Vacationista: Tokyo Day 2

Standard

We woke up early and by 8am, we were on our way to the train station. We bought breakfast at a Family Mart we pass by daily. Mine was a custard filled bread (Y150) and a cup of coffee (Y100). Coffee is self-service. Since we went there during the morning rush hour, there was a line behind me so I had to be fast. It’s awesome that they had chocolate powder and cinnamon on the counter to suite your taste. We then decided to eat at the train station, standing, and I realized how flexible my friends are. Haha!
   

After eating, we went to the Honganji Temple via Tsukijisho station (Y180). On our way there, we passed by the Tsukiji fish market where the fish auction takes place. We passed by their local market and saw different products and merchandise, including sushi erasers and the hugest strawberries ever. We also saw this one noodle shop with a long line & wanted to try it, but we weren’t hungry so we didn’t eat there (we did the next day though).

 At the Honganji Temple (no entrance fee), we were greeted by an old man who shared to us a bit what the temple is about. He even gave us a colorful memorabilia (forgot to take a photo!) which could serve as a bookmark. It actually looks like the gong in the lower right photo. Frankly, I could do away with this temple (and the next temple) since it wasn’t anything spectacular but it’s all good. At least we were able to see something.

  Next, we walked through the market again, passed by a lot of ceramic and household shops, until we reached the Namijoke Inari Jinja temple. Again no entrance fee and there’s even a poster explaining how to worship, which a few white gals tried. I observed some Japanese worshiping then ringing the bell. My two friends even ‘bought’ their fortunes for the year, which they didn’t share to us. Haha!

   
Since we weren’t able to visit Akihabara properly, known as the ‘electronics town,’ we decided to drop by today via Daimon station (Y180). Bought water and a piece of chocolate at Family Mart on the way (Y121). Our motto, when we visit tourist spots and are somehow ‘lost,’ is “to follow the crowd” and more often than not, we end up at the place we are looking for. Haha! Before going in, we passed by this mini-cosmetics and food store where I bought the cutest art masks (Y300 each) and a mascara (Y200) for a total of Y1620 with tax (do the math. Haha!). 

  
The huge electronics-and others- store is about 5 floors high, selling stuff ranging from electronics, beauty products and home supplies. I didn’t buy anything though and just walked around. The beauty products seemed more expensive than in the store outside of it. This is also where I had my money exchanged at Travelex (super lugi!) located outside. My US$100 only amounted to Y10,983. Sad. That’s like one meal less than my money exchanged at the airport.

 Anyway, we next went to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden via the Shinjuku train (Y200). 

   Entrance fee to the garden is Y200 and extra fees will apply to other spots like the green house.

 

It’s a huge garden with a lot of ‘instagrammable’ areas. 

 The entrance fee comes with a map so you’ll know where to go. We simply opted for the Japanese garden, since we had limited time, and even chanced upon two cherry blossoms, which Japanese photographers (hobbyists) were taking photos of.  
   
I actually like how the field is brownish-white because it gives the field a somewhat surreal feel. All over the garden you’d see Japanese couples lying on the grass, some were even sleeping.  

 Our next stop was the Meiji Shrine Sumida at the Harajuku area. Train was (Y140). But again, when we got to the shrine, it was already closed! They had a 4:30pm cut off time and we arrived not in the nick of time. Haha! Fail 3! So we simply walked towards Harajuku, known for teens wearing crazy outfits though we were told they usually go out on the weekends, and first had some crepe. I ordered the apple and cinnamon crepe (Y390).

  At the front of the Harajuku alley, you’ll already be welcomed by stores selling magnets and other memorabilia.

    
Don’t get overwhelmed since there are a lot of stores all throughout the alley. Was able to buy a cute Japanese girl magnet for our collection (Y190).

 We then arrived at Daiso and I was in heaven! The Y100 store we went to in Nagoya was different than this one and I have to say, I like Daiso better! First floor has cosmetics and beauty products, basement has food and household supplies, second floor has office and party supplies and top floor has other house cleaning products and pet stuff. An elevator is available for your tired shopping feet. Haha! Didn’t get to take a lot of photos because I got distracted by all the goodies! We were supposed to only have 30 minutes there but ended up shopping for more than an hour. Haha! Daiso in Japan is really amazing and cheaper than in Daiso Philippines because it’s only about half the price. Even if you include your excess baggage, I still think it’s worth shopping there since it would still cost lower and they have products that are not found in Manila.  

 I bought four packs of flat cotton (Y100 for 2 boxes), two make-up remover wipes, a 300-pieces oil blotting paper, a phone screen touch gloves (which I have been wanting to buy since I hate taking off my gloves during winter when I have to snap a photo!), a cute pouch (my novelty item because I really don’t need it but it’s oh-so-cute), two packs of nori flakes, a pack of nori chips, a Hello Kitty pasta (another novelty item since I’m not a Hello Kitty fan) and a black and grey sack/bag (not in photo) to put all my stuff in if ever they won’t fit my luggage. Haha! Three items I bought can actually be found in Daiso Philippines: the tube bottles, one-pump bottle (though this is always out of stock) and the green tea cookies (which I later found in Daiso when I recently visited because I had sepanx with Japan. Haha!). Paid Y1620 with tax (so that’s Y108 per item) which is roughly P671. Not bad di ba! In Daiso Philippines, that would only be around 7 pieces. I want to go back now! Haha!

Lugging all our shopping bags with us, we went to the Shibuya area via train (Y140) and first took snapshots with Hachiko, who was wearing a scarf to match the winter! How cute!   

Then we did a lot of crossing at the Shibuya crossing just to get a decent photo of us in the middle of the busiest pedestrian in the world, which we didn’t achieve. Haha! 

  
I must confess: got choked up a bit when I saw the Shibuya crossing because I kept thinking: this is the reall deal! I am here! Thank You Lord! 🙂  

  
When our feet and hungry stomachs couldn’t take it any longer, we walked along the alleys and let our nose lead us to the smell of grilling meat, since my friend was craving for some yakiniku. We ended up in this super tiny resto in one of the alleys. So tiny, just like a lot of Japanese restos, that there were ‘bag buckets’ under the chairs, which I think are brilliant but wouldn’t work in Manila because of all the pick pockets (eh katabi mo na nga bag mo sa Shangrila, nananakawan ka pa).  

 We ordered pork and beef strips, some lettuce, miso tongue (lengua which was really tasty) and rice. Of course, you have to cook your own meat. It’s perfect for a light meal. We paid Y1000 each.

 Afterwards, we looked for another must see shopping place according to my friend, which is the Don Quixote. This one has a lot of product crammed into such a small place! Rows and rows of food, bags, and beauty products line up the store. I think it was three floors. I like this place because the pouched Bifesta make-up removers were so much cheaper, around Y600 each. I bought two of those then two Tsubaki conditioners by Shisheido, around Y650 each and 1 L’oreal Hair Oil, around Y440 (my total was Y2940) then along the way bought these green tea chocolate biscuits which were really good (Y74).

 With a grateful hearts, a bunch of good stuff and tired feet, went back home to Hamamatsucho (Y200).

 

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