All this time I haven’t posted anything I was working day and night…I was seeing stuff around and always was thinking “ah..this could be nice for the blog…” but I never had the time to sit down and write anything.
Meanwhile, I took a good break and traveled really far away… to Tokyo!!! It couldn’t be missing from the blog such a trip as you can understand. The motive for this amazing trip was G’s work that sent him there for a month at least, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity for me also and I went for 2 weeks! And it was awesome!!!
I’d been to Japan again 10 years before, with architecture school, so it was my 2nd time and that was very deliberating for me as a tourist, this time. I had been to all the museums and classic sightseeing so now I was more cool, able to live it more. I was also very unlucky because all the museums that I wanted to visit were closed that period for renovations and preparations for the next season, or I wasn’t very well organized and as a result I only went to 3, 4!! Because of that I had more time for strolling around, go to more parks and walk a lot, go shopping and see the other side of Tokyo that I loved.
I think life in Japan is so different from ours, people as also, customs, tastes, views, everything…that you never have enough of it! It must have been kind of magic, it seduces you without being able to understand it. The life is so hectic and at the same time so calm and organized, information hits you from everywhere, so many treasures to discover and so many things to try for the first time! It’s also very easy to go anywhere, their metro lines are sooo convenient and vast. So I went wherever I could!
I can say that Japanese are crazy! They work all day, they sleep everywhere, they don’t know enough English to communicate but will do anything to help you, they are super polite, they chat or play games all the time on their iphones, they get drunk very easily, they aren’t allowed to talk on the phone on the subway, they wear that white mask all the time-even in the park or during a date! They sound funny on speaker announcements and they can dress very creatively!
As G. was working during the day I was alone going around and after that we were searching for dinner or night walks. On weekends I had company and it was much better!
We were staying in Ginza so we did several times midnight window shopping at the very best brands! Something I remember from my last visit to Tokyo is that the most famous brands here have impeccable design buildings so I was very thrilled about that. Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of photos or they were bad to show. Another neighborhood with great buildings is around Omotesando. For shopping also, in combination with Haranjuku is the place to be, I spend days there…
The first Saturday I was there G wanted to show me his Mecca, Akihabara. For those who don’t know, is the place to get crazy about gaming, gadget, manga, electronic devices and accessories for them. Anything a geek could want and dream about! Crazy atmosphere, a lot of noise, people, music and videos e v e r y w h e r e and street happenings with sketches or mini concerts or I really don’t know…
G. was searching for a specific store that was selling Nintendo old games, game boy, SuperMario etc. and I remembered my youth! However I didn’t need a lot of time to remember it, I was so bored of waiting for him that the last hour I was sitting on the stairs looking of a huge Super Mario and reminiscing.. We spent the whole day in Akihabara and despite my tiredness it was really fun!
At night of that day we went to Sibuya to eat some ramen (another post with eating will follow) and drink a beer on a very nice bar! Godfather’s legato was called and it was a gloomy, dark, underground bar with very good music and vibes!
The next Sunday we started with tradition, so we went to Asakusa to see Senso-ji temple and around. We saw also the Marathon running there, it was quite impressing. A lot of people, all of them so organized with the last technology clothing for running, some of them dressed like chicken or pikatsu or I don’t even remember, it was again crazy! Here they are all decent:
In Senso-ji temple the atmosphere was different. People praying, visiting the sacred buildings, taking photos etc. I like to watch people having their religious customs let alone if they’re so different. My favorite were the lucky papers that if what is written is ominous you tie the paper there for not taking the bud luck with you. Also the smoking sand that you try to bring it towards your head for being clever and beautiful!
Outside the temple, on its garden you can see beautiful koi ponds with these huge fishes (I don’t know what they’re eating, seriously!) geishas willing to poze for you, statues of Buddha and small vendors of street food I was afraid to try.
Near of the temple is a shopping street, Nakamisa dori, with traditional souvenirs, yukata and kimonos, folding funs and cat dolls and chopsticks, where I gave all my money! It was very crowded so we didn’t stay too long neither try any delicacies.
After that we went to Yoyogi park to rest a little and walk through the japanese nature. It’s a really big park where a lot of young people gather around to play sports, games, lie down on the grass, a lot of happenings take place here but we went late so we didn’t see any. We took some sandwiches and sat down on a huge vacant lot to eat our lunch, looking kids playing games on the park for a while. It’s a nice way to spend your Sunday if the weather is good.
However, the best thing in the whole weekend we did it after all these……we went to a cat cafe!!!! I’ve heard about them and I was determined to go at least once. The one that we chose was HapiNeko, that was close to Shibuya and looked like a house’s living room with a lot of cat toys, cat decoration everywhere, blankets etc. You can even watch your favorite cat on this site! The rules to get in one of those are very specific, you must be very clean, leave your shoes outside, wash your hands inside again and respect the cats, don’t touch them if they’re sleeping etc…Also you must stay away from the ones with a collar because they need to rest. One of them although loved me and couldn’t resist! So the main idea is that you spend some time there, where you can have a beverage, and stroke, play with cats and hold them in your arm. It’s quite expensive to do this often but afterwards you feel very rejuvenated! I was anxious about G. and we stayed only half an hour but he enjoyed it also and it was amazing!!!!
Cat cafes are very common in Tokyo, I heard that even in Paris they exist now, and there are also other animal cafes that might interest you such as bunny cafes, owl cafes and others. We tried to go to an owl cafe (how awesome could be that?!) but it wasn’t easy to go, you need to book earlier and G. read that they might throw droppings at you and he changed his mind! Such a pity…
Here ends the firs part of my trip to Tokyo, Japan, with the peace of sleeping cats and I will come back with a lot of photos from the rest of it!