The end of our Japan trip loomed all too soon and my travelling buddies and I hadn’t been able to do nearly all the things we wanted to do in Tokyo! My friends and I wanted to do different things on our last day in Tokyo, so they went one way, and I went another. Cue my romantic vision of being Scarlett Johnansson in Lost in Translation, trying to figure out Tokyo by myself…
The night before, I had planned the locations I wanted to go to on a map, then tried to figure out which order to do them in and how to get from one to another.
Because we only had wifi in the hostel and I wouldn’t be able to use data on my phone ‘out in the field’ so to speak, I had to take screenshots of all the train routes I planned to take and kept my fingers crossed for the best! I did have GPS though, and that proved to be a godsend.
First up was Ueno Park, so I took the subway from Asakusa (where our hostel was) to Ueno. It was a disappointingly cloudy day! Nice and warm though, so I wasn’t too upset.
I didn’t know where I was going, so I headed towards an area which looked roughly park-like.
Success! Ueno Park consists of a lake (Shinobazu Pond) with a path skirting it, and there were areas of water plants (I have since learnt that these are lotuses) covering the surface.
There was a separate area of the lake with little boats. I took a stroll around the outside of the lake and then decided to move onto my next destination.
Rainbow Bridge & Odaiba
I had read about Rainbow Bridge in pretty much every tourist guide I had come across, and that it could be walked across. So that is what I wanted to do.
I took the subway to the relevant station, and then didn’t have a clue where to go, so just set off in a direction and saw some rainbow-coloured signs, which looked promising.
I guessed this meant I was at Rainbow Bridge. Plus there was a big suspension bridge looming over me, so that gave it away too.
After finding the pedestrian entrance and getting a pretty dodgy elevator upwards, I was on the bridge! There were some fabulous views of Tokyo Bay and the skyline from up there.
The bridge creates a link from the mainland area of Tokyo to Odaiba, which is actually a group of artificial islands originally buit for defensive purposes at the end of the 19th Century.
There was a pedestrian path running alongside the road, which I walked along, taking photos of the views as I went. It was a very long path! I only saw one other person walking along the bridge whilst I was up there.
Eventually, I started approaching the Odaiba side of the bridge. I found a path leading underneath the bridge and over to the left hand side, so was able to take some snaps of the skyline on that side of the bridge as well.
You can see Tokyo Skytree in the distance here…
I could see Tokyo Tower in the skyline (the tall red and white thing), which was my next destination, so it was good to see that it was so close; if all else failed, I could just walk/swim towards it!
I came to the end of the bridge and arrived in Odaiba!
I walked around to Daiba Park, which used to be a cannon battery called No. 3 Battery.
I wasn’t just about to walk back across the bridge as it was a bloody long way, so I had a look for a nearby train station via the GPS on my phone. I saw one called Tokyo Teleport which sounded pretty magical to me. Aaaaand on to the next destination!
Tokyo Tower is a communications tower inspired by the Eiffel Tower, but painted red and white. The train towards that area went back across Rainbow Bridge, and it was quite a fun ride. When I arrived, I could easily see where I needed to go, as it makes itself pretty obvious.
It was quite hard to get decent photos of Tokyo Tower, is it is surrounded by a built up area, not by an open area like the Eiffel Tower is. So these are the best I could get; by standing right underneath it.
I popped into the shopping area below it to get my Mum a souvenir, and then onwards!
The next destinations are in the next blog post.