Photo by Shoji Kudaka
Photo by Shoji Kudaka

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Tokyo, Japan

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Guam

While our travel plans may be put on hold, it doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join me as I take you on a short virtual journey to Tokyo, Japan.

The great thing about this destination is that is easily accessible from almost anywhere in the Pacific Theater and getting there can be relatively inexpensive thanks to many budget airline options available in the region.

Tokyo has plenty of activities, delicious foods and culture, making it a great place for a getaway.

Some of the must-see spots in Tokyo include Shibuya, known for its iconic crossing and as being a popular spot for young people, and Harajuku, another mecca for Tokyo’s youth and the birthplace of Kawaii culture.

While soaking up the neon lights and immersing yourself in the world of “Lost in Translation,” stop in for a bird’s eye view of the district from the rooftop of Shibuya Scramble Square a.k.a. “Shibuya Sky.” And, don’t forget to say hi to Hachiko, the statue of an Akita dog, animated in the hit 2009 film “Hachi” starring Richard Gere.

Another great place to visit is Asakusa, where visitors are treated to a walk amongst traditional landmarks like the Sensoji Temple and Nakamise Dori shopping street. After a visit to these tourist attractions, head to Tokyo Sky Tree, a short walk or train ride away. The tower’s observation deck at the height of 450 meters (approx. 1,476 feet) offers a superb view of the old downtown and more.

And finally, another location a visit to Tokyo isn’t complete without is to Akihabara, a mecca for geeks and otaku. This district is worth a visit even if you are not an anime fan or gamer. Known as “Electric Town” the shops here sell something for everyone from manga to designer bags and electronics. Here, you’ll also find unique restaurants and cafes and maybe even a few cosplayers.

On my last trip there, I also enjoyed Shinbashi, known as “salaryman town,” due to its many office buildings and izakaya. This place picks up at lunch with office workers trying to grab a quick bite. After dark, you’ll find pubs brimming with the same workers enjoying a drink after a stressful day.

Shinbashi is also known for its retro touches in architecture and cuisine. Here you must try Spaghetti Napolitan, a dish with a nod to post-World War II rations. This pasta recipe uses a ketchup-sauce base and is a popular lunch time meal.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Tokyo through my travel photos and that it's inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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