Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Japan - Day 1, Tokyo, Shibuya Street & Akihabara Electric Town


Every year I devote myself to one big vacation. I made sure I have a lot of savings to splurge on that vacation, and calculated all the things that I needed to do or buy.

JAPAN WAS THAT VACATION THIS YEAR.

Not knowing whether I will ever come back to Japan, I decided this trip was to cover most of the areas that I wanted to. Like, simply, staying in a traditional Japanese home, eating sushis in Japan, checking out Tokyo Disneyland, discover manga, the very few Japanese stuff I know of. I really know SO LITTLE of Japan, and decided this was the chance to learn all of that.

Tokyo

We flew in via AirAsia to Tokyo (Haneda) first. Our take off was around 2pm in the afternoon (Kuala Lumpur) and reached Haneda around 11.30pm. We were made to understand that the train stops operating around 12am, and counting the fact that we needed to pay an extra night just for a couple of hours till we move to our airbnb home, we disregard the idea, and stayed the night in the airport.

Apparently, a lot of people opted that too. There were tons of people crashing on the sofas probably having the same itinerary as we are.

The next morning, after checking in and meeting our new friends via airbnb that hosted us, we decided to SLEEP and REST. We were so jet lagged that by the time we saw the tatami mats and futons we crashed and completely forgot our itinerary.


^ Meg and Ume's lovely hall.

First Day

We slept from 9am - 1pm, and actually, we wanted to rest even more. By the time we were out ready to finally explore Tokyo, it was almost 2pm. And lunch, beckons.

I decided the first thing we were going to check out is the infamous SHIBUYA STREET! Where photos, movies and everything else paraded this street as one of the busiest street in the world. Some say, it's the Times Square of Asia. I mean, it should BE!

I even took videos to record the thousands that cross over this path every time the pedestrian's light turns green! I was so fascinated by it!





^Lovely Shibuya at night.


Our mealtimes were all over the place when we traveled, and Japan was no less. By the time we reached Shibuya, roamed around the streets that are so insanely popular for shopping, the inner and outer streets there were, it was almost  4.30pm that we finally decided to eat.

Lunch at Shibuya Street

We searched for high and low for that Robot Restaurant alas, we couldn't find it. It was our first time walking into a Japanese restaurant, and we were so dumbfounded by the idea that we have to pay for our food at a machine before entering the restaurant. Well, there's always a first time, and what better way to learn it than from Japan itself :) 

We wanted something big, one, because we were so hungry, two something to sustain us till dinner. 

^ Love how Japanese restaurants are so animated with greetings and impeccable customer service. 

^ This had a lot of bean sprouts in it.


Akihabara @ Electric Town

We took the train and head to our next stop, the enchanting Akihabara @ Electric Town around 7.30pm. I read so few about it to know what to expect, just judging by the name of the place itself, I wondered, what could possible be there?

Right after walking out of the train I begin to see so people carrying bags and bags of figurines, toys, and other anime related items. And then I was greeted by these;

^Giant anime billboards!

OH! This must be the place where everything is possible I say! From your wildest imagination to your strangest desires. This Is The Place!

So I Googled the significance of this electric town. And it says, Akihabara was famous shortly after World War II for being a famous shopping area for household and electronic goods. Which has since then developed and evolved into a shopping district for video games, anime, manga and computer goods and games.The eccentricity of it all made it a fascinating walk as we stumbled upon maid cafes, adult stores, and anime shops. Everything was vibrant!

This is everything I know Japan of! 

^Pachinko slots EVERYWHERE!

^ I loved the streets of Akihabara.

 ^It took me a while to figure out what this guy was doing and what this service actually was. So apparently, you can rent special DVDs and have some quality time to yourself.


^And everything imaginable. If you want to be a zebra, or fake beard, everything is possible in Japan!

Standing Sushi

We wanted to leave Akihabara but by that time we realised it was already 11pm and we were getting seriously hungry. We snacked throughout the walk (mostly buns, because Japanese buns are amazing), but we wanted something more.

So we stepped into a sushi parlour not knowing it was a standing sushi bar. We were exhausted, but that didn't stop us. We were convinced by the veteran chefs, looking clearly serious in what they do.

We ordered a plate full of variety of sushis and I ordered miso soup to brave the cold. IT WAS HEAVENLY. All these while knowing that sushis are something so fine, and glamour, but seeing that particular sushi parlour not only was small, we had to stand and smelled like fish! Absolutely interesting.

That moment when we took a bite of each other's sushis we were like omg - this is how you do it. This must be how you do it. It was so good we decided to end it just enough to make us remember it that way.



We ended the first night in Tokyo discovering just two areas - Shibuya and Akihabara but we were SO HAPPY. We took everything as easy as it goes, and enjoyed every little walk.

This was that moment when I fell in love with Japan :)

Read More Japan Posts:

Japan Day 2: Disneyland
Japan Day 3: Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

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