Tokyo in 4 Days – Day 3 – Shrines and Shopping

On our third day, I woke up already feeling anxious about leaving Japan the next day.  There were a lot of things in my mind that I wanted to do, places I wanted to visit – but there’s just never enough time each time. I got pressured thinking we only have 2 and a half days left.

But before that – a “blogger” pose from a cool wall in one of the subway stations towards our first stop.

Where did I drop that 100-yen coin?

Our first stop for today is Meiji Jingu. I have been here before but as it was Hannah’s first time, we had to take her there so she could make her wish. Stepping into Meiji Jingu is like traveling back in time, or to a place that is opposite of one’s idea of Tokyo as a modern city. I guess this is what I love about Tokyo, you can be at different kinds of places within a train ride.

A refreshing welcome

Cleansing ones hands and mouth before entering the shrine

Once inside, we checked our fortunes by drawing sticks (Omikuji). Last time I was here, I picked up something about being a wayside pebble to becoming a polished gem. This time, it’s something about being left behind when one makes no move at all.

Drawing lots!

Why is this so true?

After getting our omikujis, we bought some charms and then went in the shrine to make our wishes and prayers.

Peoples’ wishes for the day

So, what do they do with the wishes?

Writing down her wish on the votive tablet

We took a few more photos within the area before heading to our next destination.

Golden tori

Saw a Japanese wedding procession!

One more photo!

We were already hungry at this point – our initial plan was to go to Tsukiji Market and have lunch there. But – the subway train going there is 700 meters away, which is around 20-30 minutes walk.  We were almost thinking of just eating within the area but as this is our last chance to go to Tsukiji (we won’t have time tomorrow), I’m happy I pushed them to walk!

A long walk along a quiet street!

When we got to Tsukiji, the first thing we did was look for a place to eat! We didn’t have enough energy to go through several places and pick one so we just went in the first restaurant we saw. I can say though, thank goodness we forced ourselves to come!

Various kinds of sushi!

The KING of sushi – fatty tuna belly (o-toro)!

Itadakimasu!

I still dream of that o-toro up to today. After eating and regaining our strength, we went around Tsukiji a bit for sight-seeing. For those who are worried about coming to Tsukiji late in the day, don’t worry – there are still a lot of stores and restaurants that serve fresh seafood. You don’t need to be up at 3AM and witness the fish auction – if all you want is to eat the best sushi and sashimi in the city, just come to Tsukiji anytime!

I wanted to eat here, too!

Fresh seafood!

Those are big tuna heads!

Our next stop was Sensoji temple. To get to Asakusa from Tsukiji, we had to walk a bit to the train station. We passed by a Kabuki Theater which looked very grand! There were a lot of people outside the building so it was good to see that Kabuki is still popular!

Kabuki-za

Senso-ji is one of the most touristy places in Tokyo. There’s just a lot of people visiting the shrine, and a lot of shopping going on in the surrounding shopping streets.

Kaminarimon

Senso-ji Temple

We tried some street food, as well as shopped around some more for souvenirs. We spent over an hour walking around aimlessly again!

Trying out this crab street food

One of the many shopping streets surrounding Senso-ji

Afternoon chill

Yatai street! I was tempted to drink!

We rested whenever we found chairs or seating areas. When there was none to be found, we went in a coffee shop, mainly to sit down – but damn, that coffee was good, too!

Rest #1, a random empty chair on the street

Rest #2, a coffee shop called Ginza Ranzu

This was very good coffee!

When we went out of the shopping street, it was already dark! We still had a lot more shopping to do since today was our last evening in Tokyo. The next day, we would be checking out of our Airbnb already so we won’t have time to properly pack anything that we’ll buy on our last day.

We went back to Shibuya to continue our shopping. Hannah had to get some cosmetics and gifts (shoes, earphones) for her family. I didn’t really have anything particular that I wanted to buy so I just went along and looked around. There was a Don Quijote store 1 block away from our Airbnb that was open 24-hours so I was going to buy my omiyage there.

Shibuya at night

Weekend crowd

We went back to our Airbnb after the shops in Shibuya closed. We had dinner at a restaurant nearby where we saw the other day that they served omurice. To our surprise, they didn’t serve omurice – they had an omurice looking one but with noodles inside.

We thought this was omurice!

Not wagyu, but good enough beef!

Tired but happy!

After dinner, we went to Donki to buy even more snacks and souvenirs before calling it a night. This day passed by so quickly – I felt so sad because we’d be flying back to Manila the next day already.

Check the rest of our 4-day trip here.

Tokyo in 4 Days – Day 1 AM – Tada Ima!

We arrived at Narita Airport at around 7 AM, with intermittent 5 hours of sleep on the plane.  Prior to exiting the plane, the flight attendant said “It’s very freezing outside, please keep warm.” She was right! We walked from Terminal 3 (JetStar) to Terminal 2, where the train station is located. We rented a mobile wifi device and bought our Tokyo Subway Tickets before leaving the airport.

Photo op before boarding the train

Our Airbnb accommodation is two stations away from Shibuya Station, at Sangenjaya. We bought a one-time use ticket from Narita Terminal 2 to Nihonbashi station (Narita Skyaccess), and used our Tokyo Subway Ticket from there to Shibuya.

We were starving when we arrived, but we didn’t want to eat at the airport, so we headed out upon arriving at Nihonbashi station to look for a nearby Japanese restaurant. A lot of the restaurants we passed by were closed, so we ended up picking the first open restaurant we saw.

Katsudon set for brunch!

After eating, we headed back to Nihonbashi station to continue our commute towards Shibuya.  We had a couple of hours to kill since our check in time is at 3PM. So, we decided to start exploring Shibuya central area while waiting. We left our bags at the coin locker near the station so that we could enjoy walking around.

But first, photo op with Hachiko!

The famous Shibuya crossing

We went into Tsutaya to have coffee from the 2nd floor Starbucks and watch the Shibuya crossing action from there, but there were no window seats available. So, we ended up listening to some of the latest music from Japan’s top artists instead.

Perfume’s Tokyo Girl was playing EVERYWHERE

After checking out the entire Tsutaya building (record stores, books, and a posh cafe on the top floor), we crossed the street to L’Occitane cafe, which also had a good view of the intersection. Although this cafe was quite pricey, we got a taste of the best ice cream ever.

The ice cream on these creme brulee – best ever!

We spent a good hour people watching as we were seated right by the window. We also took a time lapse of the whole Shibuya crossing action.

At around 1:30 PM, our Airbnb host texted us that we could already check-in in advance as the unit was already ready. We finished our coffee and went back to the station, excited to wash up and rest a bit!

This already feels like a long post, so Part 2 of Day 1 will be in the next entry!