Japan 2016 – Tokyo 2 – Akihabara, Harajuku and Teishoku
Today, me and my friend went to Akihabara and Shinjuku for a shopping spree. Shopping is a large part of Tokyo’s entertainment and of the “Tokyo Experience”, so it’s a pleasure, not even a guilty pleasure. Even if shopping is an activity that I only like in moderation, shopping in Tokyo can be an exciting experience. After I woke up (which was a bit late due to the fact that I’m jetlagging like crazy -> is that a verb? No? Well then now it is ^^), we went on our way to the metro station. It was a very cold day today. Three layers of clothes and a coat still wouldn’t keep us warm.
My friend told me that most Japanese people don’t go to Akihabara. It’s a haven for otaku, for nerds. But since I know a lot of proud nerds (gamers, fanboys and girls and many, many more) and I share some of their interests (gaming, etc.) I feel comfortable in Akihabara. Also, I really love Gashapon vending machines. You throw in a 100 yen (or more) and you get an action figure or something else. I got Whizz from Dragonball Super (I was aiming for Goku Super Sayajin Gotto or Vegeta *sigh*, aww I’m happy) and Azusa got us a friendship charm of Sailor Pluto (from the Sailor Moon franchise).
Akihabara consists of a amalgam of various high buildings. The buildings we explored were Akiba (right next to the station) and the tall Book Tower. In Akiba, we watched Frozen’s Anna and Elsa sing on a new high quality LG-television.We looked for HDMI-wires and we walked through the toy section. At the toy section, we saw a large section of incredibly creative toys. We also saw Licca, a doll that is very popular among Japanese girls.
The story goes that when the famous American Barbie doll was introduced, the girls did not like her exaggerated features. They strongly prefered the more normally proportioned Licca doll to Barbie. Licca-chan, who has been for sale in toy shops sinc 1967, remains popular among Japanese children. In Akiba, there was a wide row of dolls. Licca in various outfits, such as Licca as a princess, Licca in lolita fashion, and Licca with her family.
Moments later, we left Akiba to have lunch (cup noodles from the convenient store) and then we went into the huge Book Tower. I love book stores, especially abroad. I love to see the different ideas, topics and illustrations book stores of different countries have to offer. Azusa gave me a book as a present! It’s a detective called Kaitou Tantei (the Mysterious Detective). I will start reading it tonight ^^.
After that, we took the train to Harajuku. As soon as I saw the sign of Takeshita Dori, the entrance gate of one the most creative, fun and cozy shopping streets in Tokyo, and in all of Japan too, I felt happy. One of the first stores we went into was the Daiso department store. Azusa had introduced me to this shop by saying that it’s a big hundred yen franchise in Japan. Meaning that you can buy all sorts of things for just 100 yen (I’d say that’s close to 1 dollar or 1 euro). One of the things I bought was Orea cookies in macha flavour for Azusa.
After that, we went into the first floor a building where the Disney Store was at a higher floor. I saw all kinds of cute jewelry. I hadn’t really bought jewelry since last year, when I went to Seoul. So it was about time for some new earrings. I saw this really cool set of two different size golden colour earrings with black cats on them. And I saw a ring with the head of a frog on it. I made me laugh and it wasn’t too expensive, so I bought it. It goes nicely with my other frog ring that I bought in Insadong (Seoul, South Korea) last year.
After having shopped in Harajuku, we went back to Minami Senju, the metro station near our hostel. I was shocked. Our metro had a delay of a couple of minutes. I’m just not used to that in Japan ;-), the country that I admire for their punctuality. It was very cold! After the train arrived, we were pushed into the the train and as many people as possible were crammed in the car. I said to Azusa: ” At least we’re not cold anymore.”
We then went to eat tei shoku, or a “set meal” in a restaurant (see the pictures below). It has been a great day in Tokyo, Japan again today.