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First full day, and what a day. Asakusa-Ryogoku-Akihabara-Ginza-Roppongi-Shinjuku

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Gate leading to Senso-ji temple in Asakusa.

Asakusa

 

I woke up early the following day to find all my roommates sleeping, got dressed up and explored Asakusa, mainly the Senso-ji temple grounds and the shopping arcades. It was a beautiful cool sunny day; I was really excited and full of energy.  Apparently a festival was going on that weekend in Asakusa since groups of little stands were everywhere selling snacks and food.  I spent about 3 hours exploring the area, going as far as the river.  I also went to a mall called Matsuya.  This mall is huge, I don’t know exactly how many stories the building was, since I only went to the basement.  In the basement was a grocery/supermarket, selling many different kinds of foods, some already cooked and some fresh produce as well.

 

I went to Asakusa station and I bought a Pasmo card since I couldn’t find the machine that sells the Suica card, filled it up with 1500 yen, and took the train to Ryogoku stadium to see the Sumo tournament.

Akihabara
  When I arrived at the station, I ended up walking around, and took the long way before finally arriving at the stadium.  Yes I got lost, but it’s all good since I was able to explore the area around the stadium.  When I arrived at the ticket office, all the tickets for that day were sold out.  I talked to one of the employees who luckily spoke very good English.  She gave me some advice that I needed to be here at 730 am to wait in line to get tickets to the tournament.   The ticket office doesn’t actually open until 800 am.  I left the Ryogoku disappointed, but I guess I just have to wake up early the next day to wait in line.

 

Akihabara


I looked at my subway map and itinerary to see where I wanted to go next.  Akihabara was just one train ride away from Ryogoku, so I decided I would go there.  Upon arrival I went up to a building selling Japanese mangas, videogames, anime, and other things such as adult oriented books, I was taking pictures of the building and video recording as well when one of the employees approached me and said that was not allowed.

Seeeeeeeeeeega.
  Lesson learned that it’s probably not a good idea to take pictures or video record inside buildings.  I arrived at Club Sega which is a 5-story building with tons of videogame arcade machines and games you could play.  I left the building extremely hungry since the only thing I had for breakfast were 2 Japanese rice balls with salmon filling inside.  I stopped by this Pakistani restaurant, and it was amazing how well the Pakistani person Japanese even though I can’t really understand Japanese, just some basic words.  I ordered a small sandwich wrapped in pita bread before going to Ginza.

 

Ginza

 

As I was walking down the extensive tunnels in Ginza, I found the Sony building. So I went up and decided to put my camera away since I didn’t want to get in trouble again for taking pictures.

Ginza
  The Sony Building is big, consisting of many floors.  It featured many latest electronics from Sony, ranging from 3D TV, MP3 players, headphones, camcorders, cameras and so on.  They even let you play with them.  In the 2nd floor was a café area where they let you play with their latest camera and take pictures with it.  I was going to try one, but all the cameras they had were being used at the moment.  I got to try out their 3D TV, where you have to put on a specialized 3D eyeglass.  It was pretty impressive, but I’m not sold just yet.  3D TV technology is still very early in the development.

 

Literally Ginza had a lot of huge shopping malls, but I didn’t have the time to go to any of them.  I had no intention of buying clothes, but I should have at least walked inside and roam around, maybe next time.

  I continued to walk down Ginza and found myself in a huge park overlooking Ginza with a moat of water surrounding a huge stone wall.  At the end of the park was a bridge and the Imperial Palace.  That wasn’t part of the itinerary. I just happened to get lost and found my way there, but that in itself was awesome to have the chance to see the palace from the outside.  The park itself was extremely beautiful with the way you can see Ginza’s tall skyscrapers in the background;  it was a gorgeous view.  The Hibiya line was near the park, so I took that on my way to Roppongi district.

 

Roppongi

 

To tell you the truth I had no idea what I was going to do in Roppongi since I didn’t plan it out.

Imperial Palace
  It was already late afternoon before I wound up at Roppongi Hills and  Mori Tower building, and in front of that was the famous giant spider. I walked around inside the Mori Tower and saw a sign that they had an observation deck on one of the floors as well as a museum. The tickets for the Mori Tower observation deck as well as the Mori Art Museum cost me 1500 yen.
Itsy bitsy spider, not.
  I went to check out the museum first. I don’t really understand art, but I still enjoyed checking it out.  They had so many exhibitions in the museum.  One of them was a really dark room, and a man was in there doing his "art."  People watched him in that dark quiet room except for moments when that artist did some obsessive compulsive behavior.  It was almost like watching a dream.  Another exhibition was loud noises.  I didn’t know loud noises could be classified as an art, but like I said I don’t really understand art.  But the loud sounds made in that room were beautifully put together, and it was quite soothingly loud.  I left the museum to the observatory.  I’m glad I went to the
Mori Tower observatory as opposed to the Tokyo Tower observatory.   The view was amazing and clear.
View of Tokyo Tower from Mori Tower observatory.
 
Tokyo Tower was just right across but was completely dwarfed.  I walked the observatory and saw so many couples enjoying the views.  And here I was alone, started feeling lonely that I don’t have a nice girlfriend, so I decided to leave, not because of this, but because I’ve seen everything that I wanted to see.


Shinjuku

 

By the time I left Roppongi it was almost getting dark.  I initially planned on going back to the hostel, but I decided to go to Shinjuku to check out the night and their neon-lights.  I also wanted to try the Capsule inn, which I booked three days before.  The neon-lights in Shinjuku at night are amazing. I have never seen anything like it in my life since I come from a farming community in the central valley of California.

Shinjuku at night.
  I found myself walking down Shinjuku station, which is one of the biggest underground networks of shops and subways; it was phenomenal.  I arrived at the Studio Alta building and was planning on doing the Kabukicho walking course as suggested by Lonely Planet, well I did about 10% of that in no particular order that was suggested at all before I felt really tired, hungry, and I had to find Green Plaza Shinjuku Capsule inn.  I found the capsule inn after 30 minutes, it was quite hard to find.  I checked in, and spent the night there just for the experience.  This inn was extremely hard to find since the map I printed was useless. And the building itself doesn’t have a lot of sign to show that it is Green Plaza Shinjuku.  But I found it eventually after a lot of walking.  It is across a train station, I can’t recall the name.  The staff didn’t speak any English, just a few basic words, but I was able to check in easily.  After I got myself situated inside my capsule room, I went up to the public bath to wash up, and called it a night. I was extremely exhausted and slept 30 minutes later.  See my review of Green Plazla Shinjuku Capsule Hotel below.  I knew I had to wake up early to get to Ryogoku to wait in line for the Sumo tickets.

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Gate leading to Senso-ji temple in…
Gate leading to Senso-ji temple i…
Akihabara
Akihabara
Seeeeeeeeeeega.
Seeeeeeeeeeega.
Ginza
Ginza
Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace
Itsy bitsy spider, not.
Itsy bitsy spider, not.
View of Tokyo Tower from Mori Towe…
View of Tokyo Tower from Mori Tow…
Shinjuku at night.
Shinjuku at night.
Shinjuku at night
Shinjuku at night
Field trip
Field trip
Food vendors.
Food vendors.
Vending machines are all over Japa…
Vending machines are all over Jap…
Yummy.
Yummy.
Takoyaki.
Takoyaki.
More food stands.
More food stands.
The ladies are watching the meat s…
The ladies are watching the meat …
hmmmmmm bacon
hmmmmmm bacon
Sanja Matsuri Festival
Sanja Matsuri Festival
Inside Club Sega
Inside Club Sega
Akihabara
Akihabara
Sonys latest products.
Sony's latest products.
Area in the Sony Building where yo…
Area in the Sony Building where y…
Ginza
Ginza
Walking towards the Imperial Palace
Walking towards the Imperial Palace
View of the Ginza skyscrapers behi…
View of the Ginza skyscrapers beh…
Mori Tower
Mori Tower
Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum
Mori Art Museum
Mori Tower Observatory
Mori Tower Observatory
Shinjuku at night
Shinjuku at night
Studio Alta building
Studio Alta building
Capsule inn
Capsule inn
Capsule inn
Capsule inn
Capsule inn
Capsule inn
Tokyo Hotels & Accommodations review
Green Plaza Shinuku Capsule Hotel
This capsule hotel is located in Shinjuku across and by Seibu Shinjuku Station. It was extremely hard to find since the building itself blended pretty… read entire review
Tokyo
photo by: maka77