On the second day of the trip we explored Akihabara, Tokyo, The Miraikan Science
Museum, and Rainbow Bridge.
We left around 10AM to make our way towards Akihabara. Our first
stop was a giant 6 story arcade. It was loud, smelled like cigarettes (smoking
is still allowed indoors in Japan), and dark because there weren’t any windows.
We walked through all of the floors, and some of the group tried out a game or
After wandering around some more we ended up at a Maid Cafe. It
wasn’t lunch time yet so I had a waffle with ice cream. They didn’t allow
filming so we couldn’t get video or pictures. I didn’t quite understand the Maid
Cafe thing, but James and Paul went back later in the trip and had more
authentic experience. Our next stop was the Don Quixote, a multi-story
Walmart-type store that has tiny aisles and anything you could need.
We’d had our fix of the area, so we took a driverless monorail over
a bridge and to The Miraikan Science Museum. On our way over we saw people
dressed up in Mario character costumes driving go-karts down the street. At the
museum we saw a demo of Asimo, Honda’s robot that can walk, kick a ball, and hop
on one leg, among other things.
When we left the museum we saw that we were near a BMW driving
experience course so we stopped to watch people drive cars around cones. It
seemed rather lame, or the drivers were timid. From there we walked to a mall to
sit inside and relax because it was really hot and humid outside.
After spending an hour or two at the mall we regrouped and made our
way to Rainbow Bridge. When we got there it wasn’t lit up, and an internet
search told us that it only lights up during a certain time of year. We did,
however, sit on the beach and enjoy a nice view of the Tokyo skyline and a lot
of really colorful boats out on the water.
At this point it was way past dinner time so we went to a ramen
place then made our way home. I picked up some bananas at the supermarket across
the street from our house, dumped my camera card onto my computer, and went to
On day three of the trip we attend a couple of festivals.
On the first full day of the trip, James, Brandi, and I explored Ueno, Tokyo
while waiting for Nicole and Paul to arrive.
After waking up at 5AM local time and being unable to fall back asleep, I put on
my eye mask and laid in bed for a couple of hours. After we all decided that
sleep wasn’t going to happen, we left our Airbnb around 9AM to head to the Ueno
Zoo. The train/subway ride was 30-45 minutes.
The Ueno Zoo is in a massive park with a museum, a few shrines, some statues,
and the biggest standalone Starbucks I’ve ever seen. We primarily went to the
zoo to waste time while waiting on Nicole and Paul to arrive later in the day,
but we were also there to see the giant panda. Along with the panda we saw a
polar bear, tiger, elephants, birds, and gorillas.
After the zoo we wandered around the area for a bit, stopping by a shrine. We
then made our way to get lunch at Cocoichiban, a chain curry restaurant. I
ordered the vegetarian curry with spinach and eggplant, and a scrambled egg.
Spicy level 2.
From there we walked to a nearby lotus pond that was at least 5 acres in size if
not larger. It had a floating dock which we could walk out onto that was
surrounded by lotuses. We spent some time there, still waiting on Nicole and
Paul to land, then headed to see Tokyo Dome City. On our way there we stopped by
Tokyo Dome City was FULL of k-pop fans. I think there was a signing or something
to get ready for upcoming concerts, but people were lined up for autographs or
pictures in what looked like at least a two hour line. After spending an hour or
so people watching, we walked to Tokyo Station to meet Paul and Nicole!
We walked around some fountains near the Imperial Palace, then headed back to
our Airbnb to drop bags off. After hanging out for a bit we set out looking for
dinner. I was getting really tired at this point but was also hungry. It was
probably 6PM or 7PM.
It took us probably 30 minutes to find somewhere to eat. We passed another
shrine that we walked through, then landed at a local spot where they spoke zero
English. We used the Google Translate app to sorta read the menu but that didn’t
work. Luckily the waiter knew salmon, tuna, octopus, and sashimi so we ordered
those roles and a sashimi plate.
I was fighting off falling asleep at this point, but we made it back to the apt.
I dumped the footage from that day onto my computer and then fell asleep
On day two of the trip we explore Akihabara and Rainbow Bridge.