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!

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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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Traveler’s Guide to Weather

The name of this blog post may seem kind of silly but that’s literally today’s subject. We’re going to talk about the weather and not just any weather. The weather during your adventure. We usually check the weather of our travel destination before booking the tickets or at least before we start packing. However, sometimes that’s not enough.

There’re many things you should take into account while checking conditions for your holiday season. This is my travel guide for surviving the weather in any possible travel destination. (Don’t blame me if I give bad tips…)

rainbow

Research the long-term weather statistics

Most people check only the forecast for their travel dates while the more “experienced travelers” search for last year’s weather during their trip’s time. Both are good ways to prepare yourself for the adventure and you should learn to do them always before booking any flights. (There’s a huge difference between visiting places for a beach holiday in winter and in summer.) However, I’m more thorough than most people. Let me explain. I have lived my whole life in Finland and so the unpredictable weather conditions are my specialty. They may promise us hot summer days for next week but then it ends up snowing. You never know.

This is why a long-term weather statistics are my best friends. Just google your destination and weather statistics. You should get the average temperatures for several years. What has been the highest temperature? What about the lowest? Now you know all the possibilities. It’s time to start packing.

cute_dog

Clothes with many usages for travelers

Packing is never an easy project. My secret is packing clothes that I can use in many different ways. Okay, think normal jeans with not too skinny legs. When it’s chilly weather you can use them normally, no problems and you will keep yourself warm. But then you get to the destination and it’s super hot every day – not even close to jeans weather. What can you do? Roll the legs of your jeans and change them to stylish capri pants. This same rule goes for many other clothes:

  • Huge scarf changes to blanket that makes your airplane experience luxurious.
  • You can use top on its own or under hoodies.
  • Dresses aren’t just for hot days! Put leggings under your favorite dress and you will be ready to survive chilly evenings.
  • Roll the sleeves of your shirt and survive surprising sunny days.
  • Pack pajamas that you can turn to trendy daytime clothes in an emergency.

Travel Blog Flying

Sun is warm, shades are cold

You may have seen sketches of goths running from shadow to shadow so they wouldn’t get roasted in the sun because of the black clothes. It may seem funny but totally usable tactic for all travelers who are in trouble with the weather. When you are feeling cold, search for sunny spots. Even in Finnish winter, we all know that standing in sunlight is much better than hiding in the shadows. Winter sun on your skin is one of the best feelings in this world! But same goes for summer and shades. When you are feeling too hot, just stand under a tree or run from one shadow to another one. You will look stupid but hey who cares!

Traveling isn’t just about the temperatures

Temperatures and weather are of course important parts of the conditions in your travel destination. But the humidity level will also affect your holiday. Warm weather isn’t always nice and soothing. I remember experiencing extremely humidity for the first time during my trip to Tokyo. It was hard to breathe and you got tired quickly. Not nice travel weather even if the temperatures weren’t too high for me. So, when you pick travel destination for the nice hot weather, remember to check their humidity levels. I wouldn’t recommend traveling to a destination with a too high humidity percentage. You will literally die if you aren’t used to it.

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Travelers are all different

What kind of weather are you used to? It’s important. Believe me! I’m from Finland and we don’t usually get over 30°C at summer time. When I travel somewhere with hot temperatures, I’m dead. When we were in Rome with my mum, it was like a torture. We couldn’t be outside for longer than a few hours because it was so hot. And when I say hot I mean like 33°C. We met other Finns on our way to Colosseum and they were having the same problems as us. The hot temperatures just don’t work out for us northern citizens.

Same goes the other way around. I will forever remember a few occasions I have been in a hostel and had heated conversation about the current weather. While in Japan I got odd looks from the locals and concerned questions from the hostel receptionist. All this because I went outside wearing a light top when it was in their opinion autumn weather (come on it was like 20 Celcius!) This same happened while in Iceland. We northern citizens were wearing only light clothes and autumn gear while everyone else was dying of the cold weather. 

observation tower Brighton

Not every attraction can be seen around the year

The last but not the least of these points I want to share with you doesn’t have anything to do with you as a traveler. Some attractions are weather-related. Maybe the best example of this are ice and snow. It’s hard to see snow castles or igloos if it’s not cold enough weather. This isn’t the only thing. It was really windy when I visited New York and Statue of Liberty so I couldn’t go to the most famous spot: the torch. In Iceland, we didn’t see Northern Lights because the solar wind forecast wasn’t on our side. These’re just some examples so if you are going somewhere just to see one attraction, remember to check it’s availability at that time of the year.

Do you have any funny stories regarding weather during your travels? Or did I forget some important tricks you would recommend for everyone? Like always all comments are more than welcome.

With love,
Lost Viivi

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?