I am in Japan for eight weeks as an intern at Sony Corporation, Atsugi City, Kanagawa Prefecture - approx an hour and half from Tokyo. I will give a sincere effort to pen down my expeditions in this blog post.

The hustle and bustle of Shinjuku (Friday, Week 1)

Shinjuku is located in the heart of Tokyo, with it being one of the busiest stations in the city. With so many train lines and station exits, it is very easy to get lost - exactly what makes it special. The excitement of Friday evening, along with that of meeting my friends, made the journey from Atsugi to Shinjuku finish in no time.

The Soap Shop - Lush

What’s better place to get lost than a soap shop, something very unconventional in Indian context. Strong fragnance pulled us to this shop and we ended up spending around an hour here. All types of products for all types of skin for all ages. Needless to say, I was quite impressed.

Government Metropolitan Building

This 45 storied buidling is a Japanese government buidling whose top floor is kept open for public to enjoy the city from above. It is definitely not as high as the Tokyo Tower or the Skytree, but its FREE. And this is precisely why we considered this as a place to go. We were not disappointed as the view from top was really good. I accept that the view from Sktree was many times better than this, but this was a good starting point.

We roamed around the busy streets and had dinner at a decent place before heading off to our respective residences.

alt alt

(Left) Soaps all around the shop, each having its own presence. (Right) View from the top of 45th Floor

Trip to Ueno and the Skytree (Saturday, Week 1)

Ueno Zoological Park

Ueno Zoo, located near Tokyo station, is very big with everything one can think of. Penguins, Polar Bears, Giant Panda, Giraffe, Zebra and what not. Even two was seemed less, despite skipping common animals like Tiger, Elephant. It also has Vivarium which is home to various types of tortoises, turtles and crocodiles. I never imagined seeing a penguin in Tokyo, and that too under an open sky. This zoo is a must go to witness the beautiful fauna.

Ueno Park

Famous for its Cherry Blossoms, this park is very big in terms of the area. The wide walking trail with Cherry trees attempting to touch each other from opposite sides forms a picturesque scene. The cold breeze freshend us after the two hour walk at the zoo. All charged up, time to move on to the next point.

Sumida Aquarium

Sitting comfortably at the foot of the giant skytree, most of the visitors to this aquarium can be atrributed to the skytree. Same was the case with us. The fishes on display were worth having a glance, still I would say this aquarium does not stand apart from any other aquarium. Although, the raft of penguins in the ground floor was cool and enjoyable.

The Skytree

This giant engineering masterpiece stand upright unaltered by the buzz of the city. The ticket to go to the observation deck at 350m costs around 2300 Yens. There is another option to go to both the observation desks at 350m and 450m, but we chose the former one considering our budget. We were definitely not let down at 350m, the view was superb with every inch of Tokyo visible from above. All the skyscrappers looked like weeds from that high. A VR headset displaying GoPro video captured by a worker during the construction of this skytree shook me up. This skytree is invincible. Also, there’s a small skywalk in the observation deck. It was frigtening to look 350 metres straight down to the ground. The day ended really high.

alt alt
alt alt

(Top Left) A giraffe at Ueno Zoo. (Top Right) Cherry Blossom Street in Ueno Park. (Bottom Left) Close up of a fish in an aquarium. (Bottom Right) The giant skytree.

Relaxing in Atusugi City (Sunday, Week 1)

Atsugi Chuo Park

Sunday was spent relaxing after a tiring first week and a joyful weekend. I went to Atsugi Chuo Park which is around one kilometres from my residence. The park was full of joy with kids playing all around. Some were skating, some playing basketball and a group of people practicing dance. I spent the time walking around the beautiful park. After around an hour at the park, I explored nearby places and found out a couple of good restaurents.

Unplanned trip to the Capital (Wednesday, Week 2)

An uneventful wednesday at work motivated me to visit the capital in the evening and I started without another thought. I was joined by my friends upon reaching Tokyo.

Tokyo Tower

The glamourous Tokyo Tower is situated just along the roadside, at the center of a busy road intersection. This giant tower is very pleasing to look at with tiny looking elevators taking people to heights. Tokyo Tower was built much before the Skytree. Although I must agree that Skytree was better in terms of both view and height, credits must be given to Tokyo Tower for being much older than the Skytree. After Tokyo Tower, we set out on a walk to reach Rainbow Bridge.

Rainbow Bridge

Unplanned trips are not always fun. This time it backfired severely. With Google navigation not being supportive, we ended up searching for the bridge for a long time. We were able to see the giant Skytree but wasted a lot of time trying to get there. We walked for a total of more than one hour right from the Tokyo Tower. In the end, we came to know that the time to walk on the rainbow bridge ended at 9pm. Then, I came up with a hilarious but innovative idea of crossing the bridge in train and coming back from the same station - thus having the same view without paying anything. We settled with this plan and saw the beautiful rainbow bridge as well as the view from it.

alt alt

(Left) Tokyo Tower and (Right) Rainbow bridge. (Bad reflections due to train glass)

Kamakura - Political center of Medieval Japan (Saturday, Week 2)

On the recommendations of my colleagues at office, I was convinced that Kamakura is an eligible place for a one day excursion. Kamakura was the capital of Japan in the twelfth century. It is home to peaceful shrines and the famous Buddha statue. I was very lucky to have got this link of one day itinerary to Kamakura. We followed this itinerary and had a very smooth and memorable trip.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangū

This is the most important shrine in the city. None of the structure in the town is allowed to be higher than this shrine. Located at a walking distance from the Kamakura station, this place is very peaceful despite having a large number of visitors from all over the world. We witnessed a Japanese wedding at this venue. There’s also a museum inside the shrine which has details and objects from medieval period. The street leading towards the shrine is a shopping street with the same medival setting.


Myohonji is a little far from the activities of the town. Walking to Myohonji was fun in itself. The town planning and roads are very different from Tokyo, thus making it a good place to take a break. Myohonji occuies a big area with good view. We spotted a few newly wed couples coming to get their wedding photoshoot done. We saw many artists enjoying the peace of the temple and busy with their canvas.

Hasedara Temple

Another 15 minute walk took us to Hasedara Temple, a beautiful temple on the hills of Kamakura. The temple has both good decoration and good natural beauty. The Prospect Road is a short walk to the top of the hill and back down. Whole of the Kamakura town is visible from the hill. Since the sun is on the other side of the hill, the temperature is very good and walking aroung the temple complex will be relaxing. There are Bamboo plants all around and fishes in clean water. Definitely the best view of the day.

Kotkuji Temple

We headed towards the final destination of the itinerary, Kotkuji Temple, famous for the giant Buddha statue. It was fun having all kinds of photographs with the giant Buddha statue. The Buddha status is big and stands unaltered despite being only 10m above the sea level.

Kamakura Beach

The day ended with a walk to the beach. The cold breeze at the beach and the view of the sunset made the end really great.

alt alt
alt alt

(Top Left) Tsurugaoka Hachimangū. (Top Right) Myohonji (Bottom Left) View of Kamakura (Bottom Right) The giant Buddha.

Harajuku - the youth centre of Tokyo (Sunday, Week 2)

Yoyogi Park

The appearance of the Yoyogi park made it look like just another park. But I was impressed with the flora in the park. There were all kinds of roses, of all colors, with strong smell. It was exciting to flaunt my expertise in DSLR, by taking photos of roses and sunflowers. There were more than fifty groups of people having picnic - singing out loudly, dancing, laughing and relaxing. It had a very lively atmosphere.

Takeshita Street

Later in the eveing, most of the time was spent window shopping in the famous Takeshita Street. It was surprising that most of the shops in the street got closed at 8pm, thus putting a premature end to a fun filled weekend.

alt alt

Flowers at Yoyogi Park

As I spend more time in this country, I will keep pushing myself to keep updating the blog.

- thechargedneutron