Tokyo March 2018 Day 3 – Tokyo Free Walking Tour, Japanese Street Food, Odaiba

Day 3 in Tokyo started out in almost the exact same way as Day 2 (read about Day 2 here)… with burnt breakfast by Pao. Hahaha!

We had Chocolate Croissants from Family Mart which we bought for JPY 100 and coffee still from the box we bought at the start of the trip. We got up just a bit earlier than the day before and was out of our Airbnb by 1:00 PM, already scrambling to make it to our free walking tour that starts at 1:30 PM at Akihabara.

(Want the narrative in video? Check out my vlog below! πŸ™‚ )

FREE WALKING TOUR

We booked from Tokyo Localized again since we enjoyed their Shinjuku Night Tour during our first day in Tokyo. This time we booked their main Free Walking Tour which will bring you around Akihabara and Ueno.

Tokyo free walking tour review
1st stop of our free walking tour

We started from Akihabara station and walked through the streets of the town known for video games, anime, and manga. I felt like I was in a huge arcade center, or that I was a character in Wreck-It-Ralph!

From Akihabara we went to Yushima Seido, a Confucian temple, where I personally enjoyed the wide, quiet area with the warm sun. After this we went to Kanda Myojin. Kanda Myojin is a Shinto shrine popular for attracting tech people, businessmen, and entrepreneurs. The most noteworthy information I researched about it is how Tokugawa Ieyasu himself has paid respects at the Shrine! I didn’t know this yet while I was there but I get mild goosebumps just thinking about it now given the Azumi fan in me.

Yushima Seido Tokyo
Perfect photo at Yushima Seido

Although no footage of it in my vlog, we also passed by Ameyoko street. It’s long form name, Ameya Yokocho, which means Candy Store Alley, is also a play on the wordΒ America –Β fitting because the long street used to sell candies and other American products after World War II. Now it looks more like the streets of Binondo here in Manila. There were plenty of Chinese and Indian vendors with much of the products for sale being counterfeit replicas of trendy fashion items and Indian food.

Cherry blossoms in Ueno Park
Cherry blossoms in Ueno Park

Our last stop, and my favorite, was Ueno Park. I fell in love with the cherry blossom lane even when the blossoming period was just starting. I’m making it a goal to be in Japan at least once when they are in full bloom.

Cherry blossom lane Ueno
Cherry blossom lane

THE REST OF UENO PARK AND OUR STREET FOOD TRIP

After the tour we spent around an hour more in Ueno Park because there were still plenty of things to see. Pao really wanted to go to Kyoto to see the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine but with the length of our stay we decided it was better to stick to Tokyo. Hence it was such a beautiful consolation to see similar torii gates in Ueno Park! It’s of course not exactly like Fushimi Inari but given that we thought we wouldn’t see anything like it, this discovery in Ueno Park was gold. πŸ™‚

Torii Gates in Tokyo
Ala-Fushimi Inari Shrine in Ueno Park

We didn’t have lunch before the walking tour started so we were starving by the time it was done. We were really hungry to the point that we couldn’t bear the thought of having to find a restaurant and wait for our meals. Enter the street food stalls we found outside of the park. PERFECT.

Japanese street foods
Grilled taco outside of Ueno Park

I don’t know if it was the intense hunger but the Grilled Taco and Grilled King Crab (JPY 600 each) that we had here were THE BEST street food we had the entire Tokyo trip! It was savory with just the right taste of seafood and so good when smothered in spices.

Must try Japanese street food
Grilled king crab outside Ueno Park

The Grilled King Crab vendor was such a character too, make sure to turn up the volume in my vlog when you see him!

Also, can I just say, how sadly more well-off their economy is compared to ours? 😦 I mean seriously, JPY 600 for street food. That’s like PHP 300! I mean… how? How is that the price of street food? I noticed this too when students were buying crepes like it was just a small amount of their allowance. The crepes are worth around JPY 450 – 600 and they’re just having it for an afternoon snack. I hope our country gets to that level in time. πŸ™‚

ODAIBA

Statue of Liberty in Odaiba
Statue of Liberty replica in Odaiba

It was close to 7:00 PM already when we decided to go to Odaiba just because we had nothing else planned for the night. REALLY BAD DECISION. Don’t get me wrong, we liked it there! But our time just wasn’t enough. It sucks too because the commute wasn’t cheap, what a waste. 😦

If you’re going, make sure you’re there for at least half of the day. Maybe say after lunch when there’s still sunlight for you to see the wonderful tulips and the darkness at night that makes a good backdrop for the life-sized Unicorn Gundam.

Unicorn Gundam in Odaiba
Life-sized Unicorn Gundam in Odaiba

I was looking forward to seeing the Rainbow Bridge from the time we got to Odaiba but can’t quiet figure out where I can see it from. Then, by some miracle I can only attribute to God’s will, we saw the deck just as we were about to head to the train station to go home! The view was SO BEAUTIFUL at night! The lights were pure magic and I could only think of how fortunate I was to be where I was that time. πŸ™‚

Rainbow bridge view
View of the Rainbow Bridge from DiverCity

The deck is just linked to DiverCity, I don’t think it can be missed if you’re commuting. πŸ™‚

If you’re hesitating putting Odaiba in your itinerary, don’t. Go to Odaiba. Please. πŸ™‚

That’s it for Day 3! Check out my vlog below πŸ™‚

Love,

Gemma

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