Japan Travel Junkie Diary of

Saleh Al Braik

Sunday, January 5, 2014
Saleh Al BraikLike0

Saleh Al Braik, president of Think Up, speaks with Travel Junkie Diary on his trip that inspired him the most so far. Think Up is an Emirati-Run PR Agency that sets on creating media campaigns that attract the Emirati Market. “We aim to inspire the masses with modern & fresh campaigns that engage the minds of the Emirati community.”

Here is his diary

Destination Tokyo, Japan.

I decided on Tokyo because I went their with expectations of what I was going to see. Everyone tells you never to expect because you’re lining yourself up for disappointment, however, with Tokyo that wasn’t the case. I was blown away by their hospitality, their culture, their food, their sights & most of all the people. Tokyo is a place that I wouldn’t mind visiting over & over again.

Stayed in  Hilton in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

I stayed in a standard executive room. The reason I chose this hotel was because most people who have visited Tokyo told me that the sizes of the rooms there are quite smaller compared to rooms in other hotels in other countries. I made sure that wasn’t the case, because a friend of mine was staying in another hotel nearby & although paid the same rate, ended up in a much smaller space.

The great thing about the hotel though is that the Metro station is directly connected to it underground & so I could basically go anywhere in Tokyo in just under 30 minutes.

Month June & August

In your suitcase I went to Tokyo during the hotter months in Summer. What was in my suitcase was mostly shorts, & light short-sleeved shirts. I didn’t carry any winter-themed clothes like jackets etc. Most of the things were light, Loafers, jeans for night-outs & so on.

Shopped at The majority of my shopping took place at Ginza. That place is massive. Like I said earlier, each of their stores were not your ordinary store. Each brand had an entire building designed with their theme & sold all of their clothes on all floors. They had a 12 floor Gucci building that was designed entirely with the Gucci logo. It’s crazy, but extremely fun to witness!

Diary I’m one of those guys that would carry a “100 Things to do in Tokyo” kind of book. I basically planned my day very efficiently, I wanted to see everything Tokyo had to offer & experience new things. If I had to give a walk through of what my trip looked like, it was basically spent in the areas the book told me to visit.

I made sure I went to visit a fair share of local parks, one of the greater ones was the Imperial Palace. It is situated in the heart of Tokyo & also has a park in the heart of it where you can walk through it all & admire the beauty of what the Palace had to offer. By just walking through you are automatically transported into another world & it is truly a great experience. Other parks do exist around the city, & I’d advice at least visiting this one & another.

I also managed to visit the Electronic District (Akahabara), & Harajuku. These areas are really cool because you get to see every gadget that has been made by man, & then move yourself to an area where Anime comes to life. Everyone in Tokyo loves to dress up as characters from movies, cartoons, & animes, but the best part about Harajuku is that’s where you can get your costumes from & see the most of them hanging around.

Other tourist things I would do of course would be to visit Ginza, the mega-shopping district where every brand would have a 13-floor building dedicated entirely to itself. We went to Rippongi, which was another shopping district. I tried my best to visit as many local food outlets, & those were mainly scattered around.

Of course, at the end of it all, I had to make a stop at Disneyland & Disney Sea. Both mega-sized theme parks in my opinion (& I have been to every Disneyland in the World), is the closest one that competes with Florida. It was even better than LA, Paris & Hong Kong combined!

Dined at To be honest, the best restaurant I tried in Tokyo was Wolfgang Puck’s Express Restaurant. The cuisine here was in no way Japanese, but more American, but I can proudly say that it is surely the best burger I have ever eaten! I had not dined at the hotel, however, the Hilton has a space right next door that is a mini food-plaza. The restaurants there were all local, with the exception of a McDonalds, but the cuisine was all-international. I would spend my mornings at a local diner there, with your regular pancakes & oatmeal, & at night if I weren’t bothered to leave the premises, I would dine at this local Japanese restaurant where the Sushi is probably the best I’ve ever tried.

Tip If I were to give anyone a tip, it would be to buy a book called “100 Things to do in Tokyo” or even a “Top 10 Things to do in Tokyo”. These books, although very wordy, come in very handy for first time travelers. I use them as a guide of where I’d like to go & visit & see, & they also have a great section about what to expect when it comes to religion, culture, the do’s & don’ts when you’re at a restaurant & more.

A few more tips would be to remember that tipping isn’t allowed in Japan. Whenever you’re handing money over, you have to give the notes over with two hands & place it on a money tray. Do not hand over the money directly to them because that is disrespectful. Other than those two main tips, have fun! The people there are very friendly, & even if you are lost ask them for help. It is a non-english speaking country primarily, but you’ll be surprised by how far they would go to help you find your destination or communicate.

The main thing that influenced me there was how well organized & respectful the community there is. The people there are so disciplined. Everyone is in queues, they always say thank you & you’re welcome. Nobody is in a hurry, they honestly look like they are very well organized & above all respectful to you by not staring, or shouting, or even scolding.

Mode of Travel Emirates Airlines

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