Japan

2017 Japan Tokyo Yarakucho Station Sunset | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

09 | Tokyo | Sumida River, Minato Park and Yarakucho

Sumida River, Minato Park and Yarakucho

We left Tsukiji Fish Market and cycled along the Sumida River. The afternoon sun provided warm light and made the many different buildings of the city look somewhat soft. Only at the end of the park did we see the sign that said it is not allowed to ride bicycles. Fortunately there was nobody around, so we luckily didn’t offend anybody. We returned them near Yarakucho Station and took the Metro back Nogizaka Station, where we started our journey in the morning.

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Japan Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market | Travel Photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

08 | Tokyo | Tsukiji Fish Market

Tsukiji Fish Market

Sometimes you are very lucky without knowing. The first time this happened to us was when we visited the New York World Trade Center twin-towers in 2000. A year later they were gone. 17 years later this happened again, when we visited the Tsukiji Fish Market in May 2017. Little did we know that it would be closed and relocated to Toyosu Market in October 2018. Looking back, I feel very happy that I had the chance to see the traditional fish market, which opened in 1935.

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2017 Japan Tokyo Hibiya Park Food Festival | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

07 | Tokyo | Hibiya Park Food Festival

Hibiya Park Food Festival

The previous days’ tour de force took it’s toll. We slept a lot longer than planned and woke up late and very hungry. The Metro took us to Yarakucho station, where we hired some bicycles and started our journey. As luck would have it, there was a food festival in Hibiya Park. How convenient!

2017 Japan Tokyo Shibuya Crossing at Night | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

06 | Tokyo | Shibuya Crossing

Shibuya Crossing

We arrived at the world famous Shibuya crossing, locked our bikes and (thanks to a top secret info) immediately went upstairs to see it from above. I’m not going to disclose it here, but if you’re interested you can of course ask me how to get up there. Looking down at the not-so-busy crossing, I realized that I had just made a childhood dream come true. Ever since seeing a picture of this intersection for the first time, I wanted to go there and see it with my own eyes. Tired eyes at this time of the night, but very happy ones. 🙂

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2017 Japan Tokyo Tower at Night | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

05 | Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

Aimed with a snack and a plain but very tasty rice ball, we made our way to the Tokyo Tower but didn’t go up to the viewing platform. Instead we opted to go and see the famous Shibuya crossing at night. On our way to Shibuya we found several food trucks, but postponed it to another day and cycled on.

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2017 Japan Tokyo World Trade Center Happy Window | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

04 | Tokyo | World Trade Center

World Trade Center, Tokyo Tower and the Skyline at night

The Ginza Parade left us hungry and we went to find something to eat. Japan is a perfect country to be hungry, because most corner shops also offer a variety of delicious hot food at very affordable prices. We sat on a bench and thought the yellow mini-skyscraper across the street looked like half a dozen European garages stacked on top of each other and wondered where the staircase might be hidden. Real estate sure is in short supply here and therefore the Japanese even stack parked bicycles in a clever and efficient way to save space.

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2017 Japan Tokyo Ginza Parade | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

03 | Tokyo | Ginza Parade

Flag JapanGinza Parade

Driving from the Tokyo Station towards the shopping district Ginza, we saw a huge crowd and wondered what was going on. The timing couldn’t have been better, as the opening ceremony of the 2017 Ginza Parade was just about to begin.

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2017 Japan Tokyo Imperial Palace East Gardens | travel phootgraphy by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

02 | Tokyo | Imperial Palace East Gardens

Flag JapanImperial Palace East Gardens

Upon arriving at the Imperial Palace East Gardens, we tried to park our bicycles but one of the guards told us that it is unfortunately illegal to park bicycles at the garden perimeters. Well then, we improvised and stored them in an underground parking across the street. Back at the Hirakawa Gate we smiled at the guard and he let us in after we paid the entrance fee. We thanked him and went to explore the Imperial Gardens.

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2017 Japan Tokyo Chiyoda Hie Shrine | travel photography by Sebastian Motsch (2017)

01 | Tokyo | Hie Shrine

Flag JapanThe Hie Shrine in Chiyoda

After a healthy breakfast in a typical Japanese corner restaurant, we hired bicycles at a hotel nearby and set off to explore the megacity Tokyo. The friendly and very courteous staff gave us a map with the hire stations and marked the point where we started, so we could find our way back later on. As on most of our travels, we didn’t bring a tourist book to follow. Instead, we love to explore and decide at every intersection by gut feeling whether to go left, right or straight.

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