Japan 3 | Harajuku and Akihabara

3:52 AM Ally M.G. 1 Comments

At 5am I was up with country of the rising sun. I had a whole hour extra than the day prior (hooray!) My body still thinks it is in Miami, so it is a weird sensation when it is Sunday and your body thinks it's Saturday. 

Today's adventure was action packed! Bunch of different places to visit and see~ My day began with me being bound on the train to Tokyo Sky Tree. The Tokyo Sky Tree is the second tallest building in the world, measuring 600 something meters (I think it is 646m). When I arrived to Tokyo Sky Tree Plaza I got lost ( surprise surprise ) I couldn't find the ticket counter and in the mist of wondering around I found a cute shop and decided to sit down for breakfast. 


               


I had Smoked Salmon Pancakes ( I know it sounds weird and disgusting) but it was mouthwatering amazing. It wasn't extremely salty not extremely sweet. It was a mix of both. ( don't judge my breakfast choices ). I also had mango juice and it got me really curious because it tasted like freshly blended/squeezed mango juice not that fake watery stuff...how did Japan get a tropical fruit...?

After breakfast I finally found the tickets for the Tokyo Sky Tree observation deck. It was ¥2080 (about $17-18). The ticket was for the observation deck 340m-350m. And then in the 350m floor you needed to purchase ANOTHER ticket to go to the 450m observation deck, it was ¥1080 aka $8-9. I really liked Tokyo Sky Tree much more than Tokyo Tower (probably cause it was during the day). To get to the first observation deck you have to enter one of four elevators. Haru, Natsu, Aki or Huyu ( spring, summer, fall or spring ). I was in Spring for the up and down (pretty bummed) the Haru elevator is decorated in Sakura flowers (cherry blossoms) to represent spring. The elevator goes up from 0m to 350m in about 30-45 seconds so your ear WILL pop...multiple times. I felt weird hold my nose and blowing because the Japanese folks around me seem unphased by the change of pressure. It is probably cause I am a tropical bird and they are not. Oh! While in line to enter Haru an older lady tried to talk to me and I was able to hold on a pretty decent conversation. 

It went a bit like this:

Lady: Are you by yourself?
Me: yes
Lady: where are you from?
Me: I live in Miami
Lady: is that so? Why did you come to Tokyo
Me: Study abroad student (I used the wrong word and she kindly corrected me ) Sorry my Japanese is a bad. 
Lady: it's alright. Are you going to Tokyo University?
Me: No Ritsumenkan in Kyoto
Lady: eeeeh? Whoa! Good luck
Me: thank you

-end conversation-

                     

                                

                                

                                

                      

                                  


I felt pretty accomplished! I spent about an hour and a half in the TST observatories. Then I got lost AGAIN but this time in the mall that is connected with the TST. I spent about an hour looking for the bloody exit or the station that I needed to get on. I wanted to lay down on the floor and die because I was not feeling well and wanted to my hostel and lay down for a bit. In the mist of being grouchy and lost I found an official Studio Ghibli store! It made me feel better (but only a bit). 

After finally finding the exit and arriving to my hostel I took a small break before heading to Harajuku and the Meiji Shrine.







                      


                              


The Meiji shrine was beautiful. It is a really sweet sensation when something you've only seen in pictures is right infront of your eyes. I almost thought I was dreaming that I had to pinch myself just to make sure! I also had the opportunity to witness two wedding ceremonies! Something, again, I have only seen in pictures. Thank you everyone who has helped get here


I only visited the main shrine, but I made a promise to myself to return and explore the various parts of the shrine. Then I made my way to Harajuku's Takeshita Dori!

                             


Takeshita dori is a very popular fashion street for the youth of Japan. There have high street fashion along side with cheaper stuff. I wish I had one of super cool black credit cards like Patrick Joe so I can get myself a whole new wardrobe for the year. Something that is a must do here in Harajuku is to take a purikurai  with friends, but in this case: me, myself and I. It was a mission and a half to get this done because most of the Japanese was in Kanji (my biggest weakness). So I pretty much guessed, pressed things and hopes for the best. And then I went to the printing thing and I waited about 10 minutes and my pictures wouldn't print. I had to go find a worker and ask for help, he led me to a section of the picture booth that you're suppose to edit your pictures (I felt very stupid). Like I said, purikurai is usually done with friends...so the editing booth had two screens, and two pens sooooo I had to do both. It was a bit pathetic, but I entered with a purpose and I was gonna get myself a purikurai! Once again, kanji kanji kanji, so it was a giant guessing game once again. I think I did a pretty swell job to have no freaking to what on earth I was doing and editing. 

                                 



While I was here I ate at Angel's Crepe! I had a banana strawberry with chocolate sauce, whipped creme and vanilla ice cream! It was better than any crepe I have in Miami (and cheaper too!) it was ¥520 which is about $2-3.




                          


After I finished the mouth watering crepe I continued down Takeshita dori street. Next I made my way to Kiddy Land. Kiddy Land is store much like Toys R Us except with Japanese cartoons, movies and brands (duh). I was there with a single mission: find Cardcaptor Sakura items. Cardcaptor Sakura is my favorite anime/manga of all times. I first watched it back when I was a wee child and still living Venezuela. CCS was only very late at night and I would beg my mom to let me watch it before going to bed, and she would (thank you mom, you fed at inner weeb at an early age).


                                   


Once I was happy with my Cardcaptor Sakura stuff I made my way to Akihibara. Akihibara translate to Electric Town, and it is the home to Otaky culture. And guess what, I got lost AGAIN. I got off on the wrong exit so I had to walk for about 20 minutes to reach the heart of Akihibara. 


I entered multiple Club Segas, which are filled with game play machines. Like UFO (the dropping claw thing), Gatchapon, and arcade games. I know Angel would have loved all the Club Segas, they were so much fun, I only spent about ¥700 in Club Sega. I gave a UFO machine a go. The machine I played had a CardCaptor Sakura figurine, and the guy who played before me had won one of the Sakura figures and made it SUPER EASY (it wasn't). I played four times (¥400) before admitting defeat, and either way I had no space for such a massive figurine. I walked around a bit in Akihibara, looking for a Gatchapon I liked (it was hard)



My problem is that I am not into anime and manga as much as I use to so all the stuff I like is considered old school (aka not popular anymore). I saw a Cardcaptor Sakura Gatchapon but it was sold out! I was so devastated, I felt that there was nothing good in the world, why would the only thing I like be sold out!? I cursed the sky for being so cruel, then I found a Sailor Moon Gatchapon that had some pretty cute things and I got the item I liked the most. I guess the sky was saying sorry for the sold out CCS Gatchapon. 

Once I was Gatchapon happy I set out to find Taito Station, it's the same style as Club Sega but with Taito owned games. ( I would have loved to see Angel's face light up when he sees all the old school games, 5 floor worth of games for him to play and explore. I will bring to Tokyo and he and I will have a blast! The ultimate sibling bonding! #BroSisTokyo2015 ). There were no Gatchapon that caught my attention there either. 



My last stop was AKB48 cafe. And, surprise surprise, I got lost once more. AKB48 is some Japanese girl group with 80 girls. I'm not into j-pop but I dear friend of mine was and I wanted to get him something, but they only sold stuff with the girls faces on it. I knew no one, and decided that it would be best for me just get him something else. 

Something that I happened today that was very important is that someone from my study abroad group was arriving to Tokyo and she was going to let me stay in her hotel room with her because she is a kind human being. So we met at Akihibara JR station and had dinner together (or linner for me) and Amanda accompanied me to Akenoboshi Station of the Shinjuku Line and we retrieved my luggage from Ace Inn and we headed to the Pearl Hotel in central Tokyo district. It was a much nicer place to sleep. With fancy toilets and shower faucets 

                          

                         

                         

                         

Small haul:






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1 comment:

  1. Great trip and awesome photos! I find really interesting and even fascinating this culture, i like almost everything about Harajuku fashion and style and the Japanese culture, it is just amasing!

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