I’m going to Tokyo!

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All through this autumn I’ve been talking to my friends about going to Japan in March, and right after Christmas we finally ordered our tickets and booked our hotels. I have never been to Japan before and am of course very excited. Our destination is Tokyo, so I figured I would take a few moments to think about what I actually do know about this popular city, and what I need to explore more of before our plane takes off.

This is what I know about the city so far:

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Tokyo has done an extraordinary job combining urban city life and beautiful nature with large parks and beautiful gardens. One of these is the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. This huge garden is divided into several different garden styles (French manor, English, Japanese and more).  You will have to pay a small amount of yen to enter the garden, which is very much worth the spend according to reviews on Tripadvisor. Seems like the perfect break after an eventful day in the busy city of Tokyo.

Meiju Jingu is a Shinto shrine located in Shibuya. The shrine was completed in 1920 and again repaired after damages during World War II. The two large gates that frames the entrance was dedicated to Emperor and Empress Meiji. Close to the train station, this historic shrine is described as one of the places you must visit while in the city. Namasté!

 

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Cat cafés, dog cafés and even owl and goat cafés. Tokyo has it all! I am of course very determined to visit at least one cat café and an owl café. A goat café on the other hand? Sounds messy… Tokyo is full of theme filled cafés and restaurants, and I also recently read about maid cafés who offers waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat customers as masters (and mistresses). I don’t believe I will be making a visit…

 

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Harajuku is known for it’s eclectic and influential fashion movement. I first learned about Harajuku through Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku girls in her 2004 video for “What are you waiting for”. The Harajuku style is full of colorful manga-inspired baby-doll dresses, pigtails, high platform shoes and gothic makeup, and also kimonos. Sunday is the best day to visit Harajuku if you want to take in the Harajuku style, the area is filled with teenagers dressed in extreme youth fashions, street performers, and loud rock bands.

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Tokyo is known for it’s futurism in both technology and robots. One of the places I want to explore this is at The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Located on the man-made island called Odaiba, the museum offers hands-on exhibitions on technology, environmental studies and space exploration. Here you can also witness Asimo – Honda’s robotic humanoid.

I might also head over to the Toshiba Science Museum located in the nearby city of Kawasaki. This museum explains how their technology is changing and shaping the way we live ours lives through interactive exhibits.

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As a big foodie myself, one of the things that get’s my attention the most whenever I’m traveling to a new part of the world is, of course, the food.

One of the meals planned in my food calendar is Kobe beef. Kobe refers to beef from the Tajima strain of the Wagyu cattle, raised in Japan’s Hyogo. The meat is known for the tenderness and flavor, and also, it’s well-marbled texture. The beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, teppanyaki, and sashimi. For those who know me, you know I will be going for the steak. The translation for Kobe beef in Japanese is Kobe niku (Kobe meat). 

Ramen is a noodle soup imported from China, and has through the last decades become one of the most popular dishes in Japan. The meal is available all over the city, and is very inexpensive (might be a good dish to go for after a day filled with too much shopping). You will find ramen-ya’s, the Japanese name for ramen restaurants on almost every corner of the country and variations of the noodle dish changes from region to region.

Okonomiyaki is a widely popular pan-fried dish that consists of batter and cabbage with toppings and ingredients of either seafood, wasabi or cheese. Popular choices are octopus, shrimp, pork, yam or kimchi. Okonomi means “to one’s liking” and you will find the dish all over Japan at restaurants that specialize in the meal, at some places you will find iron griddles at the dining tables, for you to cook the ingredients of the meal yourself.

Japan is also worldly known for their big fish markets and fresh sushi.

 

What I want to learn more about before our trip:

  • The best places for a night out
  • Find more beautiful parks
  • If there is going to be trees filled with cherry blossoms while we’re there
  • The best sake (酒) bars
  • Traditional temples
  • and, of course, the best karaoke bars

Have I missed something? If you have any tips for me about what I should check out in Tokyo, please leave a comment in the comment section below! 

 

 

 

(free to use images via Over, and also from NDTV, Thousand Wonders and foodphotosite)

(Sources: Skyscanner: 8 Best geek things to do and see in Tokyo, Trip advisor’s Things to do in Tokyo)

 

Updated and Upgraded!

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Welcome to a new era in this little blog project called “Charles the Blog”! I have updated the design of this destination A LOT these past days, and will continue to upgrade and freshen up over the coming weeks. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

I have made it easier for you to connect to categories and archives, added an easier way for you to connect via social media, share blog posts and pin beautiful photos.

In the weeks to come I will be update Charles de Blog with posts filled with music, social media tips and about my very special trip to Asia this Spring! Feel free to continue to follow my journey, I post links as soon as they’re out on the facebook page for this blog – link at the bottom of the blog.

Have a great weekend!
Christian

February Playlist

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It’s getting closer and closer to spring, even though it seems quite far away at the moment. The February playlist is therefore filled with some hopeful tunes, cold electro beats and some really scarily relatable heartbreakers. This week I discovered both a new song from Highasakite (one of my favourite Norwegian bands) and by teenage idol Zayn so you might say it’s quite the eclectic list. I will be adding songs to the list all through February so make sure you get a listen here

(Elvis-picture via the-guardian.com)

 

Quoteful tuesday

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Quoteful is not a word, but it should be, it would mean “full of quotes”. So this is my Tuesday full of quotes, inspiring and funny, bold and mindful, heartfelt and strong. 

“People who work on things stay together, otherwise you’re gonna end up alone, like Cher” Hannah Helene Horvath (character on HBO’s GIRLS played by Lena Dunham

“It is not ignorance but knowledge which is the mother of wonder” Joseph Wood Krutch

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses”
Ann Landers

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” Mahatma Gandhi

“In order to properly understand the big picture, everyone should fear becoming mentally clouded and obsessed with one small section of truth” Xun Zi

“I don’t trust words. I trust actions”
Unknown (but totally my mentality after a hard time last year)

“Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow” 

 

How I love all these amazing quotes from this person called Unknown! Such an inspiring person! Hahaha, juuuuuuust kidding ;)