Monday, March 26, 2012

Tokyo Trip: Day 2 - Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku

On Day 2, my lovely Japanese friend, Marina, came to meet us at the hotel at 10am.


So sweet of Marina who took a day off from work to take us around.

We took the subway to Shibuya. Before that, Marina got us PASMO cards. This card allowed us to travel on rail and bus in the metropolitan area and can also be used for payment as electronic money when making purchases at participating PASMO electronic money stores. You can buy this card from the subway ticket machine. Don't worry, you can choose English language on the machine.

Upon exiting Shibuya station, we came across the bronze statue of Hachiko. I've heard of Hachiko and his story really touches me forever. I just had to take a picture.


Hachiko statue


Waiting for the scramble crossing in Shibuya

We had our breakfast at Segafredo. It's not Japanese but that's okay.



After our breakfast, we spent quite some time shopping in H&M. We then proceeded to Shibuya 109. Apparently, Shibuya 109 is stated as a must go in the guide book. We found nothing in there. It is actually a shopping centre for "kogals". Kogal are known for wearing platform boots, a miniskirt, copious amounts of makeup, etc. It's like "la-la" in Cantonese. Not our cup of tea so we left the building to explore other places.


Shibuya 109


Around Shibuya

As we were walking around Shibuya, we saw a Pachinko centre. Jess and I wanted to try and so we went. Pachinko is a type of slot machine with metal balls like a pin ball. Basically, you must get the ball into the hole in the middle and the slot will run. You win if you get the right combination like 1-1-1, 2-2-2 and so on.



Watch the video I found on YouTube below on how to play Pachinko (he did not win):



Marina made reservations for lunch at this famous restaurant for soba. Honestly, it was the freshest soba I've ever had. According to Marina, they made the soba upon order. No wonder it took them so long to serve our food.


The picture of me by the stairs is the entrance of the restaurant. Weird because there was no signboard at all. If it's not for Marina, I wouldn't know this is a restaurant.



Something I would like to add about this restaurant is the toilet. As I walked into the toilet, the toilet cover lifted up automatically. When I sat on it, the seat was so warm it was like heaven. Omg I want a toilet like that too! Now I know why some Japanese couldn't do their business when they were here in KL. They're all so spoiled with toilets like that. Lol!

Tamawarai Address:
Kouga Bldg. 1F,4-23-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(In Japanese: 東京都渋谷区恵比寿4丁目23-8)
Tel: 03-3443-5138

After lunch, we walked to Omotesando. It is a boulevard lined up with trees, designer and luxury shops, cafes and nice restaurants. We went into this mall called Omotesando Hills. It is like our Starhill in KL.


Omotesando

We continued walking to Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. Takeshita Dori, which means Takeshita Street, is a narrow pedestrian only street lined with stores containing miscellaneous character and idol goods popular among teens.


Takeshita Dori

We went to a "purikura". Purikura, is short for "Print Club", are these popular photo booths in Japan. You can add little images to the pictures and then the pictures print out as stickers. It's amazing how our pictures taken were instantly photoshopped to make our eyes bigger and skin flawless. Is there a camera like that which I can buy? Lol!


At the printout, Marina took out her mobile and place it on top of a scanner. Apparently, this machine will email her a softcopy of our purikura. That's so cool!

We wanted to go to Meiji Jingu shrine but by the time we were done in Harajuku, it was already 5.30pm and it was already dark. The shrine is only open from sunrise to sunset. So we took the subway from Harajuku Station to Shinjuku. Before that, we saw Fancl store right opposite Harajuku Station and there we went and bought lots of Fancl products. I was so happy that they are still selling Pore Cover Base. I was told that it is a limited item in Singapore. Marina heard so much good things about it from me and the promoter was telling her that it is a hot product and it's selling fast, she just had to buy it. Lol!

In Shinjuku, Marina took us to Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. This is one of Tokyo's landmarks with an observatory on the 45th floor.


Tokyo night view

Marina made dinner reservations at 8:30pm so we still had time. We went to Odakyu food mart at the lower ground floor to get some snacks. It is like Jusco Supermarket's food section except that this was far more interesting and mouth watering.



The restaurant where Marina took us for dinner is in Kabukicho. Kabukicho is a major entertainment town in Shinjuku and also the red light district of Tokyo. There are many restaurants, cinemas, hostess bars, game arcades and love hotels in this area. As we walked along this street, we get approached by men asking if we wanted men. Lol! I only had a standard answer each time when they approach me which Marina taught me - "Nihongo wakarimasen" which means I don't understand Japanese.


Kabukicho

The name of the restaurant in Kabukicho is Ajito Secret Dining. I was told that this restaurant is very popular among Japanese girls. I know why of course. Cute waiters and if you like, you can pay JPY500 to buy him a drink and maybe he'll come sit with you (I'm not sure about the "come sit with you" part though lol i'm just saying).




We were so stuffed we couldn't eat anymore but these Tamago Kake Gohan was super delicious. We ate them all!

Thank you Marina for this lovely dinner.

Ajito Address:
Building 3F, 2-37-3 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(In Japanese: 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町2-37-3丸友ビル3F)
Tel: 03-3207 4222

After dinner, we walked around Shinjuku toward our hotel and that was it for the day. We walked so much that day that our feet hurt so bad. I got a serious lower backache the next day because of my aching feet. LOL!

Alright, that's it for Day 2. I'll blog about Day 3 soon.

My complete posts on my Tokyo Trip:
Tokyo Trip: Day 1 - Arrival
Tokyo Trip: Day 2 - Shibuya, Harajuku and Shinjuku
Tokyo Trip: Day 3 - Hakone
Tokyo Trip: Day 4 - Tsukiji Market, Odaiba, Ginza and Roponggi Hill
Tokyo Trip: Day 5 - Asakusa and Ueno
Tokyo Trip: Day 6 - Ginza, Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Departure

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