Today’s plan was to hit a lot of the more famous central locations within Tokyo.
Shibuya, Shinjuku and a quick roam around the natourious Kabukicho.
Of course, where else do you start apart from at the famous Shibuya Crossing! I once heard Chris Broad say it’s just a crossing and he doesn’t understand the hype, and I can absolutely see what he means 🤣
It’s a lot smaller in person than I expected. It was cool to see and walk across, and see some of the other local legendary spots like 109, but Yeh… I wonder if tourists to the UK feel the same way about Piccadilly Circus
I remember Times Square truly taking my breath away the first time I joined onto it… Maybe I’m just mor of an old grumpy jaded bastard now. 🤪
The pair continued the daily routine until May 21, 1925, when Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage while he was giving a lecture to his class, and died without ever returning to the train station at which Hachikō waited.
Each day, for the next 9 years, 9 months and 15 days, Hachikō awaited Ueno’s return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.
This is probably one of the most popular “I’ll meet you at….” Places in Shibuya, and there was a literal queue for photo’s with the famous monument.
(From what I could tell, the sash was about Olympic selection for Volleyball in France… 🤷♂️)
This was our first taste of rain in Japan as well with a couple of random heavy but quickly clearing showers. Rain in such high humidity was very confusing for the senses. It was refreshing more than annoying and almost felt like it was evaporating or just integrating with the humidity before actually hitting the floor.
We nipped around the corner to Shibuya Stream a multi purpose development/skyscraper that is the home of Googles Japanese HQ (Which we accidentally almost entered whilst wandering, quickly going back down an escalator whilst a very panicked guard gesticulated 😜).
This place had an amazing animated staircase which we loved.
After a Starbucks recharge, we wandered the streets looking for some of the shops we were interested in, including DAISO… a ¥100 store selling pretty cool home wares. Imagine a Poundland that is well run, clever and considered? Even saying that does it a disservice to how cool it actually is.
My son got a Korean style corn dog with ketchup and rolled in sugar… Not really my kinda thing, but he said it was really good. 🤣
After visiting several large stores and doing some retail therapy, the rest of us got hungry as well!
For lunch we got conveyor belt Sushi from Kura. This was amazingly cheap and fun! You order and pay on a tablet and wait for your food to zoom along the conveyor. Every 5 plates you eat and post through a slot on the table gives you a chance to win a toy as well!
The quality of the fish and rice was far superior to any Sushi we’d had in the UK. I can’t even imagine how good the premium Sushi places would be.
Next was a walk through Shinjuku with af focus on Kabukichō, or as I know it from the video game series Yakuza, Kamurochō which is modelled from this location. It was really odd to walk down streets and (roughly) know what was coming up because you’d walked around it in a video game 🤯 It’s obviously not 1:1, but the hight notes were absolutely there. This is Tokyo’s “Red light/Entertainment district” and is full of neon, posters and alleyways.
We did wander down Golden Gai as well. 200+ small bars shoved into six tiny extremely atmospheric alleys. Most of which only fit around 5-6 people!
If you can manage the members only bars, cover charges and other requirements, a very good night out can apparently be had!
Unfortunately these roads are private and require a (extremely convoluted and confusing to obtain) permit for any photography/film purpose, so no photos from me of this area I’m afraid 😔
An evening roam around Akasaka
With extremely tired feet, we ate at Nakau a “fast food” restaurant selling Japanese staples such as curry rice and Donburi bowls. You order at a machine that prints tickets for your order, find a seat at the bar and the chef takes your tickets, bringing your food a few minutes later. I had the pork cutlet and curry rice that was delicious. Other family members had fried ticket, and the unagi 1, all of which was fabulous.
On the way there we spotted a car showroom named Bingo with some exceptionally expensive and rare cars. There was a sign on the door saying please come in and feel free to take photos, and we took them up on the offer! On the way out a staff member chased after us to give my children some stickers which they were delighted with.
What an amazingly cool and relaxed company. Sadly, I think their offerings may be slightly out of my price range 🤣🚗💨
We reached the shrine at the very end of sunset and took a wander down the Torri path. Incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.
Back in the hotel after a quick Combini treat run, I relaxed with a Chu-Hi and we drifted off to sleep.
Tomorrow our first Shinkansen ride to a new city! 🚄
Kyoto here we come!