Japan (day 8) – Tokyo
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Today is our last day in Japan. In the morning, I went to get breakfast at Starbucks using our coupons. After that we packed our things and checked out at 11AM. FYI, 11AM is the standard check out time for hotels (and ryokans) in Japan.
Our flight is at 10:50PM tonight so we still have half a day to do some last minute sightseeing. The plan is to visit Sengakuji and Harajuku before heading to the airport at around 7PM.
We took the subway to Sengakuji Temple. Sengakuji is well known in Japan as the graves of the 47 ronin (Ako Gishi).
The Ako Gishi are famous for a historical revenge incident that happened in 18th century Japan. Most recently their tale was made into a Hollywood movie called 47 Ronin, featuring Keanu Reeves (trailer).
From Sengakuji, we took the JR Train to Harajuku. Harajuku is famous as the hub for young people to hang out. A lot of teenage culture and fashion styles could be observed in Harajuku. Apart from that, there are a number of shopping outlets for adults and it is also near the historic Meiji Shrine.
We had lunch at an Italian Restaurant called Italian Tomato near the station, and from there, proceeded to walk down
From the Harajuku Station, we walked along Omotesando. Omotesando is the shopping area in Harajuku. Leading fashion brands and malls are located along this 1KM tree lined avenue. We went into Tokyu Plaza on Omotesando to window shop and have ice cream.
Takeshita Dori (meaning Takeshita Street) is the main attraction at Harajuku. It is a narrow street that is packed with shops, cafes, boutiques targeting mainly Tokyo’s teenagers. We even saw the famous Daiso store in Takeshita Dori.
From there, we walked towards the Meiji Shrine. As we didn’t have enough time, we did a quick tour of the area near the Meiji Shrine Torii (gate). The shrine was completed in 1921 and is dedicated to Emperor Meiji (1867 – 1912) and Empress Shoken (1849 – 1914). Emperor Meiji is widely known to have presided over the Meiji Restoration that saw Japan’s rapid change from a feudal state to a capitalist and later an imperial world power. The Meiji Restoration is also known as Japan’s industrial revolution period.
We took the monorail from Hamamatsucho to Haneda Airport. The fare was ¥470 (USD3 or RM14) per person.
The trip took about 18-20 minutes. The train provided ample space for luggage.
Haneda is a massive airport. One would immediately notice the scale of the airport by the 3 separate monorail stops for International, Terminal 1 and 2. We got off at International and checked-in.
After we checked-in, it’s time to return the Pupuru mobile wifi. We found a mail box inside one of the shops. Using a prepaid envelope given by Pupuru, we dropped the pack inside the mail box and that was it. A simple yet effective method to loan and return a mobile wifi.
We noticed Haneda International has a massive restaurant section at Level 4 called Edo Marketplace. The shops were designed to look like traditional Edo restaurants. Apart from that, they have a big souvenir shop that is perfect for last minute gifts for people back home.
My Japan trip was a dream come true. I have been wanting to visit the land of the rising sun for more than 1 decade, and I finally got my chance. I will definitely return to explore other parts of this beautiful country as 8 days is clearly not enough. Till then, sayonara!