This part combines 3 days – A brief visit to Meiji-jingu and the imperial palace (Sunday), Sengaku-ji and shopping in Shibuya & Shinjuku as well as the Harry Potter Exhibition in Roppongi (Monday) and the Edo Tokyo Museum plus bits of Asakusa and the Tokyo Sky Tree (Tuesday).
On Sunday, we first went to Meiji-Jingu. Since we’ve already been here three years ago, we only made a quick visit to the shrine. All of us hung up some Ema (votives) and made a wish. Chisato then showed us how to pay respects to the Kami, the gods.
This time, I actually wanted to take (even) more pictures than last time, but this was by far the most humid and hottest day I experienced. I was even sweating when not moving, not doing anything, it was crazy! Every movement seemed to be too much, everything we wanted to do was too much and too exhausting. While I did have fun that day, I’m just glad we got it over with and could somehow escape the heat. Now I know how crazy japanese summers are
Anyways, after that we went to Takeshita-dori again, to escape the heat at McDonald’s and buy some stuff at Mitsukoshi. I also bought a really cute, small Rilakkuma towel and a black Rilakkuma wallet (obsession? YES). I just love how the shops at Takeshita initiate flash sales sometimes because BAAAAARGAIN!
After that, we went to Tokyo Station and hurried over to the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately, we were too late, so they wouldn’t let us in anymore 😦 Always remember: Sights like castles usually close their entrances around 4-5 pm! This also happened to us in Kyoto, when we wanted to visit Nijo-jo.
Later that night, we met up with Chisato’s friend Kaoru and went to Karaoke! I can’t believe it’s so much fun! Because in Germany, we usually have like Karaoke bars, but that’s not really that much fun!
That’s about all we saw of the palace grounds. Unfortunately, we didn’t even know that there are guided tours! I don’t think that was in our guide we brought from Germany… If you want to see the palace grounds, you can reserve spots (several days in advance) online via the Imperial Palace Agency.
On Monday, we planned on going to Sengaku-ji, then Yebisu Garden Place and then spend the day shopping in Shibuya. However, because of the heat and the misleading of our guide (which described the way from Sengaku-ji station to Shinagawa station as a ‘6-7 minute walk’. Reality: TEN BAZILLION MINUTES) we ended up going shopping in Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Unfortunately, Sengaku-ji was closed so we just took some pictures and read something about the history of this place and lit some Osenko (incense).
We actually wanted to have lunch at Subway, but the people we asked led us to some steakhouse (wtf), so we grabbed some food at burger king. That was actually my first burger in over a year! I usually don’t eat them, but ohmyfreakingod at that time it was so delicious. What’s really strange though I haven’t had a craving burgers since I came back…
After we did some shopping at Center Gai (IGNI!) we went to Shibuya PARCO, but I couldn’t find the smileland section and everything was a little bit too expensive, so we hurried over to Marui, but I didn’t find anything I want, so we went to Lumine EST (a super nice girl showed us the way) and finally settled for Shinjuku ALTA. (I can only recommend CameronRacy!)
After we were interrupted by a massive downpour, we finally made it to Mori Tower in Roppongi, just in time for the Harry Potter Exhibition.
IT WAS SO AMAZING OMG
They had like pieces of the original set and costumes of most of the characters, their wands… You could even sit in Hagrid’s armchair or throw Quaffles, it was so much fun! It felt like going back in time. God I miss this so much.
Tickets for university students cost about 2,000 Yen. If you’re a student – bring your ID to Japan! There are discounts everywhere (even at F21). Regular adult tickets sell for 2,500 Yen. The exhibition runs until September 29th, so if you’re in Tokyo right now or going very soon, make sure to stop by!
And when we got to the Fan shop we were like ‘OMG BUY EVERYTHING’ buuuut… it was so freakin expensive. I paid like 500 yen for Bertie Bott’s Beans. They had amaing stuff though: Sweaters, ties, Cardigans and T-Shirts of the houses, mugs, pencils, the wands and even a mini-version of the Nimbus 2001 (we kinda wanted to buy one for our mum HAHA) and even pieces of the original film!
On our way home took turns in trying Bertie Bott’s Beans and there were some really disgusting flavors (vomit, grass, rotten egg… ewewewew) but it was fun!
The next day, we indulged into some history at Edo Tokyo Museum! It’s really interesting, especially if you get one of the volunteer guides. Not only do they know a lot about the history of the city (duh) but they can also give you lots of tips too. Our guide was sooooo cute, he made lots of funny jokes and asked us questions like teachers in school, but it was a lot of fun.
The Edo Tokyo Museum is not a must, but if you’re interested in history (like us), you should definitely go.
We bought tickets for the permanent exhibition, which cost us 480 Yen. Student discount once again! (I’m just glad my ID is trilingual) Adults have to pay 600 Yen.
In the afternoon, we just walked around Asakusa and had a major shopping spree at Daiso. I bought like all the food I could grab and some bowls and some souvenirs for my friends. In the evening, we went to Ueno to have dinner at a branch of Tsukada-nojo, but they were full so we just went to a British Pub, haha.
Then we hurried over to the SkyTree, but they were no tickets available! So if you plan on visiting the SkyTree, make sure to reserve some tickets.
A nice place is also the Solamachi SkyMall, right above the subway. There are lots of stores and cafés (like the Samantha Thavasa café), so you should definitely have a look.
This concluded our last day in Tokyo.
What really bugged during our stay is that public transportation can be so expensive. We brought our PASMOs from last time and paid like 1000 Yen per day (depends on how often you use the Metro/Yamanote/etc and change lines). We weren’t sure if the Japan Rail Pass also covers all the other lines like Yamanote and since we planned on using the Shinkansen only or our ride to Kyoto, we thought 200 € were a little bit too much. But that’s just Tokyo, I guess. In Kyoto, we only paid half the price.
Next part: Kyoto!