Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Tokyo: My First Trip, Day 2

On our second day, we were planning to rent bikes and cycle around Tokyo, enjoying the sights and sounds. But, the weather had other plans. We had a couple of nice hours biking around Asakusa and Ueno, but then the wind and rain got too much for us and we returned our bikes and escaped to the shopping/nightlife districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya.

Park on the east side of the river near Asakusa.

See Rurousha, I told you you'd be impressed! I said hello from you. We enjoyed using your great blog post to learn about everything there :D Thank you! 
Everyone else, I won't just rewrite what I learnt about this shrine, it would feel like plagiarism or something anyway. Just follow the link above if you're interested.

Foxes on the roof

Kitsune (fox) shrine

We also visited Matsuchiyama, yet another thing I'd read about on Rurousha's blog. Who could resist visiting a temple dedicated to sex radishes? (The white things at the top are Daikon, a Japanese radish, and apparently in this pose they're having sex. Normal.)

We went to Kappabashi Street and looked at all the plastic food, from sushi to spaghetti to beer. We also looked at a lot of other awesome food related items (including the most incredible cookie cutters I've ever seen), but the prices of the things I wanted mean that I'll have to get saving!

We also went to Tokyu Hands, a 7 floor shop all dedicated to 'Creative Life'...craft items, cooking utensils, fabrics, DIY, stationary, and everything else awesome. A great place to waste a rainy afternoon. Although, for future information, it is not worth taking a boy with you. Even a tolerant one like mine. They will get bored. But they will also stop you buying too much. I escaped with just some pretty paper flowers and Pooh bear stamps (for my students benefit, obviously).

There's also a party/variety section. CREEPY.

Near Shinjuku Station at night. 
Interesting fact...on average, 3.5 MILLION people pass through Shinjuku station every day. That's the population of Los Angeles/double the population of Perth/half the population of Saigon (Ho Chi Min City) or Hong Kong/18 times the population of Norwich/257 times the population of Beccles and Worlingham. Delete as appropriate to make your head explode.

We met up with some friends and some friends of a friend for dinner and drinks. 


  1. I think you should take me to this shop I would not get bored!

    1. Definitely not, although you might have to charter a plane to get all your stuff home!

  2. Oh wow! Oh my giddy aunt! Oh this is great! ^^

    I'm so glad I could introduce you to interesting places off the beaten track! You'll definitely have to come for another visit, because there's lots more to see. The lion will miss you if you don't return!

    Thanks for saying such nice things about my shitamachi stories. I'll do my best to unearth more funky places for your next visit! :D

    PS: Pooh stamps for your students? Yes, Susie, we believe you ...

    1. I'm glad you could introduce me to places too! John and I always pop into random places that we walk/cycle past, wherever we are in the World, but in Japan they're usually fleeting visits because we are so ignorant about everything there and are ばかがいじん who can't read Japanese, and so we usually just go 'Aww, pretty' and leave! It was good to be able to go to a shrine and know what we're looking at! Now I just need you to come to Sendai and explore around here for a bit so we can feel knowledgeable about this area too!

      We have to come back because since I linked John to your blog he found the post about the pining pine tree and now he wants to go there. It was a bit far out for this trip but it's on our list of things to do in Tokyo sometime.

      PS - Technically John bought the Pooh stamps. We have a bit of a joint obsession...we have a Pooh teddy which is what started it all, calendar, bowls, glasses, chopsticks, towels, etc. Tragic but true. So, the stamps make me and the students happy, what's not to love?!