Well, time for me to pick up the pace for this blog entry before the year ends! Hopefully I still remember what went on this day with these photos. This one is one of the longest ones so you get loads of photos! Hahaha! Just read up on the captions below for my stories on these places!
Our first point of business, since I ended up oversleeping again due to fatigue, was lunch so we took the JR lines to Yurakucho where we found Shake Shack in our first day.
Shake Shack is actually a burger joint in the US, much like In-and-Out (which I have tried out fortunately) and my sister sang praises for this place (As well as our dad’s friend’s daughter/ one of my charges). At their recommendation, we tried out the joint’s signature cheeseburger and some fries. I also gotten us the homeblend lemonade. Fortunately for you guys who can’t speak Japanese, the guys at Shake Shack do speak in English if you tell them you need the English menu and would converse to you in English when you need help. Trying out the burger, definitely a big up from In-and-Out since it was juicier and it has more flavor. The fries were also very good, not very greasy and just right. Sadly, they don’t have branches yet in other areas, just in Tokyo and Yokohama. You can check out their locations here.
After lunch, we walked around Ginza since my brother wanted to go to this bakery which I forgot what its called. We also got into some of the malls except this one. I’ll go back here next time when I have done my research. (I actually did when I was researching for places to go to should I find myself back in Tokyo… next time, next time).
After that short walk around Ginza, we made our way to Tokyo Oedo Line to get a train to Roppongi! *There are alternate lines you can take to Roppongi depending on where you will go. In our case, we took a train with the Oedo Line since its closer from Yurakucho*
Hello Roppongi! The walk from the station to Roppongi Hills may take a while depending on your pace since this place is slightly in the middle of the metropolis and admittedly, hidden. Fortunately, there are some signs that would guide you and some landmarks like this building right here.
The first thing that welcomed us to Roppongi is this guy, who is celebrating his birthday this year. Roppongi Hills got quite a lot of events lined up with him and with TV Asahi in the area, it is quite a big show! Of course it also timed with TV Asahi’s Summer Station event, which made Roppongi Hills a big playground.
In case you find yourself lost around Roppongi Hills, they got maps around the area to help you learn where you want to go. They have English translations so you won’t have any problems getting around.
This is one of the iconic pieces in Roppongi Hills, this big spider they called “Mother”, kinda nice to see actually.
Look at all the Doraemons!!!
Honda had another display here in Roppongi Hills when we were there, this time featuring the guys from Shonen Jump as part of the anniversary of the comic book franchise.
Entrance to Mori Art Museum, we actually didn’t see this at first and ended up in the office wing of the place. Thankfully, we were guided by a kind guard to the area. Looks like a spaceship nozzle.
Tickets to the Mori Art Museum actually varies depending on where you actually want to go. In this ticket, we got access to the Art Museum’s free exhibit and to the Tokyo City View, which will give you a glimpse of Tokyo skyline from this end of the city. Special exhibits, such as the Shonen Jump exhibition, have extra fees to get access.
The first part we went into is Tokyo City View, where we got some free photos (I ended up paying the larger version) and this super cool view of Tokyo. You can actually do this same thing in Tokyo Tower, but in Tokyo City View, your view is from the 52nd floor of Mori Tower. If you want to see a similar view but from another side of the pond, you can try out Tokyo Sky Tree.
You can actually see Tokyo Sky Tree from Roppongi!
Tokyo Tower, nice seeing it. Currently, its second observatory is under construction so getting the Tokyo City View tickets were worth it.
Odaiba! Why are you so far from everywhere! Next time!
Here is a nice view of Shibuya and somewhere in the horizon is where you would normally see Mt. Fuji. Unfortunately when we were there, it was about to rain considering there was a typhoon when we were there so no views of the mountain. Sigh.
You can find this in one corner of Tokyo City View. Not so sure now though since they may have changed it. Beside it was a small cafe where you can get drinks while you admire the view.
You can actually buy these, just didn’t ask how much.
After Tokyo City View, we went here in Mori Art Museum. The escalator to this place was amazing.
On exhibit when we were there was the ASEAN 50: Sunflower exhibition, showcasing the works of some of Southeast Asia’s inspiring individuals and the works they have done in their countries. Some of the displays reflect their work in helping the indigenous people, inspiring awareness and pretty much showcasing why Southeast Asia has a lot of potential and that ASEAN reflects it.
These are photos from the Philippines’ exhibit, from the guys behind “Art on Island” or Atonisla. They even brought a small tricycle there as part of the display and some of the works of their participants. Great job you guys!
One of my favorites, this is actually one big wall of just these fixtures. Instagrammable. I haven’t posted mine though coz my brother was hard to use as a photographer.
Forgot the exact country who did this since Indonesian and Malaysian are quite similar in wording, though it does show how the country was in World War II if I’m correct.
Another one of my favorites, one big hall of nothing but chimes.
And here’s my brother admiring it. One of his favorites in the exhibit.
We watched a small documentary before we decided to go back down. And well, when we got out of the Museum, we found this hanging from the ceiling. Huge!
After walking around Mori Park, my brother spotted the Take-copter headband worn by some of the people we met in the park and he got me to go with him to TV Asahi’s shop after asking around. When we got in, it was one heck of a party since they had some of the games in the actual film studio building. One of the things I immediately spotted is this guy! I actually watched some episodes of Music Station JP in the early years, I think mostly for Arashi performances. I did also get myself some Yuri on Ice merch since why not, I was there.
Since we had a meeting in Kokubunji, we walked a different route back to the station and we spotted this. Shame it wasn’t the Takeru Satoh display or else I would have taken a selfie with it.
Off to Shinjuku Station!
In Kokubunji, we met up with my dad’s client whom I have met up last year when I was in Tokyo. Since I was with my younger brother, I thought of going to see her again since my dad told me to keep visiting. Next time though, I will have to bring a present. And well, again, we ended up in a Yakiniku place, this time though, we gotten in the same place FC Tokyo often frequents. Look at all that meat!
The place was actually different than the last time I have been in because it was a larger restaurant and apparently, it was a Korean-run joint. If memory serves me, it was also a second branch of a much larger yakiniku place.
My brother and my dad’s client loved their discussion while I enjoyed pretty much the food since Yakiniku is always heaven in Japan.
Since it was still early and our guide thought it would be nice to show us where she used to work, we got to check out an omise. Usually when you hear about omises or these night bars in Japan, you would feel a bit apprehensive because usually things can get a little wild in bars, especially in the country as there are often fights and so on when the patrons get too drunk. There’s this also odd stereotype about the women working for omises since some people tend to make them look like bad people.
The omise we visited was quite small, just room enough for a 50 people, some couches, a mini bar and much to my surprise, a karaoke bar. As it was still early, we got the place to ourselves and met the girls (also known as the entertainers or the Japayukis as the slang used for them) who were running the place. It was a Filipino-run business and we were warmly welcomed by them in true Filipino hospitality. We were told stories on how they got to Japan, how long they were there and even asked us for our stories on why we were there, how’s our business been like and even gotten tips on where to shop and where to go the next time we were in the area. The girls we met have been there for a long time and it was clear they do miss home. However, they do need to work for their families so they had to work far away from them. We also heard stories about some of their patrons and even met one who arrived while we were there to relax a bit after a long day of work. He was quite friendly too. I dunno why some people find it bad that these ‘Japayuki’ should be avoided or something because of their occupation, but they should be given respect too. Sure they have to dress up sexy and speak to men they don’t really know, but they are doing all this sacrifice for the sake of their families back home. I know not all Japayukis receive the same friendly treatment in Japan from their patrons since some patrons can get completely out of it when drunk, but they shouldn’t be looked down upon just because of their profession.
After thanking our hosts, we travelled back to Asakusa with filled tummies. We took the Chuo Line for the first bit to Kanda, where we will get to our next connection using the Ginza Line.
On our way to Ginza Line.
Back at Tawaramachi.
Ahhh finally, Day 3 is over. Man, writing this and seeing the photo of that delicious Yakiniku makes me hungry. The next two days will be coming shortly. Sorry for making you all hungry but I shall make it up to you soon!