For those who aren't following me on Instagram, I have just come home from spending a couple of weeks frolicking around Japan! This was a pretty big deal for me as the last time I went overseas I was a three-year-old. I had been wanting to explore and travel for so long but fear and finances held me back. Not anymore! This trip was the scariest and most rewarding of my life and I'm pretty excited to share a few photos with you. ("A few" is probably a lie. I'm currently trying to cull from 500+.) The plan is to spread them out over a few blog posts. Welcome to the first.

Looking down on Tokyo from the Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku. Free entry, great views. Recommended.

The trip started in Tokyo. Well, actually, it started at 4am on a Thursday morning outside my apartment with my boyfriend perched on his four-wheeled suitcase and riding it down the hill while we waited in the cold for the airport shuttle bus to collect us. But anyway. Tokyo.

Six days is not enough time to explore anywhere, let alone a city as big and as colourful as Tokyo, but I had a nice little taste of it.

Shinjuku is where we stayed while we were in Tokyo, about five minutes walk from the heart of the city. It was probably my favourite part of Tokyo - the bright lights, the endless laneways, the streets and streets of shops and restaurants. Shinjuku was basically what I had imagined Tokyo to be: busy and loud. Kevin and I spent our first full day there just wandering around the place on a whim, discovering parks and shops and letting ourselves explore where our feet took us. We wandered through a many-floored department store and found a garden park and playground right at the top of the building. In the sky! A garden! It was a lovely place to sit out in the sun with a green tea ice cream, admiring the gorgeous flowerbeds with the busy streets far below.

Later that night we met up with some friends who were visiting at the same time - got tipsy on peach sake (500¥ from 7/11 - about $6AU!), ate our weight in ramen noodles, had many more drinks in various tiny bars in Golden Gai, showed off our drunk karaoke skills in a building disguised as a castle, played a game of bowling because why not, and ended up on the street stuffing our faces with very hot takoyaki in an attempt to sober up. Oh, Tokyo, how I loved you already.

The next morning we met up with my friend Roschelle (aka Doschh) and her partner. After a yummy udon lunch, Doschh took me to Sekaido, a six-floor art shop filled with many magnificent things. We spent a good portion of our money while the boys played video games in one of Shinjuku's many arcades. Doschh and I also explored other shops - Forever 21, Zara, Uniqlo, much to the annoyance of our partners. So worth it - Japanese Forever 21 has a basement floor dedicated to Harajuku-style clothing and accessories in various pastel shades of blue, purple and pink. Not to mention the metallic and holographic items which had my eyes turning into little pink heart emojis. This was also the day I had sashimi for the very first time. It was... okay. I didn't hate it, I didn't love it. Sorry to disappoint. The salmon was my favourite, though the tuna was doable as well. That night, we were too tired to go out and find real food so our dinner was a feast of microwaved pizza and rice balls from 7/11. No regrets.

On Sunday we realised we were running out of time, so we hit a few Tokyo essentials in the one day: Yoyogi park, Harajuku, Shibuya and Akhibara. The park was beautiful, especially the Meiji shrine.

Being cute with my boy @ Yoyogi park.

Gorgeous tree within the Meiji shrine with prayers left by visitors.

Harajuku was incredible, though we didn't spend much time there. It's one of the places I desperately want to go back to. Whilst in Harajuku, both Kevin and I splurged on souvenir Japan jackets and had "pizza" which was really just dough with three centimetres of stringy cheese piled on top!

Takeshita Street - the main street of Harajuku. Here's where you'll find all the wacky shops and restaurants.

In Shibuya, we saw the Hachiko dog statue and the famous crossing and wandered around a few shops. It was underwhelming, to be honest. I wasn't very interested in Shibuya. Maybe I didn't see the right things.

I quite enjoyed Akhibara, though! The main street had been closed off to cars, probably because it was a weekend. Wandered around, played with some owls at a cafe, attempted to find an empty photobooth in multiple arcades - no luck. Caught the train home feeling tired and happy after a very busy day.

Akhibara @ Golden Hour.

That night we met up with Kevin's cousin (who lives in Tokyo) and her boyfriend for a delicious all-you-can-eat Japanese hotpot experience. It was gooooood. I don't know what they put in those chicken meatballs, but I want some.

Our last two days in Tokyo were spent at Disneyland and DisneySea. This was my first time at a Disney park of any kind, so I was pretty excited, but I had mixed results. At Disneyland I liked: Soy sauce popcorn, the shop dedicated to Winnie The Pooh merchandise, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (#romance), and the typical fireworks above the castle. Did not like: getting sunburnt, long queues, my sore feet and the 12-hour day.

DisneySea was an improvement on the previous day, partially because I liked the park better and partially because I had armed myself with sunscreen this time. Highlights: the whole of Port Discovery (Nemo!!!!!), Mermaid Lagoon, the Journey to the Centre of the Earth ride and having a beer topped with blue glitter. Only at Disneyland, I swear.

The next morning we hopped on a bullet train to Osaka... but more on that later. ;)

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