*Note – I wrote that I’d include tips in these posts and subsequently did not include a tip in the first one (#nailedit), so I went back and added one to the end).
Jon and I are polar opposite travelers. I like to see as many things as possible (while still enjoying the sites, not just checking off a box with a photo) whereas he can happily take his time seeing fewer things and allowing time to relax. With that, I tried not to over-schedule our days but looking back at day 2, I was a bit ambitious with our day starting at 7:00 am. Lol, yeah that did not happen.
|7:00 AM||Hamarikyu Gardens|
|9:00 AM||Fish market – ferry to Asakusa|
|2:30 PM||Ueno Park|
|4:00 PM||Sensoji Temple|
|9:05 PM||Robot Restaurant|
If you remember from the last post, Jon got a terrible head cold just before we left. If we had any chance of enjoying the trip, we needed cold meds, asap. We dropped into a nearby pharmacy and picked up anything over the counter we could. Japan is a lot stricter in regards to cold medicine, so there wasn’t much available stronger than a cough drop. Except, codeine. Yeah you can get codeine without a prescription, you just have to ask the counter rep. We loaded up and started our day.
Unfortunately, I developed one of those fast onset migraines, and ten minutes into the train ride I knew I was going to be sick (like, sick-sick) and ran off the next stop. Luckily we had the pharmacy bag, the good and bad of Japan though, is that it is so clean in large part because there are no trash barrels, anywhere. Not even in bathrooms. Without going into full details, just think sick+pharmacy bag+no trash. Ugh. This was the worst possible way we could have started our trip, but we decided to head back to the apartment for a quick nap to try and rebound.
At around 2 we departed for Akihabara, a district known for its electronic shops, arcades, anime, and manga (comics). Aka Jon’s Utopia.
We went to building after building, floor after floor checking out figurines, playing arcades and general window shopping.
Me? Just give me the good stuff
That evening we had our first sushi trip (I just get cucumber rolls ;p ) that was out-of-this-world affordable, and according to Jon, beats anything you’d get in the US for 3x the price.
We wrapped up dinner in time to head to the Robot Restaurant. Not sure why it’s called that, (lost in translation, perhaps) as it’s just a show, no restaurant (though they do serve food).
The waiting room gives you the perfect glimpse into what’s to come
Going into it, we read very mixed reviews but is overall 4* with almost 4,000 reviews. Jon agreed with the positive reviews and thought it was really fun, I agreed with the negatives and thought it couldn’t possible have been any more hokey than it was. And it’s not cheap, either at 8,000 yen ($70 USD at this time), though there are ways to save a small amount. Basically, it’s fun, just really, really not worth the price. I’m not one to really promote needing to alter your state of mind, but if you really, really want to go, make sure you have a little buzz so you can ignore the flaws of the performance and just take it in for the fun, goofiness that it is.
If you kept count, day 2 accomplished just 2/7 of the targeted activities.
Stay tuned for a little more action on day 3!
Day 2 Tip: Before arriving, I was intimidated most by the thought of taking the subway, but it’s very easy. I recommend staying in Shibuya or Shinjuku to be ‘close to everything’ and taking the Yamanote line to familiarize yourself with the system. The Yamanote line is a loop that connects you to the major sites and attractions. Plus, if you installed the international sim-card, Google maps tells you exactly what lines to get on, in what direction, when, and how to walk to them.