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Entries about tokyo

Day 90-94: Time's up in Tokyo and Freezing Fuji!

Not the must exciting blog entry but read to the bottom for some beautiful pictures of mount Fuji.


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2 March
With the wonderful virus halting our plans to head to teamlab boarderless digital art museum to take pictures like the below, we had to turn to a plan B. We can't believe that we have been saving for this trip for three years and we head out to Asia at the same time of this pandemic. Up until now it hadn't really affected us too badly but it sounds like Japan and most of this side of the world are on lockdown; meaning every tourist attraction we want to head to facing the possibility of temporary closure. We are just thankful we managed to get to Disneyland when we did. Trying not to linger on how else our trip would be impacted by this disease we decided to go to a VR games room we had found; literally to escape this reality for a while.

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However first stop was to the post office to begrudgingly return our tickets to the Sumo championships in Osaka that now would be going ahead behind closed doors. This was another huge blow as this was an event we were so excited about and would have been a once in a lifetime experience but again there is literally nothing we can do about this but to keep pushing on and make the best of what we can do. With this in mind, after a short tutorial, we were both in VR headsets with guns in hand ready to shoot the sh*t out of some ghosts. Although the ghosts won this round we had so much fun and promised them, in an Arnie style voice, we would be back.

There were only 4 other groups of people divided between 6 games which meant at least two different games were empty at any one point. With a further racing game added later. Our ticket gave us 2 hours of gaming and unlimited drinks, both of which we took full advantage of. We tried out every game other than a weird photography one. We spent the whole time laughing and getting lost in these worlds. They included; another LOTR style shooting game which we nailed, a bungy jump simulation which was terrifying (as you can tell from Izzy's reaction!), A rope walk which neither of us managed to stay on longer than a few seconds, a backwards bungy where you were shot into space before falling back to earth (again another nerve wrecking experience despite knowing we were secured to a chair that barely moved!) and an Aladdin style carpet ride. It is funny how your mind can trick your body into reacting to things that clearly aren't there. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.

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After a little sit down to gather our bearings we headed back to Akihabara to check out a few arcades, shops and more bubble machines (these had become an obsession for us after our decision to embark on a little project. However I can't go into any details about this!). We didn't particularly do much for the remainder of the day other than enjoy Japan and it's many quirks, thinking how lucky we were to be here despite the previously mentioned issues. You could tell that many of the schools were closed purely by how busy all the arcades were! These venues definitely seem to be the winners of this situation.

Being indecisive over what we wanted to eat meant we basically bought everything, resulting in a very interesting yet oddly tasty dinner. We had noodles with meatballs and a side of burger. You know like an all you can eat buffet!

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3rd March
What a wasted dreary day this was. Due to the virus, we spent the entire day doing admin. Contacting airlines for our China and South Korea leg of the journey. Seeing which we can and can’t cancel. Cancelling hostels we had booked and contacting our insurance to see what we would and wouldn’t be covered for. It was a stressful day. We then tried to plan out the rest of our time in Japan and the best way to do so.

We eventually got out at 4pm to go and reserve the train tickets we’d need for the following day. Since we were out we thought we may as well go in hunt of more ball machines. The cold was bitter and decided to search for a chocolat chaud (or hottochokorēto/ hot chocolate if you like), while sitting at a window seat of the cafe we sipped on the tasty treat- now, I’m no connoisseur, however this was the best hot chocolate I have ever consumed! It was smooth not too sweet, not too bitter, creamy, didn’t leave your mouth cleggy like some hot chocolates. Only improvement could’ve been a marshy or two.

We headed back to the hostel a couple of hours later and picked up some dinner on the way home, time to try bento. It was.. ok. Fairly average. Both our meals were pretty bland. We’ll have to continue the hunt for the perfect box.

4th March
The following day was time to check out of our little capsule and leave Tokyo with slightly heavy hearts as we have absolutely loved this city. This was our first Japanese train experience, annoyingly our JR pass only covers half the journey but it was still a quick and fairly easy journey overall. The final train was decorated in full Thomas the tank engine attire bringing a smile to my face and happy childhood memories.

We found our accommodation and checked in. First things first, whack the heating right up!! The small town at the bottom of Mount Fuji was freeeeeeezzzzing! It was late afternoon when we arrived so decided to walk around and see what the town had to offer... turns out, not a lot. I would say village more than town. It had two souvenir shops that were both closed by 4.30pm and the smallest police station we had seen, so we walked back with a plan to hunker down and watch a film. We stopped at 7/11 stocking up on snacks, hot chocolate and milk and some easy microwave meals for the next two days (cutting corners of cost so we can to spend more on treats!). Our first glimpse of Mount Fuji were hidden behind heavy fog and cloud and we hoped for a clearer day tomorrow.

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5th March
Having had a super cosy night in the ultra thick duvet we slept in a bit. Our hotel had bikes for hire so saddled up we peddled off in the direction of the lake. The temperature was only just above 0!! First stop, the souvenir shops we’d missed yesterday before pushing on.

We spent about an hour slowly cycling around Lake Kawaguchi, which supplied undisturbed views of Mount Fuji. We kept stopping to find the perfect spot for photo opportunities. With numb fingers we found a cafe to head to to warm up. Obviously, like everything else in Japan at the moment, it was closed! Just like the gift shop over the road. Luckily, the vending machines here have warm drinks (as mentioned before), one hot apple tea purchased. We cowered in the cafe entrance to hide from the bitterly cold wind.

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There was a small village of craft and jewellery shops surrounding the cafe. These, thankfully, were open so we spent ten minutes in a shop full of just earrings (interestingly, Japanese LOVE earrings, they have shops just full of them and they’re always full of Japanese people buying several pairs), with no intention of buying any but just trying to warm up. Five shops later, a couple of souvys acquired and with full feeling back in fingers and toes we went in search of a spot to watch the sunset.

Look at poor frozen Iz:
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Eagle eyed I spotted a craft and workshop village, we thought maybe we could find some Japanese crafts! No, it was all just workshops, which we’re all closed. Even more eagle eyed, I spotted a sign on the other path which clearly said ‘Christmas’, I couldn’t read the remainder of the sign but persuaded Stew to let us go check it out. Trying to manage expectations he said not to get too excited as it was most likely an old sign or seasonal opening hours. We pulled up outside and I couldn’t contain my excitement when I saw wreaths outside.. it was a Christmas shop.. and it was open!!

We walked in and the cashier laughed at my visible happiness. Browsing all the baubles we found an origami crane which was our perfect Japanese Christmas decoration! The shop keeper clearly wanting to practice his English was asking all about our trip and about our life back home. The Japanese are so friendly! Two decorations acquired and the shop keeper gave us a free bookmark to ‘remember his shop’. He then stood at the window and waved as we cycled away, such a sweet guy.

Only twenty minutes till sunset we raced to the spot we had decided we’d watch it. The second in position I couldn’t focus on anything but the pain in my fingers and toes. The wind was so harsh and there was no shelter. A long long half an hour later we were cycling back in the pitch black and under 0 degrees.

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Back at base, eventually, heating up to 30 degrees, half an hour to warm up before jumping in the shower and getting toasty for the evening. Two hours later, in bed watching a film, I still couldn’t feel my toes.

6 March- Osaka arrival
Our plan the following day was to get up at 5am and cycle to watch the sun rise over Mount Fuji. However paranoid about having to get up so early I struggled to get to sleep till gone 2, when my alarm started going off, it was -4 degrees outside! Not wanting to move from under our duvet to face the cold we decided we’d see a sunrise somewhere a little warmer; maybe in Thailand we’ll go to a full moon party and watch it in the morning having not been to sleep (later I found out Stew had planned to ask me an important question that morning but this had been scuppered).

Frustratingly the lack of sleep affected us both to make for a pretty grumpy day. We had to get 4 trains to get to Osaka. Taking just 2 and a bit hours to go over 500km!! What?!? Nothing much to note of this day; we checked in to our little Osaka apartment, that was actually very nice for the next four days. Did a food shop in a not very convenient convenience store which cost about as much as it would’ve done to eat out. Then called it a day! When traveling for 8 months, it can’t be a great day every day, we reminded ourselves of this as we went to bed and hoped for a better day tomorrow.

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Posted by Bears on Tour 02:10 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo lake bicycle fuji mount_fuji vr five_lakes Comments (0)

Day 88- The Craziest Show on Earth at The Robot Restaurant!

I don't even know how you describe what we saw... But read on to see me try!


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29th February

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Day 3 into our Tokyo experience and we are loving this place. Seriously we hope that the rest of Japan lives up. Iz had today's itinerary all sorted and it was off to Shibuya Crossing first; famous for being the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world. It is a scramble crossing surrounded by huge TV screens flashing adverts as people are constantly pouring across the street in all directions. On tune with our recent traveling experiences this crossing was quieter than normal, most likely a result of the spreding virus, yet as you can see it was still a sight. We took up a pew at a Starbucks that overlooked the crossing for the full experience before taking it turn to star in a video of us crossing across the street.

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Spot where's Wally (tip best to mute the videos to avoid the annoying Starbucks background noise)

Once we had our fill of people watching we had a wander around the local area. With a number of shops and capsule machines visited it was time to head across town to Kabuki-cho for the infamous robot restaurant we had read so much about. Our expectations were high as it had featured on every "top things to do in Tokyo" list we had read and it cost a pretty penny for the privilege. But this show was exactly the kind of thing we were looking to experience in Japan. For context all we really knew was it was a high energy robot show with the option of food, however the food did not receive the same hype.

Intrigued and a little excited we took some photos with a robot outside as we awaited our invitation to enter. Once out the lift we entered a brightly coloured area where a guy dressed as a robot played guitar and the restaurant employees tried to convince you to buy food, drink and tacky souvenirs. The room was small and we both figured this couldn't be where the action went down. We were proved correct and had to walk down a number of flights of stairs each with a loud, colourful and crazy decor. However the actual room was much smaller than we expected with around 7 rows of chairs on either side of a small runway. I'll tell you now it is probably lucky that the lack of food and illness had made us lose some pounds as the squeeze to get into the seats would have been even tighter. This venue is not for the big boned!

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Once the food carts had been rolled away we were asked by the voice over if we were ready for the crazy, wacky, mental show. Errmm... Hell yeah! We really had no idea what to expect. That's probably as I don't think you can really explain what it is we saw.... But for your benefit I'll try. The voiceover guy was correct in his description. It was split into 4 sections, which as far as I can had no underlying theme. Everything seemed random, loud, crazy, energetic and just full on. To give you an idea the first section involved a fight between two rival gangs all in dramatic costume each with a leader on some kind of huge robot. Then out of nowhere two sword fighting samurai's before a break to catch your breath.

Next up another fight between some Godzilla looking aliens and zoo animals (a Panda, Tiger and crocodile), until they were defeated and a huge robotic Panda came out and just bounced and belly flopped into them all making them retreat. It was so weird, yet oddly enjoyable. The actors certainly were working hard and the size of the robots alone were impressive. Next up a giant toad, a flying turtle with rockets and a massive lobster. All falling victim to the aliens. What it needed was a massive gorilla to come in and kill one of the leaders. Before two dragons and some Daenerys wannabe finished them off. It was so random and a complete assault on the senses.

After the victory we were treated to a an visually entertaining dance from a number of people with colourful LED tubing attached to them and lasers. Again with random robots turning up to join in the fun. During another break we were handed our own light up sticks ready for the finale which composed of massive robot floats celebrating a number of countries around the world and diversity, which was a nice and less confusing message to end on. After a quick picture with one of robots (again this picture opportunity at the end seems to be an important aspect of any entertainment here) it was back to the real world. Well the slightly less crazy world of Tokyo. Would I go again?... No. Would I recommend you to go?... Yes purely just to experience the craziness for yourself just don't go with too high expectations and listen to the other reviews don't get the food; it should be called robot show not restaurant.

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An example of the craziness:

We checked out the area and some of the many arcades here. They really love a grabber machine. There are arcades everywhere and they are always full. To be fair we have seen a number of people win (varying qualities of prizes); some of it is clearly skill but they do also seem to be fairer on the win ratio than the likes of Skegness! We even witnessed some people undertaking the live action Mario kart; whereby they let you drive go karts dressed as various characters that integrate with the usual Tokyo traffic! It must be so annoying if you are just on your way back from work. We really wanted to do this when we heard about it when looking at Japan sat back in our London flat, however neither of us had the necessary driving experience. Based on the scared and some bored looks on the faces of the go kart drivers maybe it was for the best, it must sound more fun than it is in reality... That or it was one dull birthday party!

Although we hadn't done too much we felt pretty exhausted. To be fair we had again done a lot of walking. You don't realise how much you do when traveling when just wandering around. So we decided a beer was needed and a craft one at that. We had researched one nearby with the plan being always to finish there with food... However unfortunately Google maps had not informed us that the place no longer existed. Feeling deflated but wanting to be beaten we headed to another location for a pint and some food. But again we were out of luck. Our back up choice of a British pub was also closed for some reason we couldn't read. Disappointed we couldn't have the bangers and mash we craved we dived into KFC needing some comfort food. This fed us and Iz liked her teriyaki burger but the portions (like the menu choice) were small. With nothing left on the hit list it was back to the hostel for sweets and a film in our little pod!

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Side note the Japanese seem to love crazy flavours of popcorn (caramel and cheese anyone... Obviously we bought it and it was odd but not too bad actually!):

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Posted by Bears on Tour 05:32 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo japan shibuya_crossing robot_restaurant Comments (0)

Day 87- Disney Sea & Geek Out on Tokyo Day 2


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28th February
Up and out... in to the blustery winter! First job for today- coats! Made our way to a huge Uniqlo. Being torn between needing a coat and not wanting to spend £50 on new coats that we wouldn't need past this month. Score! They had a sale. We found our respective coats but they didn’t have mine in the right size so we bought Andy’s and made our way to a different Uniqlo in hope of the same coat in the right size. The second Uniqlo of the day was tiny and definitely not the coats we needed. We seemed to turn the morning in to Uniqlo hopping. Our third one was more successful having the coat we were searching for (although still a size too small but better than nothing!).

Ironically, the second we stepped out of our final Uniqlo the sun belted down! We had a plan for the day so made our way to our first stop; Akihabara- the main pop culture area of Tokyo. Huge arcades 8 or 9 floors tall! Anime and Manga shops mixed in with grab machines and pocket ball machine. The whole area is crazy, bright flashing lights everywhere, the whole height of the buildings. We marveled at how quiet it was still. It’s a strange juxtaposition; the lights and shops so loud on the eyes but the area is almost silent on the ears.

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We’re assuming it’s quiet due to the Coronavirus, at a benefit to us. Having been expecting a fast pace, busy, bustling city- it was a nice surprise at the slower paced, quiet, peaceful city. This virus really is a being a double edged sword for us. As the benefits are heavily outweighed by the negatives we are trying to grasp any positives possible. We’d planned to see Hanazono Inari-jinja Shrine, located within a little city park but we spent so long meandering around Akihabara, gawking at all the shops and side streets we ran out of time. Instead we needed to head to our next stop of the day... DisneySea!! We were sufficiently prepared in our treat purchases from Manila that you can see in the first picture above.

We were both very excited about this! Tokyo Disney have a pass called ‘after 6 passport’, it does what it says on the tin. Access after 6pm for a cheaper price. Japan is the only place in the world with a DisneySea so we opted for that one over Disneyland. Having done some research we knew there was a Mermaid Lagoon and Arabian Coast, very excited about both of these! We arrived about 40 minutes early, assuming they’d be a big queue to get tickets. We walked straight up to the ticket booth and again, assumed we must be so early we’d missed the crowds. It was interesting that we were the only foreigners, everyone else was Japanese- mainly 16 or 17 year old teenagers in school uniform. (How cool would it be to live in a place you can just go to Disney after school!). Was it tourist-less because of the virus?

Once in park, trying to contain our excitement, we went to watch the next show ‘Mickey and Friends visit New York’. Within a few seconds of the show beginning we came to the assumption they don’t get many tourists here, the show was entirely in Japanese. Too excited to care we could understand the gist of the story. Making our way to Toyville (Toy Story area), it felt christmassy being dark, cold and fairy lights everywhere. Since we missed a normal cold Christmas last year, we let ourselves indulge in the feeling for the night.

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Next up was Port Discovery and a ride similar to teacups but on water, we hadn’t planned to go on any rides- assuming queues would be an hour plus and only having 4 hours to discover the park. Since there was no queue at all we decided to hop on, what was interesting was there was two of the same ride. This seemed super efficient as it cuts the wait in half at busier times! We couldn’t come to this area and skip the Nemo stuff! Another queueless ride- StormRider, sounds adrenaline inducing... but it’s Nemo themed so couldn’t be too scary! We all shuffled in to a holding hall type thing where a woman explained the back story of the ride... we assume, again, it was in Japanese so we don’t actually know. In to the VR simulator underwater pod to follow the characters from the film on Some quest.. again, not really sure what’s going on as the characters are talking Japanese too.

The whole place is so quiet, compared to Disney in Paris where you can barely move around. Quick dash through the Lost River Deta, stopping off in the Coco area before making it to the Mermaid Lagoon. This area was incredible! The sets were unreal. It was actually like being in the film. The photos don’t do it justice. We took advantage of the lack of queues and jumped on a few more rides. Time to go and pretend to be Princess Jasmine. This area was even more impressive, it was like stepping in to an Arabian palace! One last ride, Aladdin carousel!

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We’d had a great first full day in Tokyo, it’s so fun exploring together, one of the reasons we work so we’ll together, we’re balanced in all the right places. We know appropriate times for quiet reflection while wondering around shrines but on the flip side, we can be children at Disney. We’ve spent the evening laughing together, running around, squealing and generally enjoying each other’s company. Also we have since found out that the Disneyland has been closed due to the virus and we went on the last possible day before the temporary shut down! Phew! Someone is giving us a bit of luck!

Small side note: they have a Disney character here called Duffy the bear- he’s taken over all shop merchandise and him and his friends suck!

Posted by Bears on Tour 04:17 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo japan akihabara disney corona disney_sea Comments (0)

Day 86- Ohayōgozaimasu (good morning) Tokyo!

After the lack of excitement in the last entry I'm sure you are desperate for the fun loving stuff to kick start again. Oh don't worry Japan will not disappoint you...

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27 February
Following the traditional backpacker penny pinching ways we had booked an overnight flight with Jetstar. Which was basically the equivalent to Ryanair except the fact we were in the air for like 4.5 hours instead of the 2 hours you often have to endure Ryanair for. Izzy was left wishing we were back on Cebu Pacific even with their terrible arrival song... Maybe one flight is all it takes and Cebu Pacific is all you need?

We landed at around 6am in our 4th country excited about the prospect of Japan, while trying to fight back the yawns. After our extensive research and due diligence in Manila (and thanks to a number of fellow traveler blogs) we had pre-ordered a number of items and knew the best places to get cash, as again surprisingly Japan is a country that still heavily relies on cash. The first of these pre-orders was not one we would have ever considered if not for the travel blogs; pocket WiFi. Again we had read that despite all Japan's technological advancements WiFi is still largely subjected to hostels, train stations and restaurants. Now don't get me wrong it couldn't be worse than the Philippines but having weighed up the options we considered this to be a smart purchase and would also save us needing to get data sims for our phones (as long as we stayed within 60metres of each other). We had pre-ordered this to collect from the airport and once we found the right desk all went smoothly. Even setting it up. So far it has proved very convenient, although Japan does have sufficient WiFi in most places.

Cash was also obtained easily and without a charge! Plus the cash point talked to you and you were in your own little booth. 2 out of 2 obtained. We were just waiting for something to go wrong. Next up was arguably the most important, well at the very least the most expensive; our Japanese Rail passes. We booked these ages ago when in Australia (that really does seem a long time ago now!) and were apprehensive of the website used and whether they would be there. We had a bit of a wait before the ticket office opened but luckily for us with it still only being 7.30am we had time to kill. Once opened we were informed we needed to collect our voucher first to exchange this for the tickets. But again we had no issues with either of these processes and decided to commence our 14 day rail pass for 4 March, the day we planned to leave Tokyo.

We also booked our subway tickets to take us to our hostel and by 8.30am we were on our way. We both envisaged having to ram ourselves onto crammed carriages with our massive bags; being hot, uncomfortable and pissing everyone off like you see on the YouTube videos. However this initial train was quieter than the tube and we got seats for us and our bags. So far so good and we were loving how seemlessly Japan appeared to be. Another thing we noticed and loved was how quiet the train was. Literally nobody speaks! It's silent. There are even signs up telling you to refrain from speaking on your phone and if it's busy refrain from using it altogether. From our experiences so far everybody fully obeys this. At first it was a little disconcerting but it still became oddly comforting.

As we couldn't check in until 3pm we just sat and read through some of the guides we had picked up on Tokyo and how to use our new rail passes. Our first impressions of Japan and Tokyo had, as you can tell, been very positive. This only continued to grow throughout our first few hours. Such things like their top notch customer service, respect and cleanliness were apparent very early from our initial 7/11 (supermarket) experience to having to take your shoes off at the door to the hostel and wearing provided slippers.

Everything was going so well we were just waiting for the bubble to pop. We thought it may come when checking into our hostel room as we knew we were in a room of 30!!! The biggest hostel room either of us had ever been in. However... We loved the room. It was spotlessly clean, everyone had their own little capsules that were much bigger than the usual bunk beds and completely private and again everyone was silent. Admittedly at no point during our stay was the room full, yet I don't think it would have made a difference. Plus the toilets here are something else! They look like bloody computer games with buttons for everything from music to heated seats and even a water fountain for your bum. It is such luxury especially coming from the Philippines whereby often you would have to squat over a bowl on the floor and had to bring your own toilet roll which you couldn't even flush down the loo! It was also nice knowing we would be in this hostel for 6 nights and actually have a proper base for a good period of time.

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Tokyo appeared to be the polar opposite in so many ways to the Philippines. This example was perfectly demonstrated as we stepped out our hostel to explore that late afternoon. As we walked down the street you could hear... Nothing! Like the subway this place was silent! There were busy parts of the street but no one made a sound! Even the cars were the same as 90% are electric. We couldn't get over it and it was so different to the noise and chaos of Manila. Another contrast to the Philippines was you can tell convenience here is important. There are literally 7/11s everywhere, yet if 3 on every street wasn't enough Inbetween them are vending machines with everything from drinks, to snacks, to capsule toys (something we will come on to later). As you can tell we were in pretty upbeat moods!

The only slight dampener on our mood was the weather! We had left 28-30 degrees for about 5 degrees! Some change in temperature and we had not packed for such weather as you may have read from our New Zealand entries. But here we couldn't even hide in a campervan so we decided that we needed to go coat shopping. Kirsty and Elliott had installed their love for Uniqlo on us and after learning that Superdry is not a Japanese brand (I know... Who knew?), there was only one place to head. The shopping centre appeared to be in the train station and it was huge, all seem to follow the same suit of food courts on the ground floor with usual department stores on the floors above. The coats were a little more than we wanted and the Uniqlo was small, so we decided to sleep on it and try and go to a larger store tomorrow.

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Wandering around Asakusa just helped cement our early love for this city. Then came something I wasn't expecting as Iz was driving the directions. We came across a huge torii (Japanese gate) at the entrance to a market lit with fairy lights leading up to a stunningly impressive shrine called Senso-Ji. It dominates the skyline and is just beautiful.

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After our visit we were walking down the steps when a young Japanese guy approached us taking about tickets to a geisha show. Being always the skeptical we already had a no on the tip of our tongues. However, we listened to his story about his friend being in the show and that some tickets hadn't sold (probably due to the virus) and it started in 20minutes around the corner. Although a traditional geisha pricked our interest we knew the price would be the kicker. But that's when he said he would give us one ticket free and other for 1,000 yen (which some quick mental maths told me it was about £7 for the both of us!). It still sounded a bit dodgy but we decided to be spontaneous and take up on his offer, silently agreeing that for £7 it was worth finding out. As I reached for my wallet he told me to pay on the door. This further convinced us that it must be legitimate as why would he randomly be handing out bits of paper. Plus if it was more than he said we wouldn't go in.

But all seemed to be valid, although at the entrance the woman who processed our £7 tickets seemed surprised at the price. This is probably as there was a big sign saying these should have been £21 each! Not only were we granted entry, these tickets came with a free beer! What more could you ask for. Even if the show was terrible the ticket price barely covered the beer. Drinks in hand we walked through an out of hours funfair to an empty hall and reflected on our spontaneouity and checked the program for what to expect. From what we could work out there were 6 short sketches with various Japanese dances.

Over the coming minutes the hall started to fill up with a mix of people who clearly had pre booked tickets and others like us who had been coaxed of the street. By the start time there were still a number of empty seats as a random videod played before the geisha's came out. Now we hadn't really prepared or knew what to expect from a geisha show... So my first reaction was to hold back a laugh. It was a strange experience as 8 women in full kimonos and make-up swayed around with fixed expressions and creepy music. The wanting to laugh was more out of shock and being out of my confort zone. This died down and although the strange atmosphere didn't I come to appreciate the tradition, the outfits and the uniqueness behind what we were witnessing.

The rest of the evening involved various traditional dancing and a ninja karate show. Each as shocking and surprising yet interesting. It was an evening like I've never experienced before and it was a great cultural induction into Japan and it's history. The performance was well worth the ticket and although I would personally not have paid £40 odd for the privilege it was the kind of experience we wanted while traveling and were pleased we took a chance. At the end you were introduced to the choreographer who had produced similar performances all over the world, so we had seen a high quality show. That was before being allowed to take a picture with the dancers. Iz suggested sneaking off but I thought it would be a good way to remember our evening so we joined the queue.

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Afterwards we laughed, talked and shared our views on the evening and early opinions of Japan. Well in between taking a few more photos and briskly walking back to the hostel regretting not being as spontaneous with the coat decision. We stopped to buy noodles at 7/11 and heated them up at our hostel. Iz had not chosen well but as it had been a long and very unexpected day was happy just to get snuggled in bed with Netflix ready for another full on travel day tomorrow.

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Posted by Bears on Tour 04:14 Archived in Japan Tagged tokyo japan quiet geisha ninja senso_ji seven_eleven Comments (0)

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