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Two weeks in J A P A N :: a photo diary. Kyodo, Airbnb loft life and tentatively exploring Shinjuku.

A few days ago I returned home from the Great Chai Sibling Holiday to Japan. In between jet lag and puppy-lag(!!), I've only just had time to get my head around a lengthy holiday and sift through my photo reel. It seems we booked some cheaper flights (transfers in Paris and Seoul on the way there and an 8-hour layover in Paris on the way back) in exchange for our sleep health and sanity! Coffee in hand, though, and I'm ready to share some tales from Tokyo.

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We stayed in an Airbnb - this beautiful and compact loft apartment - in Kyodo, nicely situated in a western district of Tokyo and wasted no time in getting settled in and familiar with our home away from home.

The shopping street was particularly lovely and photogenic, full of ramen, yakitori, gyoza and takoyaki restaurants, whilst the winding roads home left me feeling like a heroine of my favourite anime.

Daisybrother even packed his slippers! Such old man vibes.

Needless to say, jet lag got the better of us as we landed on Sunday afternoon and we utterly failed to head out and "explore" like we'd planned. We darted out to FamilyMart, our closest convenience store, bought instant noodles and recouped at the apartment. YUM.

Our first full day, consequently, was devoted to heading to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka and beginning our chase for sakura. We weren't allowed to take photographs inside which helps to truly keep the magic of it all but I can confirm that if you're a Studio Ghibli fan, you'll absolutely adore the experience. It takes around 2/3 hours to immerse yourself in everything in a leisurely manner and you can book tickets here. Be sure to book super early (I'm talking months) if you're planning to visit!

Afterwards, we decided that we were fairly hungry after all and headed to Shinjuku in search for some food.

Now, I'm going to be completely honest with you here and admit that I can't read or write Japanese so I'm unsure of how many restaurant recommendations I'll be able to make, despite having eaten very well on our holiday. And of course, we just had to try a ramen restaurant that featured a vending machine order service. Yep! Social anxiety sufferers, assemble!

Shinjuku is a bustling district full of commuters and shoppers. It's the station that we arrived at to switch for many lines so we decided to get familiar with it as soon as possible. Oh ho ho, how we were mistaken! Shinjuku became our nemesis.

Regardless, we had a fun time on our first day doing an impromptu visit of the Hanazono Shrine, a beautifully colourful Buddhist establishment.

We concluded our first day with a delicious helping of yakitori (food on skewers!) and cosied up at home, sleepy af but happy.

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