Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tokyo ’12, Day 4 – Akihabara

The next morning we woke up after a terrible night. My fear had become reality: it was almost impossible for me to fall asleep on the seed-filled pillow. It was so hard! My mom hadn’t slept well either and we had missed the alarm clock on my dad’s watch, so we also woke up later than planned. The night before we had decided to have breakfast in our old hotel and later go to Akihabara, but since breakfast would end at 10am (and you were allowed to enter until 9.30am) we had to hurry up and get dressed. Yeah, it wasn’t a very relaxing way to start the day. -_-
While we were getting dressed, my dad went downstairs to ask for soft pillows. We would receive them later on the day.
We left our room and went on our way. No outfit pictures for this day, we looked sooo tired -_- We walked to our old hotel and luckily we were still on time. It was nice to be back at our old restaurant, nothing had changed (except for the ‘strawberry source’ that was now ‘blueberry sauce’)!

Sunroute Breakfast
Our breakfast! I really loved the Japanese milk…

We ate our delicious breakfast, although not for long. Because we were late, we were asked to not stay too long. XD Oh well.
We left the restaurant, but both my mom and I didn’t feel so well. We sat down in the lobby of the hotel for a while (now my mom could see where my dad and I had walked a lot during our previous stay), until we felt a little better.
My dad suggested to go to the (huge) shopping center Takashimaya Times Square, the place we had bought tickets at the Disney Store last year. We walked up the stairs across from our old hotel and followed the route, crossing the big bridge over the railroads.

Shinjuku Railroads
The view from the bridge in front of Takashimaya. You can see MyLord and the building we call ‘the Robot’. ^^

We entered Takashimaya and browsed some of the many floors of the Tokyu Hands shop. We also visited the Disney store, where my mom and I squealed over the many adorable things they sold. I told my mom this wasn’t even half of what they sold at Disney itself, so she got more excited to go! ^^
We walked past the Barbie store (as in: clothes for little girls, so adorable!).

Barbie Store
Just look at the cuuuteness! I would so dress my little girl in outfits like these (if I ever have children, but let’s not talk about that now)!

We went to the toilet, where unfortunately the great view through the windows from last year was blocked by a big flag or poster on the outside of the building. Nonetheless we enjoyed the toilets very much. XD My mom was especially very enthusiastic over the little device that makes flushing noises so no one can hear what you’re doing! The special seat to put your baby or small child in while you went to the toilet was also praised a lot. ^^
We left Takashimaya and went on our way to Shinjuku station, where we took the Yamanote line to Akihabara.

Metro Map
One of the many metro maps! On this picture we were discussing the best route to Yokohama and Kamakura, but in the end we didn’t go there unfortunately.

The Yamanote line is a very nice way to go to Akihabara, since you can sit for quite a while. As we were tired, we didn’t mind that at all.

Yamanote line on Thursday
The Yamanote line on a Thursday morning. ^^

After about 30 minutes we arrived in Akihabara. It was quite a grey and cloudy day, but the temperature was still quite pleasant. We walked down the stairs, passing the coolest escalator I had ever seen: it went up, straight for a while and then up again. Childish as my mom and me are we went back up with it after which we went down the stairs again. XD We also passed a great poster with a mobile phone on it saying ‘Watch out for upskirting’, aka ‘Watch out for perverted people taking pictures under your skirt!’ I haven’t seen that poster anywhere else, I guess all the perverts assemble in Akihabara? ^^’

Electric Town
On our way to Electric Town~!

We exited the station through the Electric Town exit and found ourselves in a familiar street. It was nice to be back in Otaku Town!

Them Beatles
Don’t we resemble the Beatles on Abbey Road? With only two persons? In Japan? Walking in the opposite direction?

We entered the Labi, the wellknown shop with its escalators behind windows on the outside of the building (you can see it on the above picture on the left). Now my mom could see it too! Inside the shop they sell all kinds of electronic devices, from cameras to laptops. I swear: the shop itself is not very interesting except for its colourful earphones and mp3-players, it’s all about the escalators! My mom fully agreed with this quite soon. XD

Labi Escalators
If you ever get to visit Akihabara: take pictures on the escalators of Labi! That’s what it’s all about!

We exited Labi again and followed the street up to Chuo dori, the big boulevard. We went right and I saw one of the first Maids of the day already! I think she was quite intimidated by our three cameras, as she quickly ran inside. -_-
We kept following the road, as we wanted to show my mom the immense shop Don Quijote, where we had been last year too. But first we passed the entrance to the ‘Radio Market’, the maze of tiny alleys with tiny shops that sell tiny electronic parts. Of course we had to take a look inside!

Radio Market
My dad at the market. They really sold the smallest things!

The shops are so small, the shop employees stand on ladders against the wall and behind boxes to find things! Sometimes you even have a hard time to find a person in the tiny shops because they’re so stuffed with items!
We left the market again and followed Chuo dori, passing several arcades and Maids handing out flyers. Of course I took them with great happiness! =D
Finally we passed an alley with vending machines and we decided to get some drinks. I actually think it was the same alley as my dad and I got drinks last year!
My dad chose hot black coffee, my mom ‘Café au Lait’ and I chose a cute pink can with strawberries on it.

Strawberry Drink
My drink matched my outfit! ♥

The first sip I took from the drink was… quite a shock. It was incredibly sweet, like many other drinks and food in Tokyo. My parents didn’t like it at all, but after that first strange sip I really loved the drink! We never found it again unfortunately.
We kept following the street and it started to rain. I tried to protect all of my Maid Café folders, but some got wet after all. We walked a bit faster to Don Quijote, home of the musical girl group AKB48. We passed a maid with a cute umbrella and entered the store.
Don Quijote is quite huge and it is easy to lose each other, so we made sure we stuck together. XD We took the escalator up and reached the food floor, a maze of canned, packed and wrapped food. You tend to get overwhelmed by all the different kinds of food, from candy to nuts etc. To be honest, I thought it was a bit weird the cans with little dead squids had cute, lively squids on the can to make everything look more adorable. I know almost everything in Japan needs to be cute, but this went a little too far. XD

Poor Squids
See what I mean? Poor squids…

We passed a pile of white boxes with cute, computer-like faces on them. They probably contained some kind of candy (at least, the example that was placed on top of the pile looked like it), so my mom bought a box to try it. ^^ Behind the checkout stood two employees, dressed as Alice and Luigi!
On the same floor we found a rack filled with amazing iPhone cases. During our trip we’ve seen the most awesome phone cases, it really made my mom and I want an iPhone!

Phone cases
This isn’t even half of the amazing phone cases we’ve seen. I swear I could’ve bought at least ten different cases during our trip, if I had an iPhone that is.

We went up another escalator and arrived at a floor with tons of figurines and manga-/anime related goods. The walls, the floor, the ceiling: almost everything was covered in goods. I saw some amazing figurines (Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, whoa ♥) and a super cute puzzle from K-ON! For a short moment I seriously considered buying it!

Don Quijote
A small part of the shop, just to give you an indication. :)

Everywhere you looked, you saw new things. When I saw a Darth Vader holding candy in his hands, my dad saw a Spiderman climbing the ceiling. The shop was so awesome!
There were also several masks, weird hats and costumes. Anything you can imagine could be found as a costume. I tried an Iron Man mask and a cake, my mom a Geisha wig and my dad tried a black Gloomy Bear. XD

Gloomy Bear Hat
My dad the Gloomy Bear. ^^ At the back hung a tiny bear body, hihi!

We walked around the floor some more. There was a whole department of clothes, socks and many tartan. My mom loves tartan skirts, so she spent a bit of time there. Meanwhile I looked around for a bit too. Everything was decorated in Halloween style, even the counter. One customer, a girl, bought about seven different costumes! I wonder if she was going to have a Halloween party with friends?
We passed the special AKB48 side of the store, but since I don’t know much about the group it wasn’t very interesting for me.
We decided to go back down the escalator. I remember we saw some cool bags with ‘Tokyo’ written all over them, but I don’t recall which floor it was. I also bought a cute button somewhere with a face like my mom’s candy box, but on which floor? No idea. ^^’
We left Don Quijote and crossed the street, heading towards Laox, the shop my dad and I had bought some nice souvenirs last year. We passed several very noisy arcades with the newest games and many crane machines with adorable prizes.
We arrived at Laox and went to the right floor, but unfortunately the shop had changed a lot! Where last year the key- and phone chains covered an entire wall, now there was barely any left of it! It turns out they were redoing the entire floor. I had been hoping to buy the cute lantern key chain I had bought for my mom last year too, but they didn’t have it anymore. I have to admit I was disappointed. Last year we bought tons of stuff, now I bought nothing. :( At least my mom bought a cute yellow chick phone strap. ^^ And I did see a cute Miffy couple dressed in traditional Japanese wedding clothes.
My mom, dad and me sat down on the stairs of Laox for a while (we were so tired) and discussed about what to do. My mom wanted to visit a Maid Café, but we decided to do it some other time since we were really tired. Unfortunately we never went back…
We left the Laox (passing a poster with Misako Aoki on it) and walked back to the station. We entered a food store called Atré 1, where they had the most amazing foods! I would have loved to try all the different kinds of sweets! We got some bread rolls and took the Yamanote line back to Shinjuku. In the metro my dad took some pictures of my mom and me. God we looked so tired. XD

Sleepy People
This picture is the perfect definition of ‘tired’. XD

We arrived in Shinjuku, where it was still raining. We walked back to our hotel and got some drinks from one of the vending machines.

Back in our room we ate our delicious rolls (mine was shaped like a cat’s head) when suddenly someone knocked on our door. It was a man who came to bring us soft pillows. Yaaay! I was so happy. XD
We sat down on our beds and ate our delicious bread rolls.

Cat Lunch
My cat bread roll was so nice! My parents liked theirs too.

My mom also opened the box of candy while I put our pictures on my laptop and selected some for Facebook (putting pictures on Facebook was terrible by the way, the order got messed up almost every time). The box contained chocolate-like candy, but when you ate it it turned out to be chewy and a bit squishy, like gum. I still don’t know what it was, but it was very nice!
We rested for a while and decided not to do anything tiring for the rest of the day except for having dinner. My mom wasn’t feeling too well, so she didn’t want to eat something too heavy. In the end we decided to go eat okonomiyaki, the food I had been longing for all year (by the way, okonomiyaki is still quite heavy, but my mom insisted on trying it)!
We went on our way to Lumine Est, next to MyLord. We took the elevator up to the right restaurant floor and walked to restaurant Sauté. I had been waiting for so long to be back there!
After some looking at the menu (Sauté is one of the few restaurants that doesn’t have a shop window with fake food, but they do have an understandable menu) I ordered the same dish as last year. I was afraid it wouldn’t taste as amazing as I had remembered otherwise. ^^’
We received our food after a little while. My mom took some pictures, but again: we all look so tired, I just can’t post them here. Instead, have a picture of the food.

The little flakes on top move because of the heat, it’s like your food is still alive!

My dad really liked the music that played on the speakers. He even asked who or what it was. The waiter was glad he liked it. ^^
We finished our delicious food (it was goood~), left Lumine Est and headed back to our hotel.

Shinjuku Clock
Beautiful Shinjuku by night.

Before we walked into the street of our hotel, we entered a Family Market to get ice cream. In the metro you have these little tv screens on the walls with commercials. We were especially intrigued by the new Häagen-Dazs ice cream, so we wanted to see if we could find it. We almost immediately found some at the Family Market, so my mom bought three pieces. From that moment she started disliking the Family Markets: it is also possible to buy hot dumplings and other food like that, but the smell was very strong. It made my mom nauseous. >_<
We ate the ice creams in our room (they were really good), sent an email to my brother and went to sleep (on soft pillows~). We hoped we wouldn’t be so tired the next day.

Purchase day 4
Purchase of the day


  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun there! I love the Barbie store, it's so cute!!!

  2. Aww such a pity that you and your mum didn't felt so well that day!

    Lol, your father the gloomy bear! Such a funny photo :p The food looks delicious and I like how that baby store looks like, so cute!

    1. Yes, I agree. Luckily she started feeling better every day. Later she admitted she had been afraid to get really sick on the train to Tokyo, I am so glad it wasn't as bad as she thought!

      Haha, I was doubting to put it up but luckily he agreed with it being posted here! XD
      The food, oh the food. *_*

  3. What country are you from?

    I also have been to Japan twice and Akihabara was great the first time with so much to buy. This time I couldn't even find Don Qixote and the Hayao Miyazaki shop I bought cute cell phone charms in was gone. I actually ate at one of the Maid Cafes though. It was a really fun experience and they have delicious desserts

    1. I am from the Netherlands. No way to hide it anymore I'm afraid. ^^'

      Ah that's too bad. :(
      We went their last year too, we had delicious ice creams! ^^

  4. Wow! That okonomiyaki looked so good! I want to try it~