Friday, 22 November 2013

Japan 2013 #5

Boy. This is going to be a mouthful. Basically, Daimon, Tokyo Tower, Asakusa, Ueno, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro And Akihabara. 

So it's Saturday. With the DisneyS out of the way, we continue on our quest to explore Tokyo. As it turns out, our hotel's pretty close to Tokyo Tower and on our walk there we end up at a Starbucks and have some breakfast + coffee.

Along the way, we end up at a huge temple at Daimon, called Zojiji Temple. Well, it's not huge like Asakusa is but it's still pretty big. And nice. And unlike Asakusa, it's pretty tranquil. Managed to get a nice photo sphere of the place, which is a thing I like to do and pretty much only really properly viewable on google at the moment. 

Then we headed to Tokyo Tower. We would have tried Skytree as well but their tickets require advance reservation and are generally very hard to get. Can't say too much about Tokyo Tower, because it's a  Tower. 

I'm generally not too impressed by them but hey, the party was going to go and we all know you don't split the party. This line is especially important later on...

So with Tokyo Tower done, we head down to Asakusa for a look at the main temple and also for lunch. Asakusa temple is HUGE and is packed with loads of people. It doesn't help that strangely enough, they had a sporting festival there as well. 

Oh and trained monkeys.So there's that as well. We had a quick bite there and then we headed down to Ueno to visit their park. 

Ueno Park is probably one of the largest parks in Tokyo. The Ueno zoo with the Pandas are also right inside the Park premises. That's generally how big it is. There's also a bunch of shrines and temples inside the park. 

Didn't really like the lake too much though. It was filled with dying lotus flowers, which really made it seem very unappealing. After which, we headed to the shopping streets of Ueno, which were packed with tons of people. It didn't sell much high-end stuff and was really more of a discount place and it also had a surprisingly high number of kebab stores. 

Then afterwards, it was down to Shinjuku and then Ikebukuro for more shopping, both window and otherwise. All in all, a pretty busy day and very tiring considering we walked a lot. Interesting thing though, while we were having dinner at Ikebukuro, the ground started shaking suddenly. At first we were wondering what was going on then we noticed the lights were shaking as well. Then we realised it was an earthquake. Meanwhile, the Japanese next to us were totally relaxed and going on with their normal life, eating and cooking the food. 

The next day, we were off to Akihabara. I generally like going to Akihabara on Sunday because the roads are closed. We went off a bit earlier than normal because we were supposed to meet someone at 12.30 at the station because they wanted my help to get a used old-version PS Vita, and we wanted to grab lunch before that. 

As usual, Akihabara is filled with maid cafes and they're still duking it out for customers. So we walk around, grab lunch and turns out the person is late. We get a call from them and we head over to the station to meet them only to discover, they're still waiting for one more of their party members to come. So we end up waiting another 15 mins more... 

Then they walk off while my partner is looking at a camera and deciding whether buy it or not. They wander off into a several floor building which I have no interest in because it's not what I consider 'the good' stuff so I entertain myself with the shops down at the bottom while waiting for them to come out. After a while, someone goes up to look for them but can't find them. Awesome.

Anyway, we wander around Akihabara for a bit more before heading to Shibuya later at night. Not too much has changed around Akihabara but one of my favourite shops closed down apparently. Granted, I only come to it once every few years but still....
There's not too much to say about Shibuya. It's big, filled with people and stores and 'other' stuff. Also, they won't let me buy a Nexus 5 in Japan because all the stores selling it require you to sign up for a contract as well. Dammit.