Julie Japan 13 Comments

Tokyo has so much to see and do. We were here for a week (the final international destination of our around the world trip in 2014 and 2015) and barely scratched the surface of this amazing place. We visited the main neighborhoods of Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, and Akihabara, as well as made it out of the city for several day trips.

The four of us enjoyed being in Tokyo but not as much as we were expecting. July is one of the worst times to be in Japan…if it is not raining it is incredibly hot and muggy. Then throw in the crowds of people. Shopping areas were filled with so many people that it makes Black Friday shopping in the US looked deserted. But there are so many things that we love about Japan…the very polite people, the temples, watching sumo wrestling, and oh…the food! We ate so much sushi! Almost everyday we ate at our favorite place, Sushiro, or other sushi restaurants sprinkled around the city.

One Week in Tokyo

On the Shinkansen

To get from Kyoto to Tokyo, we rode the Shinkansen, a journey that took about two and a half hours. Along the way we ate sushi bento boxes for lunch and watched Mt Fuji pass by our window. It doesn’t get any more Japanese than this.

Bento Box Sushi

Mount Fuji


We took a day trip out to Kamakura, located a hour south of Tokyo. We saw the Great Buddha, also known as Daibutsu, as well as the Hase-dera temple. While we were in Kamakura, a typhoon was just off the coast of Japan, bringing with it rain and wind, cutting short our visit to the area.

LEARN MORE:  Kamakura Day Trip


Great Buddha of Kamakura


Kara Rivenbark Japan


Akihabara was one of our favorite areas of Tokyo. This is the spot for electronics shopping, karaoke, shopping for anime and manga, or spending hours in an arcade.

We went shopping at Yodibashi Camera, the world’s largest department store. For sale was any electronic device anyone could possible want, from cameras to TV’s to refrigerators to electronic toilet seats. Our big purchase: a new mouse for Tyler. But we did have fun looking at the curved screen TV’s and the new cameras.


Akihabara Road

Tokyo Street Scene

For Sale in Tokyo

On the Metro

We were staying in an apartment north of Tokyo, guaranteeing us literally hours on the metro/train system everyday.

Shinjuku Station


Shinjuku Station is the world’s largest train station. Over three million people per day pass through this station, an incredible number, especially when considering that the entire population of New Zealand is 4.5 million people. This station has over 200 exits and contains 36 platforms. The area around Shinjuku Station is filled with shopping malls, neon lights, restaurants, and even Godzilla.

Tokyo Japan

Tokyo Street

Earth Trekkers Tokyo

Tokyo Sex

Godzilla in Tokyo

Shibuya Crossing

From the world’s largest train station we traveled over to the world’s busiest crosswalk in Shibuya. This neighborhood is another popular place for shopping. We were here on a Sunday afternoon and it was insanely crowded.

Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Tokyo

Tokyo Photos

Takeshita Street


Yet another neighborhood is Ginza, the place for upscale shopping.

Ginza Tokyo

Japanese Cuisine

Most menus are in Japanese but restaurants post displays of plastic food resembling the dishes to choose from. This was a huge help for us!

Plastic Food

And here is some real food…udon noodles and rice. Yum!


Shopping in Tokyo

We went shopping on Kappabashi Street, buying a Japanese knife and some pottery. I am really starting to look forward to cooking again!

Knife Shopping Tokyo


Meiji Shrine

In Tokyo, we visited our FINAL TEMPLE and it was a good one. Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife and was built in 1912. This shrine was destroyed in WWII and then completely rebuilt. While here, we were lucky enough to watch a portion of a Japanese wedding.


Meiji Shrine

Japanese Wedding

Tsukiji Fish Market

We sampled some sautéed scallops and raw oysters at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Tokyo Fish Market

Japanese Cooking


Our Final Destination Before Returning to the Good Ole USA

Tokyo was our final international destination on our trip around the world. It was an odd week, trying to see as much of Tokyo as possible, while looking forward to and dreading our return to the US. Throw in the fact that we now have the task of finding a place to live in when we return, so we have been working with our realtor and looking at properties online.

From Tokyo we fly to Los Angeles. It is hard to believe that this whole thing is coming to an end. It sure feels weird to be returning to the US, but that will be another post, so stay tuned!

More Information about Japan

KYOTO: Travel through Kyoto in Photos, learn about the best things to do in Kyoto, and read about our first impressions of Osaka and Kyoto.

DAY TRIPS FROM KYOTO: There are several great day trips you can take from Kyoto, including Himeji Castle, Hiroshima, and beautiful Nara, Japan.

SUMO WRESTLING: Watching Sumo wrestling is one of the best things to do in Japan. We write about our experience and get tips on how you can do the same in our article How to Watch Sumo Wrestling in Japan.

TRAVEL BLOGGING: This website started with a trip around the world and has become one of the most popular travel sites on the internet. Learn more about what it is like to run this website in our article My Life as a Travel Blogger…An Unexpected Journey.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Here are 30 great travel books and a list of the best travel movies to feed your wanderlust.

Planning a trip to Japan? Read all of our articles in our Japan Travel Guide.

Tokyo in Photos


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Comments 13

  1. Avatar for Jon F.
    Jon F.

    Kudos to you and your family. The education your children are receiving from this is far beyond anything they would get in five years of schooling. Absolutely brilliant. Such exposure to the world and other cultures will give them a leg up that most children never get. Wow, what an amazing experience for them.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Thank you, Jon. Tyler and Kara should be able to write an awesome essay for their college applications in a few years! -Julie

  2. Avatar for Kathy (mom)
    Kathy (mom)

    Hi Jul. I am responding to the next blog, about returning to the USA. I didn’t see a comment section there so I’m writing it here.

    In your travel from Tokyo to LA you saw the sun set two times in one day! Unforgettable!
    Looking back, the year (+ 1 month) was great for me, too. I had terrific contact with all of you via texting and Facetime. Through all of your memorable photos I was able to see Tyler and Kara growing! The far-off places where I met you along your journey all felt very safe, even sleeping in camp in South Africa with the roaming lions not far away! Back in the United States it was great to go to my computer with my coffee in the morning and find yet another blog to read and enjoy. As others have said, I will miss that a lot!

    Looking forward to having you all home. Love, Mom.

  3. Avatar for Julia in Clearfield
    Julia in Clearfield

    I’ve really enjoyed following your travels this past year! Hope the Earth Trekkers will continue to blog about their future adventures. Welcome home from a fellow Marylander!

  4. Avatar for Anita Mitzel
    Anita Mitzel

    What am I going to do this next year???? I followed your entire year+ of posts and really absolutely loved it! Please keep posting! You really gave me an education of the world! Thanks so much, + I still want to have your family + the kids each can bring a friend, to my original Halloween house!

  5. Avatar for Peter C. Schaefer Jr
    Peter C. Schaefer Jr

    I’m surprised that you guys chose Japan as the last country to visit on your trip. I figured you guys would end it in Australia and take the “flying hotel” (Quantas A380) back to the US. That would have been a real fun way to come back to the US especially for Tyler and Kara. I know what you mean about dreading to come back to the US. A lot has changed here while you were gone and not for the better especially if you are trying to raise up morally respectable children. I hope the end of the trip doesn’t mean the end of your blog. I hope you will keep it going to let us know how you folks are doing. Take care and I pray that everything works out okay for you guys and you are able to find a house soon. Again if you are ever at DFW Airport during the week or on Saturdays, stop by my stand. I am in the B terminal at B20 across from Chili’s Too. I’ll be there til about November and then the stand gets moved further down to the lower end of B and into a retail store. I would love to meet you and the entire family. God bless you guys!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Thank you, Peter. We will keep our blog updated, don’t worry! I still have much to write about and we plan to keep traveling in the future. If we fly through DFW we will try to find you. Thanks for following us!

  6. Avatar for Louise Bray
  7. Avatar for Carol Kaufmann
    Carol Kaufmann

    I feel as if I know your family having followed your incredible journey. Please keep posting letting us know where you land. I am from Baltimore. ( Cross Keys which the Rouse Co. built before Columbia).

    1. Avatar for Pat Stilwell
      Pat Stilwell

      What she said! I hope the shock of coming home is not too terrible. Glad to hear that the blog will continue

      THANK YOU for sharing your incredible journey.


  8. Avatar for Patricia Rachek
    Patricia Rachek

    Great photos of Tokyo. It is a wonderful city to visit. Without the plastic food I would have starved! Safe travels home.

  9. Avatar for Kristina

    Our exchange student is flying from Tokyo to Detroit tomorrow afternoon – I jumped out of my seat seeing Kamakura, which is where she lives. I can’t tell you how avidly we have followed this last time of yours, filled with curiosity about her country.

    My husband and I are trying to put ourselves in your shoes and to imagine the oddness of homecoming after this incredible, life-changing trip. Especially bearing in mind that you’re coming home to…not yet a home. You will be in our prayers for a smooth settling back in – but we know that this trip will stay with you forever. None of your readers want this to come to an end, and I think we’re nearly as interested in what your experience is looking at your own country with eyes filled with so many new experiences.

    Travel home safely. And thank you again for all the time you’ve taken to share this with us.

  10. Avatar for Charles Levie
    Charles Levie

    Great… You got to Kamakura and Meji Shrine… And you got to see a wedding. 🙂
    So happy for you a and the family… What an experience…

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