Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[Day 3] Tokyo: Asakusa Sanjo Festival. Akihabara Maid Cafe and toyhunt. Shibuya Crossing and Hajiko.

Culture day!

We took the train from Kayabacho Station to Asakusa Station. From there we followed the crowds and went up the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center to view the Tokyo Skytree and temple from above. Took some photos with the lovely view. And went to the Sensoji Buddhist Temple to participate at the Sanja Matsuri, the largest and wildest spring Shinto festival in Tokyo. The whole walk towards the temple was full of people and stalls. I enjoyed eating and smelling all sorts if food here. We were able to eat some fishball like food for 120 JPY, some red bean bread for 300 yen, and my friend offered me some real takoyaki with a small octopus inside. It was delicious. I saw a lot of interesting japanese ornaments, traditional snacks, and people wearing traditional garments. We walked past the stalls and in the end, we climbed the stairs up the massive Buddhist temple. My friends got their "reading" from the machines by the side. The most memorable "figure" here was the giant red lantern. You cannot miss it. 

 We then proceeded to Akihabara. From Asakusa Station we went to Akihabara Station, took about 10 mins. At the station, I bought a Matcha Cream Puff by Beard Papa for 210 yen. It was yummy! We walked around Akihabara for a while and went onwards to MaiDreamin for our Maid Cafe experience. There are a lot of Themed Cafes in Akihabara and you have to do research on what you are after. For me and my friends, we wanted a fun and wholesome experience so we decided to go to MaiDreamin. Its located at the 2nd floor of a building, you will see a "maid" on the street and she will guide you to the restaurant. The place was small and cute, there were stuffed animals and even a mini stage where the maid of the day will perform and where you can take your photos with a maid for a fee. Their menu offers a lot of cute variety from salad, curry, steak, pasta, dessert, and other "services" like games etc. My friends and I decided to buy their decorated menu, ES ordered the Bear Hamberg Steak 1340 Yen, EN ordered the Floating Bear in the Curry Pool with Pork cutlet 1340 Yen, R ordered the Bear Omelette rice 1580 Yen, and I ordered the Omelette with the Porcino Sauce (ala carte 1340). But i wanted the whole experience so I got the set menu which cost 2840 yen... its an order of Omelette with the Porcino Sauce + Iced Coffee + Photo with the Maid + MaiDreamin Clearfile. Yes! Its very expensive but for the experience...we decided to pay more. Interesting things about maid cafes, to call them or place an order... you have to say "Meow Meow Meow" with hands like cat paws moving, then the maids will put Magic Sauce (aka ketchup) on your food to make it delicious - they make drawings and notes on it, lastly...there are live shows where the maids will sing and dance. This instance, we were lucky enough to watch a maid dance and sing, while an avid fan was dancing along with her. There were a lot of male fans in the cafe who looks very attached to their maid. It was a very interesting experience. The food was just typical, it was more of the maid service that people pay for. Take note, you cannot take random photos of the maid. Photos need to be paid for and announced. It was fun, even my uncle liked the stuffed sheep.

 Since we were in Akihabara, R took some time to look around a massive tall store to check out what toys they had. The store is called Uchusen. It had about 5 floors I think and we went to each one. In the end, we were able to buy 1 Riku figure for 5980 yen. 

From Akihabara station, we took the train to Meiji-Jingumae Station... to reach Harajuku. We took Omotesando Exit and went towards the famous bridge to spot some cosplayers. Sadly there were none. We went further to see the Meiji Shrine entrance and took some photos with some locals who were wearing kimonos. They were so kind and pretty. We then walked towards Takeshita Street to enjoy some more street shopping, but primarily we went there for the Giant Daiso store. We took a very good amount of time at the Daiso store, spent about 324 yen for some stuff. There were a lot of Crepe places too, my friends could not resist and decided to fall in line at Santa Monica Crepes' queue. R bought a strawberry chocolate brownie special and chocolate whip for 530 yen. It was yummy and perfect for the heat. We went into more clothing stores but did not buy anything. 

 From Omotesando station, we took the train to Shibuya Station. Just in time to see the famous crossing. It was gigantic! So many people. We took our videos and it was awesome that a local even joined in. We also took photos with the Hachiko statue. For dinner, we randomly picked a Okonomiyaki place in Shibuya. I do not know the name since its in Japanese. My Japanese speaking friend ordered for us, I do not know what they were but it was a cool experience anyway. We were taught how to make Okonomiyaki and we made them ourselves with the waitress' supervision. IT WAS COOL! Spent around 919.14 yen per head here.

Before going home, we stopped by Forever 21 to shop. R bought a lot of coats costing him 1079 yen, while I bought myself some more pants 1444 yen. Lastly we went to Lawson convenience store to buy some snacks for the long trip to Fuji tomorrow, costing us 480 yen. Took the last train to Kayabacho, and slept soundly.

Day 3 Total expenses: 16529 Yen
[Food] 300 - Bread
[Food] 120 - Fish on Stick
[Food] 530 - Crepe
[Food] 210 - Beard Papa
[Stuff] 5980 - Toy
[Lunch] 1706 - Maid Cafe
[Lunch] 2840 - Maid Cafe
[Dinner] 1840 - Okonomiyaki
[Snack] 480 - Lawson
[Shopping] 1079 - F21
[Shopping] 1444- F21

Tokyo Trip Video Highlights
Tokyo Trip Overview
Day 1: Flight to Tokyo. Ginza shopping. Roppongi hills observatory. Don Quijote.
Day 2: Kagurazaka to Idabashi Walking Tour. Buy Kawaguchiko highway bus. Artnia. Kiddyland. Harajuku.