Wednesday, November 24, 2010

4 Days Trip to Tokyo Japan: Things To Do And Food Eat

 love Japan and what it has to offer. Tokyo has always been on a must visit destination for me and it does indeed has lots of interesting stuff!

The day we arrived at Tokyo from Osaka, it was chilly and wet. The rain brought by Typhoon 14 made the night temperature dropped to single digit! It would have been nice if it wasn't so wet.

So, we decided to visit Akihabara, the Electric City many has mentioned and raved about.

Wet & Cold at Akihabara Station

Sadly, we were not that impressed. Not being the most tech savvy people around, we just had a brief look. Annoyingly, many of the shops employ Chinese Nationals and Indians as sales staff. A big bulk of the tourist are from China too. It makes the area seems very un-Japanese. Not the kind of ambiance I was expecting out of Tokyo.

If you're not a techno-geek, this place is worth only a short visit.

Maybe we would have explored more if it wasn't so inconvenient shopping around with a miserable umbrella in the gloomy late afternoon that seemed like night. 

Ans so we left within half an hour. Feeling aimless, we stopped by Tokyo Station on our way back to Shinjuku.

Making use of our JR pass validity, we entered the bullet trains platform and found many duck bills trains resting and went shutter crazy!

If you're looking for Shinkansen souvenirs, you can purchase them on the small shops on these platforms. If not, they're also available in gift shops in the city.

Since we were staying in Shinjuku, we ended the night with a slow night stroll around the area. 

The pics are taken along the street and alley in Kabukicho, a major red light district in Tokyo Shinjuku.

The next day, we went to Ameyoko Market, stopping at Okachimachi Station. The rain has passed and the weather was lovely for being outdoors. This place has a lot of cheap fashion, food and gift items and is worth a visit. 

We took a leisure walk down the streets running along Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station. The gift items we found here were much cheaper than those in the other areas. Look hard and you'll be able to find nice stuff!

There's a lot of eateries along the alleys at Ameyoko Market too. We passed by a store with yummy looking food and sat down. Not being able to communicate in Japanese, we just pointed out what other were eating. Aat least we could order "bi-ru' and "shishamo". And look at the other customer enjoying life behind me!

The inerts is a popular dish with almost every table having a bowl of it. since it was a Sunday, the customers would sit there for a long time chatting, drinking, smoking and eating with plates piling up on their tables. It's nice to soak in the ambiance that lazy Sunday afternoon.

Bf couldn't resist taking a pic of the fashionably chic rather and son sitting next to us.

Our next stop for the day was Harajuku

We've planned to visit Harajuku on Halloween and even the dogs were dressed for it.

We paid a visit to the famous Meiji Shrine first and was pleasantly surprised to catch a celebration going on.

We were told it is the anniversary, hence the colourful display.

It takes about 10 mins to walk from Harajuku station exit to Meiji Shrine.

The walk in is a nice forested walk. Meiji Shrine is nested amongst many trees donated by people from all parts of Japan. It is dedicated to Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

It makes one feel like a green oasis amidst a bustling city.

Vegetable Boat Display

Here some pics of Meiji Shrine Anniversary Ceremony:

We were lucky to visit the shrine on the same day and experience a Japanese shrine celebration ceremony.

By the time we left, it was evening and the display outside looked even more beautiful.

Across the entrance of Meiji Shrine was one end of Takeshita-Don, the main street of Harajuku. Frankly, I didn't enjoy it much. There were many shops selling cosplay costumes and the occasional cosplayers walking around. 

The shops mainly cater to the young. Maybe this is why they didn't appeal to me, heh!

The biggest 100 yen shop, Daiso was also a disappointment. It carries about the same items as Singapore's Daiso with the exception of more things being made in Japan.

The Cute Harajuku Station

It was all shopping at Harajuku and more shopping the next day for us.

The next day was Shibuya and more Shinjuku shopping.

Hachiko Statue Outside Shibuya Hachiko Exit

Famous Shibuya Crossing

Diagonal Crossing at Shibuya

One of the shops I did enjoy shopping in Japan was Tokyu Hands. It has practically everything you need for household, beauty, health, hobby and gift items. 

Smart Ice Blended Coffee Machine in Tokyo Hands

One Tokyu Hands is so big it has at least 7-8 levels. We were so exhausted midway that we had to rest in Tokyu Hands' coffee corner.

Comparing to Osaka, I found Tokyo shopping not as interesting as there's a lot of international brands like H&M, Zara etc that can be easily found in a lot of countries. Also, people in Tokyo rush about more and are not as warm.

The departmental stores are really quite different from Singapore's and offer more unique items in my opinion.

I'll write more about Nishi Shinjuku Hotel area in my next post. It's a great place to chomp! Stay tuned!

**Read more about my Japan trip here.**


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your Japan trip blog! I'm planning to go for 4-5 days next month and had no clue but you gave me some ideas. Thanks again!

Mei said...

Glad to know that my blog is of help.

Enjoy your Japan trip! =)