The last few days....
I’ve decided how I’m going to do this, this entry here will be about the last few days I will have spent in Japan, following this will be a photo set with photos from Sunday (Imperial Gardens) and any more we may take. It’s currently Monday 4pm as I type this, I’m sat alone with a…
Lazy morning, late Nakano
Not really a lot to say, after having another lazy morning, where Siggy doesn’t wake up until way after noon, we decided to have another trip to Nakano. Seeing as it was raining and everything else we had planned required us going outdoors.
We’d originally planned to go on the sunday to…
Two days late, Two day update
Wednesday, Tokyo Dome
Sorry if this is a little rough around the edges, I’m trying my hardest to remember what happened each day, so here goes.
Wednesday, we went to Tokyo Dome. The end. No erm, right, so for a day out we decided to take a trip to Tokyo Dome. Shops, rollercoasters etc. It’s surprisingly close to Asakusa, maybe like four stops on two different trains, so we get off the train and have a look around, take some nice pictures and head inside “LaQua” to see some shops.
Afterwords we have a nice ride on the HUGE ferris wheel, which I didn’t really enjoy because I’m scared of heights and it wobbled when you moved around. The rollercoaster was out of action for that day so we didn’t get to go on it, which is a shame because it looked awesome, it went through the middle of the ferris wheel and the building itself. Then we had a nice meal in this fancy Japanese buffet, stupidly classy, we felt out of place, but enjoyed the all you can eat fondue fountain mwahahahahah.
Then we had a quick look around for the one shop I REALLY wanted to see, didn’t find it and decided to head home, decided to cheer myself up by stopping off at Akihabara for some geek delights. In which I spent A LOT of money and got some awesome bargains! Got two massive bags of DBZ stuff, little figures, key rings etc for ¥300 each! Enjoyed building those when I got back, also got a cool Lupin the third book end set, and I got the Kotobukiya Lucy bishoujo for ¥4,000 when its supposed to be nearly twice that! Sig bought enough little charms to fit around twenty peoples wrists!
And that was it for Wednesday, which leads us nicely to….
Thursday, Ueno Zoo
We visited this zoo the last time we came and it’s pretty cool. The main reason we went back was because they now had some giant pandas, apparently the last one had had a heart attack :( The plan was, get up early, get into the zoo, see the pandas, maybe have a quick dash around and then head out to the imperial gardens. BUT we didn’t get up early and after seeing the Pandas I wanted to see the monkeys and then we ended up making a day of it instead, so we had a smashing day at the zoo.
I wont bore you with the details, basically, we saw some animals. If you want to know which animals, you can check out the Flickr. Anyway, Sig was in her artistic, photographer mood, so seeing each animal took around fifteen minutes while she took some artsy photo of their face, which was fine but it started getting really annoying in the end, and I spent half the day five animals in front of her, because by the time the monkey had looked in her direction for a photo, I was half way around the park laughing at Kangaroos. And in the end we ran out of time before seeing all the animals.
So then we came back and went to bed, we don’t have a plan for today. I told Sig she could have a lay in because I’ve been waking her up “early” at 9am so it’s now just gone 11:20 and she’s still asleep. Twelve full hours asleep, she’s like a koala or something!
Sounds like it’s raining out so I have no idea what the plan is, maybe another lazy day?
Finally made it to Odaiba! And it was amazing!
Its built on a man made island just off of Tokyo Bay, which is beautiful when it’s sunny, because it’s a reasonably new complex you can’t get a tube there, you have to get this magnetic train. Which Sig informed me is a lot smoother than the tube, but it really wasn’t. Was cool though, it takes you over the Rainbow Bridge (which I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t in space and flashing colours (if you get that reference, congrats you’re a nerd)
Anyway, so in all fairness, the reason I wanted to visit Odaiba is because that’s where Pallette down is, i.e. the town Ash is from in Pokemon (surprise! I’ve come to Japan because I’m a geek!) also there’s a toysRus and I’m a sucker for them, but there’s plenty of other things to do while we were there.
After getting off the magnetic train, which didn’t have a driver :| we took a quick walk to the lookout over the bay, this holiday seems to have been filled with observatories and bars with cool views but I honestly believe this was the best view I have ever seen in my life! The photos really don’t do it justice, you could see right over to the other side of the bay, Tokyo tower, Sky Tree, Shinjuku goverment building. You could see them all from this little man made island. And for some strange reason, you could also see the statue of liberty… never did find out why, I’m going to go wikipedia it now. Apparently it was put up in 1998 for “the french year in Japan” Strange.. Looked cool though.
After getting some funky snaps we went inside Aqua City (shopping mall) and found a Cat Cafe!! If you’re not familiar with these, you pay some money to play with some cats. Think it was ¥1,000 for an hour, and there’s a room full of cats and you can just sit down and play with some cats, simple. Anyway, attatched to the cat cafe was a huge pet shop that we had a quick look around, saw some cats for sale for around £3000! Followed by all the puppies! They had them all on show for people to come buy, for around £1000 roughly, they were adorable. Most of them were fighting between them.
Sig saw a Pug puppy and went ape shit.
Then we nipped off for some food, we found a pirate themed restaurant, but it was closing at three because it was a national holiday, so we decided (more my choice than Sigs) for the huge all you can eat. Which was delicious! We stacked our plates with what we could and sat down in front of the window for another amazing view, I think in the end we easily made our money back on the buffet, between us it was five plates of food, three deserts, 5 fizzy drinks, 2 coffees. All in all cost around £12 per person. Bargains!
The last time I came to Japan I found Grape fanta, which is full of E numbers and stupidly addictive. They still have it this time, but I’ve found something better, Melon fanta. Its bright green and tastes like heaven! Might have to try smuggle some home!
So after pigging out we had a walk around the island, found a huge gundam statue and another cat cafe with a huge cat doorway (pictured above) and set off home. Today I think we’re heading to Tokyo Dome, should be fun, they have a rollercoaster too! My money is getting a bit short but I don’t see it running out any time soon, just need to keep an eye on my spending. Think we’re taking it easy on the spending until the last two days and going nuts with what ever we have left, no mum it wouldn’t be wiser to just bring it home and exchange it back into sterling and pay off some of the money I owe you. I’m gonna spend it on junk instead, WOO CAPITALISM
So things haven’t seem to have gone our way so far this week, so after planning a quick trip to the zoo to see the pandas and then spending the rest of the day in the HUGE Ueno market. After the long trek up to the zoo, we found out it’s closed on Mondays, which is a huge bummer! But it does mean we can go again as long as its not a Monday, so instead of taking some pictures of the pandas, we had a stroll through the shrines and took lots of pictures there instead.
Then started getting lost in the market, which is HUGE! Seriously daunting how big that place is, just row after row of shops and stalls, little ramen places and casinos, strangely didn’t look in any shops though. Was nice to just have a walk around and window browse as it were.
Then the hunger came, followed by the dirtiest fast food I could find (pictured above) Its basically a bacon sandwich with cheese, but instead of bread…. Its two of mr Sanders finest chicken pieces. It was delicious, but probably the most unhealthiest thing. Totally worth it!
Tomorrow we should be going to Odaiba, finally! That is if we can actually get up on time, seems like we’ve been waking up later and later, going to set around three alarms and one of them is bound to wake me.
Dragon dance festival
So instead of updating like normally, I thought I’d just put a quick little photo montage up, saves time because it practically explains what happened that day, instead of me talking on and on about it, but I’ll give you the basics.
“Kinryu-no-mai (Golden Dragon Dance)
The official temple name for Sensoji Temple is Kinryuzan (Mountain of Golden Dragon) and this name comes from a tale about a golden dragon. According to the legend, 1000 pine trees suddenly appeared overnight near the temple on the 18th day. Three days later, a golden dragon measuring 100 shaku (approx. 30 m) descended into the pine trees from the heavens and was never seen again. The Golden Dragon Dance is based on this episode. It was first presented in October 1958 to celebrate the opening of Showa Hall of the temple by the Asakusa Kannon Worshippers’ Association as an event to be held for many generations to come. The dance is presented on October 18 at the Kiku-kuyo (Memorial Service for Chrysanthemums) and on March 18 when the temple’s sacred image is unveiled for public viewing”
That about sums it up, after watching the dance we came back to the hostel and now (Monday) the sun is out its VERY windy but we’re going to see some Pandas I think.
Ps. Sarah if you still read this, in 1st Avenue under Tokyo Station they opened a Hello Kitty shop, selling everything hello kitty. Only opened last week, thought you’d like to know, I’d forgot to put it in the last entry.
Tokyo Blossoms March ‘12