Grantourismo in Japan
Sushi, cat cafés and sake in Tokyo
Tokyo wasn’t on the original Grantourismo itinerary. From Venice, Lara and Terry were set to head via London and Bangkok to Phuket, but given the trouble at the time we decided to send them on a different route. Nevertheless, Tokyo turned out to be an excellent choice, as a vibrant, exciting city with innumerable experiences to take in. The language barrier didn't stop them from exploring their local 'hood, meeting new people and sampling the quirky Japanese culture and cuisine.
Read all Lara and Terry's posts on their trip to Tokyo
As in Paris and Venice, Lara and Terry didn’t tick off any major sights in Tokyo: They didn’t visit the Imperial Palace or Tokyo Tower, nor did they attend any 'iconic' events, such as a tea ceremony or a sumo wrestling match. Rather, as they're doing in other places on their 'Grand Tour', they sought to really get beneath the skin of the city by exploring the local neighbourhoods, learning from locals and sampling the unique Japanese cuisine. Food was a particularly important aspect of their stay in Tokyo, but rather than trying their skills at cooking a local dish, their explored the cuisine via the vast array of unbeatable local eateries instead.
In addition, perhaps more than in any other destination they have visited, in Tokyo Lara and Terry really delighted in wandering the streets, taking in the rhythm and colour of the city's various neighbourhoods. They still did a couple of a 'tours', but in their own way, rather than in a group with a guide. They visited the wonderful Tsukiji fish markets with food expert Etsuko Nakamura, learnt about sake with food and drink writer Melinda Joe, and got a lesson in Japanese pop culture from husband-wife writing team Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt.
Another eccentric idea they discovered in Tokyo were 'Cat Cafes'. As pets are banned in many Tokyo apartments, these cafes give animal loving locals the chance to relax and unwind with a furry friend!
In Tokyo they found a wonderful, crazy city, with buzzing local districts and a vibrant, youthful pop culture, ideal for travellers looking to experience something completely different. A mix of old and new, Tokyo is both historic and contemporary, traditional and atypical all at the same time.
Property 455977 - Lara and Terry's ‘HomeAway from home’ in Tokyo was a cosy modern apartment in the Akasaka Minato-ku area, an established business and entertainment district. The flat has an open-plan design, cleverly divided into a living and dining area, with connected kitchen and bedroom, plus separate bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. Big windows make the flat bright and airy, with a spacious feel.
The apartment is available to rent on HomeAway.co.uk (Property 455977) and the price is £90 per property per night.
Read Lara and Terry's full review of the property
Next stop...Bali, stay tuned!
There is a good selection of modern and chic apartments available to rent in Japan on HomeAway.co.uk. Renting a private holiday home in Tokyo is a great option, as you get way more space for your money and it works out much cheaper per head than a similar standard hotel.
See all properties in Japan
See all properties in Tokyo