Thursday, 1 September 2016

Day - 2 Walking and Exploring Japan : Tokyo (Shibuya), Harajuku, Meiji Jingu

Shibuya

Day 2: Tokyo (Shibuya): Woke up late after a late night, post 711 dinner (which was delicious.. Holy crap, buttered bread rolls that taste like diabetic winks), and headed down to meet our "owners" , who thankfully were a mix of European and American. I say thankfully because language barriers pre coffee are mind breaking. Got the key to our room, then set off for breakfast at a nearby Cafe.

Good morning, Japan, Airbnb sponsored Rain edition.
Good morning, Japan, Airbnb sponsored Rain edition.

After a reintroduction to how good Japanese coffee and red bean buns can be for breakfast, we decided to head over to Shibuya for the day.

Red bean bun, ham and cheese croissants. Oh also coffee
Red bean bun, ham and cheese croissants. Oh also coffee

Previously, we had today down as a throw away day just to get accustomed to Japan. However, Shibuya turned out to be a lot more interesting than.. At least I, thought.

We got off the train at Shibuya station and began to wander the streets as my gps pinged us in several places at once. We eventually ended up outside Tower Records, but were scared off by the combination of 3 levels dedicated to 'party', J-Pop and J-Indie, and a slightly melty Shiba statue.

We kept walking until finally we reached the 'Shibuya pedestrian scramble' which is the largest crossing in Shibuya (maybe?), and when the crossing goes green you pretty much have to be one with the universe, otherwise you will shoulder charge 800 people by accident.

Crossed over and saw our first set of Cherry Blossom trees. Which were very pretty and framed around a Clash of Clans™ Advertisement on a building above. The trees were also above a tiny dog statue, which a lot of people were very into: Hachiko. Basically the dog from Futurama, who waited for his dead owner each day at the train station for over 9 years. Until it died of cancer. I did not know the story at the time, and I am glad as I would have been sad. As I am now. Bleh.

Famous doggo. He waited 9 years
Famous doggo. He waited 9 years, damn it. His statue is him waiting alone :(

We continued our search for Yoyogi Park, but thanks to my GPS and my horrible sense of direction, we got lost. We did however eat ramen, drink beer and go to a Cat Cafe.

Salt based Thick tonkotsu broth ramen. So good.

We got in, checked out all the rules and marvelled at cats, and pet those that we were allowed to. I cut it short after reading a couple reviews about how the owners had blocked doors with bars, and threatened to call the police when visitors overstayed their allotted time.

Here are the rules and regulations for seeing cats.
Here are the rules and regulations for seeing cats.

Nothing but cats.
Nothing but cats.

Apart from that, and a jiggling of a cat in tanee's face, they seemed nice.

It was great.
It was great.

We then headed onwards to Yoyogi, which took less time, thanks to tanee's phone. When we got there, there were heaps of cherry blossoms, as well as Japanese people celebrating a tradition (apparently) of drinking under trees (think of boozy picnics, en masse, under cherry blossoms).

Here are drunk Japanese people.
Here are drunk Japanese people.

Pretty. Once again, arts degree. Thanks Griffith
Pretty. Once again, arts degree. Thanks Griffith

We once again got lost thanks to my phone, but ended up seeing a lot of the park, which was pretty. Finally, we ended up at Meiji Jingu, which is a temple, with a beautiful rainforestty walk. We witnessed some templey stuff, as well as walked the trails, then walked onwards to Harajuku.

Through to the temple
Through to the temple

Wheat covered sake barrels.

We weren't sure what to do with the water until some schoolgirls showed up and washed their hands with it. One drank from the water. She was showing off.

Once in Harajuku, my misdirection lead us to Kiddy Land (a 5 story toy store). The noise was... Unforgettable. They were playing what sounded like Karaoke of kids singing popular Western songs from the 70's/80's, coupled with the chirping/beeping/screeching of whatever toys were around. It was great. I resisted buying anything.

Harajuku Street entrance
Harajuku Street entrance

We then walked to Takeshita (yep) Street and searched for fun shirts. We didn't manage to find anything hilarious I'm particular, so the search continues. Hopefully Shinjuku holds something.

After walking up Takeshita St, and buying some pastry injected with cream, we wandered off in search of dinner. We ended up a craft beer place called GARAGE, which had a cut out of a storm trooper. Not sure why. The beer was good though. We did not end up having dinner there, but instead wandered back towards Shibuya.. Ish... Direction.. And had Vegan food from a Cafe that was open. Had a Tempeh Terriyaki burger which was delicious.

GIMME 50CCS OF CREAM IN A PASTRY STICK.

Tempeh terriyaki burger and ebisu.

Trained it home, went to 711 to get breakfast supplies and am now looking forward to Disney Tokyo tomorrow!

Sources : Ashley Holzberger

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