Dan In Japan: Day 2

Jet lag and sickness don’t mix very well, it seems. The best intentions made me get up at around 8am to shower so I could try and beat the 9 hour time difference and fool my body into thinking it wasn’t 11 ‘o clock at night. Once I got back to my room however, I lay down for 5 minutes and then woke up hours later:( Now it’s only because today’s February the 29th that I’ll let this slide. It’s an extra day so at least I didn’t waste a REAL day! I know every moment of this trip is valuable, but I actually feel all the better from it. The flu’s dissipating, I’ve DEFINITELY now got over the time difference (it’s 23:17 right now and I am worn out!) so while I may have felt angry at myself this morning, I’m now happy I can conquer the rest of this city at some more reasonable hours!

So what to do with my day (or what was left of it)? Well I didn’t want to go far and wanted to walk to liven myself up a bit so that left me with 2 options- Asakusa and Skytree. In the end I kinda did both!

So I set off down Meiji-dori to try and at least complete the one mission I’d set for myself on my first proper day- go to 7-Eleven and try and buy tickets for Momoiro Clover Z! I’d found it impossible to buy tickets for any of the shows I wanted to catch while I’m here, partly because of Japanese ticket sites and google translate being terrible, but mostly due to the lack of Japanese credit card. Fortunately, a lot of the ticketing companies have deals with combinis (convenience stores) to sell their tickets via an in-store kiosk. In 7-Eleven’s case, this kiosk was actually a photocopier with a touch screen! While there was no English option, I’d found a couple of youtube videos that helped me decipher the machine and I am now (hopefully) in possession of 1 ticket for Momoclo at the Kyocera Dome next week! Either that or I have a 65 pound piece of paper! Mission (possibly) complete… on to Senso-Ji…

After a good half hour walk, I made it to the famous Kaminarimon gate at the start of Nakamise-dori, a beautiful but very touristy shopping street that leads to Senso-Ji Temple. I headed down the street, avoiding all the shouts from vendors to buy their ‘omiyagi’, only tempted by the melonpan stall which I already intended on buying from after hearing so much about it (it’s just a doughy sweet bun, but absolutely delicious).

I then made it to Senso-ji Temple, and it was then that I was actually glad I’d not come out earlier. Dusk was just setting in and as I stepped up to take the above photos they turned on the floodlights and I got these beautiful shots. I don’t think I’d have chosen to come at night so I’m so glad I did now. I’ll still need to come back in the day sometime to full explore the place (and get more melonpan) but it was perfect for tonight.

After that bit of sightseeing, I wanted to get something decent to eat. I headed through a shopping arcade and came across a place called ‘Azuma’- a restaurant that’s served the people of Asakusa since 1940. I had to take my shoes off & sit on the floor, they gave me free green tea and my Katsudon (pork cutlet and egg on rice) & miso soup only cost me 7 pounds. It was amazing. Re-energised, I then noticed I was round the corner from a bit of a major entertainment district, with countless arcades, pachinko parlours and shops, so I decided to pop my head into an arcade and see what they had. I wasted too much money on UFO catchers, played Pokken Tournament (literally just Tekken with Pokemon!) and played a Japanese Guitar Hero alternative that had BABYMETAL on it! Worth every yen.

Shops were starting to shut so after a quick peek into Don Quixote (a massive discount shop that sells EVERYTHING) I thought I’d finish the night over at Tokyo Sky Tree. While I wasn’t planning on going up it tonight, I’d got such nice unexpected photos in the dark at Senso-ji that I thought I’d see if I could do the same at Sky Tree. The area is absolutely beautiful at night with Sky Tree and everything else all illuminated. By this time it was about 10pm so most things were closed so I’ll need to come back to fully appreciate everything, but there’s so much there and I’m really glad I have this relatively on my doorstep. Oh and I took a terrible selfie with The Colonel.

And that was my day! I may have only been out and about for around 6 hours but I feel I accomplished a lot! Just think what I can do with a FULL day?!? I’ll test that out tomorrow when I head to Akihabara!

Dan

P.S- Oh, and I found this humungous can of Mountain Dew in a vending machine. Life complete.

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