Tokyo Travel Guide

Tokyo, the capital of Japan and the city of all things amazing. It is a beautiful mix of old and new, living harmoniously together. I recently travelled to Japan with my boyfriend and we spent just under a month travelling the country, with over a week in Tokyo. It was such an amazing experience, this was my third time to Japan, and I can’t recommend it enough. Below are my top tips for places to go, food to eat, shopping and budget ideas so you can spend all your money at Disneyland.

Places to Visit:

There is so much to see in Tokyo, it can cater for just about everyone. There are some places around Tokyo that shouldn’t be missed.

tokyo travel guide

Tokyo Tower 

Tokyo Tower is a very popular spot to enjoy the skyline and countless skyscrapers of Tokyo. The red and white structure is unmissable at 332 meters. It has two different observation decks, the first at 150 meters, and the second at 249 meters. There are four levels of shops and restaurants to enjoy under the tower. Be sure to visit on a weekday or early to miss the busy crowds.

shibuya crossing

Shibuya Crossing

Where all the hustle and bustle of Tokyo converges in one place. Shibuya crossing is known as one of the busiest pedestrian crossings in the world. Enjoy the view from up high at surrounding cafes like Starbucks and L’Occitane Café. It’s located just by Shibuya train station for easy access. 

tokyo travel guide

Meiji Shrine

A break from the craziness, Meiji Shrine is a piece of quiet in the middle of Tokyo. Surrounded by a forested area, all you can hear are the cicadas in the trees, and the gravel beneath your feet. The shrine itself is dedicated to previous Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken. On the way to the shrine, enjoy the decorated sake barrels, and gardens.

Takeshita street

A popular street that encompasses Japanese teenagers, Takeshita street has many food and fashion shops. Located in Harajuku it’s the perfect spot for people watching, or some seriously insta-worthy sweets. It’s not far from Meiji Shrine and Omotesando, a popular area for luxury brand stores; so it makes Harajuku a great area to visit.

Food:

tokyo travel guide

Genki sushi

This place should be visited by all sushi lovers. Customers choose the sushi on a tablet; and zips out on a conveyor belt. This puts my local sushi train to shame! I really enjoyed this meal, but also as an experience. My favourite was the shrimp nigiri, but the California roll was a close second.

Pablo tarts

These delicious, light tarts are little pockets of magic. I couldn’t get enough of these on my trip. They come in plain cheese, chocolate and matcha.

tokyo travel guide

Santa Monica Crepes

All crepes are delicious in Tokyo, but I liked this place on Takeshita street due to its curb appeal and the variety of choices, both sweet and savoury. I picked the chocolate and banana option.

Wako

Located in the shopping mall Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Wako is a tonkatsu restaurant. Tonkatsu is a dish of pork cutlet, covered in panko bread crumbs and deep fried. We picked a set meal which comes with miso soup, rice and cabbage. The pork loin was so tender and perfectly cooked, it was one of the best meals of the whole trip. Don’t forget to try restaurants based in shopping centres or train stations, most restaurants are located on the top level or the basement and are extremely delicious (from experience).

Shopping:

When we went shopping we would pick one specialty store or area that we would want to go to and then anywhere else we visited was by passing it in the street. I found this to be really refreshing and fun. There are also many high quality shopping centres attached to train stations. Takashiyama, Isetan, and Seibu are some of the luxury shopping centres that we frequently spotted near train stations, or even attached to them. I would recommend picking an area of Tokyo, and just have a wander around. But here are some cool options to check out too.

tokyo travel guide

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku

This shopping centre has the most extra, over the top entrance I’ve seen. A kaleidoscopic mirror encases the escalator into the centre. These shops are mainly Japanese independent fashion stores but the clothes are so cute, and their accessories are unique and different. I bought my favourite purchase here on the last day of our trip. On the 6thfloor you can enjoy your coffee or beer (depending on the time of day) on the rooftop garden overlooking Harajuku.

Sunshine City

This shopping centre has it all. Not only is there four levels of shops, there’s an aquarium, planetarium and observation deck on the 60th floor. You could spend all day here! Did I mention J-World? It’s an indoor theme park based around One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. Plus, we had amazing tonkatsu here. This is the perfect place to visit, especially with kids.

Yodabashi Camera

Found in many large cities, Yodabashi is more than just cameras. Their many floors sell electronic goods like phones, computers, cameras but also a wide variety of toys, game consoles and luggage. I compare it to jb hifi, good guys, and a toy shop all combined on steroids. Many also have restaurants on the top floors along with fashion stores. Its any boys dream, or so my boyfriend says.

If You’re on a Budget:  

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Metropolitan Government building observation deck

For an excellent view of Tokyo, visit the Metropolitan Government Building. The building has two observation decks which are free. Located in Shinjuku, the views overlook landmarks like Meiji Shrine and Tokyo Tower.

100-yen shop

100-yen shops like Daiso are excellent for all those souvenir obligations. You can pick up cute items like magnets, keyrings and sweets. Most items come in at 108 yen, about $1.30 AUD so you can avoid the overpriced shops for items of the same quality.

Convenience stores

If you don’t want all your money to go on food, or hungry on the go; then convenience stores are your BFF. It feels like Family Mart, 7 Eleven, and Lawsons are on every street corner in Tokyo! Their onigiri, sandwiches and set meals are all really cheap and great quality. Be sure to check out the yummy ice creams they have as well.

Restaurants in shopping centres

Many shopping centres have 1 or 2 floors dedicated to restaurants of every cuisine. These restaurants are excellent because they’re not too expensive, and it’s delicious! Many also have plastic examples of their food in the windows so you know what sort of food they serve. It doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg to have a great meal.

Have you been to Tokyo? Where are your favourite places to go? Share them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Laura

5 (More) Ways to Easily Save Money

In a previous post I talked about how I struggled to adjust to a fortnightly payday, and started using different measures to ensure I could survive to the next payday.

The last few months I’ve been madly saving for a holiday (that I just cam back from) and using small tricks to ensure that I can still afford my living expenses and save most of my pay for my trip.

So here are 5 (more) ways to save money easily…

FIND THE BEST BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOU

It sucks when you have to pay the bank just have a bank account, but there are bank accounts out there that don’t have fees. If you’re loyal to your bank, ask to have them waived, theres no harm in asking. Just think about all that money thats wasted just paying fees, when it could go towards a year of Netflix or a new pair of shoes!

SAVE LOOSE CHANGE

Nowadays I don’t have much cash in my wallet, but when I do, I make sure to put all my small coins in a jar. Whether gold or silver coins, they can add up after a while of collecting them. I plan to collect and deposit the coins into my account once a year. Hopefully it quietly adds up over the year.

STICK TO A BUDGET

I decided to try a budget, and I knew that one on paper wasn’t for me. I stalked Pinterest for the perfect budget setup and came across blogger The Blissful Mind and had the best excel spreadsheet that helped me organise my pay. Of course, I adjusted it to suit my situation week to week, but the core basis of this budget is so helpful for me.

MEMBERSHIPS

Do you have unnecessary memberships lying around that you don’t use? Magazine, gym or otherwise? If you don’t use them, get rid of them! If left unused they can become a big money pit.

DECLUTTER YOUR CLOSET

Decluttering your closet is good for two things, making room in your wardrobe, and making money from selling clothes you don’t want anymore. Places like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace make it really easy to sell your belongings. If you don’t like the online option, there are always local markets like Gilles at the Ground where lots of people sell their clothes, along with vintage and other goodies.

I hope these tips help you in your pursuit to saving money, do you have any tips? Leave in the comments below

Thanks for reading,

Laura xx

Discount Diaries Christmas Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for giving! The christmas fever has set in and everyone is rushing to the shops. We all need a bit of help to find the perfect gift. If it’s for your sister, mum, secret santa or even yourself. The killer about gift giving and Christmas time, is the amount of money you spend on presents for your loved ones. I have compiled a list below of things that I would love as a gift based on price. I hope this helps or gives you the inspiration you need!

UNDER $25

These are great stocking fillers or gifts for secret santa. You don’t need to spend a lot to make an impact!

Typo Phone lens $5.00- $29.95 (lots of different filters, cheaper online than in store)

Myer Arnott’s Personalised Tim Tams $9.99

Kmart BYS Peach Eyeshadow Palette $12 (In store only!)

Cotton On Tolve Turkish Towel $15

Big W Turtles All the way Down, John Green $16

Mecca Maxima Too Faced Better than Sex ornament $17

David Jones Glasshouse fragrances triple scented mini candle Rio $18.95

Myer Lonely Planet best in Travel 2017 $20

Booktopia The Subtle Art of Not giving a F*ck $22.50

gift guide 2017 4

UNDER $50

These are perfect for your BFF or sister. Personalised items are becoming really popular, phones, purses, food, anything! The Candle Establishment was the official partner for Adelaide Fashion Festival this year and their candles smell amazing! The Bare Minerals trio are such beautiful colours as well.

Kikki.k 2018 A5 weekly diary: sweet $34.95

Mecca Maxima Bare Minerals Send Nudes Liquid Lipcolor Trio $41

Pandora Shinning stars earrings $45

Pandora Shimmering Wishbone ring $49

The Daily Edited Personalised Phone Case $49.95

The Candle Establishment Large Rose and Blackcurrant candle $49.95

Gift Guide 2017UNDER $100

A gift for yourself perhaps? Or a hint for your parents? With Summer coming a new pair of sunnies are a necessity. And who doesn’t want a pouch with their name on it?

66 The Label Silk Scarf $66

The Iconic Le Specs Jealous Games Sunglasses $69.95

Sportsgirl Circle Basket Sling Bag $79.95

Lush Christmas Bath Time Favourites $89.95

The Daily Edited Personalised Pouch $89.95

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OVER $100

Treat yourself for all the hard work you did this year. You deserve it. Si is divine, my favourite perfume ever, and that’s a bargain price! Hey mum, if you’re reading this can you get me the Dyson Hairdryer?

Mecca Maxima Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette Vol. 3 $117

Priceline Giorgio Armani Si Eu De Parfum 100ml $129

The Iconic The Horse The Original Watch $149

Mimco Daydream Hip Bag $199

David Jones Dyson supersonic hair dryer $499

The most important part is that the gift is thoughtful and comes from the heart. I would love to know your thoughts on this post.

*This post was not sponsored by anyone mentioned above, I generally love everything here. Although I’m too poor for a $500 hair dryer, one can dream right?

5 Ways To Easily Save Money

Sometimes things pop up and you need money fast- a birthday, unexpected bill, or you just really need to treat yourself with that dress that’s just gone on sale. So it’s important for you to find ways that suit your lifestyle and everyday expenses to save up for these things. Birthdays, holidays, credit cards and bills can dwindle your dollars faster than you can say ‘Merry Christmas’. Since I started getting paid fortnightly, I’ve been taking up simple ways to save money to make sure I live through the week.

Here are 5 easy things that you can do to save mega bucks over the year:

  1. Put money away once a week

This is probably the simplest way of saving money. Even if you put away $20 a week, you could save up to $1000 in a year Another good idea is to chuck all your coins in a tin, and you’ll be surprised how quickly it can all add up.

  1. Set up automatic transfers to another account

This is another easy way to put money away for a rainy day. Setting up automatic transactions is pretty easy nowadays. In store, online or via your banking app- you have nowhere to hide. You can put away as much as you want, and still access it easily in an emergency.

  1. Bring food and drinks from home

Bringing your own lunch and drinks with you can save you a lot of money pretty quickly. Make a cute salad, or make bigger portions for dinner and bring the leftovers for lunch. Either way, you’re saving yourself big bucks over time.

  1. cut down on coffee

Ok, this does sound a bit crazy, but, making your own coffee and bringing it with you in a reusable cup is super easy and budget friendly. There are some really cool designs out there; I really like KeepCup’s design because they’re really colourful, and T2’sthermos keeps my coffee warm for a long time.

  1. Make a budget

I found that since I started getting paid fortnightly, it’s been really helpful to make a budget, so I can track how much I’m spending. Using the 50/30/20 method (50% living, 30% lifestyle, 20% savings) has been a really useful tool. Even though I’m living pay to pay, it doesn’t feel like it, and I know exactly where my money is going.

I hope you find these tips helpful and can incorporate some into your lifestyle!

What do you do to save money? Thanks for reading lovelies!

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