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Archive for the ‘Tokyo’ Category

Of course we’ve been numerous times to Akihabara back when we lived in Tokyo, but we’ve never used it as a starting point for a walk through town. Today’s walk was a walk of contrasts, showcasing the many faces of Tokyo. Akihabara is so colorful with anime illustrations on many buildings and full of young people. From there, we walked to the Kanda-myōjin (神田明神), a historically important shrine. Today, it was still crowded and busy due to ongoing New Year’s celebrations.

Gate of the Kanda Myojin

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Unicorn Gundam

Since September of last year, a new giant Gundam statue is standing near the Diver City mall on Odaiba: a 19.7m tall RX-0 Unicorn Gundam. After having paid a visit to the original Gundam one year ago, we obviously had to see the new one, too! It is quite impressive due to its sheer size. Every two hours, its head changes (along with dramatic music and pulsating lights) from Unicorn Mode to Destroy Mode (two horns). (more…)

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Lucky Bags – Again!

The shops have reopened in Japan and an enormous amount of people has stormed them right at opening time, as we witnessed at the Matsusakaya department store. The main reason isn’t that the shops had been closed for a full day, but because today the Lucky Bags go on sale. They contain a bundle of goods you might or might not be able to see beforehand at a steep discount.
There were enormous queues forming at the bakeries and some of the sweets shops. And the amount of bags I’ve seen some old ladies carrying was absolutely stunning, they seemed to be carrying more than their own weight.
We have been very conservative compared to others, with just a bakery lucky bag, a tea lucky bag, a rice condiment lucky bag and two senbei lucky bags.
All sorts of stores offer them, including clothing retailers, but the idea of getting a random outfit that might not at all suit my taste doesn’t really make sense to me, no matter the discount. So we rather went for food we knew we would like in any case.

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Japan is known for things going smoothly and people behaving themselves at all times. But apparently this is not automatic. Train companies for example feel compelled to constantly educate their patrons on how to behave themselves, respectively how not to behave on the train. On a single trip into Tokyo, I noticed three different companies’ posters on how to behave, showing somewhat different takes on the matter.

Totally unacceptable!

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Cafe de Miki - Kitty pancake After having gone to one of Japan’s iconic character cafes in Kyoto (the Hello Kitty tea house), we once more paid our respects to Hello Kitty. In the Diver City mall on Odaiba, there is the Cafe de Miki, a British style Hello Kitty Cafe. The British theme is reflected in the decor and also the menu items (a high tea set is on offer). A huge and very sparkling Hello Kitty receives the guests at the entrance and large Kitty plushies are ready to keep them company at the table. Cafe de Miki (more…)

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Gundam Revisited

gundam-odaiba3-reffert We’ve gone to see the 18m tall Gundam back in 2009 when it was first put up in Odaiba. But after reading that it will be taken away in March, we felt compelled to visit it another time. While it can only light up and turn its head, it is nonetheless an impressive sight. So if you’re heading to Odaiba in the next two months, take the chance to pay your respects! (more…)

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tokyo-nezu-museum-pond-reffert Just off of one of the fanciest shopping streets in Tokyo’s Omotesando, Nezu Museum is located. But it’s more than an art museum. Behind it, it hides one of the most amazing Japanese gardens of the metropolis, dark with leafy green and quiet ponds. The contrast to the modern and fashionable Omotesando could not be bigger. tokyo-nezu-museum-garden-reffert (more…)

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