Tokyo: Ginza, imperial palace and Shibuya

After a long drive, finding our hostel and dropping off the car, we were free to explore Tokyo. As we didn’t have much time, we travelled around on the subway, which was easy to navigate and pretty cheap (¥700 for a day travel card).

We got the metro to Tsukiji station, where we tried to find the fish market. Unfortunately, it was too late so it wasn’t open. Next, we thought it would be interesting to visit the advertising museum as Japan is a hi-tech country and I have studied it in the past. But again, it was shut due to having special guests there. Slight disappointment.

Strolling through Ginza, feeling slightly over-whelmed with the tall building, busy traffic and thousands of tourists, we experienced the shopping. Ginza has loads of high-end, luxury stores such as Chanel, Armani and Burberry as well as affordable brands and tourist shops.

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We went in a four-storey toy shop, which was literally full of different games, cuddly toys and lots of Frozen merchandise.

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While heading to the Imperial Palace, we got a drift of freshly cooked waffles so we gave into temptation and brought one. I got one with chocolate cream – it was good but not as good as the small.

As we approached the Imperial Palace, we entered the lovely grounds of the east garden which surrounded the palace. There were ponds and little waterfalls edged with pines and plum trees. Again, the palace was closed as it was early evening. At the entrance was the picturesque Nijubashi Bridge and the Seimon Gate.

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Just behind was Japan’s modern government buildings, the National diet (Japan’s parliament) and the Supreme Court, which was an unusual looking building. Along the side walk, there were a few protestors and camera people, which looked like they were waiting for someone.

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After, we got the metro to Shibuya, a congested part of town, full of tourists and business people. As it was approaching sunset, the neon lights bounced around the town with drivers and commuters crossed the famous Shibuya crossing.

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Being mesmerised by our surrounding, we wandered the narrow streets, with popular shops and restaurants. There were many waiters on the roads convincing tourist to eat at their restaurants.

As we were trying to find somewhere to fill out stomach, we were approached by two girls, who wanted to interview us for their Facebook group ‘Portraits of Tokyo’. They asked us about what we have done in Japan, how it was different from where we came from and what we think of when we think of home. Crazy! Not sure if we are famous or not.

Eventually, we found a place to eat, which seemed to be full of locals and no tourists. I ate fried shrimp. I’ve had it before but this time it was different. I look around and the man next to me had the same. He ate the whole shrimp including the head and eyes and tail. I tried to do what I normally do and peel off the shell but it wasn’t easy. I just munched on the whole shrimp except the head but then I felt a bit silly and not embracing the culture so I just ate all of it. Yes the head, eyes and tail. It actually tasted all the same and delicious.

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