Japan on my mind: This is what we missed in Tokyo during this Olympics

Japan will forever be a memorable country for weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz who won the first gold medal for our country in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics and made all her dreams come true. But for most of us mortals, just traveling as a tourist in Japan is already a dream come true and something that most of us want to experience in our lifetime.

Here are some of the places in Tokyo that you must visit once foreign tourists are allowed once again in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Feel Tokyo’s old vibe at Sensoji Temple

Sensoji Temple is the oldest and most tourist-friendly temple in Tokyo.  Located at Asakusa, it’s so famous that before the pandemic, this temple and its surroundings are always packed with foreign and local tourists. Another must-do when going to Sensoji Temple is to shop for goods and souvenirs, and to eat street food at Nakamise, a 200-meter shopping street that leads to the old temple.

See Japanese anime and games come to life at Akihabara

If you are looking for Japanese electronics, then Akihabara is the place to be for gadgets, computer games, and other electronic devices. The buildings are colorful here because of the several Japanese gaming ads and electronic billboards. There are also plenty of cosplayers in anime costumes walking in the street, which makes the vibe of this area very youthful. Pre-pandemic, visitors here are usually the kids and young adults.

Cross the busiest and famous Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing has become an icon and has appeared in several international movies. Therefore, every tourist must experience it and be overwhelmed with the number of people crisscrossing the road in different directions while all cars are waiting. And after that thrilling walk, visit the monument of Japan’s famous and beloved dog Hachiko, which is just a few meters away from Shibuya Crossing.

Watch a life-size robot move at Odaiba

Japan is known not only for its unique culture and architecture but also for its technological advances in the field of robotics. The Gundam Statue, located at Odaiba, is another must-see attraction for tourists since it is perfect render of the Gundam anime.  It delights visitors with its head moving and featuring light and smoke projections, which is so amazing to watch. In the same area, you can also see the Rainbow Bridge and a replica of the Statue of Liberty.

These are just some of the many tourist attractions in Tokyo which you should include in your travel itinerary once Japan reopens its country for tourists. For now, let’s cheer for our Filipino athletes in the Tokyo Olympics and, most importantly, pray for the pandemic to end.

Author’s note: Special thanks to James Anthony Soliman, one of my travel companions, who took these photos during our trip to Tokyo in 2018.