Japan trips & itineraries

Tokyo trip diary: Day 3 – Tokyo Skytree, Kimonos and Knives

– The mountains! The mountains! I had no idea we could see the mountains from our room! – I woke up to the surprise. Far at the horizon, I could clearly see the snow capped mountains, for the first time since we arrived at the hotel. It not only got us both very excited but also influenced a change of plans for the day. Because of the better visibility, we decided to have a look at Tokyo from high up.

This post is part of a series:
Tokyo Day 1 – first steps in Japan & discovering Shinjuku
Tokyo Day 2 – the day we walked a lot
Tokyo Day 3 – Tokyo Skytree, kimonos and knives
Tokyo Day 4 – the one with an early start
Tokyo Day 5 – the one when we ran away

Tokyo - mountains view from Shinjuku

Tokyo Skytree

It was quite a long ride on a subway from Shinjuku and I was joking on the way that while we were underground, the clouds came and we won’t see anything. Fortunately, it wasn’t exactly what happened.

The view from 350m (lower observation deck) above the ground was great. At first, it all looked like a concrete jungle, but when you look closely (via zoom lens in my case) you’ll see colours: roofs, some facades, parks and big billboards.

Tokyo Sky Tree

Tokyo Sky Tree view

It is impressive how massive Tokyo really is, yet how well organised.

On a map we were given with our tickets, we quickly checked from which side of the tower we’re supposed to see Mt Fuji. Well marked pillars, well-marked map, we’ve got it. And there it was… No, not Mt Fuji. A big, thick cloud. Exactly where we didn’t want it to block the view. – Let’s walk around for a while, see everything else, maybe it will go away – that, plus a coffee break, didn’t work. And we had other plans for the rest of the day.

Tokyo Skytree

ticket/adult to the 350m observation deck: JPY2060 (~$22) + JPY1030 (~$11) for the higher deck
opening hours: 8am – 10pm

Kappabashi-dori a.k.a. Kitchen Town

About 30 minutes walk from the Tokyo Skytree is every foodie’s paradise: Kitchen Town. The entire street, a really long one, full of shops with all sorts of kitchen equipment. Bowls, wooden spoons, cake cutters, pots in all shapes and sizes, knives, chopsticks, plastic food – you name it, they have it. I could easily spend there all day, but Hubby didn’t seem too interested, so with heavy heart, I had to leave after just over an hour of rushed exploration.

Kitchen Town Tokyo Kappabashi

Kitchen Town Tokyo Kappabashi

But it’s back on my list of places I want to visit next time I’m in Tokyo (which will be this August!) – simply because of one thing: knives. I managed to buy one knife. Quite a small one, nothing too fancy or expensive. It didn’t have any certificate saying “made by sword-makers” but for me it is everything. I hurt myself with it first thing when I took it out of the box, but I love it. Thanks to it I realised how rubbish my old knives were. Anyway, if you don’t care about pretty bowls and other kitchen stuff, do yourself a favour and go there just to buy a good knife.

Sensō-ji temple

Hands down my favourite place in Tokyo. Not only the Senso-ji temple but also the area of Asakusa – small, charming streets and the oldest amusement park in Japan. Once again an area that I would love to explore more.

Senso-ji Tokyo

Senso-ji Tokyo

Sensō-ji is the oldest temple in Tokyo, as well as the most significant. If you’re interested in history, I recommend reading this article over at TokyoCheapo.

For me, it was not only simply stunning but also felt quiet, despite thousands of people being around me. It’s also the place where I spotted our first plum blossoms.

Senso-ji Tokyo

Senso-ji Tokyo

The main street leading to the temple is lined up with shops – most sell souvenirs, but there are also restaurants and taiyaki sellers.

Sensō-ji is also a great place for people watching. Some seem to be very spiritual, some deep in thoughts, some quickly pray and go and some… well, let’s just say I don’t think selfie sticks should be allowed in all places.

Tea Ceremony + Kimono Experience

Right next to Senso-ji is a small Panda Cafe, where I took my husband for his birthday surprise. I organised a tea ceremony + kimono experience for us at Nadeshiko.

A very interesting thing to do when you’re in Japan and I think I picked a perfect place to do so. It was very intimate – just the two of us, personal and informative. And of course, it was fun to dress up and pretend to be Japanese for an hour.

tea ceremony and kimono experience Tokyo

tea ceremony and kimono experience Tokyo

tea ceremony and kimono experience Tokyo

tea ceremony and kimono experience Tokyo

We started by picking the kimonos we wanted to wear and 20 minutes later (well, for the men kimono it was more like 5 minutes, but mine was trickier to put on) we were transformed and ready for the ceremony. It involved squeezing through a tiny door, eating sweets too cute to be eaten, repeating Japanese phrases and, obviously, enjoying the tea.

The team at Nadeshiko was extremely helpful – they organised a special birthday cake for my husband and even a surprise-someone to bring the cake to him. Hubby was happy, I have photos to prove it, points for me.

kimono and tea ceremony: 
JPY4400 (~$47)
address: 2-7-24-2F Asakusa Taito-ku Tokyo

Akihabara after dark

After the tea ceremony, we went back to our hotel in Shinjuku, Hubby ate his birthday cake and we were so cold and tired we had to have a nanna nap. When we got up it was already dark and we had one more place to visit – Akihabara, known also as The Electric Town.

We weren’t on a hunt for any electronics, nor we’re big fans of manga. It was more of a curiosity-driven visit, to see ourselves if the place is really that colourful and popular.

Akihabara Tokyo

Akihabara Tokyo

We walked around for an hour or so, visited a few shops, and we were very surprised when we were able to recognise some of the anime characters (like the Girls und Panzer).

If you want to experience the famous Maid Cafes, Akihabara is the place to go. Even on a very cold evening, some maids were on the streets promoting cafes and handing out flyers.

For more photos from our Day 3 go to my Facebook page.

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  • Reply
    Angeline Lam
    November 4, 2015 at 1:04 am


    Your blog on tokyo is lovely and fun to read! I love the awesome pics.. I wish I’m as good as you in taking pics.

    By the way, can I ask? How did you book the tea ceremony at Nadeshiko? I went to their English website, but doesn’t seem to have an email to book. I clic on the panda cafe link, which brought me to their japanese website.

    Could you provide me some guidance?

    Looking forward on more of your exploration.

    • Reply
      November 4, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Angeline 🙂 I’ll email you Nadeshiko’s contact details.

      • Reply
        December 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

        Great post! I was looking at Nadeshiko and trying to find some reviews. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m having the same issue that Angeline is. Would you be able to send me the email address for Nadeshiko to book their tea ceremony?

        Thank you!!

        • Reply
          October 17, 2016 at 1:03 pm

          Hi !
          A group of us are travelling to Tokyo in December from Sydney and I was looking for the email address for Nadeshiko to book the ceremony as well! It looks like it was an incredible experience and we cannot all wait to try something similiar. Would you be able to help us out since we are having the same issue most people are having!?
          Thank you!!

      • Reply
        Rizza Guia Villardo
        March 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm

        Hi Aga, do you mind sending me Nadeshiko’s contact as well?
        I look forward to your reply. Also, great post! I am now convinced to go ahead with the tea ceremony!

  • Reply
    Jo Dorries
    August 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I’d love booking details for Nadeshiko too thanks. Can’t wait to go there – only month to go!!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for the great article! Really enjoy to read about your Tokyo trip 🙂

    I am also looking for the nadeshiko kimono amd tea ceremony? Would you please kindly provide me with the link to make a reservation?

    Thank you so much and Happy New Year 😉

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 4:44 am

    Hi! I love you posts, very refreshing from the tourists sites and blogs that give more of a blanket review on places (yoyogi park).

    Could I also get the email address for Nadeshiko? I would love to surprise my hubby with a little anniversary gift.


  • Reply
    May 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm


    I love your post. Could I get more info on how you book your experience at Nadeshiko? Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    ma. teresa sandoval
    September 23, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Your experience just made me so excited for our trip with hubby next month as we celebrate our 20 yrs anniversary. im also interested how u booked your Nadeshiko experience. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Cristina Du
    October 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Love your posts, would be celebrating 25th wedding anniversary next month in Tokyo, can I ask for the details on booking
    Nadeshiko. Thanks!

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