It's my fourth time in Tokyo, and Cea's second, so we've been to the usual must-sees. Although our main agenda for this Japan trip is to go to Hokkaido, we both agreed that we will not leave Japan without spending a day or two in the big bright city.
If, like us, you can't get enough of Tokyo but want to steer away from the usual Harajuku, Ginza or Shibuya, here's an alternative itinerary that we did on our latest trip.
1) TeamLab Planets
My first TeamLab experience was in Singapore. I am sure you've seen a lot of Instagram upload with the crystals as background, or even Boomerangs of ocean waves! These are all in TeamLab.
Tokyo also has a TeamLab Borderless exhibition located in Odaiba, a bit similar to the one in Singapore. So if you're also done na with Singapore and want something new, then I recommend this TeamLab near Shin-Toyosu Station. It's my favorite!
TeamLab exhibits are more than just Instagram worthy rooms, they are body immersive artworks. I have no complaints that they are also cute in pictures or if people go there for the 'gram. These modern artists just created magical spaces that people--even our younger generations--are willing to go to and pay for the tickets. Time to appreciate art again!
"People dissolve into the artwork world and the relationship between people also changes."
The difference with TeamLab Planets is that you will go barefooted the whole time! It gets a bit physical, even wet! haha, but the Japanese are prepared. Clean towels are provided at the end of each room. Shorts are provided for those who are wearing long pants or skirts.
Ahhh the famous room filled with crystals and mirrors! In reality, mahirap maka take ng photo dito ng walang photo bombers! Haha! Hands down ako sa may mga solo pics dito.
Finally found our own corner na nakapag emote emote, hehehe.
A funny room filled with giants balls!
My favorite! It's a dark room with water up to my knees, and light projections on the water made it look like we're walking on rainbow or a shallow river filled with colorful petals. We stayed here the longest! If MAGIC is to be used just once during this trip, it has to be in this moment.
Flowers, petals, and even fishes were swimming and swirling:
Our last stop was in a room where everyone's just lying on their backs as if star gazing, only indoors. Cea and I did the same, just lied down and watched the swirling of stars and the whole universe right in front of us. A music was playing on the background, I can't seem to describe it but it puts the right vibe with our view.
TeamLab Planets TOKYO is located in Toyosu 6-1-16, Koto-ku, Tokyo.
Nearest train is Shin Toyosu Station.
You have to pre-book your tickets ONLINE for about 2700 to 3200 Yen (depends on the month and day). You will be choosing a specific date and time, so don't be late!
2) Cruise Along Tokyo Bay
I picked this activity knowing Cea will enjoy it. Chill, but may ganap, hehehe! It is also something new to me, to see Tokyo from a ship! We pre-booked everything HERE.
We got the Symphony Cruise + Cake Set which costs about Php 1294 inclusive of the cruise fee, cake, and one round of coffee. They also have a dinner cruise option, but price is a bit steeper at around Php 4k.
Dito palang nakita ko na yung difference nya with the Korea cruises I've tried before! Walang pa-food na pre-booked yung mga cruise ko sa Korea noon, but you can buy snacks and drinks na onboard. But nothing fancy, as in popcorn and water pa ata binili ko noon haha. In my Korean cruise they even sell dried fish so guests can feed the seagulls hehehe! Dito sa Tokyo cruise medyo pa-fancy.
So after TeamLab, we immediately went to the port area for lunch and to check out the meet up point for the afternoon cruise. It's always best to be early in pre booked activities coz nabayaran mo na sya, mahirap na maiwanan pag naligaw ka pa!
We exchanged our e-tickets for physical tickets inside the Symphony building, and just stayed in the waiting area for our turn. They also gave us a map of our cruise's short route around Tokyo Bay, na nagfoform ng heart shape! Hehe very pang couple! It also includes what Tokyo landmarks we will pass by including the Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and Skytree.
We noticed people going out to take pictures, so Cea and I followed them and saw racks with clothes you can try on for photos-- captain's blazers, hats, and a plushie of the Symphony ship! Sobrang game na game naman kami sa pag picture. Nakaka entertain din while waiting!
Big lol. 😂
When we finally entered the ship, the staff directed us to our tables. It looks very luxurious, almost made me feel underdressed. The waiter went around to serve our cake and coffee, and then offered to take photos by table. Even though dalawa lang kami ni Cea, we had no tablemates so yey!
Ang cute ng plate of cakes:
Nakaka tawa Cea and I finished our meal waaay faster than the rest, hehehe. I was wondering why no one's standing up to go out when we only have 50 minutes of cruising. When people were finally done with their coffee, there were couples and groups heading outside for the lovely view of the city. Yey! Ang lamig sa labas!
We took turns taking photos:
Passing through the Rainbow Bridge!
I think we picked the best time for a cruise, just in time for sunset. The skyline was so pretty! It was nice to linger a bit more outside the ship, and felt sad that it had to end soon.
Finally someone saw us struggling with self-timer and offered to take our sisters pic:
The Symphony Cruise is located in Hinode Terminal, about 1 minute walk from Hinode Station, and 15 minutes from Daimon Station. You can purchase your package online HERE
3) Shiba Cafe in Harajuku
I've been to a dog cafe, a cat's cafe, and even a sheep cafe... But a pure SHIBA INU cafe!? What a dream!!!
I made Cea choose between owl or hedgehogs cafe, but medyo hesitant sya because creepy daw haha! Then I remembered seeing a blog featuring a new mame shiba (smaller shiba inu) dog cafe in Tokyo, searched it, and found out it's just in Takeshita in Harajuku!!
On our last full day in Tokyo, where my plan is mostly to just go around Tokyo basics namely Shibuya and Harajuku, I added a trip to the new Mame Shiba Cafe on our itinerary! I think this was the highlight of our last day!!
While walking around Takeshita, we saw the cafe right away because of the TV that plays videos of the puppers! Entrance for just the Mame Shiba Cafe is 780 Yen inclusive of one vendo drink na hindi din naman namin inenjoy, lol. They also have a package where you can avail the owl cafe with the mame shiba for 1350 Yen.
When we bought our tickets, we had about 2 hours to spare pa that we had time to walk around Takeshita and eat dinner before our time slot. So make sure to purchase your ticket early in the day coz madali sya ma-sold out!
I think we were the last batch for the day. When we entered the cafe, we were asked to put our bags and shoes on a shelf near the door. Kanya kanyang pwesto na after this!! Unlike the dog or cat cafes I've been to before, may sariling mundo ang mga mame shiba haha! They were running around, playing with each other, and even fighting with each other kakaloka! 😂😂 If you are not used to dogs baka medyo scary sha!
The dogs were not so friendly and malambing, huhu. I am now reading online reviews, and most of the comments were negative coz they weren't able to pet and play with the doggos. I saw some of the guests we were with that day na they were just watching us, but I guess mapursige din kasi kami ni Cea kahit naiisnab ng doggies at first!! It was hard to take pictures, but keri lang cute na cute talaga ako sa kanila hahaha. Dog lovers kasi kami ni Cea talaga so we were laughing at the antics and the cuteness of the mame shibas!
Tama yun sinabi sa isang online review, it's how you manage your expectations. Ok naman ako to leave the cafe without pics, but of course para sa ikaiimprove of this new cafe hopefully next time the staff themselves should make sure to at least take pics of the guests with the dogs before their 30 minutes is up. For sure they were there for the photos as well!!
Dog Staff Introduction! Hehe. They have this on one corner of the cafe:
Aliw na aliw talaga ako sa kanila kahit panay ang takbo nila, hehehe. Do you also follow Marutaro on Instagram??? 😁
They have Mame Shibas in brown, black, and pure white! They also have scarves on in different colors, maybe for easy identification.
A few minutes before our time was up, one of the puppers suddenly plopped his soft body on my lap, and just stayed there comfortably! Sobrang random huhu and sobrang cute!!! I felt like the chosen one, hahaha. We had the chance to pat him and took lots of pictures! The other were sobrang riot, but Botan made our short stay in the cafe super worth it!!
Hello Botan! We miss you!
Harajuku Mame Shiba Cafe is located along Takeshita Street. Just type in Harajuku Mame Shiba Cafe on Google Maps to locate.
4) Korea Town of Tokyo
Booking in a capsule right smack in the middle of Korea Town was unintentional for me, but super swerte talaga! Every night before going back to our pods, Cea and I go around and shop for Kbeauty and Kpop merch. They have a LOT of Kpop stuff na I don't even see in Myeongdong, hehehe. Surprisingly, they even have great selections of Astro stuff!! Dito ata naubos shopping budget ko hehehe.
We passed by stores where they have a huge TV by the entrance, showing music videos and concert clips of different Kpop artists! Malulure ka talaga pumasok, and even Cea na hindi Kpopper naaaliw sa colorful videos and dance moves!
They also have Korean restaurants serving Korean barbecue or chicken, Korean bars, and the popular KTV. They even have Korean street foods here and there!! Talagang parang asa Korea uli ako, hehehe.
Sayang nakasama sa nawala yung phone photos ko of the Kpop merch you'll find in Korea Town, but buti nalang I uploaded this carousel pictures on my IG account so at least may onting documentation. They have the Samyang makeup, BT21 makeup line, magazines, original light sticks, luggage stickers, clear cards, calendars, socks, mugs, hand mirrors, you name it!!
Tokyo's Koreatown is locate in Shinjuku, near Shin Okubo Station.
5) Stay in a Capsule Hotel!
And lastly, make your Tokyo experience extra memorable by staying in a capsule--a classic Tokyo accommodation!! It is a little bit cheaper than staying in hotels, plus the experience is something different! I've written more about our stay in Nine Hours Capsule HERE.
Read more of my Japan trips HERE.