Here we go Tokyo — Part Two

Reich John Nofuente

City Centers and Bright Lights

Time to cross the busiest crossing in the whole wide world. As you can see in the gif above, this little kid ain’t kidding. That my friends is Shibuya Crossing. Getting there is easy, you can reach it via the subway or via the JR Yamanote Line. Again, make sure to stay close to your mama and daddy as it would be very easy to get lost amongst the crowd here.

This area of Shibuya is filled with shopping, restaurants and tourist attractions. Don’t miss to get your photo taken with the most photographed dog in the world — Hachiko. Right when you get off the JR station, Hachiko is just a stone’s throw away. He is hard to miss as you would see a crowd of people waiting for their turn to take their picture with him.

The best spot to take a picture of the Shibuya Crossing crowd is from the Starbucks located in front of the midpoint of the intersection. You have to make your way to the 2nd floor and find a seat facing the window, the odds of which is astronomical, so just standing behind those seated is also an option and you have better chances of doing so.

Kid Tip: Hop-on to your daddy’s shoulders and have your mama wait on the other end of the crossing. Then wait for the light to turn green and have daddy start walking towards mama, set that big smile on your face and let mama snap pictures while you are in the middle of the crossing.

On a different night, we hopped onto the subway and went to Ginza. A lot of the big cities in other countries we’ve been to has only one city center sometimes 2 or 3, Tokyo has 23, that’s how big the Tokyo prefecture (state) is.

In Ginza, my daddy executed a relentless search for Jiro’s Sushi restaurant. He went down to almost all of the subway access entrances. I don’t know what’s up with that, but seemed to be a pretty big deal to my dad. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find it. His wifi hotspot’s battery was all drained so he wasn’t able to search for it’s exact location.

Ginza is a thing of beauty at night, it’s brightly lit buildings illuminate the surroundings and is such a great sight to see and explore. There is definitely unlimited food options and shopping in this area.

Don’t be intimidated by people walking really fast, during rush hour, a lot of those getting off work are trying to catch their train home, and in Japan, trains are almost always on time. And since Ginza is one of the numerous busy metros that Japan has it is no exception to the rush hour frenzy.

Oh and before I forget, this one is for Hello Kitty lovers out there, they have a Sanrioworld shop you can visit. We didn’t go inside because we were very hungry at this point, so a couple of snaps will do to remember it.

Another city center that we visited in Tokyo is Roppongi Hills inside Roppongi district. This place is a mixture of offices, residential apartments, high-end shopping and places to eat. From the subway station we walked until we reached this view point on the third floor of the Mori Tower.

The Tokyo Tower is one we did not get to visit because of time constraints, so seeing it from this view point is an absolute pleasure. It is not as commanding and grand as the newer Tokyo Skytree, but it is just as impressive.

Within the same grounds, you can find the Mori Gardens. It is a small garden where one can chill out or let time pass by. It is right in front of the TV Asahi headquarters, home of Doraemon the cartoon character straight out of a manga comic.

With our 72-hour Tokyo Subway pass, going from one point to another regardless of transfers is a breeze. Daddy did not have to worry about calculating the fare and looking for spare change to top up. The Tokyo subway covers a lot of ground, so all the places mentioned in this entry are accessible via the Tokyo train network.

Taxis, such as the one above, are expensive to take. If there is a JR station from the place you are coming from to the place you are going to, it is best to take the JR train. It is always the fastest option with no transfers involved.

For my next entry, I will showcase the different parks we went to during our trip to Tokyo. Thanks for reading!

Click here for part one of the series.

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