On our last day we headed straight to Tsukiji market, for souvenir shopping. We had some nigiri donburi again (bowl of rice with raw fish on top) and headed back to the hotel to pack our stuff.
In Shimbashi, we visited the famous Nagakin Capsule Tower. This unique capsule hotel was built in the 70s, as a postwar hotel. The design is absolutely amazing and it’s quite a shame to see it a bit degraded.
Thank you all for the get well wishes and the suggestions! Really appreciate it!
After all the excitement at the Koshien we embarked on one of the first Shinkansen back to Tokyo, where we picked up our luggages at our wonderful Airbnb place and went to Mitsui Garden Hotel, where we had been before. The feeling of going back to Ginza only deepened the certainty that the trip was coming to an end, and it was bittersweet.
In Ginza we explored the neighbourhood and discovered even more wonderful places.
After being in Tokyo for a while we wanted to enjoy just being in the city, without any sort of agenda, so after trying to get tickets to the Ghibli Museum and failing miserably — we should have gotten it ages in advance (we *will* go back) — we decided to enjoy ourselves walking around Shibuya. We had ramen at the same place we had ramen for the very first time, we strolled around the neighbourhood a bit and settled on a bowling game — it was awesome.
We then headed to our own neighbourhood, Harajuku. We thought we had explored it pretty well last year but, alas, we found new very impressive venues. In just seconds, however, it started to pour down Japan-style (=very heavily) and we headed home. In just seconds everything went away and we went out for dinner at an izakaya that specialised in yakitori.
Everything was especially delicious that evening. Mainly because we decided (against previous plans) that we would head to Osaka a day before planned to go to the Universal Studios — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter had opened up just a few days before our arrival in Japan, and there are only two HP parks in the world (the other one is in Orlando), so we decided we should grab that opportunity and go — which meant we were only going to go back to our place in Harajuku two days after this evening, to pick up our bags and move to our hotel in Ginza. So it would be our last night in Harajuku (how I miss this place…!), which became a very special place for us, just like a second home.
Hope you enjoyed this one.
This is the craziest most awesome place in the whole world I believe. It could only have come out as a product of Japanese minds.
I intend to let the pictures speak by itself, because there are really no words that can accurately describe what that place is. But I’ll try.
In the heart of Kabuki-cho lies Robot Restaurant. Is it a restaurant? Is it a strip club? Is it a mecha-thing-place? A game shop? It’s all that and maybe more. Except a restaurant.
You start lining up with everybody else at the very flashy entrance, that has the two giant robot ladies that we saw the very first time strolling around the streets in Shinjuku.
Once in, the flashiness is so intense that you loose it. It all kind of a blur of different colours, animals, mirrors, lights and whatnot. We were so confused that we got lost. We went down a flight of stairs that had pretty girls in princess-mononoke-like masks sitting on each step, and when the stairs where done and I face forward (I was hypnotised by the girls) I see a big bulky robot, that turned around to reveal his bright green eyes.
After the initial shock we realised that we were not supposed to be there (no one said anything to us) so we went up the stairs and found the elevador that we were supposed to go in.
Once the elevador opens its doors we find ourselves in a humongous room with sea-shells giant chairs and glass opulent tables, were a girl in a minimal cat suit sat us. On our table – surprise! – a robot dinosaur that – surprise! – reacts to our touch. It behaves like a pet. And it’s creepy. And adorable. And creepy.
We have a drink and then start to hear music, violins and pianos and all of the sort, are being played by some very professional musicians that are somehow dressed like silver power rangers. It’s awesome.
And then we are directed to the true thing. The moment we had been eagerly waiting! A room lined up with chairs on both sides and completely dark. But there’s about to be light.
I’m pretty sure the entire show has a storyline, but it’s just very confusing and difficult to follow with SO MUCH going on. You have girls in drums facing more girls in drums, and then a pterodactyl appears and the robots as well and there’s a fight between good and evil and out of the jungle comes the Kung Fu Panda to save the day, but it’s actually a spider that kills the evil queen that is going to be eaten by the giant snake.
See what I mean? That’s not even half of it!
There isn’t much more I can say about the show, but even for some of you who are now thinking this is completely insane, yes, you are absolutely right. But it’s a right-kind of insane. You are absolutely engaged and in awe with every little detail you can get your eyes on. It’s an amazing and very unique experience, completely totally and utterly magnificent.
If you get a chance to go, don’t hesitate for even a second, go.
Back in July, on the 18th was Keoshi’s birthday, so we knew we had to push it to the limit, even if being in Tokyo was already pretty much doing that.
We strolled around Asakusa, bought a crazy amount of stuff, ending up with our hands full of bags right at the beginning of the day and just walked to the skytree area.
Besides the obvious places what I really love about Tokyo (and pretty much any city) is losing myself in it, and we know how to do that just right. The neighbourhoods we went through were amazing. Completely normal and average for Japan standards, but for us, totally awesome.
When we got to the skytree we went up and we saw a never-ending city from above, and that drew us in even more — so much to see, so much to get lost in!
The day was awesome, but what was about to come was even better…
Hope you enjoyed!
The first day back in Tokyo we headed out to try something very different — Ramen. Ah but not the usual kind of Ramen, a deconstructed Ramen.
The flavours were incredible, and I can still remember how decadent that fried chicken was, how it fell from the bone, how juicy and flavourful it was and so so crispy on the outside. The bowl of broth was also packed with deliciousness, but it was so fatty, that I could not finish it — it was the very first time I did not end a meal in Japan, I honestly felt a bit embarrassed, but I just couldn’t sip more of that thick broth.
It was definitely an awesome experience, and a new way of eating something so traditional in Japan. Definitely a place to go back to.
After a quick stroll around Akihabara, we went to Ueno, and back to Akihabara (yay for JR passes!).
In Ueno we strolled around Ueno park trying to spot Shinobazu pound. It was tough to spot because it didn’t really look like a pound, due to the huuuuge water-lilies growing all over the water. It was so so beautiful.
We then went back to Akihabara, for another stroll.
Hope you enjoyed!
I don’t know how to play baseball, I’ve never watched a baseball game, I never held a baseball hat… But I’ve read enough baseball mangas to get a feel of the game. Hanshin Tigers and the Koshien stadium where no strangers to me, ever since I was a teenager, so being able to sit there and watch this game was incredible. It was definitely one of the high points of our trip. We had great fun , we suffered until the very end, and we won, the very last minute. Just like in a manga!
We have to thank Atsuko once again, because she was the one who bought us tickets and took us to the stadium. We had a terrific time!
Words cannot really convey how much I miss Tokyo.
Sometimes it feels surreal that I was in all those places just a few weeks ago…