I was lucky enough to spend my 26th birthday in Japan. I traveled around the main island for weeks and I absolutely fell in love with this incredible country. Throughout my adventure I got to experience the world's coolest culture, eat great food, learn a little (I mean a little!) Japanese and meander through neon lit streets. On the other hand, I visited zen temples, meditated in secluded gardens and hiked through bamboo forests. Yup, all in Japan.
Although I can totally understand why Japan can be a bit shocking at first, I can't imagine any traveler who wouldn't fall in love with this place. Vivid, fun and unusual are only a handful of words to describe Japan's true nature. Of course, seeing Japan as a whole is a must, but no trip can be complete without a few days in its futuristic capital, Tokyo.
Tokyo is the world's largest metropolis and as you can imagine, this means crazy busy. The shocking part is that although crowded, Tokyo won't agitate you, nor create any discomfort. Although yes, you will be surrounded by many people, Tokyo has many quiet side streets, zen temples and relaxing green spaces. One of the things I loved most about Tokyo is how softly everyone spoke to each other, hence there was no background chattering. To my surprise, it was more relaxing to walk around in crowded Shibuya then sip a coffee in a random neighbourhood in Paris.
If you are pressed for time, you can read how to spend 24 hours in Tokyo. It goes without saying, that if you can dedicate a week to Japan's capital, you should do so. Have a read on what epic neighbourhoods to visit. Being in the safest country in the world, I strongly suggest you explore things off the beaten track too. Don't be afraid to venture out, visit a quiet restaurant or spark a conversation with a Japanese person. Although the Japanese don't speak much English, people in general are very friendly and welcoming providing you too respect their customs and manners.
Overall, Tokyo is my favorite city destination in the world. Ditch your summer plans, pack your bags and visit Tokyo as soon as possible. I really can't wait to revisit and spend another month in Japan.