Let me start by saying I have never lived in a city…then I decided to live in one of the biggest cities in the world. For 3 months my husband and I decided to become city slickers in Tokyo.
First, we had to find somewhere to live but it was difficult to figure out where exactly in Tokyo we wanted to live. It was also abit difficult to find accommodation for a couple as most apartments in Japan are the size of shoe boxes. To be honest we had really no idea so we just picked one of the stations on the popular train line (Yamanote line) and ending up living in Otsuka. It was a great place to live! It was filled with hidden izakayas and ramen restaurants. It was just the right amount of bustling you needed for your local area.
Tokyo is definitely what it looks like in movies. It is the city that never sleeps. There’s a convenient store on every corner, vending machines every 200m, people everywhere, trains flying past every minute and the constant smell of ramen fills the air. There is always something to do and somewhere to go. I felt that there were no weekends and weekdays, it all just merged together and it was just days and nights.
Next on our ‘to do’ list was to get a part-time job. There was surprisingly a lot of jobs advertised on Craigslist looking for English teachers without any Japanese skills required. We didn’t need any qualifications, we just had to be native English speakers. So we both decided to apply as English teachers and within one week we got jobs. We were both teaching kids from the ages of 3-15 years old at an English language school. We both loved it! It was a great experience and loved every minute of it. I even got to do some Personal Training in Tokyo! I found a client on Craigslist looking for a Personal Trainer to train at her local gym twice a week. It was perfect!
So what did we do in our spare time?
Here was our top 10 ten must-do’s in Tokyo.
- We went to a lot of language exchange meet ups where they would host it at a bar or even at parks. It was a great way to meet new people and practice our Japanese.
- Go to all-you-can-drink restaurants. Our favorite one was in Shibuya called Marukin. They had a self-pour bar for $15 for 2 hours and $1 yakitori’s (chicken skewers)!! 🍻
- Go to karaoke. Sing songs and all you can drink for 1 hour for $10 per person. You can’t go wrong!🎤
- Rented bicycles. Rode around Tokyo especially through Yoyogi Park.🚴🏼♀️
- Going to game arcades called Taito Station. We loved playing the medal game and Mario Karts Racing.🎮
- Having a beer and playing pool at Bagus (they are everywhere in Tokyo). You can play pool, darts and table tennis there.🏓
- Eating $1 sushi plates at Genki Sushi in Shibuya. A must-must-do! 🍣
- Walking through every level of Don Quijote (the biggest discount store in Japan) looking at all the weird things they sell.🤔
- Buying cheap clothes from Shimokitazawa. Heaps of thrift shops with great brands! There’s a shop called Stick Out were everything inside is $7!👚
- Eating all-you-can-eat Mexcian at Tex Mex Factory in Shibuya. On weekdays from 11:30am till 3pm you can stay as long as you want for only $15!🌮
We gained new experiences, new friends, and a new culture. So you can say we had a great time living in Tokyo and would go back in a heartbeat. ❤️
Tokyocheapo – The best Tokyo guide
Borderless House – Accommodation in Japan