Exploring Tokyo for the First Time – Day Seventy Two, Tokyo, Japan.
Thursday 30th August
Tom and I were both incredibly excited to finally be in Tokyo! After a long day of travel on Wednesday, we were restless come Thursday morning and desperate to get out and explore.
Rising early we headed straight out to the Pokemon Centre in Sunshine City Shopping Centre. This Pokemon store is well known as being the largest in Japan and was definitely pretty busy. After a half an hour or so of looking, Tom, had picked out a couple packs of cards, and I’d found a charm for my bracelet.
After a bit of exploring around the Sunshine Shopping Center, we headed out into some of the streets of Tokyo, stopping at Sega Gaming Center to try out their arcade games. There was so much choice we could hardly decide what to try, in the end, we picked out a grabber machine to try and win a huge box of our favourite Japanese chocolate biscuits. $20/£10 and we finally won our treats.
Just over a week into Japan, and Tom’s 1.5GB Sim Card had already run out of data. We usually buy a sim card in every country we visit, and 1.5GB nearly always lasts a lot longer than a week – especially when we are being extra careful with the data. We were more than convinced that this ‘tourist’ sim was automatically taking data off us daily. Anyway, because we can’t live without our 4G internet to get around we had to go spend another $25 on a new sim card for Tom – annoying, but we’d rather have the convenience of the internet than save the $25.
With Toms mobile back on the internet, we hunted down Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, which was just a short train ride away. The park was originally the residential area of the Naitō family back in the Edo period (1603-1868). The park is quite large, with the whole circumference being 3.5km – a nice big park for us to spend the afternoon wandering around in the lovely Japanese heat.
After an afternoon in the beautiful gardens, we headed over to Government Building, to make the most of the free attraction there. For free, you can take the elevator up to the 45th floor for a panoramic view of Tokyo. Most places in Japan you’d have to pay for a view like this!
To finish the day off we headed over to an area of Tokyo I’ve wanted to visit for a while, Harajuku. The area is well known for its colourful streets, quirky fashion, and interesting shops. I was really hoping we’d see loads of Tokyo teenagers dressed up in quirky outfits, but we sadly didn’t actually see much of that. Harajuku definitely isn’t disappointing, and I can certainly see why so many people want to hang around there – although, Tom and I definitely are not cool enough to fit in there!