24 Jun 2015

Japan Flashback! Part 2: More of Tokyo

Here we are again, reliving my Japan memories. If you missed the first part, click here to read it!

Day 4: End of Homestay, Harajuku and Akihabara (原宿と秋葉原)

The morning of day four went quite quickly. I woke up, had a traditional Japanese breakfast and started to pack. I was also starting to get ill on this particular day (trust me to get sick the one time I really didn't want to), so my host mum made me some kocha (Japanese red tea) for the trip, which really helps sore throats, as it turns out. My three host sisters came with us to the goodbye meet-up, and they were so adorable, clinging on to my arms the whole way. All the families reunited and told some stories about what we'd done, and then we all said goodbye! I got a little teary. I'm so happy that I had such a nice experience of homestay. It just goes to show that doing things that scare you doesn't always turn out badly.

After we'd all said our farewells, we went off in the rain to Harajuku! The first place we went was Kiddyland, a five storey toy store which was incredible. I had to hold myself back. I bought mostly gifts for my friends, but I nabbed myself a Tanooki Mario plushie like a colossal nerd, which is super cute. I wish I could go back there and go absolutely nuts.

We unfortunately had to skip out on our plan to go to Yoyogi Park and see some of the amazing cosplay that's usually in the area because of the rain, but that just gave us more time to shop down Takeshita street (yep, the one everyone goes down). I didn't end up buying anything (clothes shopping in Japan doesn't really work out when you're tall and have giant feet), but it was interesting to see the kind of shopping experience that is considered normal in Japan, like just casually putting a model of a plane in a shop because that just makes so much sense, right?

After dark (and crepe eating, yum), we got on the train to Akihabara. Akihabara is amazing at night because everything is lit up. We went to a bookshop, where I bought some manga (in English, because I didn't feel like breaking my poor brain), and went through some of the arcade areas. I really wish I'd stopped to at least try and win a Rilakkuma plushie (y'know, because I need more soft toys, apparently) because I now have a small obsession with it, but alas, I'm two years too late.

We ended up eating pizza for dinner like disappointing tourists. I think we were all just sick of miso soup for breakfast. Then we walked back to the hostel (I'm surprised my feet hadn't fallen off yet. There is nowhere to sit and take a load off in Japan), and tried to get a semi-decent night's sleep before DISNEYLAND, the day of our dreams. 

Day 5: Tokyo Disneyland (東京ディズニーランド)

I didn't take all that many photos at Disneyland because I was too busy going on rides, but I got some of our arrival and just before we left. Tokyo Disneyland is the first (and only, so far in my life) Disney park I've ever been to, and it was a pretty magical experience, even if a lot of it was in Japanese.

Some of the rides we went on were: It's a Small World (it really is creepy, trust anyone that says so), Pirates of the Caribbean (which was really quite beautiful), The Haunted Mansion (the ghosts were amazing), Splash Mountain (we literally waited in line for two hours and I'm still not sure if it was entirely worth it) and Space Mountain (because I was obviously feeling brave, even if it didn't turn out to be that intense).

The whole place was decked out for Halloween, which I personally didn't really enjoy that much. I'm not a very Halloween-y person, and I feel like all the themed merchandise took over all of the regular fun Disney-themed stuff. But I guess that just gives me an excuse to go again at a different time of year.

Overall, I had a really nice day, despite being sick, sore and sunburnt by the end of it. We stayed late for the fireworks show and for some last minute gift-shopping. Everything looked so beautiful under the evening lights, and I managed to find a little Minnie Mouse plushie (another one, I know), to commemorate my time there. I just wish I'd been able to find some Minnie ears that weren't Halloween themed. I guess I should have looked harder.


That's it for Tokyo! Tune in next time for my adventures in Hiroshima.

I hope you're enjoying this little series!


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