I’ll skip the description of my flight for now and I’ll talk about my first full day in Tokyo right away, because I was pretty active. I kinda expected to become paralyzed by the feeling I was in Tokyo, but actually, I didn’t feel very different from when I was traveling before. First of all, I have to say that knowing some Japanese makes life incredibly easier - I was surprised that my pitiful kanji vocabulary and dubious communication skills worked, but they did.
Here’s my outfit for the day - A dress with a top worn over it, my DIY belt and some simple pearl accessories. Sorry for the slippers, but I can’t wear shoes inside the room - obviously I wore the nude ballet flats outside.
I went alone - since the other people wanted to leave at noon and I was fixed on the idea of leaving between 9 and 10 at most. Here’s a photo of my hotel and the neighborhood
My first stop was Yasukuni shrine (10 minutes from the Kudanshita station, free entrance) which is dedicated to Japanese who died in wars, including the WWII, so it’s a bit controversial. There’s a small park surrounding the shrine and there was a small antiquity market - there were some cheap yukatas for as little as 1000 Yen (200 CZK/10 USD), so I might go there once again if the girls decide to get yukatas for the festivals that are approaching. I was thirsty and I got some dubious liquid in a vending machine (not expensive - 120 Yen), it didn’t taste very good; I think it might have been something like barley tea? But I’m not sure since I don’t know the kanji.
My second stop was Kitanomaru Park (cross the street next to the shrine, free entrance). It was quite large, calm and pretty. In the park, there are several museums etc. and I visited the Crafts museum and the Science museum. The crafts museum had both traditional things (ceramics, porcelain, boxes...) but also modern takes on these, furniture and also some creepy stuff like dolly, a giant crocheted hand etc. All the objects were contemporary or from 20th century, but I couldn’t take photos because the assistant inside didn’t have the authorization to give permission and I was too lazy to go back to the entrance. Here’s at least the building. Afterwards, I visited the Science museum (700 Yen for college students and adults) which was mainly intended for little children, who seemed to really enjoy it. No wonder Japan’s science is so advanced, since this museum must totally make the kids interested in pursuing a science degree. My favorite part was the giant translation scheme - with DNA, a ribosome etc. But there were also topics such as robotics, electricity, mechanics, construction... There were some funny souvenirs too, but I didn’t buy anything since they were kinda expensive.
Then I headed to the public part of the Imperial Palace Gardens (right next to Kitanomaru, free entrance), which were super pretty. The building on one of the photos is Fujimiyagura (a keep from where you could see Fuji-san in the past and the Shogun observed fireworks from there too). I got some more tea, this one tasted a lot better. There was also a tea pavilion (Suwanochaya) from Meiji era.
Then I went to Harumi-dori going through Ginza - I took a look at the brand boutiques and Mitsukoshi department store (they have the Les Merveilleuses La Durée make-up brand there - it’s even more beautiful IRL than online, if I have some money left at the end of the stay, I might sinfully buy one of their products). I also went past Kabukiza theater.
Then I headed to Tsukiji to see the Hama-rikyu. It used to be a falconry ground, then Shogun’s recreational place and afterwards became a place to hold royal parties in, and finally it became a public garden (300 Yen entrance, tea for 500/700 Yen, last orders 16:30).
To be continued later on (shopping and first day at Todai)