And the journey continues 🙂
I met up with the new friends I made at the airport, and we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market! The salmon was super fresh, and look at all the uniiiiiiii. My new friends were two cousins and one of their fathers, and the dad wouldn’t let me pay for my meal and insisted on treating me. I guess Asian dads will be Asian dads, no matter where I go.
Next I met up with another school friend who happened to be in Tokyo with a tour group, since this day was her free day. We went to the pokemon center again, and the kpop boyband Snuper happened to have a promotional event in the mall. We watched them perform for a bit, then they greeted their fans and had a signing. We made our rounds through the pokemon center, Sanrio store next door, a Studio Ghibli store, and some accessory stores too.
When we finally left, we went to a nearby cat cafe called Cat Cafe (lol). We went at a bad time, since all the cats were really sleepy and didn’t do much. Nevertheless, they were still super soft and cute. We left after spending an hour there.
Nearby was an omelette store, Kanda Tamagoken. The portions were H U G E but it was pretty good! Some Chinese models were having a photoshoot outside, so we got slightly distracted.
We dropped our stuff at my hotel, then I took her to Gas Panic since she was curious about Japanese night life. She had to head home by 10PM since she lived farther and needed to catch a shuttle to her hotel, so we didn’t stay for long. Went just in time to get two rounds of happy hour drinks.
Was originally planning on going to Disneyland, but then realized how lonely and pointless it was to go to a place like Disney all by myself… so I changed plans to the Meiji Shrine instead. And let me tell you… it was so gorgeous. The Shrine is in the middle of Tokyo, but also in the middle of a random forest in the middle of Tokyo. Once I entered, it was like momentarily entering another dimension. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by greenery. I entered from the Yoyogi station entrance and came face-to-face with a long quiet trail with tall looming trees on either side. And it just happened to be empty when I arrived, which made it feel all the more majestic and magical. I loved this opportunity to get away from the crowded city and just have space to myself to think.
After traversing down the path in the light rain (side note: clear umbrellas are the rage in Tokyo and I can see why– literally see why, because it makes it so much easier to manage my way through a crowd when I can see through the umbrella. And the fact that they’re really adorable), I finally arrived at the Shrine where all the tour groups were. Before entering the Shrine, many people stop at the fountain thing where there’s a ritual to “clean and purify” yourself. Inside, there is a stall that sells charms. Further inside, is where you’ll see the traditional temple outline, along with the “couple tree”, and area where you toss a few coins, clap twice and bow twice, to pay respect.
I left through a different trail, just to be able to see more of the area. It was a similar trail, except more populated and it led to the Harajuku JR station. Instead of going home, I went to Heiroku Sushi, another rotating sushi restaurant. Here, appetizers are rotating around. To order sushi, I had to call it out to the chef. A simple “Sumimasen” to get their attention suffices, followed by your order. I found what I wanted on the English menu, then looked at the Japanese menu to find the dish in Japanese, which made it easier for the chef. It’s okay if you butcher the pronunciation a little, the chefs know the menu well! Their salmon belly was delicious, and the beef tongue was really good as well.
Afterwards, I figured I had to finish my trend of Animal Cafes strong, so I went to a bunny cafe! There happened to be one nearby, Ra.a.g.f Rabbit cafe. It’s on the third floor of a small building! The room is divided into to sections, each section can only have one rabbit out at a time, so if you happen to go at a popular hour, you’ll have to share the bunny with others. You can change your bunny after 15 minutes, but you can only pick from the ones that don’t have a “resting” sign on the cage. When I went, most of the bunnies were resting, so my choices were really limited. The bunnies are also not very cuddly and tend to run around/away. Probably wouldn’t come back to this cafe next time.
By the time I went home, it was already getting a little late, so I stopped by a crepe stall to get some before leaving! Then I stayed in to pack and prepare for my departure the next day.
June 14th was just me taking the JR to Ueno, then the Skyliner to the airport! Flight was at 2:10PM, arrived in Taoyuan around 6PM, then my flight to the States was at 10PM.
And that’s it for my first trip to Tokyo! Most pictures are unedited, since I’m really lazy and I caught a cold soon after returning to the States (thankfully I didn’t get sick abroad though). Hope y’all enjoyed my little recap as much as I enjoyed my trip! I can’t wait to go back 🙂