Japan Day 2: Tokyo

Started the day too early today. Thought Japanese people would open shops early but I was wrong. Even at 7+ in the morning, there weren’t much cheap places to eat for breakfast available when we arrived at Akihabara. The trains would get very crowded but thankfully I didn’t get to experience the worst today 🙂

First stop: Koishikawa Korakuen, a garden built by the Mito Tokugawa family during the early Edo period. As the morning was hot as usual, we ended up sweating quite a bit and since the place is mostly vegetation, be prepared to get mosquito bites. I’ll recommend going in spring or autumn if possible. Summer is too crazy… This aside, there’s quite a few spots of some historical interests, such as traces of Kannon-do and Hakke-do. Took about 1 and a half hours to finish it. If you do not really like walks in the nature, it’s gonna be very boring. I found it tranquil instead.

On the way to Akihabara for lunch, we stopped by at Tokyo Dome, just next to Koishikawa Korakuen, to take a look. Nothing very special about it, just that it is used to host events such as concerts and so on, and that it is nicknamed “Big Egg”.

At Akihabara, I wanted to go to the Anime Center in UDX building. However, I got unlucky as it was closed that day for renovation. So we took a trip to Akihabara’s Electric town. Pretty standard stuff: lots of electronic stuff and electrical appliances, as well as anime fan stuff like Gundam models(they are sold much cheaper than in Singapore!!!) I wanted to get a small sword replica but not sure if these things can make it through Singapore’s customs or not. Better not put my money at risk 😦

Meiji Shrine isn’t as easy to locate from the train station as it is on the map, but once you find the torri gate, follow the crowd of local and foreign tourists and you will be there at the main building in some time(quite a distance of walking). There, you will find people writing their wishes on this thing called Ema and hanging them around a particular tree. You can easily learn how the Japanese make their wishes in a Shinto shrine after observing a few of them. Wanted to try it out but probably my parents wouldn’t agree to me throwing in some money and making a wish at some religion they don’t know. The Inner Garden in the Meiji Shrine vicinity is also a decently nice place to make a trip into(I got a bit bored TBH, but I still enjoy immersing myself in all these parks, gardens and nature walks), only a few interesting spots. However, it is up to you to decide whether it is worth the 500yen of admission fee. In my opinion, Meiji Shrine is the highlight, as well as the best itinerary for today.

Near Meiji Shrine is Yoyogi Park. Really nothing much to see. Don’t bother spending time there if you are in a rush. It’s interesting to see people do all sorts of things there: practicing football stunts, practicing dance, playing the violin, jogging  etc. The place is very big and I didn’t want to waste so much time there, so I took a 30-minute walk there.

The last itinerary was added ad-hoc as I realised Shinjuku Gyoen is closed on Mondays a few days ago. I decided to make a trip to the Pokemon Center in Tokyo to see what it is like. Seems like I haven’t been updated with Pokemon news, except that Pokemon X and Y is coming out this year. If I am not wrong, they are celebrating Pokemon’s 15th anniversary(impressive that Pokemon survived so long and is still alive today), as well as promoting its upcoming movie, which is to be aired on 13th July all over Japan if I remember correctly. Bought a few stuff for keepsake purpose.

This more or less wraps up today. Looking forward to more happening things in the upcoming days, especially Nana-chan’s Live Circus(the fan club resale ticket I bought online better work…). Won’t be publishing anything for the next 2 days due to absence of Internet connection in the ryokan that I will be staying in Matsumoto(oops, some spoilers here :P). Oyasumi~

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