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Akihabara road panorama Tokyo

Japan: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Date: 30th March 2015

My second last full day in Japan. I had to make the most of it and do all my shopping today as I would be visiting Hakone tomorrow. I also had to visit Rikugien at night (after I failed to get during my first visit). But before all that, I had to switch hostels. Where I was staying, Khaosan Tokyo Laboratory, didn’t have availability for the next two nights. So I had booked at a brand new hostel called Space Hostel.

Space hostel building Tokyo Japan
It was situated in a neighbourhood called Taito-ku, not too far from Asakusa
Lobby Space Hostel Tokyo Japan
This is the ground floor lobby. You leave your footwear near the door and then enter
Space Hostel kitchen Tokyo Japan
The kitchen is also on the ground floor
Bunk beds Space Hostel Tokyo Japan
A bed in the mixed dorm cost me ¥3200 (Rs. 1600/€24/$27) per night
Bathrooms Space Hostel Tokyo Japan
Shared bathroom and toilets are on the same floor. Multiple shower rooms, wash basins and enough toilets for everyone.
Rooftop Space Hostel Tokyo Japan
Space Hostel’s open rooftop is where you would have to come if you wish to smoke

Based on first impressions, the hostel was very good. Of course, it’s also very new, so that helps with cleanliness.

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Takeshita street Harajuku Tokyo Japan

Japan: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Date: 29th March 2015

The final post in a series of four on this one day! My day began at the East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace followed by a visit to the impressive Shunjuku Gyoen for more cherry blossom sightings and then to Harajuku/Yoyogi Park to check out the Sunday scene there.

To end my day of sightseeing, I next walked to the shopping streets of Harajuku.

Jingumae road Tokyo panorama
This is Jingumae Road, a major shopping hub in Omotesando. A lot of high end brands and shopping centers down this road.
Harajuku station evening Tokyo
That’s the classic exterior of Harajuku station

I was here mostly to check out Takeshita-dori (or Takeshita street).

Takeshita street Harajuku Tokyo Japan
Takeshita street is the main attraction in Harajuku’s shopping scene

Takeshita is a pedestrian-only street which has a mix of independent fashion store, bigger brands and the odd “wow, an entire shop for just this stuff?” Like the stores around Shibuya crossing, Takeshita-dori is another spot where a lot of Japanese youth fashion trends emerge.

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Harajuku thumbnail

Japan: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Date: 29th March 2015

My morning was spent sighting cherry blossoms aplenty — first at the East Gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace followed by a visit to the impressive Shunjuku Gyoen. From Shinjuku Gyoemmae station, I had to get to Harajuku station now.

Harajuku station Takeshita street
I could see the famous Takeshita street from the Harajuku station platform
Omotesando train station crowd Japan
I don’t know if it was because it was a Sunday or not, but it took a while to get out of the station. There was a whole swarm of people going in either direction.
Meiji shrine entrance Japan
First up, a quick visit to Meiji Shrine
Wine barrels Meiji shrine Japan
Along the way were these displays of wine barrels on one side
Sake barrels Meiji shrine Japan
… and barrels of sake on the other side. These barrels of sake and wine (from France) were all gifts to the emperor of the Meiji era
Old sake barrels Meiji shrine Tokyo
I’m sure they’re empty now, but they do make for an impressive display
Meiji shrine torii Japan
It’s nearly a kilometer before you get to Meiji Shrine

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