Friday, April 17, 2015

Tokyo: Christmas in Japan

December 25, 2014
Our last real day in Tokyo was on Christmas because we all had early flights the next morning. Our main objectives for the day was: Christmas Illumination and cake.

To start the day, we grabbed a small breakfast at a konbini and headed over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for its observation deck. It is free to the public and there are two different towers that have different views. We just have to check through security and just ride up to the 45th floor. 
Next to the windows are lots of info displays that label what you're staring off into. Pretty cool, but you don't see a close view of Tokyo Tower or the Skytree or anything, but you can see Mt. Fuji on a good day! It was a bit cloudy that day, so we didn't really see it.

It wasn't too crowded here at all. There are also gift shops on the floor and a cafe o_o
After that, we went to Shinjuku to eat ramen for lunch at 博多天神 because it'd be our last chance for ramen in Japan :'(

Next was Yoyogi Park
 Holy shit, it was one of the most depressing parks ever T_T Probably because we came in the middle of the winter, so I wouldn't recommend going there at this time at all. Not to mention it was cold and windy...It was empty, for good reason too. Just stay away in the winter.

Went to Harajuku for the third time...but it's right there, so it only makes sense o_o

Calbee Royce Chocolate Covered Chips
Debated hard between chocolate or cheese xD

Uhh crepes anyone? Got it a strawberry kiwi one from Sweet Box.

By then it was already starting to get dark, so perfect timing to go to Roppongi for Christmas Illuminations!!

I made sure to properly research the exact spot I wanted and found out that it was Tokyo Midtown for the field of lights that I wanted to see. We took a wrong turn or something at some point and went in a big circle before finding it :X
Needless to say, there was a long line! I think it took 30 minutes to actually get to the illumination spot. It's because there was so many people and not because of line inefficiency either. The line was moving the whole time, like you're actually walking instead of staying in one spot. But the photo above is decorations from while in line to get to the real thing.

It starts off so-so, but definitely builds up to it:
 Pretty pretty pretty *_* My phone died though :( But I guess my camera was the most important anyway :P

The field had a light show too, which I watched probably 5 times before we decided to leave.

If you're ever in Tokyo during the Christmas holiday season, definitely check out the Christmas Illuminations here. Definitely a very good experience.
Here you can see the people, and it's not overcrowded. There isn't like a lot to see aside from this field, so people come and go pretty frequently. We stayed for maybe 15-30 minutes, but mostly taking photos.
Pretty decorations inside the mall.

We went back to Shinjuku because we had nothing else planned for the night. But we had lots of food :)
Pretty expensive for portions because there's like... 5 pieces for maybe $10. Also they had a ¥300 cover charge per person, what! Not sure if it's a super common or not, but it was the only place we had to pay a cover fee.
At some point the metal plating was covered with too much burned uh..residue so our meat wasn't cooking properly then it flamed up WTF. Like a lot.

When we left, I def smelled like food. There's no avoiding how smoky it gets.

We were trying to find a takoyaki stand yesterday, but couldn't find one, but luckily did on our last day. We made sure to stop by even though we were on our way to get more food wtf fat.

Cheese takoyaki from Gindaco Highball Sakaba

We were on our way to get sushi since it'll be the last time we get to eat sushi in Tokyo anytime soon. Mind you... we went straight from yakiniku to takoyaki to sushi.
We went to Numazuou (沼津港) and it's a conveyor belt sushi place, where you grab the plate that comes around when you want it and you're priced based on the color of the plate. We came towards closing time, so it wasn't too crowded and they didn't have much, but you can just order it directly. I ate more than what I took photos of :X I eventually gave up with photos and just focused on eating.

After sushi to get cake, but before that, we passed by this street performer, so we stayed to watch for a bit.

The first time I walked through Shinjuku, I saw that this place was offering honey toast, so I wanted to eat that again! We went to this one place and it was kind of weird cuz it was at a bar and there was a cover charge, so we were like nah.. let's check out this other place, because there was another one from the same chain down the street.

No cover charge, but they made us order a minimum of three things. We wanted to leave because we really only wanted honey toast but decided to just stay.

Strawberry sponge cake, ganache cake, mixed berry honey toast (guessing for all of them) from Pasela Resorts

Not sure if I'm just biased, but I still think the honey toast from Taiwan is much better

And our last stop is my favorite... the arcade :D

I won a bunny the day before and won another one. I was going for my third, but couldn't get it in the end. I think I spent like ¥2,500-3000 just trying to get it and failed. T__T It made me feel a little better that this guy next to me on another machine committed way more than me to get this Rilakkuma (I think).

Took a photo of this precious bunny that didn't end up going home with me :'(

I definitely splurged on the arcades because it's one of my favorite activities. And I don't even know when the next time I'll be in Tokyo again, so I think it was probably worth it. I'm very fortunate to be able to do so though :X

This basically ends my trip to Tokyo! I definitely think Tokyo was a city that I was able to fall in love with, which I didn't with 90% of the places I've visited this semester (even including the places I went to afterwards). It was everything I ever expected and more. Just the culture, food, pretty people, cute things, UFO catchers, etc. makes it a city that I can't help but love. I don't remember if I mentioned this in another post, but 7-8 years ago, I declared that I would go to Japan when I'm 20, and coincidentally, it came true :D

Until next time~

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