JAPAN: Day 6 – Tokyo (Saturday, 24 January 2015)
Living in a tropical country sometimes makes you miss winter a lot. That’s what happens to me all the time, especially after my first winter trip to Japan last January. Now I’m going to continue my Japan travel stories, and now I have reached Day 6!
Saturday is a dedicated day for the capital city of Japan, Tokyo! We woke up early in the morning with the plan to hit Tsukiji Market – the biggest fish market in the world! Can you imagine that? Really, the biggest of all. Japan is very well-known for its best quality of fish, so Jutet and I were so excited to visit this market. Well, we didn’t go at 4 AM to join the tuna auction, though. We arrived there at around 9 AM, but everything was great… and yes, the place was huge.
As you can see, they don’t only sell fish there. Basically they sell seafood. You can find crabs, oysters, squids, prawns, and many more. I tried the best oyster ever, it was big and cold for 180 JPY. Actually, in Tsukiji they also have fruit and vegetable market in the same area, just different section, but we didn’t really go there to check the whole place.
After wandering around and took many photos, and even videos, we decided to go for the sushi breakfast in Tsukiji area.
|Dessert first is fine sometimes, especially when you have to queue long time for the main course!|
|We had to queue approximately 1.5 hours to finally get into this small restaurant: Daiwa Sushi|
|This was the young chef that took care most of our sushi.|
|We spent 3,500 JPY each for this sushi set. Believe me, it’s worth it. Super fresh!|
Without any doubt, that was the best sushi we’ve ever had all our life, at Daiwa Sushi. I look forward to come back next time. My mouth has got watery now as I’m thinking about how delicious it was…
Next, after Tsukiji, we headed back to Asakusa area to visit the temples and the shopping street there. However, we went back to the hostel first since we both needed to go to the toilet so bad. Let me share a little bit about our hostel before moving on to the next points of interest in Tokyo.
So our hostel, Khaosan World Asakusa Hostel & Ryokan, is one branch owned by Khaosan Tokyo, the no. 1 hostel group in Japan. Even though the name of the group is Khaosan Tokyo, they actually also have branches in Kyoto, Fukuoka, Beppu, and Sapporo. In Tokyo itself, currently they have 6 properties spread around the big city. In the one that we stayed in, they have very helpful and friendly staff there who also speak fluent English. Dorms, private rooms, and ryokan are the types of room you can find there. They even have some in-house events for guests who felt like staying at the hostel instead of partying outside. Take a look at these pictures below:
|A weird yet unique decoration at the entrance.|
|Types of rooms they have. Ours was no. 507.|
|Manga Room, with some collection of Japanese manga in English.|
|If you want to stay in the city for at least 28 continuous days, you can try this program to get free accommodation! 🙂|
Basically, Khaosan hostels are the right place if you are traveling alone, and want to meet fellow travelers from across the world. If you’re traveling together with partner, friends, or family, this place is also nice as it is slightly cheaper than other hotels in general.
Next stop: The Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate)! We were assisted by Osekkai Japan members to reach this spot. Osekkai Japan is a voluntary group who helps foreigners who are visiting Japan. They are students from all over the world who are studying in Japan, or Japanese students who are studying various languages and people with different occupations. Interesting, eh? And they’re super nice! You can spot them in touristic places, wearing bright yellow uniforms. Check their page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/osekkaijp
|Photo taken by Osekkai Japan member.|
This shopping street is the perfect place for you to try various Japanese snacks and also to buy Japanese souvenirs, if you wish to bring something nice to your family and friends back in your country. Finally, Nakamise Shopping Street leads us to… Sensō-ji Temple area:
When we were stopping by earlier at our hostel today, we also searched in Google, where else to go in Tokyo for a one day trip, beside Tsukiji, Asakusa, Shibuya, and Shinjuku. We planned to go to Shibuya and Shinjuku later in the evening. Well, the result showed that, of course, there’s a lot of interesting places to visit in Tokyo, but this one area really caught our attention: Akihabara.
Akihabara is a district that is very popular for its maid cafés. The waitresses there wear typical Victorian style dresses to serve the guests, and even to standoutside at the streets to promote their cafés. Unfortunately, during winter, not many of them seemedto show up outside the cafés. I tried to take a picture of one of them, but she refused.
It is a heaven for you gamers and manga lovers!
|Still remember the last time you played Sega?|
But, to be honest, we went to Akihabara, only for this:
|Pop Life Department M’s, a 7-storey sex goods shop.|
It’s crazy, man! All those seven floors have TONS OF SEX GOODS, such as sex toys, porn DVDs, playful costumes, etc. What’s craziest about this place, is that this place has a very NORMAL and relaxing atmosphere. It’s just like going into a normal department store, where you have normal shoppers around you, with normal friendly staff at the cashier desk, and everything. But, please, never try to take a picture while you’re inside the building. I heard you’re going to be kicked out immediately.
Most of the visitors were men, but I can tell that most of them were just there to buy things for their wives or girlfriends. Of course, there might be some lonely single men who needed something to help themselves, haha. But really, the place didn’t make us feel like this is a special place for perverts of things like that. We really enjoyed looking around, and finally bought this for ourselves:
|Only 500 JPY, consists of 1 vibrator, 1 condom, 1 lubricant, and 1 G-String.|
Geez… I feel so naughty now, writing this.
Okay, so after Akihabara, we headed to Shibuya, to find a crazy huge crowd at the streets. I mean, take a look at this:
|Just a normal day in Shibuya where people crossing the street peacefully.|
We went outside the train station to look for the famous Hachiko statue, and here he is…
We didn’t spend so much time at Shibuya as it was just too crowded for us, and we didn’t really wanna deal with so many people walking around us. It was kind of distracting and not enjoyable. We went back to the station and left for Harajuku.
Harajuku is actually a district in Shibuya, too. I was already expecting it to be as crowded as Shibuya, but I was wrong. The place was cool. But sadly, we only saw a few cosplayers there. We were expecting to see many. Well… I don’t know, probably because it was already in the evening… or probably because it was winter season… hmm.
We were having a look at one of the most famous streets in Harajuku, Takeshita-dori, when I found this cute little shop:
Pet Paradise! Such a nice place to shop goods for my puppies. We bought some jelly snack for our beloved Pumpkin and Furball.
If you’re a fan of Japanese clothes, cosmetics, and sweets, you definitely have to go to Harajuku!
|Liz Lisa, a clothing store that sells super girly and pastel-colored clothes.|
|Candy A-Go-Go, a candy shop where Avril Lavigne’s Hello Kitty music video took place.|
|Missha. Not Japanese brand, though. It’s a South Korean cosmetic brand. But well, just because it’s Missha, so…|
Done with Harajuku, now it’s time to meet Yuri Yamada again, and this time with Yoshihiro Abo, my fellow from SLP 2010 as well! We met at Shijuku station and Abo-chan took us to this amazing ramen restaurant in Shinjuku area, Musashi Ramen:
|As someone who’s not really into ramen, I still say this is ONE BOWL OF SUPER DELICIOUS DISH!|
|Yuri, Jutet, & Abo-chan|
The ramen portion was huge and Jutet even had the extra size one. Oh my. But damn, it was just super delicious. I’ve never had this kind of ramen before. Jutet, as a ramen-lover, was in heaven.
After the amazing ramen dinner, we strolled around Kabukicho. Kabukicho is actually popular as a red light district. What’s interesting is that this place has one area for male customers, and another area for female customers… meaning that women can also go there to look for men! Ayayay…
We heard that the clubs and bars in Kabukicho are mostly, or maybe all, run by yakuza. Yakuza is some kind of… Japanese mafia, I would say. So you better not mess up with anyone in this area. Just look around and behave well. If you see someone whose hand little finger is cut, most probably he’s a yakuza that has done something not favorable to his gang members. Cutting little finger is a form of punishment in their community, which is known as yubitsume.
The odd things is that… there was a game center in the middle of this red light district! Yuri and Abo-chan took us inside to try the Japanese photo booth! We also had similar kind of photo booth in malls in Indonesia, but the Japanese one was just super fun. The space inside the booth was pretty large to accommodate even more than 5 people, and we could choose what song we wanted to listen while taking photos of ourselves, haha! In the end, we could also edit the photos with some stickers or writings, or even edit our faces if we want, and send the photos to our phones. This was the result:
Not enough with the ramen dinner, Abo-chan found us a traditional izakaya and we got a table on the second floor. There, I finally met my favorite beer of all time: Sapporo Beer 🙂
|Abo-chan & Yuri with Sapporo Beer!|
|Edamame and noodle snack to accompany the beer.|
|Traditional izakaya in Shinjuku.|
THANK YOU to Abo-chan and Yuri for taking us out in Shinjuku for the weekend. It was such a wonderful time. Jutet and I really really really really wish to go back soon to Japan.
Tomorrow will be our last day in Japan. We went back to our hostel after saying “sayonara” with Abo-chan and Yuri. One lovely night had to end again… but tomorrow will be another lovely day, again!!! Stay tuned on my blog for the post of our last day in this winter trip 2015.