If you haven’t read Day 1 & 2 of my Japan Trip 2017 blog series, please do so before reading this post for context and continuity’s sake. Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 & 6, Day 7 and Day 8 are also available to read.
So last time you were at Disneyland, what comes next? Back to reality–which if it were any other country it’d be disappointing but this is Japan we’re talking about here! Nothing boring about Japan! But before we get to the next leg of our journey, there’s checking out of the hotel and breakfast to be had (not necessarily in that order).
Leaving, Maihama, huh? Where to next then? So from Maihama we move on to quite possibly the busiest place in Tokyo–that’s right, we’re in Shibuya! I’ll admit I was a little intimidated by the prospect and while it was exactly as busy as I expected, it wasn’t nearly as intimidating. Well, the hike to our hotel was, lugging those 20+ kg suitcases up multiple sets of footbridges and up and around side streets was ~not~ anyone’s idea of a good time. But we got there in the end, a boutique hotel called The Shibuya Granbell… I wish I’d taken more pictures because boutique hotels are no slouch! The only photo I could find was one of the bathroom, so here you go!
Right… so what’d you do in your first day in Shibuya? Well we were on the West side of the station, which meant we’d have to cross those multiple sets of troublesome footbridges just to get back to the station and then East of the station was Shibuya proper. So obligatory photos of the ‘Shibuya Scramble’ a.k.a. the busiest crosswalk in the world, and I gotta say, not nearly as busy as I expected. The worst thing about it was dumb tourists stopping right in front of you as you’re trying to cross and taking photos. Not me though, I just lifted my camera above my head and rapidly pressed the button in the vain hope of getting a cool picture of the melee.
And then? Lunch of course! Which meant paying a visit to Wendy’s, yes that Wendy’s. And I know what all you Americans are thinking “why did you travel all the way to Japan just to eat at a Wendy’s?!” and what I have to say is, we don’t have Wendy’s in Australia and as a fast food fan (and also someone who never intends to visit America) this was as close as I was going to get to experience Wendy’s. So that’s why!
And then after lunch? Just exploring Shibuya more or less, nothing was planned for this day so we just kind of walked around and looked at things that looked interesting… which for a place like Shibuya doesn’t really offer many photographic opportunities as its mostly a lot of retails shops. Though we did find a very cool Mandarake store (those familiar with my Mandarake Madness posts will know they are second-hand anime retailer located all over Japan). This one was located on like the fifth basement level of a building. I didn’t get pictures of the inside (as I’m always wary about taking photos in anime shops as there’s often signs discouraging the practice) but I did get a picture of the street-side entrance.
Buy anything? A few things, but I’ll post that (maybe) in a seperate post about all the merch I got in Japan this trip (assuming anyone’s interested enough). So more wandering around found a cute anime window display surprisingly not near an anime store, but rather in the more ~fancy~ area of Shibuya near the H&M advertising one of my absolute favourite CGDCT shows ‘Is The Order A Rabbit??’ Actually to be precise they were advertising the movie which was being released the same month we were there and obviously I had to get a photo in front of it.
Great. And after that? We headed back to the hotel side of Shibuya, and looked for something more ~authentic~ to eat for dinner. Eventually we found ourselves at this quaint little ramen shop run by an old woman–we were the only ones in the place and though she (seemingly) didn’t speak a word of English and neither us of Japanese she welcomed us warmly and handed us menus. We ordered our food, we watched her prepare it, we waited patiently and we ate of it heartily. It was a surprisingly authentic and intimate experience for a place as flashy and hectic as Shibuya.
And after that back to the hotel, right? Well~ not quite. It wouldn’t be a day in Japan without finding where the nearest Lawson’s convenience store is and acquiring snacks!
And now, time to sleep? Time to end this blog post? Ah, but not before some views of Shibuya from our hotel room at night. Despite being an awkward location geographically to the rest of Shibuya I still kinda fell in love with the view here… it looked better at night hence why all my photos of the view are at night…
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