Jun 18, 2017

Tokyo Day 5 - Tsukiji Fish Market and Meiji Shrine


Tsukiji Fish Market is the creme de la creme of palengkes (markets). They are known for their early morning seafood auctions, and tourists line up for hours to eat in the famous sushi restaurant there. However, JM and I were not ready to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to eat sushi so we settled for having lunch there instead.

You can easily get lost inside the market as there are a lot of things to see. We settled for a small sushi shop along the alley to have our lunch. We had some salmon, tuna and a platter of mixed sashimi. Everything tasted really good; I may be biased, as I really like eating sashimi. 
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
Tsukiji Fish Market
After lunch, we decided to try our luck again by visiting the Meiji Shrine so we hopped on the train to Harajuku. Upon reaching the station, we realized that it was already near the entrance of the Meiji Shrine compared to the route that we took on Day 2. It was a very cold day and it started to snow a little; coming from a tropical country, seeing ice fall from the sky is truly magical.

Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the late Emperor Meiji and his wife. It was quite a walk from the entrance to the actual shrine but there will be a lot of photo opportunities for you while walking, one of which is the famous barrels of sake. I tried to search a little and found out that the decoration of barrels (kazaridaru) signifies connection between gods and people in Japan.

There is no entrance fee to get to the shrine and it is open from sunrise to sunset with no closing days.

We spent a few hours looking around the complex and taking in the sights. We left just before dark and went back to Takeshita Street for some shopping. 
Meiji Shrine Entrance
Meiji Shrine Entrance
Meiji Shrine Entrance
Meiji Shrine Entrance
Meiji Shrine Sake Barrels
Meiji Shrine Sake Barrels
Meiji Shrine Tokyo
Meiji Shrine Tokyo
Meiji Shrine Tokyo
Meiji Shrine Tokyo
Continue Reading

May 21, 2017

Tokyo Day 4: Asakusa and Odaiba

During our walks from the hotel to Kamata station, we always pass by the Ota City office which has a huge digital thermometer outside. Day four was the coldest day that we experienced in Tokyo. The temperature when we went out in the morning was 2.7 degrees Celsius, dropping to 1.5 degrees Celsius on our way back to the hotel. We experienced sleet (rain with snow) while we were in Asakusa and it was raining hard while we were in Odaiba.

Ota City
So cold!
This did not stop us from pursuing our planned itinerary though. With multiple layers of clothes and jackets, we braved the cold and hopped on the train towards Asakusa.

Tokyo Subway
Train's here
Asakusa is the home of the famous Senso-ji temple, which is a popular Buddhist temple. It is also the oldest temple in Tokyo, built in 645 AD.

Asakusa


Asakusa

In front of the temple are rows of shops selling food and souvenir items. We got a geisha doll and Japanese art for a reasonable price.


We found another branch of Ichiran ramen on our way to the train station. Since we loved it the first time we tried it in Shinjuku, we queued up in a heartbeat and slurped our hot bowls of ramen on this very cold day.

Ichiran Ramen
A bowl of hot ramen on a very cold day
Odaiba is an artificial island, connecting to Tokyo via the Rainbow Bridge. We took the Yurikamome monorail train line from Shimbashi to Daiba. 

Odaiba-Rainbow-Bridge
Rainbow bridge as seen from the monorail
It was still raining when we reached Odaiba, so we were unable to explore the outside area. We headed to the Diver City mall for the famous life-size RX-78-2 Gundam. Good thing I was able to see the eighteen-meter-tall Gundam before they took it down last March.

Odaiba-Gundam
Me, gundam and my pink payong
RX-78-2 Gundam
RX-78-2 Gundam at night


JM, being a car guy ever since, will not miss the opportunity to visit Toyota MegaWeb - dubbed as the car theme park to ‘Look’, ‘Ride’ and ‘Feel’ automobiles. So we braved the rain and walked over to the opposite building. It was funny though that Google Maps pointed us to a long route going to the MegaWeb building when it was just right behind Diver City.
We started the tour at the History Garage before heading down to the Toyota City Showcase. Surprisingly, I did enjoy the tour but my husband delighted in all the cars on display.




Toyota-Megaweb
My husband at one of displayed cars

Toyota-Megaweb-FJ-Cruiser
Feeling the vibes of the FJ Cruiser
After the car tour, we had some okonomiyaki for dinner and head back to the hotel to rest.
Continue Reading

May 10, 2017

Tokyo Day 3: Ueno Park and Akihabara

From doing a city tour yesterday, we decided to visit Tokyo’s famous Ueno Park. 

Ueno Park prides its rows of cherry blossom trees during springtime. However, we were in Tokyo last February, which is still considered as wintertime, and most of the trees have not yet bloomed. We were still lucky enough to see a few trees which had started to bloom already. 

I can just imagine how magnificent the park will look like in spring.
Ueno Park
Cherry Blossom Japan
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Cherry Blossom
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Ueno Park
Cherry Blossom
We spent half a day at the park, just walking around and taking in the scenery. I wish Manila had more parks like this, where families can unwind and bond together after a full week of work. 

There is also a zoo inside the park, which we decided to skip.



By noon, we headed to Akihabara, which is famous for electronics and toys. JM got a few Gundam plastic model kits, and we bought some scale model cars for my brother.
Akihabara
Akihabara
While walking in Akihabara, we came across a small stall selling Pablo mini cheesecakes. I got the classic flavor and JM got matcha flavor. The cheesecake is so soft that it melts in your mouth. I liked the classic flavor; the matcha flavor, not so much.
Pablo Cheesecake
Pablo Cheesecake
Pablo Cheesecake
It was starting to get dark when we decided to call it a day and get back to the hotel.
Akihabara
Continue Reading