Written by: Zanita Whittington

After a damn long wait, I’ve finally got another chance at the Tokyo Experience.

I visited around 8/9 years ago, before I started my blog (was there ever such a time?!), and it’s been top of my list of places to return to, yet I haven’t been able to make it happen until now. My trip was pretty rushed – I was there to shoot for my friends at Away Luggage Company and our days were filled dashing between locations. I did get to see a whole load of the city though – and it’s only renewed my desire to visit yet again.

Two cats on a street sign = chaos in Ginza.

Japan is the most captivating place I’ve ever had the good fortune of visiting. It’s got a certain je ne sais quoi – a magic that gives the impression of an alternative reality. Walking the streets of Shibuya, I found myself day dreaming, being part of a scene in some science fiction movie. The Japanese have a culture that I’ve only experienced being gracious and accommodating despite obvious language barriers. Despite being one of the most ethnically homogenous places on the planet, I never felt out of place or uncomfortable, the locals aren’t prone to staring…though they might ask for the occasional photograph! In stark contrast to the Big Apple itself, Tokyo is spotlessly clean – you can’t even find public rubbish bins – you’ve got to take home your trash yourself.

My Tokyo Video Diary – Watch Now!

There’s some pretty bizarre (to some) trends that have caught on in Tokyo. We visited a maid cafe – not as sinister as you might think…it was all about kawaii and politeness, and also a Cat Cafe, which my friend described as the Soho lounge, with cats. Unfortunately, you couldn’t order a glass of wine alongside your feline friend, but I’m totally down for the idea of having a pet for an hour. We ate some much great food and also some pretty strange things. Food tastes certainly run pretty polar from Western styles and I can’t say I became partial to all the fermented and dried fish and plants while I was there…

A highlight from the trip was visiting Golden Gai in Shinjuku, an area where over 200 bars are crammed in, each with the ability to accommodate around 4-8 people. I didn’t get any photos, it’s a little frowned upon…but stay tuned for some snaps in the Away campaign. I also loved visiting the Mori Tower in Roppongi, where there was the added bonus of a Sailor Moon Exhibition alongside the staggering views.  Finally, one of the most classic tourist destinations in Tokyo was the Tsukiji Fish Market – not to be missed whether you’re a sushi fan or not. Truly a feast for the senses… just like everywhere else in Tokyo!!

Really can’t wait to go back again to Tokyo and Japan properly. Thanks so much to Away for reviving my passion for this amazing country.

Video and Photography, Zanita Whittington

suitcases, Away


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