Monday, April 8, 2019

Japan Travelogue Day 7: Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Hachikō and Robot Restaurant!

Day 7 in Tokyo, this trip is probably the longest time i've been away for a holiday (at that point of time) I'm not sure if i mentioned earlier on how this 2 week in Japan is planned. Basically 1 full week in Tokyo, then transit to Osaka for another week with a couple of day trips to Kyoto in between the days. So this is going to be the last post on Tokyo before transiting to Osaka! Most people will probably get the oh-so-expensive JR pass for trips like this but i did intensive research and managed to save half the amount without the JR pass. I'll share more on the next post! As for now, Day 7. That's one week in Japan already!
Woke up early in the morning (as usual) and decided to walk to the nearby McDonalds for breakfast. 
First stop of the day - Meiji Shrine. I always feel that when visiting a new country, you need to experience the culture. It shouldn't be all about shopping and attractions. Like for example, when visiting Bangkok for the very first time, one should visit the floating market and the 4-faced buddha. When in Seoul, go visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace and learn the history. Basically somewhere which allows you to learn and gain more knowledge along the way. This way, you will learn so much more from traveling. After which, you can do whatever you want the subsequent time you visit the same destination.
Different ways of writing prayers and wishes at the Meiji shrine.
When walking towards the shrine, you will be greeted by barrels and barrels of sake and wine along the side of the pathway. The colourful sake barrels are presented as gifts to the shrine by sake manufacturers. If you are looking for a place at Meiji Shrine to take your OOTD or insta-worthy shot, this long stretch of barrels will make a really good backdrop as you can see from the above two photos :D
I'm not sure if i mentioned this in the earlier post but i've always wanted to visit Japan for the longest time. I have this saved album on my instagram and inside this album are a collection of photos which i remind myself that if i ever go to Japan, i MUST find the place and take a photo there. The above is one of the those places - Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku by Hiroshi Nakamura.

The entrance is this kaleidoscope of mirrors which makes every shot taken there so interesting. I was so excited when i saw the actual place right in front of my eyes. Next thing i did was to start posing to get my instagram shot (so typical i know...) Just look at the photos above. The reflection of the street omgggg.
Takeshita Street. The most famous shopping street in Harajuku!
You will never miss the famous crepe shop when you are at Takeshita Street! Basically there are a couple of touristy thing to do (mostly snacks to try) and having a crepe is one of them. There is soooo many combination to choose from and i got myself a strawberry cheesecake crepe. It was sooooo good :)
Harajuku is also one of the place in Tokyo where you will find fashionable teenagers. It is the center of Japan's most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but Harajuku also offers shopping for adults and because this place is a tourist attractions, it's usually packed with people.
Another famous snack is this giant rainbow candy floss from Totti Candy Factory. I did a quick search online and found out that this candy floss cost 900 Yen which is about SGD11. I would actually consider since it's a good photo prop, now i a bit regret not getting it. (lol) I'm not so sure about finishing the whole thing tho, the size is gigantic and you can't really carry it around and eat along the way cos it's so crowded (plus it's rude to eat and walk at the same time in Japan)... and also doesn't all candy floss taste the same???
Freshly fried Calbee! This is also one of the must eat because it's fresh from the fryer! Deep fried on the spot and you get to choose your toppings like the typical hot and spicy, cheese, salt and butter and even have your chips drizzled with Royce chocolate!! As much as the Royce chocolate seem tempting, i had the harajuku special - Maple Syrup with Cream cheese (330yen, SGD4) I also ordered a serving of the Calbee sticks, fresh from the fryer too! With that said, Calbee+ is a definite must try when visiting Harajuku! 
The famous Hachikō statue in front of Shibuya Station.
Went back to the famous Shibuya crossing to have a view of how it is like in the day. There are a couple of good spots (for example Starbucks) to watch the magic of Shibuya crossing but these places are always filled with people so it's not that easy to secure a spot to take a photo or video. So... i went to do a quick google and found an unorthodox way to get a really good view from high up. It involves sneaking into a hotel and getting into a guest lift so that you can make use of their access card to get to a certain level. The view from the hotel was amazing and i managed to get a really good time-lapse of the crossing.
Last activity of the night was a visit to the famous Robot Restaurant. (Special thanks to KKday for sponsoring the tickets!) I had no idea what to expect from this show but apparently it was hyped as one of the best experiences in Tokyo so i was kinda excited that night. Not so sure about the restaurant part because all we bought was popcorn and drinks. I think they got sell Bento sets but nah. Not interested...
It was quite a show! Totally beyond what i expected. I don't even know how to explain what i watched and i'm quite sure this can only be found in Japan. There is so much going on with all the dancers, lights everywhere and these huge ass props that i don't know how they store them backstage. It's really quite an eye opener. If it's your first time to Tokyo, you might want to consider spending that $65 to catch this show! This basically sums up my one week in Tokyo! 

In the next post, it will be about transiting to Osaka and spending a week there. Half way through this travelogue! がんばり続ける! No idea if whatever i just pasted make sense because i just google translate "keep it up" and they gave me these. HAHAHHAHA

Half way through!