December 28, 2016
After crashing early, we woke up early Wednesday, December 28, ready to start exploring our favorite place again, Japan.
First things first, our daily ritual of visiting 7-Eleven. The hotel we stayed in last time had breakfast included, but not this one and we aren’t people to skip on breakfast; we love food. I grabbed onigiri and one of the many bottled hot coffees they offer in the winter time; I love coffee and trying new things, especially new coffee. This new coffee of the day was called Blendy; it wasn’t straight black coffee, but coffee with just the right amount of milk.
After we picked up a quick breakfast, to the subway station we went, heading for Asakusa and Skytree. We did a little walking from the station to Skytree, but that allowed us to enjoy the beautiful weather and explore the streets leading up to the tower, lined with houses and businesses decorated for the New Year.
Sumida Park was on our way, a rather small and empty park at that hour. We stopped by just to see the bonsai trees.
At Skytree, it was still rather early so the lines weren’t very long. We got our tickets and headed up to the 350m viewing deck (although now I am wishing we would have went all the way up!). With floor-to-ceiling glass windows making a 360 around the level we were on, you could see some amazing sites of Tokyo and beyond! Luckily, it was clear day and we were able to see Mt. Fuji, snow-capped in the distance! On our last trip to Japan, we did Tokyo Tower and it was unfortunately not clear enough to see Mt. Fuji from.
There is a shopping center connecting to the base of Skytree that we ventured to after descending, in search of the Skytree Pokemon Center I had heard about and it sure didn’t take us long to find it! We shopped a little, picking up a couple souvenirs and stopping for lunch of udon!
Even though we went to Senso-ji temple on our last visit, I insisted we stop by again because it’s one of my favorites. We were able to walk there right after visiting Skytree because they are relatively close. The path leading up to the main temple, Nakemise-dori, is lined with stalls selling souvenirs, sweets, snacks and my favorite, green tea ice cream. It’s the oldest temple in Tokyo and the prettiest, in my opinion, with it’s bright red and view of Skytree in the distance.
Of course, I didn’t pass up the opportunity for matcha ice cream. And not even five minutes after finishing my ice cream, we got taiyaki — a fish-shaped cake with a filling on the inside; I got matcha filling, because I am obsessed with matcha and I can’t stand red bean paste, a usual filling for taiyaki.
Next stop since we were nearby, the Kabuki theatre in Ginza. But we sadly found out that they were closed until January 2. We made a stop by Laduree on the way back to the station; a place I can’t resist if I am in the same city.
|outfit of the day in front of the gorgeous Kabuki-za theatre|
Harajuku and Takeshita-dori was next on our list, even though we had visited here last time; we love the area and couldn’t go the trip without visiting. We wandered down Takeshita, stepping into the Daiso (the equivalent of a dollar store) and getting crepes. It was my first time to try crepes and I got the one with matcha (obviously) ice cream and matcha whip cream, vanilla whip cream, and cheesecake inside. I liked it at first but I couldn’t finish it; it was so sweet!
We did more shopping, went to Akihabara, and went to a kaiten sushi (conveyor belt sushi) restuarant; I ate my share of salmon, tuna, toro, and octopus, glad to be back in the land of sushi. We didn’t feel quite so full, so we stopped by 7-Eleven on our way in; I got curry and onigiri, and basil & cheese Pretz for a snack.
Our first day back in Japan literally consisted of getting our favorites sweets (all things matcha) and food, and visiting some of our favorite spots. Not a bad first day.
Highlight(s) of the Day
- seeing Mt. Fuji from Skytree
Favorite Food of the Day
- But the toro I had for dinner melted in my mouth, so it’s a close second
Favorite Snack/Sweet of the Day
- matcha ice cream
- matcha taiyaki
Favorite Drink of the Day
- Blendy coffee