After our short and super sweet visit to Kyoto & Nara, we resumed our adventure in Tokyo. On our first day back, we decided to explore the Tokyo Station & Akihabara area, two very iconic places in Tokyo. Also, it was Andy’s birthday!
Tokyo Imperial Palace
We started our day by taking the infamous Yamanote Line to Tokyo Station. This station itself is a landmark that I wanted to see, but unfortunately, a significant part of it was under construction. This wasn’t too big of a deal if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re terrible at directions and all of the detour signs made us lost for a while.
Eventually, we got to the Tokyo Imperial Palace, a huge historical site right next to the hustle and bustle of a modern city. I thought it was really interesting how one emperor or empress could have this huge palace all to themselves. This palace was so grand that it was protected by seven or eight different moats.
I remember that the weather was really nice on that day, so we had a really nice walk around the different gardens. Since we went during early morning, there weren’t that many people and it was really quiet and peaceful in the palace grounds.
Next, we went back to Tokyo Station to a part of the station called Kitchen Street, which is basically an indoor section connected to the station with a lot of restaurants. Again, we made the mistake of being out too early. All of the restaurants opened at 11 AM and we were there 15 minutes before then. But that actually worked out pretty well since there were so many restaurants to choose from, so we walked around all three floors of restaurants and finally decided on a sukiyaki restaurant.
At the restaurant, we ordered two beef sukiyaki dishes that we had to cook in a hot pot. It was kind of pricey, but it was well worth it because it was delicious. The restaurant was kind of pricey, but it was well worth it. And plus, it was Andy’s birthday, so we had to eat extra delicious food today.
After we filled our bellies with deliciously fresh beef, we continued to explore the rest of Tokyo Station, specifically another indoor street called Character Street, which is composed of many different cute stores filled that are cartoon or anime/manga themed.
After looking at all the cute things Character Street had to offer, we decided that we still didn’t have enough of cute anime merchandise, so we headed over to Akihabara, a very unique district in Tokyo known for its otaku culture. It’s the district where you can find unique anime stores, tons of cartoon pornography, and very interesting schoolgirl themed cafes and other stores. Even though it’s kind of weird to us, it’s still a part of their culture and we wanted to check it out!
Chicken Sukiyaki Dinner
For dinner, we found a really cute tatami-style restaurant that served chicken sukiyaki. The restaurant was really traditional, which meant that the waiters didn’t speak English, which was kind of a struggle at times. Eating there was so much fun! The food, ,though pricey yet again, was so good! For 7500 yen, we got so much meat to cook for ourselves on this stone pot on top of a hot cube. During dinner, some sumo wrestlers came to visit the restaurant and sang a Japanese song. Apparently it was to promote the ongoing sumo tournaments happening in the city at the time.
After dinner, we went to Honey Toast Cafe & Bakery for some dessert. We were both really full, but it was Andy’s birthday so I wanted to get him cake!
Along the way back to Akihabara Station, Andy got pulled into playing a claw machine game. Sadly, he lost after losing 2000 yen. He was actually somewhat upset that he didn’t win me that cute shiba inu plushie. But that’s what happens when you play those claw machine games.