Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tokyo, Day 5 – Akihabara and Shibuya



The evening before we had decided to go to Akihabara, the otaku district. Since we didn’t want to have breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant everyday, we had decided to buy some things in a shop and eat them later. We took some outfit pictures outside, when I suddenly realized I had forgotten my ointment upstairs. The day before, in the gardens of the Imperial Palace, I was probably stung by several mosquitoes, since my legs were covered in itchy bumps. My dad had none, but he had worn long pants.
We walked into the subwaystation and in one of the halls we found an adorable bakery called ‘Cafe Tap House’.

Cafe Tap House
The bakery was so cute! And they had a lot of delicious-looking things!

After looking around at all the food, we both chose some things to take with us. We chose something that ressembled croissants, some kind of sweet rolls, something more salty and I chose a cup filled with fruit, cake and whipped cream. We both received a bag and the food was carefully wrapped in plastic bags. Then we bought our tickets for the subway.

Yamanote line
We took the Yamanote-line, which rides in a big circle.

The trainride took quite a long time to reach Akihabara, since it was on the exact opposite of Shinjuku in the circle (at least, in the schematic pictures the subway uses).

Subway Girls
This pictures pretty much sums up what people in the subway do: sleep, stare at their cellphone or listen to music. It’s mostly the cellphone part though.

Then, we finally reached the station of Akihabara, where we followed the signs to the Electric Town exit. We arrived at a very crowded place and we didn’t really know where to go, but it quickly became clear we had to go left and we immediately saw a very wellknown building.

Labi
When I think of Akihabara, I think of this building. It looks even more awesome in real life!

Of course we also went inside! It wasn’t really special: lots of electrical devices like laptops and tvs, but standing on the escalators was really cool!

Escalator View
The escalators were so awesome! It was a shame the top floor was closed.

We left the building and just followed the street, looking around at all the signs and colours and listening to the many noises and music coming out of the shops. There was a really nice atmosphere! When we arrived at a huge street called Chuo dori, we just didn’t know where to look.
I didn’t really know much about Akihabara, except for a store I wanted to visit: Don Quijote. While we looked for the store, we saw many other things of course. We walked a long, small hall filled with tiny shops that sold anything related to electrical devices, from cables to tiny buttons and plugs. Sometimes a shop was so small, the owner could barely be seen behind the piles of boxes.

Gamers
Almost every building in Chuo dori looked like this: covered in signs and posters.

We decided to have breakfast, but of course not without a drink! Luckily, drink vending machines weren’t far away! We found a big row of machines and one of them contained coffee and another one chocolate milk!

Aroma Black
Aromax Quality Black, for anyone who seeks quality coffee from a vending machine.

There weren’t any benches to be seen, so in the end we decided to just sit down on a small fence. We had no idea if this was looked upon as weird, so we joked about what people were thinking. It didn’t matter anyway: we had a delicious breakfast (especially my fruit and cake in a cup with whipped cream was super yummy)! While we were eating, we saw the first maid of the day! Of course, Akihabara = Maids, so I was really excited! She wore a pink dress, a white apron and a black top and she was just way too cute! While we walked the street, we saw so many maids handing out flyers! They had often added cute accessories to their outfits and I’ve seen quite some Lolita stuff. I think I’ve received a flyer from each and everyone of them! The flyers showed for which company the maids worked and the biggest one was probably MaiDreamin, since they had three locations. The flyers were so cute and the maids… they were just so kawaii!!! Sorry, I can’t help myself! ^^
While we looked for the Don Quijote store, we noticed that the buildings became less colourful. We discovered we had missed the store and we had to walk back, but this time we took the other side of the street (which caused us to cross the street again later).

Chuo dori
Admit it, this street is huge!

We finally saw Don Quijote and went inside (after we had encountered a wall of noise coming out of a Pachinko hall). We took the escalator up and found ourselves in what I can best describe as the best organised chaos I have ever seen! Every floor was filled with everything you can imagine, from anime and manga related things to key chains, make up, games, costumes, electrical devices, food, anything! There were no walls to be seen, everything was covered! And yet, there was still a system of small paths leading through all those things. I can’t remember all the things I’ve seen, there was just too much!

Culture Shock
Our first culture shock in a foodshop: squid on a stick-snacks!

My dad and I made sure we stayed together: we didn’t want to end up losing each other! We especially liked to look at the costumes: since Halloween was coming up, you could find the most outrageous things!

Geisha Look?
Don’t you think I make a pretty ehm… Geisha?

Behind a part with costumes, we found all kinds of typical ita-like dresses and also Bodyline dresses. It was strange to find them in such a store.

Waffle Dress
I think Lolita would totally suit my dad too! ^^

We also visited the AKB48-floor, home to the incredibly popular band. You could also go to their concert on the highest floor, I believe. After looking around some more in Don Quijote (my dad discovered a 4D puzzle of Tokyo, he doubted about buying it), we left the store again. We initially planned to leave Akihabara, but after some thinking I really wanted to visit a Maid Café! I mean come on, we were in Akihabara! After receiving all those flyers, I had developed a preference for MaiDreamin and we decided to visit the closest one, number 3. After finding out how to get upstairs (the elevator, not the stairs, hihi) we got out in a bright pink room with tables in college set up and some more normal tables. Everything seemed to scream ‘cute!’ at us! We were welcomed by a maid, who asked us how long we would be staying. We chose for one our. Since we didn’t understand any Japanese, the maid who knew the most English served us. Her name was Pico and her cutefactor was out of this world! She showed us our table, lit the candle on it (we had to help by saying the magic words ^^) and explained us how everything worked. Even though she was the maid who knew the most English, she mostly spoke short English sentences with a heavy accent and threw Japanese words right in, but it made her only cuter! After she had asked our names and gave us cute nicknames (my dad became ‘Menmen’, I was ‘Rosa’), we ordered ice cream and just looked at all the things that happened.

Maid Ice Cream
No pictures allowed in the café, except for the food. The bunny was mine, the bear was my dad’s. ^^

We were positively overwhelmed by all the things the maids did. When we received our ice water, we had to make a heart shape with our hands and make the water more delicious by saying ‘Moe Moe Kyun!’ (my heart, the cuteness~!) and they sang and danced and made drinks together with the other guests who had to participate in the whole process. Everything was hyperactive, loud and adorable! In the end, I asked for a picture with Pico and she wrote and drew on it for me! We also wrote a message in their guestbook. I regretted to say goodbye, it was such an interesting experience! Indescribable…

MaiDreamin 3
MaiDreamin #3. You can see one the maid that had welcomed us on the left. She seemed shy, but of course she was really cute too!

We visited one last store: Laox, where we finally found a souvenirshop! The shop had the craziest souvenirs and we decided to come back later to buy presents for everyone at home. Then we finally left Akihabara and after sitting in the subway for a while, we arrived around 4:15 pm at our hotel where we rested the rest of the afternoon.
In the evening we decided to go to Shibuya, to see the famous crossing by night!
When we entered Shinjuku Station, it was so crowded! Apparently, we had chosen the wrong time and for the first time we experienced what it was like to stand in a metrotrain while being squished.

Tokyo Subway
It was so crowded!

Luckily, Shibuya was only three stops away and we got out quickly. We followed the signs that said ‘Hachiko Exit’ and got out at one of the most famous places in the world!

Shibuya
Hachiko statue to the left, Shibuya crossing to the right!

We walked up to the dog’s statue, where it was very crowded. I had read that the statue is a popular meeting point and that is absolutely true! I was glad we managed to take some pictures!

Hachiko
Hachiko looked so sweet! When I read his story for the first time I felt so sad…

Since we wanted to get a good view of the crossing, we entered the station again, took the stairs and walked to a bridge with windows, which gave us a beautiful look over the crowded crossing.

The armies are marchin'
Like my dad said: ‘It’s almost like two armies marching into each other!’

After taking pictures, it was time to cross the street ourselves!

Shibuya Crossing
Can I have some drumrolls please?

The crossing wasn’t really scary or anything, but the fact I was walking on such a famous point made the whole experience really cool!
After crossing, we walked up to Shibuya 109, another building I have seen on many pictures.

Shibuya's Tower
We saw this girl everywhere! Her new cd had just been released, I believe.

We had seen some plastic bags drifting through the air, but when we came closer, it turned out to be something else! It were hearts and textballons of foam that floated through the air, promoting a new series (or movie, I have no idea). It was such a great way to draw attention!

Shibuya 109
Shibuya 109! So shiny~!

I had no idea what to expect of Shibuya 109. I only knew it contained the shop ‘Tralala’ and I had heard it was a cool shop. We took the elevator up and browsed through some stores.

Ruby Rose
This was such a cute shop! It was called ‘Ruby Rose’.

Finally, we found the Tralala shop, but it was different from what I expected. I believe it consisted of two shops: Tralala and Liz Lisa. I looked at some adorable shirts (it is a cute brand) and one of the shopgirls yelled (the music was very loud everywhere): ‘One size only!’ I was like: ‘Are you trying to tell me something?’ -_-“
I browsed the accessories corner and found an adorable pink velvet headbow with rhinestones and a pin on it that said ‘Tralala’. The other shop girl, wtih long blonde curly hair, was a total sweetheart and showed me all kinds of accessories and telling me things about them in Japanese. I just smiled and said ‘Kawaii’ sometimes. ^^ In the end, I also bought a pink bowshaped bangle with rhinestones that matched the bow. After I had paid, the sweet shopgirl took me to the border of the shop and thanked me for my purchases (I really loved it when they did that)!
We decided to leave Shibuya 109 again to eat somewhere, but when we got outside it was raining! I had brought an umbrella (for our ‘in case we lose each other-plan’) but my dad didn’t, so we ran to the nearst subwaystation entrance and took the subway back. We suddenly realised we still wanted to try those little fried balls, takoyaki, we had seen on the day we arrived, so we decided to try them and got out at Yoyogi Station. We quickly found the tiny restaurant and ordered two plates off a menu.

The Takoyaki Cook
There were only standing tables in the restaurant. You can see the Tralala bag I got for my purchases!

The way the cook made the little balls (which turned out to be fried octopus balls, I had looked it up) is a bit hard to explain, but let’s just say he was fast and we quickly received our plates.

Takoyaki
I have no idea what kind of toppings we had ordered, but it looked nice on the menu so we just picked something.

The balls were very hot, but so freaking delicious! I can still taste it when I think back… After we finished our takoyaki we slowly walked back, past our hotel, to pick up some dessert at McDonald’s (coffee for my dad, a ‘sankaku choco pie’ for me). Then we went back to the hotel, Skyped and went to bed. It had been another amazing day!

3 comments:

  1. Those icecreams in the maid cafe look so cute (and delicious)!
    Shibuya and the Hachiko statue remind me a lot of the NDS game The World Ends With You! ^_^

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  2. Oh wow! You're so lucky to be in Japan and the pics look great and this post was just awesome! I even feel like I was there xD Those ice creams look amazing <3

    Thanks so much for sharing! Can't wait to see more of your trip!

    ~ Kieli ~

    http://rainbowstarcandy.blogspot.com/

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  3. @ ChocolateLiz: Whaaah, they were so cute! And really delicious! Haha, that's cool! =D

    @ Kieli_Heart: Thank you! =D I hope you enjoy my reports. ^^

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