Friday, June 14, 2013

July 10; walking through Tokyo: East Side Edition

Day 3
We were so ready for another beautiful day in Tokyo!
Our hostel with a sliding door.
Photo Cred: Cat
We didn't get in the Imperial Gardens yesterday, but we tried again today with much success this time. As you can see from the pictures below, it was a decent park with lots of history:
moat around the palace park
Japan has these huge black crows.
Storage and defense building 
I noticed that healthy living is a really big thing in Tokyo. There are always joggers around the afternoon running along the sidewalks or around parks. I admire that. It's something that I don't think I would be able to commit it. While the Japanese were running around the park, we took on our own form of exercise and walked all the way to the wait for it............................................................................... Pokemon Center!! Since we didn't have a Pokemon that could fly, running shoes, or a bike, we walked it. Tokyo is a walkable city. It's not like walking in the suburbs where there's nothing going on for miles, there were lots of neat (in my opinion) things that made the walking more enjoyable. 
so cute!
weird beverage of the day: citris squash.
Verdict: meeeeh....
Pokemon center! My childhood! And a little bit of adolescence...and adulthood and whatever I am now...still love the games
ohmygosh giant Pikachu
So we discovered the Pokemon Center was just a merchandise store. Like the Disney store, except for Pokemon.
Photo Cred:Cat
I NEEEEEEDED to buy something, anything. I initially wanted a Squirtle or Charmander, but the selection of original Pokemon plushies was really limited. There was Chikorita and Pickachu and since I already had 2 Pikachus at home, I opted for Chikorita.  So happy. There was a playground right across the Pokemon Centre and decided to take Chico out to play. 

With our new travel buddy, we headed over to Yojoji Temple.
an asshole planted a tree here
monuments that people worship
temple and tokyo tower at sunset
making wishes
Chico and new friend
And  then we made it toTokyo's famous Tokyo Tower, yes it's a smaller version of the Eiffel tower. Inside, there are different attractions on every floor, like an observatory, teddy bear museum, fun house, and gift shops. Anything beyond the first floor had an entrance fee. We wandered around the gift shops on the first floor and left for food.
Kristie helping Chico be King Kong
Ahh, food. Food in Japan is certainly not the cheapest, and the comparison hits hard after living in Beijing.
Lunch: oishii (delicious)

Tempura = 430 Yen
We saw a sign that said 270 yen which we thought meant all food items were 270 yen. Sounded like a great deal for budget travelers like us. We went in and found it had a nice bar like ambiance. The coolest thing was  we ordered our food entirely with the touch screen machine.
so awesome.
Instead of serving peanuts, they served edamame beans 
snowy cheese?
snowy cheese
The Snowy Cheese = 270 Yen (like the name suggested)
When we went to pay, we found out that the reason why food was cheaper than most places in Tokyo was because there was a 270 table charge per person. Bummer....
Cool concept if you're gonna order a lot of food with a lot of people, but not at all worth it if there's not much people and there's not a lot of food ordered.

Besides the lost in translation moment during dinner, everything was swell. Especially now that we've got a new travel buddy! Chico :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

July 9: shibuya illuminated by the non existent vacancy signs.

Day 2
After the night before yesterday' nearly sleepless night, I finally slept comfortably on the futon in my dark corner. Oh Japan, you so surprisingly comfortably cozy. We found an Italian chain restaurant called Saizeriya.
Italian bread
My plan was to eat light and then sample as many Japanese snacks as I could throughout the day.
Focaccia = 109 Yen  (~$1.15 CND)

We originally planned to visit the Imperial Gardens, but when we arrived we discovered it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.... well then new plan!
We went over to the other side of town to the famous Shibuya district where the streets were lined up with stores galore, fashionable people, delicious looking restaurants, and huuuge screens. If I could use one work to describe Shibuya, it would be vivacious.
The sea of people and screens 
Disney Store was so much nicer than in Canada.
spotted some street performances
Foooood time! We went into a market place where there were many vendors selling different items. After walking around the place a few times, I decided to try some fresh pre-packaged sushi. Eating sushi in Japan, woohoo!
pre-packaged sushi = 420yen ($5.50CND)

Didn't do what we wanted to, but mmmm, Japan. Daisukidayo.