Day 3 in Japan was our last day in Tokyo before we departed to the countryside for a few days (we were returning to Tokyo afterwards). The goal of the morning was to head to Asakusa and find a yukata to wear to the festival we were heading to the next day. We found a nice street that was filled with vendors near the Kaminarimon Shrine. Fortunately we were able to find yukatas for taller people at an awesome little shop, the shop owners were super friendly and let me take a couple pictures of their shop (see below). It was along this street that I also found a vendor and was able to try takoyaki for the first time. Takoyaki is basically deep fried octopus in a dough ball with various condiments on top. My favorite was Japanese mayo and green onions, fantastic stuff 🙂
After Asakusa, we headed to Akihabara to check out all of the toys, electronics and anime we could ever imagine. I found a shop that sold nothing but gachapons, they are small toys you put together that come from a plastic ball machine. basically a quarter machine we have in the United States except these toys are a little bigger, you put them together and they generally cost between 200-400 Yen. I was able to score some cool Dragonball Z, Neon Genesis Evangelion and My-Hime figures. I didn’t recognize a lot of the other series they had machines for, and there was a lot of them.
We stopped at an amazing ramen shop before we journeyed to a store to buy some liquor for the festival days. Another cool thing in Japan is that there are storage lockers that you can put your stuff in and for 200 Yen or less you can store it in the locker as you continue to shop. We stored our liquor and kept an eye out for eye catching places to check out.
In Akihabara there were lots of maids handing out flyers for various maid cafes, so of course we checked one out. We ordered some desserts and they came out shaped as cute little animals. Of course I ordered a green tea turtle, he was tasty.
After the maid cafe, we roamed around a few more shops as night approached. I found a really cool store that sold all sorts of used toys, so I was able to score some more gachapons. This place would give you money if you brought in older gachapons and they would resell them. Since space is a premium in Japan, I assume people trade in older gachapons for newer ones allowing collectors to find ones they need to complete sets.
As night started to set in, we stopped at a place that served all sorts of fried foods that you could order. They had a rule that if you ordered food and didn’t eat it you actually had to pay more for it, it was to prevent wasting food. We were able to order such things as deep fried lotus root (my favorite), garlic, and asparagus. The food was amazing. We stopped by the locker and picked up our liquor and we headed back to our hotel to get some rest before departing on our countryside excursion the next morning. Stay tuned for day 4!
*(The first image is from the yukata shop in Asakusa, the second is in Akihabara which has 7 story arcades, the third is a glass case of Gundam gachapons in the gachapon shop and the final image is of my green tea turtle sundae at the maid cafe).