Summer Vacation in Tokyo, Japan! (PART 2)

And we’re back for the next installment of our adventure in Tokyo! Part 1 can be viewed here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Daily steps: 17,292
Miles walked: 7.21

Before we came to Tokyo, Kevin found online a store that sells old coins and he very much wanted to visit. It is located near the Asakusa neighborhood, which we didn’t know anything about. Boy, were we pleasantly surprised when we ran into a huge marketplace (Nakamise Dori) and a beautiful temple called Senso-ji, Tokyo’s oldest [Buddhist] temple. What meant to be a quick jaunt to buy some historical Japanese coins turned into a fulfilling afternoon of culture and shopping.

A 50 sen piece (half-Yen) from the 1800's!

A 50 sen piece (half-Yen) from the 1800’s!

Nakamise-dori, where I was able to buy my Lucky Cats and the Kimono robe I wanted!

Nakamise-dori, where I was able to buy my Lucky Cats and the Kimono robe I wanted!

Beautiful Kimono robes for sale

Beautiful Kimono robes for sale

Senso-ji Buddhist Temple

Senso-ji Buddhist Temple – built in 645 to honor Kannon, the goddess of mercy

And a pagoda! A real Japanese pagoda!

And a pagoda! A real Japanese pagoda! (note the Sky Tower in the background)

Incense... to pay one's highest respects to the Buddha

Incense… to pay one’s highest respects to the Buddha

We also had some conveyor belt sushi. Well, I stuck with the cooked shrimp sushi, but it was still delicious!

When in Tokyo...

When in Tokyo…

After all that, we made our way to Shinjuku because we had tickets for the Robot Restaurant! It’s a bit sensory overload but a lot of fun! Kung-fu pandas, giant snakes, sharks that eat people, fembots, lasers, blasts…I could go on. I’ll share a few pictures from it, but I also made a video compilation so you can get a really good feel for it! Good if you are not planning on going. If you are planning on going, then you probably shouldn’t spoil the surprise!

First, you go to the Robot Lounge where you can grab a drink and listen to the jazz trio.

The Robot Lounge

The Robot Lounge

Then you go down to the basement for the show! It’s in a lot smaller of a space than you would imagine.

Fembots...oh my

Fembots…oh my

These guys were SO cool!

These guys were SO cool!

Finally, if you are so inclined, please watch my video! I ended up having to make it twice because the first software I used didn’t end up working if you watch it would make me very happy (but not if you intend on visiting anytime soon, of course)! Thank you!

After the Robot Restaurant, we went to Golden Gai. This is an area in Shinjuku with a few blocks of tiny post-war buildings. They have all been turned into micro bars that seat maximum ~6 people. Seriously, these bars are TINY! Not all of them welcome new people, foreigners and locals alike. At some you have to be introduced! Anyway, we went to a foreigner friendly one and made friends with some other travelers and actually some other people who teach in Korea as well. It was really cool!

A bar in Golden Gai

A bar in Golden Gai

This is the bar we went to. Literally, this is it!

This is the bar we went to. Literally, this is it!

I bet you wouldn’t guess that in the biggest city in the world the subways close around midnight. Well, they do. And we decided to stay out until 12:45. Our cab ride (all 8 km of it) cost about $37! But hey, our cab driver gave us 2 tissue packets as a gift. See – everyone is SO nice! Also, fun fact – the back seat passenger doors open automatically in cabs! You don’t have to pull it open or closed yourself. Very neat!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Daily steps: 20,682
Miles walked: 8.62

Wednesday we went to Akihabara, the electronic area of Tokyo. Electronics are much cheaper in Japan than in Korea, and this area is where you go to buy them! Seriously, we went into an electronics store (one of many) and it was 7 stories and there was different stuff on each floor. I left with some cool origami paper. Random, yes, but it was in the very teeny souvenir section on the girly floor (the floor that sells electric hair products and whatnot).

Welcome to Akihabara!

Welcome to Akihabara!

There’s these stores where you can try out video games and such. Putting this thing on transported us into a virtual reality…. a rollercoaster right through Tokyo. It was amazing.

Kevin is just in awe.

Kevin is just in awe.

The other thing Akihabara is known for is the maid cafes. That’s right, there are cosplay cafes where the servers dress up in french maid costumes and treat you like they work for you, welcoming you home, etc. etc. I would have gone but we just didn’t do it. Another time, for the experience. Only in Japan, right?

@Home Cafe

@Home Cafe

After some time in Akihabara (and after eating some delicious soba which we paid for via a vending machine!), we went to the Sky Tower!!

Here are some photos!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Daily steps: 26,282
Miles walked: 10.96

On this day we visited the Imperial Palace East Gardens…then it started to rain a lot so we found big department stores which ended up being extremely high-end. I’m sorry, but I can’t buy Prada and Louis Vuitton all the time…. I don’t really have photos from that venture. Anyway, it finally stopped raining and we found a charming little street with lots of different restaurants. It was parallel to the elevated subway train tracks and there were even restaurants UNDER the tracks. We ate in one, a sushi restaurant where you place your order with the chefs and they make the sushi right in front of you. Pretty cool, even from a non-sushi lover like me. Here are the photos from all of this!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Daily steps: 9,816
Miles walked: 4.09

Our last day in Tokyo. Most of the steps were achieved walking around Bunkyo trying to find a place to eat lunch and trekking to the airport. Between the hour and 10 minute subway ride to Narita, the 2.5 hour flight, and the 2 hour bus ride home (which ended at 1am), it really was impossible for me to get those last 184 steps to make it to my daily goal of 10k. Oh well.

We found an amazing chain sushi restaurant for lunch called Hamazushi. Basically, you sit at a table or a counter and there is a conveyor belt of sushi going by. BUT! There is also a tv screen at your seat where you can special order other types of sushi, drinks and dessert. Those special orders are also put on the belt on top of a red bowl, and your TV announces as it approaches! It was so awesome and really cheap! Their shrimp tempura sushi was the best I’ve had…and it was about 90 cents!



Okay, well that pretty much sums up the trip without getting into nitty gritty detail! I may do 1 or 2 specialty posts on Japan because I really want to share some other things with you all, like the whole vending machine situation. So be on the lookout for that.

Before I leave you, let’s tally up all these steps and miles.

Total steps: 135,613
Total miles: 56.55

That’s longer than the mileage from DC to Baltimore. It’s about the same distance as LA to San Bernardino. Let’s just say this weekend was spent sitting down quite a lot!

Hope you like my photos of Tokyo! If you haven’t been before, you should put it on your bucket list. It’s a true global city that will take your heart!


6 thoughts on “Summer Vacation in Tokyo, Japan! (PART 2)

  1. Your photos and video were all awesome. Looks like a really great and fun place to visit. Absolutely loved seeing the juxaposition
    of the old with the new. So beautiful. Really love the photo of this guy sleeping in the comfortable looking grass, looked familiar.
    Happy that you bought a robe, heard lots about how lovely they are. My daughter has one sitting in her closet that she doesn’t wear, so I will now be enjoying it. Keep those fabulous, informative posts coming.

    Liked by 1 person

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