2

Kitkats in Japan! – A guide.

Kitkats and Japan seemingly go hand and hand nowadays. Japan has the most varieties of kitkats in the world and they’ve become a sort of phenomenon. On my previous trip to Osaka, I grabbed a lot of varieties. This time in Tokyo, I had a little less luck but still was able to get a few new ones that I’ve never tried. This is my personal guide to buying Kitkats in Japan. I should note that the flavours are SEASONAL! So if you see ones you like, grab them! Chances are you won’t be able to get them next time you go. The spring seasonal flavour was carrot apple (it was delicious) and the summer flavour was cookies and cream (also good). Keep your eye out, and if you need to ask a local for the current varieties!

wpid-img_20150323_235553.jpgIn Osaka:

I had a lot of luck in Don Quijote in Osaka. The location on the Dotonburi was full of different varieties when I went during March. At the front entrance, near all the crazy busy checkouts, there is a bunch of food! It was here that I got bags of the Easter special: Apple Carrot, a black tea flavour from Kyoto, a bake kitkat (you toast it in the toaster oven) that was cheesecake flavour, and the typical green tea flavour (found nearly everywhere). Don Quijote has a bunch of snacks from all over, so scour the sections for surprises. I’ve talked about Don Quijote a few times and I really love it, so if you’re in Japan make some time to go.

I also had luck at the airport, Kansai International Airport. In the duty free shops and even a small sandwich shop, I was able to grab red bean, strawberry cheesecake (in a Mount Fuji box!), wa-ichigo (a real strawberry flavour), ichi matcha (strong green tea), and Sakura Macha (Cherry blossom green tea). I had a lot of luck on my first trip to Japan, and I was able to stuff all of them into boxes that I sent home.

At the Kitkat Chocolatory, they handed out a sign that said there were special kitkats at Osaka Station. I didn’t make it down there on my first visit to Osaka, so I’m going to try and go next time!

In Tokyo:

I feel like I had more luck in Tokyo, though the amount I brought home seemed to be less than I brought in Osaka. I saw a lot of varieties I didn’t see before. I had a lot of luck and came home with quite a few! In Tokyo you could find them in wpid-img_20150814_194142.jpgmany places, I’m going to list the places I had the most luck.

Don Quijote in Akihabara had many varieties, in big bags and small boxes. My friend bought green tea and dark chocolate. Both are standard and available at most conbinis in Japan too. I didn’t see anything new so I didn’t get any.

Lawson’s is a convenience store chain in Japan. In the location in the Musashi-koyama subway station I was able to find and purchase raspberry kitkats. They are easily the best kind I’ve tried, but I’m a bit biased because raspberries are my favourite.

Souvenir shops also keep a stock of many varieties. I grabbed some hot chilli pepper flavoured ones from a souvenir shop under Tokyo Station. Almost all souvenir shops in Japan stock some variety of kitkat. My friend also purchased some strawberry cheesecake flavoured ones, and some green tea ones.

In the souvenir shop in Diver City Tokyo Mall I was able to buy bags of the cookies and cream flavoured kitkats, and even some green tea red bean kitkat balls. They were strange but still good! They also had the Mount Fuji box of Strawberry cheesecake kitkats, which my boyfriend devoured after he got to Korea J.

Duty Free shops in the Narita airport (specifically the Akihabara Electric Street duty free shop) had all the varieties I saw in Osaka, and some of the ones I saw outside.

wpid-img_20150731_192215.jpgKitKat Chocolatory in Seibu Department Store with a name like that I expected a lot more. The chocolatory is merely a 10 foot counter in a department store. It was busy and packed, but they had a huge variety. They also do seasonal flavours, and they change out the varieties often. When I went in Tokyo they had several kinds in small boxes: Strawberry Maple, Orange Cocktail, Ume (Plum), Ginger, and Butter. The small boxes are stylish and contain 4 mini kitkat bars. They’re about 400Y each. They also always have boxes of Sakura Matcha kitkats. They had single sticks that were about 300Y each, in dark chocolate, white chocolate, and raspberry. I didn’t buy any but they appeared to be larger than your average kitkat stick. They had some larger collection boxes including a variety of fruit flavours: passion fruit, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, and then they showed that other varieties were available in special places across Japan (like Kyoto station and Osaka station).

If you go to Japan grabs some kitkats, they make for excellent souvenirs and they have kinds for everyone! I’ve tried a lot of kitkats in my life, more than I can even list! They’re really hard to come by (in weird flavours) in Canada, so I’m glad I got to go straight to the source.

Hope you enjoyed this sweet post 😉

Until next time,

B.

This is the final post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Go to Day Four!
Read my Robot Restaurant Review!
Check out day Five!

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2

Day five: Tokyo talk, too-sweet pork, and Tomorrowland.

My FINAL day in Tokyo started really early! I was up at 7am and out of my hotel by 7:30. I love travel days because they require little-to-no makeup and super comfy clothes. The train to the airport went super quickly, and before I knew it I was on my 30 minute trek to gate 99. I think I finished it in less than 30 minutes, but I shopped a lot on the way so I kind wpid-img_20150802_112558.jpgof lost track of time. Airports in Japan can be the best places to get kitkats or other Japanese specialties, and they’re only a little more expensive than they’d be in town. I purchased some Black Thunder chocolates for my coworkers, and a few other things. I also went into the Victoria’s Secret in the terminal (and then ran back out after looking at the prices). Once I was finally at my gate, I had some time to chat with my boyfriend, preparing for his own trip soon to visit me! And I really took some time to absorb what had happened.

I had visited one of my dream cities: Tokyo! I remember being 14 and dreaming of going to Tokyo. It was everything I imagined, as a child and as an adult. It was wonderful and confusing, frustrating and fantastic, and charming. I had a pretty good experience overall, and I got to do a lot of things on my list. Japan is a beautiful country, and I really enjoyed my time there. I’m looking forward to going back one last time before I leave Korea. I really want to go to Kyoto and see the golden temple. It’s a place that has been on my bucket list since I was 14. I was glad I got to experience it without my rose-tinted glasses on. Being in Osaka really put Japan into perspective. I expected Japan to be super easy for me, with my years of anime watching, one year of Japanese language studying, and a general positive travel attitude. It was not very easy in Osaka, and though I had a good time, I was frustrated a lot and felt kind of put-off. Being in Tokyo was a lot easier, it is a very accessible and super accommodating city. There’s a lot of English everywhere. And though there was a lot of English in Osaka, there was much more in Tokyo. I could appreciate Tokyo for things more because of my attachments I developed when I was younger, and I really did. One of the highlights was seeing Hachiko in person. Though it was in a sort of dirty, crowded area (right outside of Shibuya station) I was really happy. I’ve loved the story of Hachiko for many years and even wrote my Japanese speech on Hachiko and how I related it to my dog, Belle.

Traveling is such a great thing, and I know it is a passion for many people. I know that my future is sort of up in the air right now, but I’m enjoying this little bubble I’m in. I hope that travel continues to be a big part of my life.

wpid-img_20150802_113553.jpgOn the plane we were served a weirdly Japanese meal, with pork that was too sweet and delicious fish mixed with rice. There was also a yummy piece of mochi, so I was happy. I watched the first hour or so of Tomorrowland and I have no plans to finish it… Haha. As we touched down in Busan, I was thankful to be going back to my apartment. I spent a good amount of Sunday just hanging out in bed, and cleaning for my onslaught of company.

August has been a wonderful month, and it’s flew by. As September approaches, I’m in my tenth month of work! I’ve had jobs a lot longer before but I worked so hard to become a teacher, and now I’m almost done my first contract. I don’t know what the future holds, but for now I’m enjoying the fear (and excitement) of the unknown.

This series is nearly done! I have one more post planned and it’ll be up very soon! After that I’ll have some monthly recaps for you, and my final month in Busan bucket list!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Tokyo-a-go-go series! I’ve really enjoyed writing it!

Until next time,
B.

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Go to Day Four!
Check out my Robot Restaurant Review!
Check out my guide to Kitkats in Japan!

3

Best view in Tokyo: FOR FREE.

wpid-img_20150731_160239.jpgWhen I was Tokyo I saw two of the best views of the city: one during the night at Tokyo tower, and the other during the middle of a humid summer day in Shinjuku. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building is right near Tochomae station, just outside of Shinjuku. If you go to Shinjuku station you’ll see signs pointing you towards it. It’s on the “other side” of Shinjuku, so opposite all the cool stuff like Godzilla and the Robot Restaurant. I detailed my version of events in my post of about Day 3 and Day 4. Shinjuku is a pretty cool area of Tokyo, it’s more chilled out than other areas, but I came to enjoy it in my time in Tokyo.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building was a part of my changed opinion on Shinjuku. I really hated Shinjuku when I first got there because it was really wpid-img_20150731_162219.jpgconfusing, I was hangry, and I didn’t know what to expect. When I finally made it to the Government Building, it was like an oasis because it was nice and cool, and best of all, it was free. The building is basically like any government building but they open up the 44th and 45th floors for anyone and everyone to go and look at the city. The building basically houses a lot of the workers for the 23 wards of Tokyo, and most of the city. You can read more about it here. It’s a beautiful building and the observation desk is really cool.wpid-img_20150731_155824.jpg

You line up, go through a metal detector quickly and then you’re into the elevator up to the 45th floor. You can either go to the North or South observatory. We opted for the South observatory because it’s the one we came to first, haha. The elevator goes up the 45 floors super quickly, and though it would have been cool to see outside as you ascended, it was a closed in elevator. You can see so much of Tokyo outside the windows, and there was a lot of information in English, Chinese, Korean, and of course, Japanese posted. It showed you everything you could see out each window. On a clear day you can even see Mount Fuji.

wpid-img_20150731_160147.jpgThe observation deck is open daily from 8:00am – 6:45pm, making it possible to see a nice sunset. Any time would be good to go because it’s nice to escape what can sometimes be madness in Tokyo. It’s nice to just sit up there and watch the people go by. We spent nearly an hour up there, and it was totally worth it. I’d go back next time I’m Tokyo just because it’s one of the best things you can do for free. It’s a great thing you can do with a group of people or even by yourself (woo, solo travel!).

If you’re ever in Tokyo make sure you go to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building!

Until next time,
B.
This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Go to Day Four!

6

Day four: Hentai, Humidity, Harajuku, and Godzilla.

IMG_20150801_215358On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to get ready to go. Megan had conked out before midnight the night before, and she was still sleeping soundly when I left. I sent her a message to let her know where I was. I enjoyed my breakfast, and then started to wander around Akihabara. I had been through there before but only at night and only brieflywpid-img_20150801_105636.jpg. I took my time this morning seeing as Megan still showed no signs of replying to me. I went in and out of gift shops, looking at various things I could buy. I explored endless UFO catcher machines and arcades. It was really fun. I even went through every floor of the Animate store, a place I saw in a Youtube video. Akihabara has many things, and the Animate store had merchandise from just about every anime I’ve ever heard of, and many wpid-img_20150801_111056.jpgthat I hadn’t. Some merchandise including body pillows and lots of anime porn, aka hentai.

I used to be really into anime when I was in highschool. I collected plushies, watched only Japanese subtitled anime, got into J-dramas, etc, Even though that part of my life is somewhat in the past, I still appreciated and loved the things I saw. Akihabara would be like heaven for anime fans. During my time in the Animate store something really sad and personal happened, which I don’t really want to elaborate on too much right now, and I had to take some time to myself. I kind of put myself into a quiet area and tried to pick myself up. Thankfully I had some really good friends who talked to me and I was able to make the most of my last day. After wpid-img_20150801_140653.jpgfinishing in the animate store, I made my way to a convenience store where I was able to grab some limited edition Lotte Fits Super Mario Brother’s gum, and a weird coke float version of Calpis (a milky soda).

Megan got back to me,  and she was going through some stuff too. Saturday was not starting off too great. I was sure she was almost ready to go, so I picked up some things I had my eye on and then made my way back to our meeting point. We met up in the afternoon and made our way to Harajuku to go to Meiji Shrine.

It was super hot in Tokyo during our entire time there, and Saturday afternoon was wpid-img_20150801_141356.jpgno exception. We made our way to Meiji shrine, walking through the big gardens and seeing many fish and turtles, and nearly missed the entire shrine. When we made it to the shrine, I made a contribution to the shrine, even doing the traditional clapping/offering. It was a fun experience. We were really lucky too because we got to see a wedding procession. I only took one photo because I felt that it was inappropriate, but many people were shooting pictures as if it were a movie. The group of people were small in
number, but the bride and groom looked beautiful. We ended our time at Meiji shrine by getting a fortune from the shrine maidens. It was pretty interesting but they are just full of general statements. I enjoyed my time though!wpid-img_20150801_152413.jpg

wpid-img_20150801_154643.jpgAfter finishing at Meiji shrine, we headed into the madness that was Harajuku. Our cooking instructor from Thursday warned us that Harajuku was very busy and often filled with people, but I was not prepared for the sheer volume of them! There were tourists from all over, many languages could be heard. People were looking in the many shops in Harajuku. We barely stopped in any because it was just so hectic. We did go to the Disney store (again haha), and Swimmer. I’m really sad that I didn’t get to go to Kiddyland, but that will have to be on my next trip to Tokyo. Megan and I were not enjoying our time, so we headed off the main street and found a tourist shop. I took some pictures with funny Harajuku glasses (that were impossible to see out of) and Megan sorted out our restaurant reservations for laterwpid-img_20150801_161553.jpgthat night.

It was after Harajuku that we headed back to Shinjuku. Starving, we looked for a ramen shop. I had some somewhat disappointing ramen when I was in Osaka before, but this time I was wpid-img_20150801_174131.jpgnowhere near disappointed. I was completely satisfied with the creamy delicious pork ramen. The noodles were thinner than I was used to but I still gobbled the entire thing. After the delicious dinner, we had wandered Shinjuku, I found a cool arcade (Japanese arcades are awesome) and then we finally found the good part of Shinjuku. Shinjuku station is the 7th largest transit station in the world. It was no wonder that we kept getting lost in it… When we finally made it to the other side of Shinjuku, we found Godzilla, the Don Quijote, and the Robot Restaurant.

Shinjuku is actually a pretty cool area. I was pleasantly surprised to find after our fail of a day on Friday. I didn’t think much of it until we got into the brightly lit night wpid-img_20150801_190840.jpgarea. I enjoyed my time in Shinjuku more than I imagined, and I was able to take in
a lot of the sights in my short time there. We had arrived just after 8, and we spent a bit of time waiting for Oliver. We all
met up just before 9 and finally made our way to the robot restaurant.

wpid-img_20150801_223004.jpgNow Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku deserves a post of its own, and if you read this before I make it, GO. Go there. It was one of the best things I saw in Tokyo. Read about my experience at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku here.

After the restaurant, we had to hurry to find the subway. Thankfully on the Shinjuku line we only had to ride one subway to a sister station to wpid-img_20150801_202032.jpgAkihabara. We nearly missed the last train but made it! It was a mad dash, literally. Shinjuku station is TOO big, haha. After getting back to the hotel, I packed my bags and made sure I was ready to go.

My final day in Tokyo was approaching, and unfortunately only one place was on my itinerary: Narita Airport.

That final day post will be up soon, thank you so much for reading!

Until next time,
B.

wpid-img_20150801_225008.jpgThis is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!
Check out my Tokyo Transit Tips!
Check out the best free view in Tokyo!
Check out my review of the Robot Restaurant!

6

Tokyo Transit Tips!

originalSo, you want to go to Tokyo? Go for it! It has one of the biggest and most confusing subway systems ever, but once you get the hang of it, you’re going to be fine! These are my tips that I used when I was in Tokyo. I’m not an expert, but I just thought these would be helpful things to share!
Tokyo is an amazing city with many different neighborhoods and landmarks to get lost in. It’s good knowing some of the places you want to go, and then exploring from there. The subways are your best bet for getting around: they have English signage/announcements, it’s quick and you don’t have to worry about traffic, and you can get basically everywhere. Taxis in Japan are far more expensive than taxis in Korea, and if you’re coming from the land of the cheap cab fare like I was, you’ll be sorely disappointed. You’ll also be running to catch the last subway like I had to on Saturday night.

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Screenshot from the Tokyo Subway app

First things first: Get an app!
I have an android phone and I downloaded and used the TokyoSubway app like my life depended on it, because sometimes it did. This was a quick easy-to-use app that you just use by clicking from Point A to Point B, and it told you all the transfers you’d need to make, and how long it would take. This app only used the Tokyo Metro/Toei lines as far as
I could tell, but it did give me some information for JR lines too. You can also use Google Maps pretty well in Tokyo. It will give you the quickest routes and uses every line in Japan, public and private.

wpid-img_20150825_000558.jpgNext! Get a pass!
Tokyo subways run on a few systems: both public and private. The public systems are Tokyo Metro and the Toei subways. These encompass a big part of Tokyo, and they all run on the same fare system. Now you can buy a ticket if you’re only going to one place, but if you want to explore a lot of Tokyo, I’d suggest getting a pass. I believe it was 1000Y for the Tokyo Metro/Toei subway pass, and 1500Y for all the line passes. If you’re going to do a lot of travelling within 24 hours, I’d recommend that. We were fine with out Tokyo Metro/Toei passes for all four days we were in Tokyo. Another option is getting a Suica card. Similar to Cashbee or T-Money in Korea, a Suica card is a re-loadable transit card. I can’t speak for the use of it that much as I only used mine once, but it’s seems to be accepted at most stations and is pretty easy to use. Most people in Japan use them, and most of the people I saw there used them! We had to put a 500Y deposit on the card, which I assume you can get refunded. This is exactly like in any major city like an Oyster Card in London, a Cashbee/T-Money card in Seoul, a Presto Pass in Ontario, etc. Fairly straight forward, easy to use.

Plan your journeys, try to go to things that are close together to make the most of your time in Tokyo. I was only there four days and I crammed a lot in. The subways in Tokyo are one of the best ways to get around. They’re fast, relatively inexpensive, and go everywhere. The Tokyo metro system runs until about midnight every night, and starts up at around 5am. So if you miss the last train and you don’t want to taxi home, you’ll be having a very late night.wpid-img_20150731_134245.jpg

Much like any city, Tokyo is a vibrant place with many things to offer. Get out there and enjoy it!

I hope you enjoyed my Tokyo Transit Tips, and it helped you in any small way!

Until next time,
B.

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!

8

Day Three: Shibuya Scrambling.

Tokyo a go go day 3Day three started out not-so-great. We left the hotel later than expected, I didn’t get breakfast like I had planned, and we decided to adventure out of the Tokyo lines into an area just for Pork cutlet . We were on the hunt for a restaurant recommended by my friend’s friend, and we had made the trek out there in the summer heat, hoping for something great. Well, we did finally make it after getting a bit lost, and we found out the restaurant was closed for summer vacation. (Mushashikoyama will always be somewhere I’ll have to go eventually) There was no way we could have predicted this, and I was a bit more than disappointed because I was starving. All I wanted was a meal! Thankfully we decided on another place, this time in Shinjuku, and we set off.

wpid-img_20150731_133355.jpgI had stopped in a Lawson’s to get a snack (Ritz sandwiches and some chocolate almond milk) and I found some raspberry kitkats, so this seemed to be a good sign. The day was not going as I thought it would’ve, so I was feeling a bit
discouraged. We made our way to Shinjuku and again got wildly lost. I was starting to wonder why people even liked Shinjuku. We kept gettingwpid-img_20150731_134245.jpg stuck over on the other side of Shinjuku. It wasn’t until Saturday that we’d find the cool part of Shinjuku, so I still held a bit of a grudge towards it. We were looking for a port cutlet chain Tonkatsu Waco (I think), We finally did end up finding it, after nearly giving up, and it was inside the department store we were wandering
wpid-img_20150731_142237.jpgaround in front of (cursing Google Maps). We had our overpriced, disappointing tonkatsu, and some weird yam slurry that made me gag, and we were on our way. I decided we would try to make Shinjuku worth it, and we headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Check out my post on that here.

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After exploring part of Shinjuku, we hopped on the subway and went to Ikebukuro. I was really excited to see Sunshine wpid-img_20150731_172415.jpgcity, and also find the Milky Way Cafe. We made our first stop the Milky Way Cafe, which was an adorable star themed cafe. I had my sign’s dessert: a Taurus. It was some sort of ice cream yogurt parfait that was delicious. Megan’s came with dry ice and it was really cool. We enjoyed our desserts after a disappointing beginning of the day and then set off into Ikebukuro. I was so excited to see everything, we hit up a few stores and I took Megan into Tokyu Hands. It was a cool experience. It was after looking around that we went into Sunshine City.wpid-img_20150731_173038.jpg

Sunshine City is a big mall that is home to the Pokemon Center MEGATOKYO! It was an awesome Pokemon store, the third that I’ve been to, and it was probably my favourite. They had everything! I was a bit sad they sold out of the magikarp plushes, but what can you do? I picked up a thing or two from the capsules, and then we were off again. I stopped by the wpid-img_20150731_180930.jpgDisney store in Sunshine City, and we wandered through lots of shops. We decided to take a rest at the Starbucks close by, hoping to charge our phones. Unfortunately Japan is a lot more stingy with their outlets than Korea is. We were unable to charge anything, so we cut our losses and headed towards the subway.

It was then that I realized the KitKat Chocolatory was in Ikebukuro. I decided that I’d wpid-img_20150731_181638.jpgregret not going, so I dragged Megan with me to the store. I don’t know what I expected but from videos that I had seen, I thought this place was going to be huge. It turned out to be a tiny department store counter! I ended up picking up a few flavours of Kitkats that I’ll elaborate on in a later post, but I was kind of disappointed by the store. We got on the subway after stocking up on Kitkats and made our way to Shibuya.

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I was really excited about Shibuya because I really wanted to see Hachiko. We got the obligatory pictures, and then wpid-img_20150731_200236.jpgwalked around a bit. Shibuya is a really cool area with lots of shops. We even went in the famous Shibuya 109 building. Unfortunately things in Japan tend to close pretty early, around 9pm. I wish that they’d stay open a bit later, especially on a Friday night! We decided to head back to Akihabara a little early as our feet were tired, and after a day of ups and downs we just wanted to rest.wpid-img_20150731_205113.jpg

We stopped at the convenience store on the way home and I had a delicious shrimp/mayo roll, and some other snacks. Convenience stores in Japan are awesome and you can get delicious cheap food for low prices. I also grabbed some snacks including a Black Thunder ice cream bar. If you’re ever in Japan make sure to try a black thunder bar. It’s cookie based and it’s delicious.

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After showering, I called it a night and headed to bed. The capsule was extra comfy that night for some reason, and I was out for a solid 8 hours. I was going to get McBreakfast the next day, I was sure of it.

Until next time!
B.

Here are some more shots from inside Sunshine City!

wpid-img_20150731_181657.jpgwpid-img_20150731_181453.jpgwpid-img_20150731_182750.jpg

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
Look at what I did on Day Two!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Check out Day Four!

2

Day two: Sushi rolls, Giant Robots, and a Stunned Pigeon.

day twoDay two was probably my favourite day in Tokyo. We headed out to Asakusa just before 10am, we had booked a sushi making class with Yoshimi from Tokyo Kitchen . She met us just outside the subway station at the famous Kaminarimon gate in Asakusa. I applauded her for wearing a stunning white kimono, especially on the humid summer day. We walked along the river to her apartment. She pointed out the cool landmarks on the way: the golden “flame”, the Asahi beer headquarters, and the cool river bus. We made it to her apartment, which was a beautiful airy little place with an awesome view of the river. We sat down and she gave us a lesson on Japanese cuisine, and then thoroughly explained what we’d be doing.

We got right into cooking and it was so much fun! We prepared a few dishes: summer cold tofu with tomatoes/onions, wpid-img_20150730_104242.jpgspinach with sesame, potato miso soup, and of course some beautiful mosaic sushi rolls. There was a lot of work put in, but it made our morning hunger all the more worth it. By the time we finished everything, I was starving. It’s a good thing everything we made was so delicious and fresh, and was so satisfying. Yoshimi was super helpful and handy, she took us through the steps slowly but surely. We made a few dishes: we started off my waking the rice, then starting the omelet for the inside of our sushi rolls, then we prepared the topping for the cold tofu and the dressing for he spinach. The dishes we made were: chilled tofu with a summer tomato/onion topping, spinach with sesame, potato miso soup, and some mosaic sushi rolls. It was time-consuming but honestly the time flew by! We were eating lunch just after noon, which was perfect timing. After lunch we talked for a bit and then Megan and I left to explore Asakusa.

wpid-img_20150730_131036.jpgAsakusa is a pretty neat area, Our class was on the river, so we could see the river boat/bus driving on by. We could also see the really cool shaped Asahi beer headquarters! It’s shaped like a glass of beer, foam included. Next to Asahi beer is the golden flame, which resembles a golden poop really, and Tokyo skytree. We were going to take the river bus to the next stop, but like with most public transit in Japan, it was too expensive. Our cooking instructor had mentioned “Seria” to me, after I said I loved Daiso, and I had made a stop there before we explored more of Asakusa. There was a lot of cool stuff in the department store, and Seira had a lot of really adorable things. I grabbed some Minnie Mouse utensils for my niece, some Mt. Fuji washi tape and notes, and a really cute set of elephant sticky notes. Stationary in Asia KILLS me, it’s so adorable. Seria is a good wpid-img_20150730_142327.jpgplace to go for souvenirs too because everything was 100Y, 108Y with tax.

After walking around the temple and gate area of Asakusa, we decided to make our way to Daiba station. This was a bit of a journey from Asakusa, but we made it. It had started to rain when we were on the subway and thankfully the station we were at allowed for a completely indoor transfer. By the time we made our way to Daiba, the rain had let up. The walk to Diver City Tokyo Mall was a gloomy one, but at least there was no rain. There was actually a summer J-pop concert going on, and I stood to watch it for a little bit from the walkway between the subway station and the mall.

wpid-img_20150730_192730.jpgDiver City Tokyo Mall is a HUGE indoor shopping area. There are about 8 floors, and each floor is filled with great stores. I had put this place on my list for two reasons: Old Navy and a Giant Gundam. I love Old Navy, probably 60% of my wardrobe is from there, and I was really excited to find a store in Japan. As we were walking into the mall, we noticed that people were really hesitant to go in the doors. Thinking it was just another tourist bottleneck, I tried to pick up the pace. Imagine my surprise when I realized that everyone was just avoiding a small pigeon who was sitting in the doors looking a little ruffled and a lot confused. Poor bird. Thankfully a mall staff member helped the little guy out and we were on our merry shopping way.

The next few hours were spent shopping happily, going through store after store. If you don’t know me, I can shop for hours. I love looking at new things, sometimes buying new things. I really like shopping. I purchased quite a few things, some clothing included, and a lot of souvenirs. We ended our shopping adventure with a trip to the Daiso on the 6th floor, and then chilled out for a bit before checking out the Gundam outside. The Gundam is  A HUGE model gundam, lit up outside the mall. A few times a day there are performances in the way that it might move a little, and at night they do a 15 minute anime screening. Also, during the day wpid-img_20150730_193514.jpgyou can walk under the Gundam. It was a pretty cool little aspect, and I enjoyed it whole-heartedly. After we took some pictures, we headed over to another mall so I could check out the Disney store. The Disney store in Japan is always a stop for me, it’s full of cute little things. Basically ever time I go to Japan, I buy some tsum-tsums. These are small stackable plushies that are super cheap and adorable. When I was in Osaka I picked up 5, and this time in Tokyo I picked up 3.

Daiba is a pretty cool area of Tokyo because it’s on the bay. There’s also a part of it that looks strangely like New York city, it also has a Statue of Liberty and a very Brooklyn bridge-esque bridge.I took quite a few pictures here and it made a perfect backdrop for the night. Tokyo was still humid after the sun went down, but that didn’t stop my little photoshoot.wpid-img_20150730_200614.jpg

After journeying back to Akihabara, we stopped for dinner at Coco Ichibana. This is a popular Japanese curry chain. I had a cheese curry katsu, which is a pork cutlet in curry. It was really delicious and I’m glad there’s a Coco Ichibana in Busan haha.wpid-img_20150730_213505.jpg

We loaded up on snacks at the convenience store, and then made our way back to Grids so we could rest. Another somewhat successful day in Tokyo awaited us on Friday.

Until next time,
B.

This is a post in my Tokyo a go go series.
Find the main post here!
Go back to Day One!
See where I stayed in Tokyo.
Go to Day Three!