Asia,  Japan,  TDM,  Tokyo,  Travel Journal

Travel diary Tokyo (Japan) #2: Ueno, Akihabara, Tour of Tokyo, Shibuya and Shinjuku

Read our first travel diary in Tokyo here


Today, I visit alone the National Museum of Tokyo, where you can find a beautiful collection of swords, prints, paintings … Japanese from several centuries ago

Indeed, for 600 yen, one can admire many priceless objects. For example these hair accessories of an unequalled finesse

Samurai helmets, swords etc

Kimonos of extreme beauty. To have patterns like this, the craftsmen had to spend an eternity on them

I was expecting a richer collection (I didn’t see many prints, which is what I came for), but I was told afterwards that often in Japanese museums, the permanent collections weren’t that rich (you can’t expect a museum the size of the Louvre), and that I would have had to pay extra for access to the temporary exhibition. I highly recommend this museum, to be visited for at least 2 hours


Today, our friend Marc (who has just been expatriated to Japan by his company) takes us to see the Akihabara district, the district of geeks (and anime fans)

Already, it looks a lot more like Tokyo in my imagination, with signs everywhere, from all over the world and some girls in cosplay

You can find any electric cable, any battery, and any electronic product here (even old computers)

At night, the neighborhood is really nice


There are bars where you can drink coffee and practice shooting at the same time (not sure what kind of weapons are used here – if it’s real or fake)

You can buy Pokémon-type cards, but based on other anim’. There are also a lot of stores that sell statues of manga or anime characters. The quality is very impressive, for a small extra price (10€ for a beautiful statue already)

There are also maid cafés where the waitresses are dressed up and there is even a show

We then go to a model making supplies store: Tamtam Hobby Shop. There, the Japanese retail culture is perfectly well illustrated here. There is everything: from the inside of a train with cute little passengers

at the heads of trains (Japanese people love trains)

up to small houses or train stations… to gather by yourself

There are also weapons that look too much like the real thing, bulletproof vests … for airsoft fans

We also went to 3331 Arts Chiyoda, a modern gallery installed in a former high school under the guidance of Lonely Planet. But it’s so avant-garde that we don’t understand anything about it. Even the coffee there wasn’t that good

We would have liked to go to the origami museum but it is unfortunately closed because of the Golden Week (and its multitudes of holidays)

Tour of Tokyo

Built in 1958, the Tokyo Tower is a broadcasting tower. One can go up to the observatories, the first one being at 150m, the second one at 250m of altitude

You can also buy a combined ticket to access Tokyo One Piece Tower, the theme park based on the manga One Piece (which I don’t know at all, do you?)

It’s very pretty, from far or near

I don’t know if this is the case every day, but there are some food trucks next door. As we are in the middle of Golden Week (early May), one of the most important vacation weeks in Japan, there are plenty of Koinobori flying carps, symbol of Children’s Day (May 5). Because carps are considered to be the most lively and energetic, just like children


Shibuya is best known (by tourists) for its enormous crossroads where thousands of people cross at the same time and in all directions. Turn on the sound to hear Marc’s comments


In Japan, they like to film the crowd and post the cam on a building like that, everyone can wave and take a picture of themselves 🙂 it’s very funny. Here, they integrated the image of the crowd with special effects, where we see rhinos running right in front of us, to promote the new movie Jumanji

Not far from the crossroads is the dog who has been waiting for his master for 10 years in front of the station. The story of this dog was adapted to the movies by Hollywood, we watched it on a bus in Chile and everyone had tears in their eyes when they got off the bus, I remember

A nice little show by a group of young girls

We then walk with Marc in the small streets nearby. The district is very commercial and we didn’t want to go shopping so we quickly settled down in a café


One of the well-known spots for tourists to watch Tokyo from above, and for free, is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Apparently, when the weather is nice, you can even see the top of Mount Fuji. This isn’t the case today with so many clouds

There are 2 turns, and one is chosen at the nose. You just have to look for the elevators and if there is a queue in front of it, it’s the one you need!

We go up to 150m, the view is superb!


The “tea time” set makes us want too much: 1200yen for a dessert and soft drink at will

We can’t consider that we have visited the district of Shinjuku if we didn’t get lost in the station of Shinjuku. It is the case! We venture there to discover that indeed, it is indeed the biggest station in the world with a hundred of exits

And one cannot ignore the visit of the emblematic corners of Shinjuku, namely thousands of neon lights next to Kabukicho Ichibangai

I see that we see a lot of these scenes in Lost in Translation

I discover with joy the store @cosme at the appointment of LABI. This will be the last time I window-shop in Tokyo, so I might as well take advantage of it!

We then walk to Shinjuku Omoide Yokocho to climb on a footbridge and observe the traffic

Before dinner in a sushi bar (with conveyor belt). 2000yen/person, cheap cheap!

Then we’ll end up in a game arcade, JB trying to win a Detective Conan t-shirt for me. There are a lot of such games, with all kinds of stuffed animals to win


#fail #tokyo #games

A publication shared by JB & Anh (@tourdumonde5continents ) on 12,

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