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I had had a couple, all too brief days in Tokyo on my way back from North Korea. I hadn’t been to Tokyo for a while (since 2009), and I was excited to see it again, although note to self, it’s a short amount of time to be there considering how long it takes to get downtown from the airport (an hour going through customs, then a long wait to buy a train ticket, then at least another hour on the train, then a short cab ride to the hotel).
I stayed at the Citidines hotel in Shinjuku. Good location, I could see a good amount of Tokyo walking, which I like (better for exercise, and exploring, and public transport in Tokyo is baffling. A system rivalling the London Underground in size, and with different operators and tickets). With the little time I have, I’m happy to constrain myself to that area, and after the constrains and so much time on busses in North Korea, it’s nice to wonder freely.
I don’t have much time that evening, and I’m tired and still slightly under the weather, so I just get some dinner at the Brooklyn Parlour (nice enough) and have a bit of a wonder.
I meet up with Narelle the following day, and she takes me to a fantastic shopping mall in Harajuku (the fashion district), La Foret. Some of my favourite accessories come from my last trip to Japan, so I’m keen to explore, although not expecting the clothes to fit me. Surprisingly, I find a ton of clothes that look great on me, and buy quite a few dresses, including one that I adore in 3 colours (grey, turquoise, and brown). I also find a cool bag, a belt, and head to the Nike store to see if there are some cute and colourful sneakers. I find some pink ones that I like, but they are mens sizes and don’t come small enough to actually fit me. Disappointing! I also stockpile socks, for me and a friend who also adores socks.
We stop briefly for a snack at an amazing dumpling restaurant, where I discover some kind of miso paste, that is amazing and unexpected, as I don’t like miso soup. Later on, I head to an electronics store to buy headphones (totally normal to buy 4 pairs of headphones when in Japan, am I right?), and cute phone covers. Sadly they don’t have anything for my Nexus 4 (isn’t available in Japan), but the selection of iPhone covers blows my mind. I’m tempted, but stick to the sturdy ones, as I’m prone to dropping things. I like the speck covers (Amazon), so I buy another one in purple.
My flight leaves the following day, but late enough that I have some time to explore, so I head to the National Museum of Modern art. It’s a nice walk, I appreciate the attention to detail of Japanese culture. Where the sidewalk is repaired with tarmac, it’s exactly lined up alongside the paved tiles. The museum contains some beautiful pieces, and I stay longer than intended, meaning there is no time to explore the nearby park before I need to head back to the hotel. I hadn’t allowed time for eating, or getting lost, but the sushi place I found nearby was tasty, and inexpensive. I eat more sushi at the airport, do a little more accessories shopping (gorgeous belts!) and stockpile the divine Royce chocolate before flying back to Sydney, via Singapore.
Mario at Out and About Travel in Sydney organised this trip for me.
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