Tokyo for a Day

On May 24 2015, I went to Tokyo with another intern, her host sister, a second year who lives in the same apartment complex as me, and a friend of the other intern’s host sister who isn’t in the same department.

The first place we went was Akihabara. Akihabara is famous for its many electronics shops, and many anime and gaming shops. Akihabara has gained recognition as the center of Japan’s otaku (diehard fan) culture.

Akihabara has emerged as a center of Japanese otaku and anime culture, and dozens of stores specializing in anime, manga, retro video games, figurines, card games and other collectibles have filled the spaces between the electronics retailers. In addition to shops, various other animation related establishments have become popular in the area, particularly maid cafes where waitresses dress up and act like maids or anime characters, and manga cafes, a type of internet cafe where customers can read comics and watch DVDs in addition to having access to the internet.

When we were in Akihabara we went to the animate store. Animate is a very famous manga publisher and animator company. We were in Akihabara a little early, so the animate store wasn’t open. We walked around and looked around in many stores; then we went back the the animate store and shopped inside for a while.

The second place we went was Harajuku. It is the center of Japan’s most extreme teenage cultures and fashion styles, but also offers shopping for adults and some historic sights. The focal point of Harajuku’s teenage culture is Takeshita Street and its side streets, which are lined by many trendy shops, fashion boutiques, used clothes stores, crepe stands and fast food outlets geared towards the fashion and trend conscious teens.

harajuku-1

Harajuku is the place for fashion businesses to be. Trends come and go at lightning speed in Harajuku. Decora, Goth-Loli, Cyber-Punk, Mori Girl, the list is endless. Many happen at the same time, and influence each other. Often it’s impossible to determine what gave birth to what. This disconnect and freedom is possible because there is no social message. Harajuku fashion is about fun. It is fashion in its purest form.

We started at the top of the main street and walked down the street through the shops. I love Harajuku. It is one of my favorite places in japan. So just being there was enough for me to be happy, but of course I had to buy a couple of things. One thing I bought was red contacts. I got two red contacts from the same store I always buy contacts from in Harajuku. It is a small store on the second floor of a store across the street from two consecutive crepe stands.

The third place we went was a Cat Cafe named MoCha in Ikebukuro. As the name implies, you’ll be able to relax while you pet a kitty at this café. With complimentary slippers for each guest and plenty of comfy couches.

We didn’t buy any drinks, but we stayed in the cat cafe for about 2 hours. We played with the cats and took lots of pictures.

The fourth place we went was Tokyo Tower. With 333 meters, Tokyo Tower (東京タワー) is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower of Paris, and the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower.

Tokyo Tower seen from the bottom

We went to the main observatory at 150 meters high. There were places on the bottom that had glass so you could see down to the ground from the observatory.

The fifth and last place we went was the Sky Tree. Sky tree is the centerpiece of the Tokyo Sky tree Town in the Sumida City Ward. With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as “Musashi”, a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest building in Japan and the second tallest structure in the world at the time of its completion. A large shopping complex with aquarium is located at its base.

We didn’t get to go up to the top of the Sky tree because we had to catch the last bus from Tokyo to Mito, and it we went up to the top we would miss our bus home. We had already payed for the bus so we decided to come back to the Sky Tree another time.

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