JAPAN – My first trip abroad (Tokyo)

On the way to Tokyo

After a great day in Narita, on the second day, we had breakfast then checked out to move to Tokyo by bus. Vietnam delegation was arranged to go on the same bus with Thai contingent. To express our friendliness, we sang the Christmas song for Thai. The song really broke the ice and made the start for nearly 1-hour singing on the bus. 2 groups took turn to give the other the traditional songs and sometimes all of us raised voice together.


Center for Youth Exchange

Our luggage was moved directly to Tokyo Dome Hotel by another bus while we visited Youth Exchange Center. In there, we had a chance to meet high officials of YEC and find out about the operation of the center. After some speeches, we raised our glass then ”kampai” (“cheer” in Japanese) – of couse there was no alcohol, just soft drink 😀



Part of Environment Group
Part of Environment Group



The schedule for the afternoon was city tour and Vietnam delegation hed to Asakusa because we chose that destination before. That was my first time to travel by subway. It’s just so fantastic!!

In a station
Waiting for a train


Train ticket
On the train

We first came to Sensoji, a very famous Buddhist temple in Japan. Because that time was the end of the year, there were many people coming to visit or pray. On about 1 km from the gate to the temple was there a wide range of stores, shops with different products, especially traditional food (eg: rice cake) and souvenirs. 1482217_10201818719244026_1459444844_o1507360_10201670735022523_476171328_oImmersed in Japanese style, sis Y and I even took the smoke from the incense to our head like Japanese did (they believe that this helps them be smarter) 453There were only 20 min for us in the temple. Later on, when gathering with the whole group, I realized that I even did not go to inside the temple where there are Buddhist statues. Some bought rice cakes but I did not buy anything, though, all the souvenirs really captured my eyes. They are too expensive, I have to say. 300¥ for a pair of chopsticks. “This is tourism spot so it is hard to find cheap stuffs. I can have better price in supermarkets. And now is just second day. 8 days left are enough for me to go shopping”, I thought.

Japanese wooden dolls
Japanese wooden dolls
A kind of transport for tourists in Asakusa, like cyclo in Hanoi

12312345BeFunky_IMG_3050.jpgLeaving Sensoji, we walked to Sky Tree which is nearby. This one replaced Tokyo Tower to be the highest tower in Japan.

In fact, the tower is a shopping center with many famous brands. Higher floors are cinemas and restaurants. To go to the top, we will have to pay for a short visit by escalator. The price is affordable, however, limitation of time did not allow us to go there.

I took advantage of the time for sightseeing and photo taking. I saw a view which is repeated many times on TV like Holywood movies. Hundred of people queued up in front of a brand store. When the clock counted down to zero, the door opened then they flooded inside to find a product. Well, Christmas time, sale season 🙂
I also happened to see some small live music performances around the tower. They were all about Noel and New Year.
988436_10201893006941172_1701932902_nWhen we prepared to return the hotel, Huyen was found to be missing. She may get lost and follow Japanese culture, we won’t go any where until we find her. Luckily, 1.30 hour later, bro Duc saw Huyen wandering and he called her back.  We moved to Tokyo Dome Hotel tiredly and saw the organizers were waiting for us worryingly.

Tokyo Dome Hotel

The second hotel I had a chance to stay is Tokyo Dome Hotel, one of the most famous and luxurious hotels of Japan. Despite spending only 1 night there, I still realized the high quality service, from room, meals to attitude of staffs.

View from my room

Before travelling to Japan, my classmates highly recommended me to visit Tokyo Dome for its breathtaking views. However, because of tight fixed schedule, I did not have chance to go inside and just saw it from my room. At the night in Tokyo Dome Hotel, I chose to drop by Akiba with the hope that I can buy a camera for myself. Akiba is nearer Tokyo Dome Hotel than Prince Hotel, where I stayed for the final days, so that is why I wanted to visit Akiba immediately, instead of Dome.1493602_10200626913390225_283919558_o

The last morning in Tokyo Dome Hotel
The last morning in Tokyo Dome Hotel

Akihabara (Akiba)

I went to Akiba 2 times, both to buy a camera. However, in the first time visiting with bros in my delegation, unluckily I could not find a suitable shop in spite of nearly 2 hours just wandering around. After the first time returning in vain, in the second time, there was a Japanese friend accompanied me so I can easily bought a new camera at low price.
Akiba is hometown of my Japanese friend, Shinji so thanks to his help, I was not lost in Akiba again
Akiba is the hometown of my Japanese friend, Shinji, so thanks to his help, I was not lost in Akiba again

Generally speaking, Akiba is like a busy district with a wide range of shops and markets. Although I had searched about this place carefully in Vietnam, when reaching here, I was still overwhelmed by its large scale and abundance. Not only is it a big market for technology products but there were many restaurants, CD shops and game centers.


When returning with other Vietnamese delegates in Tokyo after 3 days of local visit in Tottori prefecture, I had a short shopping time in Shibuya. As far as I know, this is a famous shopping center with reasonable price, different from Ginza, which was a luxurious center. We first hed to a Zara building. Though Zara products here are cheaper in Vietnam, they are still not affordable to me. I tried to take advantage of 20 min given to wander around as many shops as I can before reuniting with my delegation. After that, the guys went to a shop for men while all the girls moved to Forever 21, a famous brand with reasonable price for young people. 1507351_10200638849848629_234214708_oThe Forever 21 building has 6 floors and just only it can take us more than 1 hour to discover so visitng Shibuya for over 2 hours were not enough for me to buy some clothes. This is Shibuya intersection, one of the most busiest crossing in the world. When the lights in all direction turn red, traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides. The green light lasted for only more than 1 minutes but we still tried to capture this moment by photo.15-sv-uu-tu-dai-dien-viet-nam-tham-du-hoi-nghi-sv-nhat-ban--asean

After taking this picture, we found out that sis Phuong was missing. It was 45 minutes since the last time we had seen her so we backed to Zara building, where we promised to gather, in the hope that we can meet her there. However, she was not there. Luckily, after 20 min going around, we happened to see her in front of Starbuck. We even shouted out because of being too excited. How lucky we was!


It was 11 p.m and the whole did not have dinner. We nearly could not go anymore with the empty stomach so enjoying dinner in a restaurant was decided.
Many menus for our choice
Many menus for our choice

We dropped by a ramen restaurant. The noodle and other dishes looked tasty but because my appetite does not match Japanese food, I could not finish my bowl no matter how hard I tried. Instead, I brought fried chicken to my room and enjoyed it later. 883238_10200638859968882_42389474_o


This is where I visited in the last day before returning to Vietnam, with sis Y and a group of Japanese friends. Harajuku, like Green Market in Hanoi, is a small area with a wide range of products at low price, from clothes, souvenirs to stuffs for students.


 Started moving at 6 p.m, we first went to a 100Y shop then had dinner in a Japanese hot pot restaurant. To be frank, I am not a person for Japanese cuisine so I ordered a Korean style hot pot with spicy flavour.
Spicy hot pot
Spicy hot pot


24After dinner, I implemented one of the most important missions given by mom: buying a coat for Chip. We dropped by a Forever 21 shop again (this building is different from that in Shibuya). I soon found 2 coats which made me pleased and took money out of wallet for them. Dinner took us more time than I thought and because we had to submit our passport before 10 p.m, I did not have enough time to visit Uniqlo as planned.

Tokyo Prince Hotel and nearby

I stayed at Prince Hotel for nearly half of the program, from day 5 to day 10. Compared with Tokyo Dome Hotel, Prince has only 4 stars, is smaller and less luxirious. However, one point making me like Prince is that wifi is available even inside each room while in Dome, only lobby has wifi.IMG_0141 1487387_459078427537218_496130189_nNear the hotel is a temple whose name I don’t know. We visited it for few minutes on the last day and had many great photos.
Going further we can see a park with a lot of yellow-leaf trees. Sis Y, bro Long and I skipped the lunch to take photos there 😛

PicMonkey Collage

A great night

Deciding to try Sake, Japanese particular alcohol, at least one time, we went to a small restaurant near the hotel. I ordered hotpot which was super delicious, especially after several days I had not had any hot food and 1 bottle of Sake. It is more expensive than I thought, 400Y for a big one which is just about 500 ml.

Tokyo Tower 

Tokyo Tower is very near Prince Hotel and I can see it right from my room.

3626_754552291230804_251399527_n I even went to its foot where I can see it at closed view. That’s why I found out that the foot of the tower was in construction. Going to the top is also available but I did not have time for a visit.996696_628584480512728_1928870267_nThanks to the reminder of other people, I realized that this is the tower often appearing in Doraemon, where Nobita has a fight (if I am not wrong :D)

Mielparque Tokyo

Just a few minutes from Prince Hotel by walking, this is the venue for opening ceremony.


TKP Akasaka

Where we had group discussions, photo session, closing ceremony and farewell lunch.

…then presented
With First Ladies of ASEAN, Mrs. Abe in the blue sweater was right front of me
With Mrs. Tran Thanh Kiem, spouse of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung



 Tokyo big sight


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