Saturday December 10th
We were resigned to the fact that there would be no sleep ins and we would be perpetually exhausted but that is how it goes when you only have one full day in Tokyo, which was mostly up to the girls what they wanted to see, especially Mads given it was her first time. In the agenda was some sight seeing, but also quite bit of shipping (of course).
We started though with the Imperial Palace gardens which were fairly close by. So we jumped out of the train station and wandered in. Sadly, it probably best representation of Japanese gardens for Mads, as there was very little autumn foliage still left and so they were a bit barren. It also didn’t really afford views of “Japanesey” buildings like other areas, so we did a bit of a wander and then kept moving.
We were heading toward Ginza when my good fortune prevailed again. I had completely forgotten about it, but we were near the small statue of Godzilla that resides in Tokyo! Score! I was so excited to see it… I had even watched the latest Godzilla movie on the plane on the way over. He was quite small, but you could get some good angles to have him residing menacingly in the neighbourhood.
The visit to Ginza was to mostly to visit the main flagship store of Uniqlo. Yep. Decided to visit 12 floors of Uniqlo. We all bought a few things, with Mads especially loving the options here in Japan. Time flew by as we explored, with me picking up just a few cool tees that I was unlikely to see back home.
Next we headed in the direction of Roppongi, as Kate was keen to visit a more traditional arts and crafts type store. We had read about one that focused on designing and crafting just in Japan so it was good to get a sense of the traditional craft goods. We had seen quite a bit in Kyoto, and so explored this a bit but didn’t feel compelled to take anything away.
We seemed to be doing a loop of Tokyo, as we then headed to Shibuya. Mads could not visit Tokyo and not visit the famous Shibuya crossing. So emerging out of the station at the Hatchiko exit (poor little puppy) we made our way across the crossing and up into the Starbucks that overlooks, just as many do. It was nice to sit and have a drink and watch the craziness.
While in Shibuya I ditched the girls for a quick bit. I could not be in Shibuya and not visit my favourite record store, the Disk Union outlet that specialised in punk and metal and well, everything really. 4 small floors of LPs that always make me drool. I didn’t have hours so just spent half an hour picking through the LPs. Nothing jumped out at me so for the first time I left empty handed believe it or not. I met back up with the girls and we kept moving, this time to Harajuku.
It was dark, so we weren’t really able to explore the park, so just wandered down the shopping area to see what we could find. We knew two places we wanted to pop in to. Mads was keen to visit the Adidas flagship to see what unique things they had, while I wanted to pop into Kiddyland… 6 floors of toys. We didn’t spend too long in there as I wasn’t intending to buy, but it is always good to see the strange Japanese exclusive things. A small Snorlax for my desk was all I left with.
It was getting later so we headed back across town towards Asakusa. We decided to pop into Akihabara for another quick bit so we could visit the stores we had missed on our first night. It was cool to wander through all the little shops and see what unique things they had. I managed to find some more Kit Kat so it was well worth the visit 🙂
On our travels, I picked up one of the christmas coke bottles that they had here. I had seen a video showing the magic label that was on these bottles and had to try it (you can youtube it obviously). Bt the gist is you peel off one side of the label and pull a tab… and keep pulling… and keep pulling. And slowly the label folds up into this sweet bow, without you doing anything else! Why don’t we have this at home?
Anyway, a detour back to Uniqlo to pick up some things that were being embroidered for the gals and then it was back to the hostel. Boy had we walked some miles and we were were all pretty tired. We needed our rest for our last big day in Tokyo.