I just came back from Japan to celebrate our one year anniversary! It has been 365 days of wedded bliss and I am more than grateful to God for allowing us to breeze through our first year. Yay!
Do not get me wrong, it has not been perfect, but the Lord in His mercy and grace has spared us from any life-changing drama that would have altered the course of our future together. We have had a simple but happy family, but that is how I have always wanted it to be.
Our journey started with landing in Haneda at 2:30 in the afternoon.
Before pulling our luggages with us out into the wild, we had to fetch our metro passes and Japanese sim cards (which were very very helpful!).
Then, the amazing race began!
To get to our airport in Akasaka, we had to first ride a JR line for 40 minutes, then make the first switch of trains to the Asakusa Line, then get off in Shimbashi (the labyrinth of subways) to ride another metro to Akasaka-Mitsuke, only to disembark after one stop (carry our bags with us down sets of stairs) and ride our last train to Akasaka. I thank God for André, all of this was a breeze only because he and I moved in the same direction and had the same taste in (harabas) adventure! During our entire year, we only had one relaxing holiday and the rest really required a certain amount of strength from us…and this trip was the ultimate!
How do you cram up everything in five days? God truly fueled and prepared our bodies for this.
But as I type this in the airport, I can no longer feel my legs hahaha. Trip is over and we have exhausted ourselves with just enough energy to go home.
Day one was about appreciating the environment I have booked us in. I remember saving five different hotels in booking.com and choosing what I thought was the very best one – Hotel Felice Akasaka (hahaha do not ask me why). It was a very small establishment (not to mention the room) nestled in one of Tokyo’s busiest business hubs. It was the hotel nearest a collection of restaurants, convenience stores and train stations. Everything was accessible.
We explored Roppongi and went up the Sky Deck to get a feel of the whole city. I was opting to take André at the top of the Tokyo Skytree but it was way above our budget! I thought the Skydeck would suffice. It was still beautiful up there! We got to see the view of every district in Tokyo (at night).
Our first restaurant was Yoshinoya hahahaha! Sobrang lapit lang sa hotel and we did not want to be bothered by selecting which Japanese restaurant was best. Second was Shake Shack haha! Pagod na eh. It was my first time to take a bite from the Shake Shack burger and it did not disappoint! I am so excited for the first branch to open here in Manila.
The restaurant was quite full so we had no choice but to eat outside. Thankfully, the owners situated heaters beside the outdoor tables to balance out the chill of the winter season.
The most tiring of days! We woke up at around 6:30 AM, put on layers of clothes and headed out to Mcdonald’s for breakfast. Andre has this travel tradition wherein he would try every Mcdonald’s of every country we visit. For the first meal of the day, we did not really have an array of options. He had a Sausage Mcmuffin while I had Hotcakes. I think Japan is known for their pancakes and so I was dying to try! theirs was somewhat better, I must say.
We headed to the Meiji Shrine (the only shrine we went to). It was near the Harajuku station so it was not much of a long walk. The trip within the park was longer than the travel to get there.
Upon leaving the Meiji shrine, we decided to look for Hachiko’s. We went pass the Shibuya crossing to find a small corner in the city dedicated to him. After which we went around the area – Shibuya, Shinjuku, Harajuku and Omotesando.
In the evening, we headed for the main event! Akihabara toys and things. We were on a quest to look for Dragonball and My Hero Academy items, which to our dismay we did not get to see a lot that we were happy enough to purchase. We expected more from this place but went back to our hotel disappointed. Maybe we went to the wrong stores?
Was museum day! André loves dinosaurs and so every time we travel, we search for museums that house a display of fossils and bones. Gratefully, we found one in Tokyo – the Natural Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno.
The museum was very interactive – there were floors with rooms that allowed you to tinker with experiments. The only drawback was that everything was in Japanese. It was not foreigner -friendly without purchasing a headset. We were very budget-conscious haha, we just decided to context clues our way to the exit!
For lunch, we found a hole in the wall sushi place along the streets of Ueno market. It was interesting how we got to see this district; it was like Tokyo’s version of our Divisoria, only better and cleaner. I found
Magurobito Okachimachi on google and it was referred to as the best sushi in Ueno! And I instantly knew it was when we there was a line outside the restaurant.
That night was a time of redemption. We were told that the best toys could be found in Nakano Broadway. When we got there we understood why. It was a mall with floors of stores dedicated to all kinds of animé .