Japan – Tokyo, Edo Museum, Akihabara, Pokemon

23/04/16

This morning I woke up a little later than usual as today was going to be a bit more chill and a lot less walking! I headed straight to the Edo Tokyo Museum to try and learn a little about Tokyo’s past.

It was really not hard to find as it was directly outside Ryogoku station, entry cost 600Y. I thought it would just be like any other museum, but this one is amazing, it has life size replicas of many historic buildings and also miniature citys. I was really excited to walk around and interact with the exhibitions. First up was small scale replicas of the grand houses and towns, most of the actual buildings were destroyed by fire as they were made out of wood. These miniatures did a really good job of showing how details the structure was, I also enjoyed the binoculars that they provided as it felt as though I was in the town.

As I begun looking around there was an announcement that they were due to begin paper cutting, so I quickly headed down so I could join in. There was a women there demonstrating the art of paper cutting where you move the paper rather than the scissors and you don’t draw out what you’re cutting first, it’s all by eye. Once she had cut out this amazing geisha in one minute, it was our turn to cut out an image. There was the option of turtle, rabbit and chicken. I started off with the turtle, to do this you simply fold the paper in half and cut out one side of the turtle, I say simply… Mine looked like some other new species of animal… the woman laughed at it. I did anther round which faired a bit better, and then I tried the rabbit which was much much better.

Once I had finished with my awful attempts of paper cutting I continued to enjoy the exhibition looking at old style ryokans, and the food trade and general life in Edo.

After the museum, I went to check out the Sumo museum which was down the road. Unfortunatly it is closed on Saturdays so I had a quick look around the outside. A bit of a shame as I’d have liked to have learnt some more about sumos.

As I had a lot of time and I wasn’t too far away I took a trip to Akihabura the infamous anime area. As soon as you walk down the street you can immediately see all the manga, game and arcades which are all buzzing. I found it all really fascinating, and if I actually watched a lot of anime I’d probably appreciate it even more. The main type of shop here is electronic and outside there are many girls dressed up in cosplay or cute outfits goading the public inside. There are also girls dressed up in maid outfits to promote the many maid cafes in the area. Whenever I tried to take a picture they would immediately turn around, so I guess taking pictures of these girls is not a thing to do. I found it quite sexist and also really uncomfortable as they were all speaking with very childish voices and dressed provocatively. I guess it’s just taken from the manga here as some of those are pretty risky! I didn’t dare go inside any maid cafe as I was alone,  think it would have been extremely uncomfortable for me.

I enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the area, and was intrigued by what you could buy here. Let’s just say it’s very male orientated too…

Heading back West I decided to stop off at Ikebukuro to check out the Pokemon Centre. I thought the shop would be right outside the station but infact it’s a bit of a walk. It’s situated inside Sunshine City which is huge shopping centre, if I had more time I would have loved to have shopped here. There’s a lot more Japanese clothing brands which aren’t all market quality. There were a lot of people here so I am assuming it is a popular shopping destination. Once I had found Pokemon Centre which was on 2F, I was so excited to see all the pokemon goodies. I ended up buying a few souvenirs, mostly for my nephew…

I then headed to Shibuya to have a Wagyu beef dinner with Rudy, we went to Han no Daidkoro Dogenzaka and instead of the street entry we went up the lift to 4th floor. We had to take our shoes off before entering and were sat at a bar table which had a bbq grill infront of us. We ordered the set variety meal with premium beef, and some seasonal vegetables all for 30,000Y! The beef was really delicious, we had 6 different parts of the cow and luckily none were the tongue.. My favourite cut was H-Bone, it was so melty. I couldn’t rate it more, for the price we were given quite a bit of meat and even all the vegetables tasted delicious.

 

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