Tokyo, Japan, with kids – part 2

Exit from Shinjuku

Exit Shinjuku Station: hard work – just by this staircase was the place where people are allowed to smoke. The smell….

We spent our last Japan days in Tokyo. It was the last week of September 2016. You can see the first part of Tokyo here.

When we booked, we knew there would be a lot to see in Tokyo, so we had already programmed 2 weeks there. Although we were right to think one week wouldn’t be enough, we didn’t know that even in 2 weeks, we’d need to leave a lot of things behind. We were tired after a month of frantic movement too….

During our last week in Tokyo, we did the following:

Akihabara

Akihabara Sunday

Akihabara on a Sunday, after sunset.

Of course, we’d visit it, how wouldn’t we? It’s the electronic heaven, after all. We were thinking of buying a flash for our camera, a phone for Angelo, a few mangas and souvenirs there. While we did find a lot of souvenirs, we also found game centers and many other amazing stores. We took so much time in those that we had to leave the other stuff for another time. And this another time didn’t come. Sad.

We’d heard that the cosplayers are around the area on Sundays and we had to see them. The sad thing is that we saw one cosplayer. ONE. We saw more in Ikebukuro than in Akihabara.

It was still worth it, though! The avenue was closed for cars, so we could walk freely and I love it! We missed the sunset, but dusk was pretty amazing and we got to see the lights coming to life little by little. It was like magic. When it became really dark, Akihabara was like we see on the TV, I loved it a lot!

But we were tired, we’d just came from Osaka the day before and we decided to go home when the street was about to open up to the cars again.

Odaiba

odaiba sunset

Odaiba’s sunset, the most beautiful sunset we saw while in Japan

This one was a program we didn’t know if we’d do or skip until last minute, but when the kids saw the Trick Art Museum, they really wanted to see it so we went.

Odaiba has a pretty different vibe to Tokyo and I loved it! It’s an island, and it’s beautiful!

The down point is that the train from Shinjuku to Odaiba was the most expensive one we rode, not counting the bullet trains. It cost each person over JP¥ 600, which is a bit over the top. The good thing is that it was worth it!

We walked a bit from the train station to the mall where the Trick Art Museum was and then the kids saw that they had Legoland and Madame Trousseau Wax Museum there too. They had a discussion and ended up choosing to go to the Trick Art Museum.

After the amazing time at the Museum, we wandered around the amazing mall, with a retro area that was amazing, full of old Japan stuff. It was our favorite part of the mall. We spent a lot of time (and money) there. We do not regret it. They even had a Takoyaki Museum, which was just a compilation of different Takoyaki shops – we didn’t try them.

But we wanted to see Sky Tree and the Rainbow Bridge, so we went outside and we were in awe.

Sunset was coming in and we had to stay there to see it, so we went to the beach. It was so stunning, just the prettiest sunset we’d seen in Japan. It was perfect.

I think we could’ve spent a few days there too, so maybe next time we’ll do. It was probably one of the best time we had in Japan during this month.

PS: Odaiba Trick Art Museum will have a post of its own next week, so stay tuned!

Ghibli Museum

ghibli museum

Ghibli Museum from the Laputa Garden – love

This was my most wanted visit, so I have a whole post about it.

It was pretty awesome, I fell in love all over again with Ghibli, learned a lot about animation, walked through the cat bus, and met the Laputa giant robot. It was the best day of the trip.

The sad thing is that photos aren’t allowed inside the museum. The good side is that we got to be a lot more in the moment than we usually are.

We also got to see Mitaka park, at least a little of it. If you ever go there during warmer months, take your insect repellent.

Shinjuku at night

Shinjuku at night

Shinjuku at night, this was one of the calm streets, I took it while the kids were having crepes

After the amazing time at Ghibli Museum, we also decided to walk around Shinjuku at night. We were already there, an hour more wouldn’t hurt.

And it was well worth it. It was Tokyo with the neon lights, the crowd, the noise, the life. It’s a whole different experience from Shinjuku during the day. Even though we were tired, we had a blast!

Asakusa

asakusa

Asakusa temple gardens, I loved it!

We were planning on doing Asakusa during our first week, but it ended up staying for the last week. I’m glad we visited it, it IS a beautiful place. Not just the famous temple Senso-Ji, but all of it. We loved the gardens around the temples and the restaurant/shop streets like Nakamise, Hanayashiki-dori, Omatsuri Shoutengai and all the other streets where we walked that day. It was a different place, it was serene and didn’t feel like Tokyo.

For the souvenir, we took home a lot of sweets and I loved them all – the rest of the family didn’t like them. Sadly. Or not.

Tokyo Metropolitan Building

tokyo aerial

Tokyo from above: the view from the Metropolitan Government Building

We’d wanted to see Tokyo from above and this was the perfect place, as it was between Shinjuku Station and the house we were staying at and it was completely free. We wanted to see the sunset, but the weather didn’t help.

We saw Tokyo from above, yes, but through a thick layer or glass. I was hoping it would be open and I was disappointed. The lights from inside reflected on the windows, there were so many people there we could barely get a nice spot to take a photo or another and there were just too many little shops there. We left in a few moments because it wasn’t what we wanted but I’m glad we went because…

Shinjuku Night Market

shinjuku night market

The night Market, this were the produce stalls

We were lucky enough to leave the Metropolitan Building, we saw a few food trucks and decided to have dinner there.

Wasn’t it a perfect evening? The sky was full of stars, the wind was nice and cold (or better: not hot), there were chairs and tables and many options of food to choose from, all of them very cheap. We were able to have dinner outside, rest, chat, cool down, have great food, savor the last – pleasurable – outing of our stay.

I couldn’t find out if it was just a summer thing or it happens periodically, but if you’re ever around Shinjuku area at night, keep your eye out for something like this, because it’s well worth it!

Our last day was spent doing our preparation: looking for a post office, walking to try and find things to take to the airplane (like lollies), making the bags up, cleaning the place and making sure we weren’t forgetting anything. It was so busy we didn’t even take photos. How sad.

Oh, we found out that only major post offices are open on weekends, so don’t forget to send your parcels during the week.

Have you ever been to Tokyo? What did you think of our itinerary? If you missed it, Tokyo part 1 is here!

Part II of our adventure!

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