We left Kanazawa’s snow covered grounds on an overnight bus instead of the shinkansen, it’s about half the price and we saved on one night of accommodations. It was actually perfect, because the bus was super comfortable, the chairs reclined quite far back and every chair was equipped with a TV screen, a blanket and pillow, and curtains between the seats. A short seven hours later we were in Shinjuku ready for our Tokyo adventure!
If Kanazawa Station had me in awe because of its architecture, Shinjuku literally stopped me in my tracks because it was so busy. I was worried that if I moved, I would disrupt the flurry of people rushing past me. Turns out we arrived on a Monday morning and people had this thing to do called ‘work’.
My two days in Tokyo was spent mostly shopping. The girls I came with went crazy over cosmetics, while my own shopping adventures resulted in failure as even the official Adidas store I went didn’t have the sneakers I wanted in stock. We went around Shinjuku, Akibahara, and Harajuku. It’s not that I resented how much we spent shopping, but we never even got to visit the tourist traps like the Shibuya Crossing, take pictures with Hachiko, climb Tokyo Tower, see Asakusa Temple, and take pictures with the gigantic Gundam at Odaiba. I did however manage to eat at Ramen Ichiran! Which you should try if you love pork.
We spent the first day in Shibuya, and the second in Harajuku and Akibahara. I’m glad that we managed to visit the Meiji Shrine on the second day, even though the shrine was funnily enough – located in Shibuya.
There was not a cloud in sight as we walked to the shrine, and I was quite surprised that we had to walk through what felt like a forest, I honestly thought it would be a short walk to find the shrine. The sun was bright and it was a pleasant walk, people who have easy access to parks and green areas honestly should not take them for granted. It was a little sad that I was happy just at the sight of all the lush greeneries.
I had so much fun with my camera at the shrine. I was practically an excited little boy, pointing my lens at just about everything in sight. The majority of my photos was taken there, from the more interesting wall of sake barrels and wine to random shots of leaves, because I knew it was back to the shops after this!
The shopping trip in Harajuku started in Takeshita Dori, where I felt I was slowly being brainwashed by the loop of song blaring out of the speakers from different shops. I’m pretty sure I still hum some of the tunes, even weeks after the trip. I was dragged into the Daiso there, which I initially scoffed at because Daiso has already opened shop in Jakarta. But whoa! It was huge and everything was super cheap. The perfect place to buy random bits and bobs I didn’t know I needed.
We tried this thing called a Croquant Chou Zaku Zaku. Which sold these… fried bread things. With these vanilla flavoured… things. Okay, I’m bad at describing the thing, but it was delicious!
We headed to Akibahara because the ladies wanted to shop some more. But I’m not complaining because we visited the Gundam Cafe! MWAHA! The Sofmap at Akibahara was also amazing, because it had a sh*t load of anime figurines and gundam model kits. High grade kits to real grade kits – seriously. I was in heaven. Price wise it was similar to the kits I’d find in Indonesia, but the pure joy of seeing all the options got me a little drunk on Gundam. Because, Gundam!
So maybe my Tokyo leg of the trip wasn’t a complete failure, I had a lot of fun. But there was also a lot of regret because we did spend too much time shopping. Even though I finalized the trip itinerary, I didn’t really plan for any alone time where we could have maybe split up and do our own thing. I kinda wished Tari and Atri posted their Hive Mind article faster. Ha!
Help me feel a little better guys, tell me about your trip regrets! And maybe tell me about some of the things you love in Tokyo – because I need to plan another trip there.