Goodbye Australia, Konichiwa Japan!

Shibuya Crossing

EMU Australia has landed in TOKYO! The first overseas destination in our EMU Travels the World adventures. So come and explore all Japan has to offer, from super-sized Sumo wrestlers, to the cute and the quirky.

Must Experience

If you’re visiting during one of the six annual Sumo wrestling tournaments of the year, then sitting in on a match is a must! As it is a national sport, Sumo wrestling is as huge in Japan as AFL is in Australia, NFL in the States, or Soccer/Football is in the UK and Europe. Even if you’re not usually a sports buff, Sumo wrestling so engrained in Japanese culture that it would be worth a visit if you get the chance.

sumo

Submerge yourself in one of the oldest traditions and bathe in an Onsen (hot spring). These hot springs draw from Volcanic heat. There’s an Onsen to suit everyone – from private to public, indoor to outdoor, single gender to mixed. Even ‘flavoured’ hot springs are available, featuring wine, coffee or green tea to name a few.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You can top it all off by spending a night of two spend the night at a traditional hotel called a Ryokan. Most Ryokans provide Yukata (Japanese robes), foldable mattresses and are decked out in Tatami (straw mats) and Shoji (translucent walls/doors)!

Must Eat

Tokyo is often considered the capital of unique and novelty foods. This is the ice-cream that kids (and big kids) dream of. 8-layers. Multi-flavours. It may take a little exploring to find this little store in Nakano Broadway. But just show a friendly local a photo, and they’ll happily point you in the right direction!

8 layer icecream

A smoky haze of street food constantly wafts through Tokyo’s night air, enticing you to visit street vendors found in every other alleyway in this bustling hub. Another must eat are Takoyaki Octopus Balls. Don’t let the name put you off – they are a local specialty and absolutely delicious to enjoy while you’re exploring the streets of Japan. Take a bit of time to admire the chef skilfully and swiftly turning each Takoyaki to golden perfection.

Takoyaki
Takoyaki

Must See

Shibuya crossing is arguably the busiest crossing in the world! It’s a beautiful example of organised chaos. Even though hundreds of people cross at any given green light, there is rarely a bump in sight. Located outside Hachiko Exit, check it out on the way to the shopping mecca in Shibuya.

Shibuya Crossing
Shibuya Crossing (Photo | @natsukisuda)

When the bustle has all become a bit too much, you know it’s time to get your zen on in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Even though Tokyo is one of the most bustling metropolis’, tourists and locals alike find sanctuary in this idyllic park. Beautifully shaped shrubs are scattered throughout and Koi fish can be found in some of the many lakes there. Plus, it’s just around the corner from the major Shinjuku train station. Who would have thought getting back to nature would be so easy? Go during autumn for an extra special treat of vibrant reds, and golden browns.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Japan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Japan