Waking up from a night of much needed sleep after being on a plane for 9 hours the day before, our bodies woke up to a beautiful blue sky day with the fresh air of Tokyo to explore. We were staying in Harajuku, an amazingly diverse part of Tokyo, where you see the weird, wacky and wonderful! Everywhere you look you will find cuteness in Japan! It’s a wonderful place for shopping!
We found that walking around Tokyo varies a lot in your experience depending on what time of day you venture out. It seems to be a lot quieter in the morning and gradually get busier throughout the day.
We began our little tour around the area of Harajuku to get our bearings and find some awesome vegan places to eat at (most were closed!). While exploring on the way to our first breakfast destination we stumbled across a beautiful temple where people were praying at.
We ended up at a place called 8ablish for late breakfast at 11am! A gorgeous little place with a relaxed setting, and pretty good food too! They also had a little shop with some neat little snacks and a few other cute presents that you could buy.
We digested it all and went on our way until we came across a healthy grocery store where we were able to buy sushi, long life milk, cereal and some vegetable chips to snack out on between journeys around this massive city. This ended up being a great stop for us quite a few times during our trip to stock up on supplies!
Our stomachs began rumbling upon returning to our home base, tucked away in the side streets of Harajuku. Therefore, the call was made to venture out on another food walk. Heading out again and just around the first corner of where we were staying was a little shop full of fun little toys. Katie was immediately drawn to a pair of love heart red sunglasses. I had promised to buy her a pair for a while now, so we walked away with Katie smiling her head off while sporting her new look! (they didn’t look too bad on Josh either!)
We headed out of Harajuku and on the way out Takeshita street (the busiest, craziest street in Harajuku!) we found some Harajuku girls (or they might have been Cosplay) This was pretty exciting to see them on the first day, as it was one of the things we wanted to see on the trip. They did a pretty good job of posing for the camera!
We headed off to Shibuya where we paid a visit to Hachiko – the statue of the famous dog that went to the station with his owner every day and waited for him at the station when he came home. One day the owner passed away didn’t come back and Hachiko still went every day to the station to wait for him, for years. We love this story and it was so beautiful to see the statue which now it has another resident – a very tame cat who has made herself comfortable on the statue.
We had a quick wander around Shibuya and tried to find the vegan hot chocolates and cinnamon donuts at Starbucks (to no avail!) So we got Suica rail cards so we can travel around Tokyo with ease! If you are staying in Tokyo, definitely get one of these rail cards. They are easy to use and top up at the machines at the stations. You can also cash in the card for yen at the station when you no longer need the service.
We went to T’s Tantan for a late lunch, which is the best noodle place ever! It’s located inside Tokyo Station and they have a selection of noodles and some sides to choose from too. We had it for dinner the night we arrived as well, as it closes at 11pm, and we had arrived the previous night at around 8pm.
After T’s it was getting dark already! It gets dark so early in Japan during the colder months – around 4.30pm! We walked out of the station and headed towards the Imperial Palace. Because it is close to Christmas, all the Christmas lights were up in the shops and artistically draped among the streets. We gazed at some lovely Christmas trees inside and outside! It was fun walking through the shops and feeling the familiar spirit of Christmas with a hint of Japanese culture added to the mix. Once we got to the Imperial Palace it was dark so we couldn’t really see anything and the park was closed. Being the optimistic thinkers we are, our group decided to explore around the area. It wasn’t long until we discovered an array of luminous water features scattered around the main square next to the park. As the temperature began to drop, we realised we need to get back to our handy heaters in our cosy little apartments.
At Harajuku we looked for restaurants to eat at – some were closed! So a few us from the group ended up going to 8ablish again for dinner! It was lovely food, though the portions were quite small.
And that concluded our first full day in Japan – having fun, finding our bearings – a bunch of vegans getting lost in Tokyo!
For more of our vegan travel journeys, take a look at our travel page! If you know anyone that is thinking of going to Japan, or have friends that have travelled there, please share this page with them!!