The Most Memorable And Challenging Tokyo Trip

The Most Unforgettable And Challenging Tokyo Trip

Jeremy's trip to Tokyo is filled with unexpected weather changes and last minute activities that turned out memorably well.

We were fortunate enough to spot Mt. Fuji on the Shinkansen from Kyoto to Tokyo! Little did we know that it will also be our last time seeing it.

Mt. Fuji

The bullet train ride was expensive, but exciting since it was my first time riding it. Although the train is going at a break-neck speed of 320km/h, it actually didn’t feel that fast. I even enjoyed a set of  bento breakfast along the way!


The first thing that hit me when I arrived in Tokyo was how populated this city is. At any given time of the day, most places are perpetually filled with people. I also observed that Tokyoites often travel alone, even when it comes to having meals. It could be because most of them came to the city to make a living, and their families are hours away in the suburbs.

The hotel we stayed in during our six nights was Hotel Sunroute Plaza Shinjuku. It was affordable and convenient, took us only three minutes to walk from Shinjuku Station Southern Terrace exit to the hotel. The room is fully furnushed with a double bed and a private toilet, but the room is so tiny, we could hardly open out luggages! Everything else was good though! We had our first meal at the famous 六厘舎 TOKYO at Ramen Street, First Avenue Tokyo Station. Their Tokusei Tsukemen is the best Tsukemen I ever had. The dipping soup had so much ingredients and the stock so tasty that I just had to go for a second visit!

Tokusei Tsukemen

Their noodles are also different from the thin yellow ramen noodles. Their noodles were chewy, like udon. The restaurant is always packed with queues, be expected to wait around 30 minutes or so.

First Avenue Tokyo Station also has a Character street, where Michelle had a good time at the Rilakkuma and Totoro stores. Actually, Tokyo Station is a train station merged with a massive shopping mall that Ion Orchard is a mere minuscule compared to it.

Shopping at Shinjuku alone exhausted our first day, so we took a day trip out to Yokohama the day after to relax and visit some museums! Yokohama is about 30 minutes via subway from Tokyo, and is the second largest city in Japan by population. Our first stop was the Ramen Museum, which was actually quite disappointing. Instead of a conventional museum, it is more like of a 1900s- themed ramen restaurants where some recognised brands gathered together, much like Ramen Champion at Bugis+. The museum is located a few blocks away from the Shin-Yokohama Station and we had a difficult time finding it because of the ruthless rain. Our shoes were drenched from the prolonged walking under the rain and our mood immediately spiralled downward.

Yokohama Ramen Museum

We also thought the entrance fee was a bit redundant and the obligation to order a bowl of ramen was troublesome. Therefore, it felt a bit ridiculous to us that we had to pay an entrance fee, and are also obligated to order a bowl of ramen when seated. Luckily, the Nissin Cup Noodles Museum lifted our mood from the not so good experience and gloomy weather.

Yokohama Cup Noodles Museum

We had a lot of fun making our own noodles! We paid 300yen (SGD 3) to decorate our cup, choose four ingredients together with our preferred soup base, and take it home with us!

Cup Noodles Ingredients

Michelle and I chose chili tomato and curry respectively, and it was really good! They are also more generous with the ingredients there than the ones we buy off the shelves. Also, I checked almost all the stores in Singapore but they only seem to stock the Seafood flavour cup noodles. Why not Chilli Tomato/Curry?

Michelle's Instant Noodles

Michelle and her well-decorated Rilakkuma Instant Noodles. That was about all for our Yokohama day trip. Cosmoworld was closed due to the rain, but I read that they had a roller-coaster that goes into an underwater tunnel. Sounds pretty cool!

Another tourist attraction not to be missed in Tokyo is the newly built Tokyo Skytree. Fortunately for us, our visit coincided with their 1st Anniversary celebrations, so we were in for some special discounts!

Tokyo Banana Limited Edition

The Tokyo Banana’s outlet had a special flavoured spotted Tokyo Banana – Chocolate Cream.

Skytree Starbucks Tumblers

Starbucks also had limited edition tumblers for sale for their 1st Anniversary at Tokyo Skytree.

A ticket to the Tembo Deck 350 metres up in the sky costs 2000yen (SGD24.50). To go further up 100 metres to the Tembo Galleria is another 1000yen (SGD12) more. It’s really beautiful up there with a 360 degrees view of Tokyo City Skyline. There’s the famous top three “million dollar night views” in Japan (三大夜景), but I think this new skyscraper stands as a strong contender.

Also read: Japan Trip to Kyoto Leg Made Me Want to Crawl Through A Pillar 

Tokyo Skytree Night View Me at Tokyo Skytree

On the way to Tokyo Skytree, you can make a short detour to check out Asakusa and the famous Sensoji (Asakusa) Temple. There are many rows of shops outside the temple, and this is also where you can find the most delicious melon pan (メロンパン) in Tokyo!

Asakusa Melon Pan

It’s called Asakusa Kagetsudo (浅草 花月堂) and their melon pans are big and fragrant. The skin/crust on top is really crispy because they are fresh out the oven. We had our meal at Midori Sushi (美登利) in Mark City, Shibuya. Their set meal is famous for being tasty and affordable. At 2100yen (SGD25.60), it is quite a bargain for the sushi they serve.

Midori Sushi Set

However, Michelle and I do not have the acquired taste to fully enjoy their sea urchin (uni) sushi and crab roe paste salad. The prawn’s brain juice also disgusted Michelle so much that we had so much laughs during the meal.

Prawn Brain Juice

The Hong Kong tourists next to us, thinking that we don’t understand cantonese, were commenting on how wasteful we are, while slurping the brain juice from the prawn’s head and devouring the uni fresh off their black poky shells. This really was a memorable meal for the wrong reasons. We also ventured out to Tsukiji Fish Market to try fresh sashimi. However, we were not crazy enough to queue three hours for the Omakase at Sushi Dai or Daiwa, hence we settled for a Donburi at Nakaya (仲家). I had a bowl of fatty tuna and salmon, and Michelle had fatty tuna and salmon roe. We found it to be decent, but slightly expensive because we weren’t able to discern how fresh it actually was.

Nagaya Donburi 1 Nagaya Donburi 2

What’s a trip to Japan if we do not visit Mt. Fuji right? We took a two hour long train ride to Hakone-Yumuto Station anticipating a stunning view of the snow-capped mountain. In the end, we were disappointed and depressed. We could sense something was wrong when we reached the location and yet there was no sighting of Mt. Fuji anywhere. Then, the tour guide informed us that the webcam has shown that the weather was too cloudy to see the the mountain.

If you’re visiting the mountain, please check the webcam before you head over to Hakone. You can save yourself a lot of time and money this way. Since we’re there, we decided to relax at an onsen. There are many hot springs there, but we chose the Tenzan Tohji-kyo because the reviews on Tripadvisor were #1. It costs 1200yen (SGD 14.70) and we brought our own towels, or else you have to pay for it.

Tenzan Onsen

With it’s open-air concept, the Onsen felt very close to nature. There were several pools and tiers to soak in, with varying temperatures. They also have a cave-like sauna where you have to rub yourself in salt before going for the roast. I didn’t try it because it reminded me too much of 盐焗鸡 (Salt-Baked Chicken) that I really love eating.

Back to touring the attractions, we dropped by the artificial island of Odaiba one evening to do some shopping and sightseeing. I guess the best mall to go to is Diver City, easily recognisable by the built-to-scale 1:1 Gundam standing guard in front of the entrance.

Odaiba Gundam

Odaiba Palette Town

They have such adorable puppies and kittens for sale, including corgis and munchkins. If we live in Japan we would have brought one or two home with us already. However, they can easily costs up to SGD 3000 though. Michelle had been longing to go DisneySea, so we bought the open-date tickets from JTB Singapore Ion Orchard so we need not queue in Japan, but it was slightly more expensive at SGD 85 (again, check the weather before going. You wouldn’t want to be drenched).

Monkey at DisneySea

They have a few exciting rides there and I read/heard that the Tower of Terror is the most thrilling ride. However, the Toy Story Mania Ride is also fun. It was only opened last year so the waiting time can be up to two hours, even on weekdays.

Toy Story Mania DisneySea

Be sure to buy the alien mochi ice-cream while queueing to omnom.

Alien Mochi Ice Cream

If you do not understand Japanese, please do not go to the Turtle Talk exhibit. It’s an interactive talk show featuring “Crush” from Finding Nemo, and it features some top-notch technology that combines animation with real-time conversations with the audience, all spoken entirely in Japanese. We ended up sitting  through the 20 minutes talk show laughing along with everyone else, not knowing what was happening.

Another advice for DisneySea visitors is that their Fastpass system works differently, and is not like your usual express lane. You enter the park and grab a Fastpass ticket specific to the ride but for a much later timing, and come back at the given timing without the need to queue. Hence, you can have meals/watch other shows while waiting for your turn to come. The downside is, the popular rides have their Fast pass tickets sold out within an hour of the park opening anyways.

Also read: Short Osaka Exploration from Bustling Streets to Quiet Cat Cafe  

Michelle at DisneySea

It was a lot of fun and definitely not just for kids, and we spent nearly the entire day there. One of our last activities in Tokyo was spent walking around the Shinjuku Gyoen ParkThe park is very much like Singapore’s Botanic Gardens but they charge for entrance.

Shinjuku Gyoen

Nevertheless, we were rewarded with much greeneries and little kids running about playing Mr. Wolf.

Shinjuku Gyoen Kids

One last thing to say before I end off this Tokyo post. Look out for this Salt and Camembert Cheese Biscuit from Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory!

Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory

It’s the best cheese biscuit ever, and I seriously regretted buying only one box. I know they sell it at Tokyo Skytree, but I’m not sure where else. I think this is a much better gift than the boxes of omiyages that they overprice and sell at the tourist souvenir shops.


Contributed by Jeremy Khong.

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About Author

Jeremy Khong

Jeremy loves travelling and hopes to share his tips and experiences with readers. Holding a full-time job, he treasure the free moments he has by exploring the world and expanding his horizons.


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