Place 26 – Day 8: Tokyo – Sushi, Pet Shops, A Park, Some live J-Pop & A Disappointment

We went to Shibuya today, home of the massive crossing & a few other cool things. The streets themselves were awesome and the crossing was massive and busy! 

We went to a sushi bar with automated conveyors! We had a screen at our part of the bar and ordered what we want and it came to us on the conveyor. It was fun and actually really cheap too! Curtis had grilled salmon Nigiri Sushi followed by Broiled Salmon & Black Pepper nigiri sushi. Both were enjoyable! Kim ordered some fries but then risked it and went with some sushi rolls of tuna & sweetcorn. 

We went to a big department store to look for a travel charger, but ended up in the toy section and having a laugh. It was even more of a laugh when we came to the adult section, because we are children!! We bought UNO here too, because we are still addicted. 

We went to a park after this and it just started raining once we got there. It was just a small amount of rain so nothing drastic. We then heard, from another park of the park, some loud singing. We went to investigate and there was some sort of free J-Pop concert happening. There were guys watching who seemed very, very passionate and were jumping, screaming, singing along and for some odd reason, shouting at a fake dinosaur head…it was crazy but a great experience! 

It started raining very heavy so we walked back into town and to the place we planned to have food. 

Once we got to the food place, we were really excited! This place was called Alcatraz ER and it was an Alcatraz themed restaurant where all the food and drinks look like horrible things and the staff can drag you from the cell and pretend to experiment on you! This sounded amazing, but, it was not…We ended up leaving as there was no ambiance. Noone was in character, it didn’t seem that they were playing to the ‘script’ that it says they will and there was loud music blasting. 

After a while of searching, we got fed up trying to find anywhere for food, so we went to a place we had previously seen in another location and weren’t keen on, but were so hungry that it seemed worth it. We each got a bowl of meat with rice. Curtis got beef and Kim got pork. They didn’t look appetizing, but they were OK, very cheap and did the job! 

After, Kim went to get a strawberry, chocolate & banana crepe.

We went to H&M & Forever21 to have a look around for Kim and Curtis was bored so decided to dress Kim up in some lovely headgear! 

We got the tube back and bought a bottle of sale at our hostel to try and it is tasty! It  I had a whisky texture but a wine  taste. Very interesting! We packed this morning so we don’t have anything to do other than shower. We leave nice and early tomorrow for a train ride then a flight! 

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 26 – Day 7: Toyko – Soufflé Pancakes, Great Coffee & Forest Café

We had a few ideas what to do today, but upon looking them up they were closed! We decided to walk to the Tokyo Skytree (tower) and see the cost to go up it as it also includes many things inside (known as the ‘skytree village’). This was incredibly expensive and not really that interesting, so we went to a coffee shop which had Soufflé pancakes which Kim had heard about and wanted to try. We had to queue to get in as it was so busy! Once we got in, we ordered one of the soufflé pancakes with chocolate syrup & chocolate ice cream as well as an orange juice for Kim and a charcoal roasted coffee for Curtis. The code was amazing (though not cheap) and the Soufflé pancakes was pretty good, too. 

We finished up here, had a little walk around and found an Owl/Animal cafe. This mostly had owls, but also had otters, a meerkat, snakes, lizards, ghekos, chinchillas and birds. This was pretty small and uncomfortable to walk around but the animals were cool! We got to stroke a meerkat, owls & shake hands with otters! 

We went to 7-Eleven on the way back to grab a pot noodle each. Kim had curry again and Curtis’ is an unknown flavour, though tasty! 

We had tiramasu for dessert, too!

We’ve booked some future accomodation and now just relaxing! 

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 26 – Day 6: Tokyo – Shinjuku

We decided to walk the 2 hours to Shinjuku today. This is meant to be a very good place and what you imagine Japan looks like. 

We started walking there and realised it was tiring! We grabbed a drink and continued on our way. The temperature was apparently not as hot as it has been, but the sun was shining so felt very warm! 

When we got closer, we saw the Tokyo Dome. This is a baseball arena as well as a theme park and a few other things like eateries and bowling. We stopped here and walked around to check it out, but the rides were incredibly expensive for what they were. 

Just before we stopped there, we saw a place that sold Gyoza, so we had to stop! These were actually really good, with a serving suggestion of soy sauce, chilli oil & vinegar, so we had to do that. They were delicious and a perfect snack!

We soldiered on and found the centre of Shinjuku. This was very busy and with a lot of large buildings! We found some WiFi and noticed there was an observation deck nearby, surprisingly in a government building! We headed there and had to go underground before getting searched and heading into a very fast lift to the 45th floor where we saw a lot of Tokyo from a lot of angles. It was really nice and free! 

We got super hungry so headed back down and found another curry place within the and chain as the first place we went to…it was still excellent! Curtis had the pork cutlet and Kim had the chicken again. It was perfect and just hit that spot! 

🍛

We walked back towards the hotel and saw a lot of cool buildings and areas on the way. We decided we were too tired to walk the whole way, so we got a tube to about halfway. This cost us 400Y all together (~£3) and took about 25 minutes rather than an hour walk, and we got a seat! 

We did the last 45 minute walk back, Kim got a doughnut and we sat and played UNO with a hot chocolate because we are old! Who knows what we will do with our lives when we leave here and don’t have UNO?! 

さようなら!

– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 26 – Day 5: Ueno Zoo, 🐼 & Chiyoda Park

We went to the zoo today! We couldn’t decide where to go and decided on the zoo. We had read that some people thought it was inhumane, but most people said it was good. 

We got there and it was just Y600 each (around £5). 

Kim mostly wanted to see the pandas, so we did! We went straight to their enclosure to find just 1 lonely panda. The mum had recently had a child, so her and the baby weren’t able to be seen. 

Kim & a 🐼

we walked around the zoo, coming across some very loud gibbons! 

We saw many different animals, as you do at a zoo. We saw some huge bears, but one was definitely not happy with being there and was attempting to escape! We saw sealions & seals as well as a polar bear which didn’t look too happy! 

Bear eating an Apple
🐻
Polar Bear
Sealion

We thought we were done with the zoo, then realised that there was a whole other section! This included penguins, small mammals, hippos, giraffes and zebras. 

We were there for a good few hours before we left to grab a spot of lunch. We then planned to go to the science museum but it was fairly expensive and apparently not in English and neither of us read Japanese! 

We just stayed at the area where the zoo is, which includes museums and today there was a ‘Nepal Festival’ celebrating Nepal..which is random! 

We walked here, sat around and watched the world go by before taking a 45 minute walk to another park called Chiyoda. This has a castle in it, but unfortunately we were too late and it was closed! We just walked around here and then made the 1 hour walk back. We stopped in 7-Eleven to get some dinner as we weren’t sure where to get food and knew there were cups of noodles! We got a noodle cup for Kim (curry flavour) and a bowl of noodles for Curtis (spicy!). These were actually really good and cheap! The noodle bowl was apparently complicated to make, as we had to get help from 4 Japanese people at our hostel! Who thought it would be complicated?! 

We still have a few days here and we’re loving every minute! Though our feet aren’t! 

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 26 – Day 4: Tokyo – Samba Festival

We had breakfast and played UNO whilst doing so because we’re clearly addicted! 

Whilst having breakfast, Curtis managed to knock over a whole coffee, so we had to clean that up and make another! 

When we walked into town we weren’t really sure what to do for the day, other than just going to the Owl cafe! We went into the café and we’re ready to pay, but after seeing the owls in boxes and not being able to hold them, it seemed both rubbish and inhumane, so we left. With no idea what to do, we stumbled apon a parade! This was apparently the 36th Samba Festival, according to the t-shirts. We thought this was a weird thing to be on in Japan, but we stayed and watched anyway and it was pretty awesome, though it looks like some of the performers forgot their clothes! 

We took a bit of a walk around after this, visiting some arcades just to look around and got a bite to eat and then went back to the hostel. We played UNO whilst we waited for it to be time to try and fix Kim’s iPod again, but we unfortunately had no luck so went out for dinner! 

We wanted some Yakitori, but the place we went to didn’t look very good, so we walked a bit further out to get another curry! We went to a place called Go!Go!Curry. This was not too bad and we got a decent amount. Curtis had to have a beer but was offered another drink which we later found out was a can of whiskey & soda! Should have gone for that. 

We were pretty full after dinner, but we took a little walk around the area we ate and there were a lot of food places, lights and people! 

We walked back to the hostel and had to go across a bridge and saw a perfect photo opportunity! 

As we were walking back, we saw two strange buildings next to eachother…it was quite creepy in the dark!

Teacups
Giant head!

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 26 – Day 3: Tokyo – Asakusa & Okonomiyaki 

We started the day much more relaxed, not leaving until 12:00. 

It was 34°C again, so very hot! We walked around Asakusa, which is the area near where we are staying. There are a lot of market stalls (most of which are permanent shops really) which were nice to look around. Most sell chopsticks, kimonos, swords etc. 

We found a place that sold what is called ‘melon bread’ which is not melon but looks like it. This is a sweet bread which you fill with ice cream. We had a vanilla ice cream one…it was delicious! 

As well as the market area, it was also home to a lot of temples, parks & a pagoda! We visited most of it and it was beautiful! 

We walked around here for a while before we went for some food at a place called ‘Okonomiyaki Sometaro’. This place was fantastic! It did have excellent reviews, so we wanted to go! This place serves Okonomiyaki mostly, but also some other items. Okonomiyaki is basically like a savory pancake mixed with an omelette. We really weren’t sure what to to expect or what it would be like, but we loved it! You order whatever you want, so we went with 1 beef, pork & cabbage flavour and 1 rice, corn & cheese. Kim had a coke and Curtis had a ‘japanese soda’ (like a bubblegum/creamsoda hybrid with a ball inside it for some reason!). The food comes out in bowls and you put some oil onto the slate in front of you, mix your mixture and pour it into the oil. This cooks and then you are instructed to flip it and then flip it again, before garnishing with the correct sauces. On the rice one, we had to add soy sauce and on the other we added mayonnaise & a sauce which you brush on which was delicious! This meal was so tasty and we plan to go back! And, it was a pretty good price! 

Before cooking
Cooked and ready!

We went to the shop to get some supplies on the way home and when we got back we decided to sit downstairs in the bar area and play UNO, which is provided by the guesthouse! We spent way longer than we expected to playing, and it was great fun! It was a couple of hours! We had a hot chocolate to go along with it, so it was the perfect evening!

All in all, we had a busy and fun day. We certainly aren’t wasting the days here! 

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale 

Place 26 – Day 2: Tokyo – Ginza & Curry

We started the day by grabbing breakfast downstairs. There was just toast and jam available, which is fine. Curtis had a coffee, but it was a drip coffee, in a mug! What a great invention!

Drip coffee in a mug?!

We finished breakfast and just sat and chilled before we were then told that we needed to go up to the room and remove our things from the bed as there was a ‘deep clean’ which we weren’t told about! This was already ongoing when we got upstairs, so we had to get ready around it, which was frustrating!

We left to walk to the centre of Toyko. This was over an hour of walking in 34°C! We walked through what felt like the whole of Tokyo, but got to see a lot of cool buildings! 

When we got to the centre, we went to Apple to try and fix an issue with Kim’s iPod, which should now be fixed! 

We walked around the centre (Ginza street) for a while, just admiring the awesome buildings and then we went to get some food. 

We really wanted some Japanese curry, so we found a place and walked there. It was about 20 minutes away and we were very hungry when we got there! 

We ordered a salad as a starter to share. It seems that potato salad is popular here, so we got that with out salad, it was tasty! 

Half eaten portion because we were hungry!

We then ordered 2 chicken cutlet currys each…they were SO GOOD! This was a small curry house which wasn’t busy and it was delicious. The staff spoke little English and it felt like we were eating somewhere locals would eat. 

The curry had the right amount of spice but was also very tasty!

🍛

We walked to a whisky bar which was meant to be really nice, and it was, but it was very expensive so we left in a hurry! 

We then went to a Nissan building which showcases some of their best cars, as well as 2 concept cars! Kim did a VR driving experience there which was a cool touch. 

Nissan GTR Nismo

Nissan Concept
Another concept

We left here and it was nice and dark, so we went to the busiest street where we took a lot of photos which look like typical Toyko! 

Today was a busy, long but awesome day! We love Tokyo! 🇯🇵

さようなら!
– Mr & Mrs Hale