Our second day in Japan, yay! We only had one day to ourselves before we had to board the ship for our cruise, so we wanted to see as much of Tokyo as we could during this time. We decided to go to Akihabara, Shibuya and Harajuku by train. We chose these places because they seem to be the most popular among tourists.
Our hotel was a short walk to Kannai station. All the places we wanted to see were part of the Yamanote Line – the green circular track on the map. So we figured it would be easy for us to get around by train.
Here’s a shot of the street near our hotel from the overpass
We had to pass by the Yokohama Stadium on the way to the station
After a 0.4km walk, we made it to Kannai Station
Upon arriving at the station, we found a map of the train system and these ticket machines
We stood around for a while trying to figure out how to buy tickets and which station to go to, but in the end we figured it would be safer to go to the ticketing office to ask for help. The map was in Japanese so we really had no idea where we had to go.
Waiting for the blue line at the platform
Made it inside the train! The crowd wasn’t as bad as I expected, and after a few stops we all managed to get a seat
Ezra saw this interesting sign on the train. We’re not sure what it means though. Are you not allowed to expose your armpits on the train? What do you guys think?
Our first stop for the day was Akihabara. I’ve been told that no anime fan should visit Japan without stopping here to check out the anime merchandise. My dad also wanted to go because he heard that you can get electronics here for a much lower price compared to other places.
I love the colorful buildings and billboards!
Ezra and I immediately spotted this Summoners War display while we were walking from the station
I was a huge fan of the game back then (I still play these days, but not as much), so I was pretty excited
More Summoners War 😀
One of the first places we stopped at was a Duty Free electronics store, where my dad immediately found the camera he had been eyeing for the past months
It’s the Olympus OMD-EM1. He was surprised to see that it was about $300 cheaper here compared to the prices he saw online. He was so excited that he immediately decided to buy it
He took this candid shot of Ezra and me waiting at the store while he paid. Paying took a while because they had to check his passport, etc. Fortunately there was free wifi at the store, so I didn’t mind hanging out for a bit.
All done! Yay!
Of course I had to take a selfie with my dad using his new camera
After this we walked around the area and stopped by different stores to look for anime merchandise
We found lots of these gachapons
We also found this – Adult Amusement Park. Hmm … I wonder what goes on upstairs?
The station was located just a few meters away from the AKB48 Cafe. Kurt is a HUGE fan of AKB48 so we took a few photos here to make him jealous even though we didn’t go inside
I just liked it because it was so pink
We found the Gundam Cafe nearby too:
Again we didn’t go in because we needed to get to Shibuya by lunch time to make the most of our day
Back on the train 😀 It was a lot less crowded this time so we all found seats as soon as we boarded
We wanted to see Shibuya because of Hachiko and the famous Shibuya crosswalk. Also, I’ve seen many blogs featuring Shibuya fashion, and the girls all look adorable! They all looked like dolls. In fact, we saw this adorable girl on the train on our way there and we couldn’t help taking a candid photo of her because she was so cute
I wish you could see her dress more clearly since it was so pretty. Most of the young girls we saw in Shibuya dressed similarly.
Our first agenda was to look for Hachiko since we heard that he was just waiting right outside the station. We were worried that we would have a hard time finding which exit he was at, but we found out that there’s an actual Hachiko Exit, which makes it easy for foreigners.
We had a little bit of a blooper here. When we bought our tickets in Akihabara, we used the ticket machines (with the help of a kind couple we found at the station). But, before we could ask them which platform to go, they were gone. We asked a guard and he ushered us in through a small gate which he opened for us. We didn’t pass through the turnstiles which meant that our tickets weren’t punched. So naturally, when we got to the exit in Shibuya the machine rejected our tickets. We were told to look for the ticketing office to ask for assistance, but we couldn’t find it (because it was so small and hidden in the corner). We found a security guard nearby and decided to ask him for help. Ezra spoke a little bit of Japanese so she was able to give him an idea of what our problem was, but she couldn’t figure out how to tell him that the gate wouldn’t let us out, so she had to resort to body language. She made a huge “X” with her arms in front of her body and started saying “deguchi dame” (exit no good). Very crude, yes, but the guard understood and he was able to point us in the right direction.
Hello Hachiko! We came a long way to see you 🙂
We also wanted to see Shibuya Crosswalk, fortunately it was just in front of us. We were getting our cameras ready to take photos when the light changed, so we just went with the crowd and crossed the street without really knowing where we were going.
We were getting pretty hungry and we found this small ramen shop nearby so we decided to have lunch there
We had to order our food through a vending machine again, but this time they had pictures and numbers so we were able to place our orders without asking for help
The food was delicious! One of the best ramen and soba I’ve tasted. Ezra loved the curry too. Or it could be that we were all so hungry that anything tasted good… Nevertheless, we enjoyed our meal thoroughly.
After eating, we decided to stop by Shibuya 109 – a popular shopping mall among young girls
Found this cute wall. This was where I had my 18th self portrait this year
We only ended up buying stockings here, but we enjoyed looking around and trying different items
Our last stop for the day was Harajuku. We wanted to see it because I heard the fashion is crazy there. Plus we also heard that it was a good place to shop.
At the station, I found my husbando!
Yamapiiiii~ He was the reason I became obsessed with J-doramas (and then later K-dramas).
When we arrived in Harajuku, we didn’t know where to go. Fortunately, the entrance to Takeshita Street was just across the street from the station, and I remembered reading about how this was a good place to shop. So we decided to go and take a look around
Inside, we found a HUGE Daiso, where we spent quite a bit of time looking at the most random things. The store had 3 floors, can you believe that. I mostly bought snacks to give to my friends back home.
After walking for hours, we decided to take a break at this cafe called Caffe Solare. Ezra and I still wanted to go shopping but my parents wanted to rest so they decided to stay here and wait for us.
Found more cute outfits worn by young girls
And girls in uniforms
Ezra was so excited to find Rin standing guard outside one of the shops there
We came across this shop covered with posters of Johnny boys (and other idols). A few years ago Ezra and I would have gone crazy over these. We probably would have ended up buying all the NEWS and KAT-TUN posters.
Creepers and other interesting shoes
They looked great but I would never be able to wear them, especially not to work
Shot of Takeshita Street from one of the store balconies
Ezra and I had a blast exploring all the shops here, and we spent quite a bit of time walking around. I didn’t take that many photos, but we did take some videos which I compiled in our vlog. You can watch it at the end of this post.
We finished shopping at a little after 5. We had to take the train back to Yokohama and we debated whether we should wait till rush hour was over or if we should just take our chances. My parents really wanted to get back to the hotel, and we figured we were used to vicious crowds in the Philippines, so we decided to go ahead and start heading back. To be fair, although there were a lot of people on the train, it wasn’t as chaotic as some of my previous MRT/LRT experiences. True, we did get pushed aside a couple of times, but I could tell that the people were doing their best to be considerate and not take up more space than they needed.
I had another blooper on our train ride back to Yokohama. It’s common knowledge that it’s considered rude for people to talk on the trains in Japan (especially on the phone). So all day long we did our best to speak in hushed tones whenever we needed to say something. When we boarded the train at Harajuku station, it was super crowded so we all had to stand and hold on to the rails. I was having a difficult time because I was holding a huge shopping bag, so I decided to place it on the overhead rack. At the next station Ezra was able to get a seat right in front of where I was standing. Another seat opened up behind me (on the other side of the train) and I rushed to grab it, but another lady beat me to it. Before I could return to where Ezra was sitting, a huge crowd entered the train, so I was stuck. Unfortunately, I left my shopping bag on the overhead rack on the other side of the train and I had no way to get it without pushing a bunch of people aside. I figured they would get off before our stop anyway (we were 10 stations away), so I’d have the chance to grab it. However, the train remained crowded the whole time. When we were one station away from my stop I was panicking slightly, but I figured I’d still be able to get my shopping bag because this whole time, the train kept letting people on/off via the door on the right side (where my shopping bag was), so I’d be able to grab it on my way out. But of course, when we arrived at our station, the door on the left side (which was right in front of me) was the one that opened up! I had no choice but to get off because I was blocking the exit, so in a desperate move I yelled “EZRA! KUNIN MO BAG KO HA!” (“Ezra! Grab my bag!“). And I swear, everyone on the train turned to stare at me, it was so embarrassing! Then I heard a response “ATE! ETO BA?” (“Ate, is it this one?”). I couldn’t see her because it was so crowded, but I just yelled “OO! YAN!” (“Yes, that’s it!”), and ran out of the train. Gah!
Anyway, we walked back to our hotel after getting off the train. Here’s a night shot of the same street from the beginning of this post.
We were extremely tired and we just wanted to hide out in our rooms but we needed to eat dinner, so we went back to Chinatown to look for a place to eat.
Initially we wanted some sushi, but we were told that there was only one Japanese sushi restaurant in the area, and we couldn’t find it. In the end, we just went to one of the many Chinese restaurants there.
Before returning to our hotel, we stopped by Kwan Tai temple since it was nearby. It was already late so the temple was closed, so we just took a few photos in front of it
Back in our room, Ezra and I had fun filming ourselves talking about the stuff we bought that day. Again, I included the footage in our vlog below. It’s a little long because I had too much fun talking about the beauty products and facemasks I bought. If you want to see pictures of my haul instead of hearing about it, you can check out this entry I wrote a few months ago.
Afterwards, we relaxed in the tub for a bit and fell asleep immediately because we were so exhausted. Fortunately we didn’t need to get up too early the following day because our ship wouldn’t be boarding until around 11am, so we had plenty of time to rest.
As promised, here is the vlog of our second day in Japan. It’s quite long, but towards the end its mostly just Ezra and me talking about our purchases for the day 😀