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.

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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

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Bucket list: Golden Pavilion

This summer I’m finally returning to Japan after two years! Because I have been doing a lot of planning, updating my Japan bucket list and just going through some of the amazing memories I had during my first visit, I thought it would be ideal to share some of this information with you. That’s why I have updated my old Japan bucket list post about Golden Pavilion aka one of the places in Japan that made the most lasting impression on me.

Like always all comments and questions are more than welcome. What are some of the things on your bucket list that you would love to revisit? I hope you enjoy!

kinkakuji3

Golden Pavilion

Why should you add Kinkakuji to your bucket list?

Like I mentioned this temple is the place to take your best travel photos. Or well probably just that one photo with you standing in front of the water and golden building. If you are lucky there are no photobombing tourists next to you.

But in reality, I’m just kidding. The golden pavilion did impress me. I would not recommend it for you if it was just for that one selfie. I had never seen quite anything like Kinkakuji. Beautiful gold pavilion.

 

Read more about my experience visiting Kinkakuji

GoTravelGlobal

Today I’m going to introduce yet another Wanderlust Wednesday place based in Japan and Kyoto. This pavilion is mainly on my must recommended bucket list attractions because of its photogenic looks but also because of the amazing experience I had visiting there.

So let me make sure you will fall in love with Golden Pavilion and add it to your Japan bucket list! It may seem too expensive to visit and there isn’t a lot of things to see. However, if you want to brag in social media using amazing photos from your Japan trip this temple is the must place to go in Kyoto and take the new charming selfie…

Golden temple autumn Kyoto

Golden Pavilion

Other Names: Kinkakuji

Where? Kyoto, Japan

How to get there? Direct buses leave from Kyoto Station

When to go? I think the prettiest times to visit are when there are autumn leaves. Kinkakuji is open from 9AM to…

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Travel Rant: “Must things to do”

I don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York feels just unnecessary.
Why should I use my time to sunbathing on paradise beaches in Thailand?

People expect us to do certain things in cities and travel destinations we visit. All the places have some kind of attractions that are “must to experience”. Of course, I understand why. The most popular things are also usually somehow unique, have a long history behind them or you just can’t see anything like that back at home.

Most people will tell you that traveling is all about experiencing new things and learning about different cultures. I’m not saying that people visiting the Eiffel Tower are stupid or that travelers telling you to collect new experiences are wrong. I would be dissing myself because I’m also one of those adventurers and tourists. But in situations like this, there are always many point of views. There is always that “but” in the sentences I say.

I want to visit tourist attractions. I want to experience new things like a true adventurer. I want to be someone who sees as much as she can and travels as fast as possible. BUT sometimes I just want to sit in small cafes, write endless stories of imaginary characters and eat too many local sweets watching Netflix in my hostel bed. These two sides of me constantly fight with each other. Should I explore the city? Or should I just relax today doing nothing? Should I sit for hours in this small unknown cafe? Or should I wait in line to see one of the most important tourist attractions?

When I started this blog and my life of traveling, I told everyone that I was following my heart. But sometimes our hearts change their minds. I want to travel but at the same time, I don’t. My dream used to be the life of traveling full time. Now, I don’t know anymore. Being on road month after month for your whole life just seems so tiring. Going for a month, coming back for a few months and then going again. Doesn’t that sound a lot better?

I want to follow my heart. But it’s not telling me to see and experience the must things to do in new countries. My soul is craving for writers retreats, reading books in a hammock and getting lost in cities I have already seen far too many times. 

Often I lay awake at night thinking that my life is balancing between two expectations. Everyone at home wants me to live normally. Get a job, study the business degree and rent an apartment. Follow the same path everyone else does. The time of having the wild adventure of your teen years is over. Come back home. If you don’t create a career, life, and future now, it will be too late to ever start. You are destroying your own life.

Then people reading my travel blog, friends I have made on my adventures and the travel community as a whole is following my decisions expectantly. Either travel and do it properly or stop altogether. Going to new destinations and just reading a book on a beach or writing in old cafes isn’t enough. When I tell traveler that you didn’t go to the must-see places and just sat in dozen different cafes, they frown, won’t believe me and end up always asking why. Why would you give away the possibility to experience something unique? You could just visit cafes and write or read books back at home.

Both of these possibilities seem so dull. My feet are too restless to stay in one place but my mind is too lazy to keep traveling all the time. Can there be something between? Balance that is made for me? A few years ago I would have said no but now I’m starting to believe that everything is possible. When you do once something against all the odds, it gets easier. Out of nowhere, everything seems reachable.

What do you think? Is there something you have always wanted to do but everyone else seems to think that it’s a bad idea? Like always all comments are welcome. And sorry for this blog post that is a total mess. It’s how I write so get used to it. You can also read my daily posts from LostViivi.com

With love,

Lost Viivi

How to survive a lethal case of wanderlust?

Every now and then I may have a quiet few weeks from blogging when I don’t even answer any comments. I’m always sorry for that but it’s usually because of a terrible writing blog. I’m always having a lethal case of wanderlust. It’s endless longing to travel that gets even worse when there aren’t any sure travel plans waiting for me.

Wanderlust
A strong desire to travel and wander around the world. Longing to see new places and experience new things.

When I was thinking the subject for today’s post one idea stuck out of everything else. How to survive wanderlust and longing to travel if you are in a life situation where you have no way of traveling anywhere. If you have been reading my blog for some time now you may know that even I have had life situations without any means or money to travel

I am sorry to inform you that there is no cure for wanderlust but you can always try to ease the symptoms. These next tips are something I keep doing when a bad case of wanderlust tries to take over my mind. I know there are many people reading my blog who can identify with me. Some of you may be in school or work, maybe you don’t have the money or you just are too shy to even try yet. Whatever the reason is I hope you find help with these tips.

Plan Future Trips

travel_plan

One of the best and easiest ways to help your wanderlust is to plan the trips you are surely going to make when you can travel again. Choose new destinations and add them to your bucket list. I have always believed that imagination is the strongest weapon human can have so why shouldn’t we use it? Daydream. That is my biggest secret of surviving the lethal case of wanderlust.

Read more from How to survive lethal case of wanderlust?

My travel year 2017

The year 2017 is ending soon and like last year it’s time to look back at the amazing (and not so amazing) moments I had the privilege to experience. When 2017 was starting I promised myself that this year would finally be the year when I start truly traveling and will take it seriously. This may have been the first time when I kept my New Year’s resolution. Anyone who knows me or has been reading my Twitter knows that year 2017 was full of adventures and travels.

Travel Blog Flying

Starting my travel year from Travel Expo

I started my travel year 2017 with something inspiring and unbelievable. I went to Finnish travel expo “Matkamessut”. There I took part in this seminar meant for travel writers where they taught everything from writing a travel blog to taking better photos. Afterwards, I walked around the expo and collected a huge bag full of fliers from different travel themed companies and countries.

This all made me want to be a bigger part of the travel community. If I was writing Finnish blog, it would probably be easier. But at least during this year, I have made more traveler friends and even met a cool blogger from the other side of the world twice during 2017. Isn’t that amazing?

Travel Blog Gdansk

How to travel cheap?

Most Finnish people think that flying out from our lovely country is super expensive. In fact, this year I must have heard “How do you have enough money to travel?” at least hundred times from the mouths of my family and friends. Even randoms comment the amount I travel. One of the funniest comments this year must have been “Are you some kind of heiress with endless fortune?” Those who are wondering: I probably make less money than most normal people right now and everything is about budgeting.

During 2017 I have learned more and more ways to travel cheaply without giving up the best sides of traveling. I made my own schedule so that I can leave whenever and where ever flight tickets are inexpensive. Hotels are also out of the equation (if we don’t count traveling with my amazing mum!) and I have to skip some of the most touristy experiences. Traveling to so many places during this year has been possible because I’m not a tourist, I’m a traveler.

Travel Diary: Bremen

Cities that surprised me

Because I had decided to travel cheap and my budget wasn’t great at spring, there wasn’t a lot of choices while picking out the destinations to visit. At first, I thought it would be a bad thing but surprisingly it just meant that I fell in love with cities I might not have visited on my own. During 2017 I was lucky enough to travel to three cities that took me by surprise. Bremen, Gdansk, and Bratislava.

All these three cities were sold short for me. The photos of Bremen I found online were dull and painted picture of an industrial dark city. Gdanks seemed like a place made for tourists and nothing else. While many people told me that there is nothing to see in Bratislava. In the end, all three of these cities ended up on my list of places I have to visit again with more time. Surprises make traveling so much better.

travel Brighton

I found home from Brighton

Some places you just know that you will fall in love even before visiting them. Brighton is a place like that for me. I saw the photos of its huge pier, idyllic streets, and endless beach. That’s all I wish for a perfect travel destination. Even if you know beforehand it always surprises you how one unknown place can make you feel like you have finally found your home. Dark alleys, colorful buildings and people so happy its ridiculous. I fell asleep listening to too loud live music playing under me in the hostel’s bar. Brighton felt like home.

Cherry Blossom Trees in Stockholm

Too many times in Stockholm

Stockholm, city probably 99% of Finns have visited at least once in their lifetime. Even if my statistics aren’t the truth, Stockholm has been known as the easy and cheap destination amongst Finnish people for a long time. Stockholm cruises are always a popular way of traveling. I have taken this form of traveling to the next level because it just happens that flights from Stockholm are nothing when compared to the flights leaving from Finland. Because of this, I have visited Stockholm too many times this year. If I counted correctly I have visited Stockholm 7 times during the last 12 months. 7 TIMES!

tourists_rome

Adventures with family

I am all for solo traveling but it doesn’t mean that adventuring with my family every once in a while wouldn’t be on my budget list. One of the first trips of 2017 was with my mom, siblings, and cousin to Sweden by cruise ship. The idea of this trip was to see the pinkish cherry blossoms for the first time in our lives. If I wasn’t planning a return trip to Japan before, after seeing cherry trees in Stockholm it came one of my most important agendas.

This cruise wasn’t the only trip I did with my family during the travels of 2017. At autumn I went to Rome with my mom. That trip interesting. Not bad but definitely torturous because of the endless sun and hot temperatures. We saw a lot of local history like Colosseum and Vatican but also just walked the idyllic streets full of tourists. After traveling together my mom flew back to Finland and I continued by bus to Venice.

iceland_waterfall

Two longtime dreams

I believe that every traveler has a few dream destinations that have always wanted to visit. Iceland and Venice have been dream destinations for me as long as I can remember. I’m not even sure how or when my mind decided that going to these places would be dream come true. It must have been primary school and something to do with geography homework.

2017 was a lucky year for me because I was able to visit both of my longtime dreams. After spending a week in Rome with my mom, I continued by over-night bus to Venice. I arrived at early morning hour and fell in love right after exiting the train station. Getting lost is my thing and in city full of canals, narrow alleys and ending roads it’s easy. Iceland was almost an opposite experience but still as breathtaking. Alone traveling around Iceland’s south coast would be boring but with a good friend and easy bus tour, everything felt perfect. I even hiked on a real glacier!

adventure_blogger

Around East Europe by busses

Between my trip to Venice and Iceland, there was time for one more adventure. I think you know what that means! Time to do one more dream of mine. I booked a flight to Budapest and first bus from there to Bratislava. After that my plan was just to improvise and travel around East Europe by busses.

During the following two weeks, I had the privilege to visit four new countries and return to Poland. Like always traveling gave me more than enough funny memories, new stories and moments to share. However, I also experienced the most moving moment of my 2017 while taking a bus trip to Auschwitz. They teach us about it in school but really visiting this sadly famous place you truly could feel the pain and terror.

New York Travel

Taking over the USA!

The last trip of my travel year 2017 was to the USA. It was my first time crossing the Atlantic and visiting America. After Iceland, the first few days didn’t feel as marvelous as I would have probably felt if coming straight from Finland. It doesn’t mean that New York didn’t charm me. I loved running around with Starbucks mug and fancy paper bags. The museums I visited were unique and full of famous artists. Let’s not even talk about the three-story high bookstores or writing endless stories to my new notebooks in small cafes.

travel blogger

Starting something new 2018

And that’s my travel year of 2017. Adventures, adventures and little more adventures. I will now start my year 2018 with a new theme. There will still be travels around the world – I don’t think there is any other way for me to live – but at the same time I have decided new goal. During 2017 I wanted to travel as much as possible but in 2018 I will give everything I have for blogging.

Laugh if you want because this year my blogging schedule has been just sad. Feel free to not believe me but remember that when I once decide something it’s hard to change my mind. Next year I have decided to do daily blogging. It may sound crazy but I think that’s just fitting for my current life. Just follow my lost side blog and there I will tell you more about this plan later this week.

What hopes or resolutions do you have for 2018? Or what were the most memorable trips you did during 2017? Like always all comments are more than welcome!

With love,

Lost Viivi