Our first full day in Tokyo - Asakusa and Akihabara

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November 19th 2018
Published: December 4th 2018
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I manage to get quite a good sleep considering my history, and the only disappointment is I wake up 2 minutes before my alarm goes off. But I feel refreshed after a well needed 10 and a half hour sleep lol. It helps the bed is super comfy too. After a morning coffee from our coffee machine in the room (a nice little touch), we are raring to go and armed with our itinerary, head out on our first proper adventure of Tokyo. Yesterday Greg spotted a little pancake place just along the road from our hotel, and as much as we love trying and eating food from other countries, the thought of noodles and dumplings for breakfast is something we cant quite get our head around, so pancakes sound quite appealing. We end up ordering red bean pancakes along with a plate of scrambled eggs, and both are completely delicious. The staff are lovely and friendly and impressed at our attempts to speak a few words of Japanese (thanks for the phrase book Sharon!).

After breakfast we make our way along to the senso-ji temple which is literally around the corner. There
Western meets AsianWestern meets AsianWestern meets Asian

Pancakes with red beans and maple syrup
are rows and rows of little souvenir and food shops dotted all along the street towards the temple, but rather than being tacky, they are quite kitsch and unusual and its fun to have a browse as we walk along. Once we reach the actual temple, the building is beautiful. There is a fire pit right in the centre of the grounds where people are burning incense for good luck and there's also a little stall where you can pay to shake a tin to reveal your fate. You shake out a stick which has a symbol on it and then you find a little wooden drawer with the corresponding symbol on it in front of you and it will reveal a little piece of paper with your fate or fortune. Ironically I pull a bad fortune so the done thing is to tie it to a pole which then apparently releases and dispels the bad fortune – here's hoping!!

We then take an epic walk in a huge square loop, across the river by the asahi beer golden turd statue and onto the skytree tower area and back again. Along the way we spot a really cool shop selling miniature models of famous landmarks which you can buy and build yourself. We go in for a little look and end up buying a little model of the skytree tower. The lady who works there takes a little shine to us and ends up giving me a little piece of plastic sushi as a gift.

We have the option to either get the subway onto our next port of call Akihabara, or do a 40 minute walk. Of course we choose the latter and after stopping off briefly halfway for some noodles and rice, we reach Akihabara, the home of anything electronic and manga-based. We look for Taito, the building housing loads of grabber machines along with some old school computer games from our era. We are delighted when we find street fighter, bomber man and mario and while away a good hour or so playing on the machines. We then head upstairs to the area with all the interactive machines such as guitar hero and the dance machines. Greg has a go at a virtual drum game which he is really good at, and I have a go at the dance machine which I am horrendous at. We then head along to the sega building, but are really disappointed when it is mostly all virtual reality and RPG games. However, we do find mario kart machine which you can play as a two player so we have to have a go. Greg beats me at the last second which I am gutted about!

We walk all the way back to our hotel and stop off for some sushi along the way. I can't quite get my head around raw fish, so I stick to some boiled prawn, egg and chive sushi, whilst Greg tries raw salmon and tuna. It's absolutely lovely. In the evening I have read about a little place called Ryokogu which has a replica of an old edo-style street that has about 12 different restaurants situated around a replica sumo ring serving a selection of traditional japanese dishes - it all sounds good to me. It has started raining and my one pair of boots have started to fall apart on me, so we decide to take the train instead of walking for a change (well, we have already walked 13 miles today!). It's a bit of a rigmorama to get there on the train as we have to change lines and end up walking quite far anyway, but we eventually get there. However, once we get inside, the place is absolutely empty and nothing is open!! I'm pretty miffed especially as the rain is now getting heavier outside, but we end up finding a little nepalese indian restaurant advertising cheap beer and we are sold straight away. The only thing is I have forgotten to take extra money with me and we don't have much left, so can't afford to buy more than one dish, doh! The naan bread we order more than makes up for it so we feel quite happy even if the curry is a bit substandard. On the subway back, we both end up helping different women struggling with heavy luggage, and I pray to the Karma Gods that this must mean my case will arrive soon! We manage to stay awake until 11.30pm tonight before finally succumbing to sleep.

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Mario KartMario Kart
Mario Kart

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