me we were in the wrong place. The ticket counter was outside the station “next to the subway. The fast food subway.” With those directions we found the right place.

goldentours

After that we bought the tickets, tried to find the bus stop and finally our touristy day was ready to began. First stop King’s Cross Station. Or the station known for its Harry Potter 9 3/4 platform. Our first mission was to find breakfast. Sounds easy but it’s not…

We went around the station trying to find something breakfasty (can your ever say it like that?). Somehow we ended up going to Japanese place and eating huge bento boxes. It was so good! I recommend. The restaurant name was Wasabi and they had restaurants all over London. Cheap and tasty.

harrypotter2
All those people lining up to take photo with fake platform 9 3/4.

Conveniently we were able to see the ‘Harry Potter take your own 9 3/4 platform photo here’ -place. It was our next thing to do. We waited for 20 minutes and the line hadn’t moved at all so we gave up. It was good decision because when we visited the Warner Bros. studios there was identical photography point.

So it was time to continue our bus tour. We saw many interesting buildings and drove around London. Next time we meant to drop of next to Tower of London but accidentally forgot so our next stop was London eye and Big Ben.

lontoo

Nothing eventful happened here. Just us taking some photos and looking all touristy, someone playing Star Wars songs with bagpipes and a lot of polices and protesters next to the Big Ben. After getting our cool photos we took the bus and continued towards the amazing shopping paradise called Oxford street.

londoneye

It was almost hour of sitting in the bus before we finally we on the right stop. At this point it has started to rain and we had to run towards the shops. The luck was on our side because we found Primark right away and were saved from the storm.

london

Primark was heaven. Cheap and cool clothes. I bought fake leather jacket, cozy sweater and jeans (that will cause me problems later on…) After exiting the shop with too many bags it was already dark and we were almost dead. It was time to take metro back to our hotel.

 

Coming soon…

London diary pt. 2, review of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour and additional photo diary for all the London photos I couldn’t fit to those posts. I release new post every Friday so I will write and publish them some time soon. And to end this posts here is some London photos from my Instagram:

 

Have you ever visited London and maybe the places I went into? And are you as in love with this city as I am?

I hope you will have a good weekend!
With love,

Viivi Severina