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Reisverslag Tokyo, March 18
18 maart 2020
Tokyo, March 18
Heyy everybody! Today was out first official day in Tokyo!
We woke up around 8:30, got dressed for the day and got some breakfast. Our hotel it provided with breakfast though there has been some changes due to COVID-19 :,) There was supposed to be a nice variety of stuff to choose from just like we had in Osaka but due to the virus they reduced it to two types of onigiri (rice balls with various filling) and 2 types of bread, filled with either custard or chocolate and there’s of course the choice for water, coffee or tea. It’s not bad but onigiri in the morning is meh, especially because one if filled with mayonnaise and tuna and the other with fried chicken... not the best flavors for breakfast in my opinion hahaha still I’m not one to complain, we’re getting breakfast and I’m happy with that.
The weather forecast for today was sunny and about 17°C and boy was it nice and warm today. We both dressed in a dress and panties and that was warm enough. We even had to take off our jackets at one point because the sun was just so strong. Superb weather!~
So we decided to first walk around the hotel’ neighborhood, Akasaka, to explore what facilities we nave nearby. We have a convenience store around the corner which is really nice and some nice cafes and stuff but we discovered Akasaka is a business district with a lot of tall buildings and not so much entertainment and shopping stores hahaha well we still had quite a nice walk.
We walked all the way to the Imperial palace located nearby Tokyo Station. First impression of Akasaka is very calm and quiet and a looottt of police. Hahaah no just kidding, we walked past a really big government building ‘The National Diet’ building and there was so much police guarding there. Plus they are all super polite (like almost every person here). Well in Akasaka we were almost the only people walking there figuratively and literally. It was so quiet it was crazy. I expected it to be way busier but as I said, business district, not really the center plus not many touristic spots.
The streets here are also massive. At least where we walked to get to Tokyo’s ‘center’. We arrived at the square in front of the Imperial Palace and it was open and wide with a beautiful view of the city’ skyline. A lot of tall buildings as expected but with a beautiful blue sky today. Sadly we weren’t allowed in the castle grounds so we could only admire the palace from afar.
After that we wandered into the city. I honestly have no idea at which part of town we where at that moment I just know we were close to Tokyo station. We actually entered Tokyo station and went to the ‘Character street’ which was a part of the station where there are a lot of shops located themed with popular face characters. E.g. Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, LINE friends, Totoro (Studio Ghibli) etc. it was all super cute! Had to stop myself from buying everything in every store. Plus it was all very expensive hahaha but yeah that’s what you get with such popular character shops. It’s specially dedicated to them so they’ll rack up the prices XD
Well we stopped by a cafe to get a drink and rest a bit. We had walked quite a bit by then and were getting tired. Noon rolled just around the corner so a perfect time to take a rest. We had seen that Akihabara wasn’t that far away from us by metro and since we had already walked a lot we decided to just take the metro!
Akihabara ‘The Electric city’ gets it’s nickname for its many electric retailers. Ranging from small stalls to big department stores like Yodobashi Multimedia Akiba. It is also THE place for anime lovers. So many stores specialized in Manga’s, anime merchandise and video games. And a lot of maid cafes. Girls who’ll dress up in overly cute maid uniforms and serve you special themed food and will for a price also sing for you a.k.a. live stages. It’s quite a shock if you aren’t familiar with these aspects of Japan.
It was really like we had just stepped into another city. Big advertisement on every building, colors everywhere, music at every shops doorstep, it was one big chaos in my head hahaha. This is really the place to be if you came to Japan for anime merchandise. I bet literally 80% of the main streets’ shops were dedicated to anime merch. And so were the ads. It was fun to see though and it was also a lot busier here than in Akasaka. We entered a lot of shops and like I said; chaos. It was impossible to focus on one thing at a time as some shops were packed to the nock, no space wasted and various music plays around the store. That’s what I also notice a lot in such stores. They’ll have general music playing in the shop but at some shelves and places they play par example the opening theme to the particular show they are selling merchandise from. Does that make sense? Anyway the point is that there a quite some noises mixed together which adds to the chaos part. This does not apply to all stores here of course but just something that caught my attention here.
Lol something else also caught my attention. So sorry but slight & vague mentions about 18+ stuff in the next part, skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to read that :)
It looks like that... hmmm how do I say this... well they are in some sense a lot more open to 18+ stuff in stores. You could enter an anime merchandise store which has several floors and if you don’t read what is on every floor you’ll take the stairs to the basement and are surrounded by stuff you don’t want to see XD Totally not what happened today!! No but the worst thing is that I only realized it after already stepping a good 4 paces onto that floor, looking up and realizing what I’ve walked into to. Did a 180°, quickly bowed to the cashier there (My mom ain’t raised no impolite child) and storming off up stairs all the while getting laughed at by Jo-anne :D I’ve seen enough for today. You think I might be overreacting but 18+ anime is hmmmm something else haha.
Okay Enough. We spent a while walking around here and there and then stopped at another cafe. By then it was around 4:30PM and we had to decide if e wanted to go back to the hotel and find dinner there or stroll around in Akihabara and find a place there. We thought it a shame to go back so soon so we decided to stay there for a while longer. Before dinner we visited ‘Mandrake’ which was a 8-storied building with a lot of second hand, you guessed it, anime merchandise. It was fun to see! Didn’t buy anything thought, we didn’t really come to Japan for that purpose.
For dinner I found a market fairly close to where we were; Ameya Yokocho Market and decided to go there! It was getting darker and the city was getting a different atmosphere~ Lights went on and ads were getting lit up. It really feels like a different city once the sun sets. I love all the city lights and it also gets busier once the evening comes around. People come out to eat and you see why Akihabara is a touristic spot also during the evening. Yokocho market was super atmospheric and a total turn around from the big buildings. We stopped by a place which served big pots of broths with different kinds of noodles. It was a small shop and tables were located in front of the store. Our first dinner experience out on the street instead of inside a restaurant. You could call it street food in some way yes but you got a good meal for what you paid. It was only ¥700 which is about €6 and you got a really big piping hot bowl in front of you. Jo-anne and I both had Udon with beef and vegetables and the broth itself was still bubbling when it was served, that’s how hot it was. It was delicious by the way and although the sun had set the temperature to sit outside wasn’t unpleasant at all. Especially considering we were both in panties and a dress! Took a while before we were finished because we had to take it easy with eating.
It was about 7:15PM when we were done and we decided to head back to he hotel. Took the metro back and made a quick stop at the convenience store to grab a drink because we were thirsty and didn’t order drinks at the shop.
Now we’e at the hotel and it’s almost time to sleep again. It was a fun day exploring because we didn’t have a plan for today. Tomorrow however we want to visit Shinjuku, Shin-okubo and Shibuya. We’re especially looking forward to Shin-Okubo as that is the Koreatown of Japan which means Kpop merchandise! Hahahaha Naturally, I’ll update you all on that tomorrow ;)
For now take care of yourself! Stay safe and clean everybody~
P.S. About the harsher measurements against COVID-19. Today I got a message from Buitenlandse Zaken that the travel advice for Japan has changed to ‘only necessary trips’ and I heard that Europe is closing their borders to non-European passport holders. KLM is also reducing their flights as much as possible. Well the conditions right now are worser in the Netherlands than in Japan
Just to update you all. We’ll be staying here for 12 more days as scheduled and we don’t expect much to change for us. KLM is contacted and they don’t expect us to have any problems with returning home as we’re European passport holders. The only thing we need to watch out for is that maybe our flight back will be merged with another one from that day and that the time of our departure can change. So that’s on that topic :)
Foto's bij verslag (3)
18 maart 2020 17:19 | Door: Wim en Connie
Tsjonge wat een dag weer. Begrijp dat je hoofd er vol van is. Tokyo is een wereldstad!