Sunday, December 24, 2017

Japan Trip Day 2: Maihama, Tokyo, Ginza, Shiodome

Since I am still unwell and have not been having good rest for the past few days, I did not set up alarm this morning. Another reason is that I am just going to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere in Tokyo and usually shops are not open that early. Usually the only motivation for me to be up early is to go to touristy places so that I can take pictures without other tourists at the background.

I woke up almost 830 and by the time everything was ready, we only left the hotel at about 10am. Lol. We went to Disneyland first as Tokyo Disneyland will be taking down all Christmas stuff after the 25th which means by the time I go there, there is nothing Christmassy at all.

Since my sister has an irritating habit of not eating breakfast, I suggested to eat something first at Tokyo station before we changed train to Maihama. She agreed and while waiting, I decided to get some dumplings and gyozas. I have been drooling over them since my Osaka trip last September when I did not have the chance to try.

At Maihama, we only visited Bon Voyage which is the shop outside the Disneyland and omg there are already so many cute things that I am interested in. The shop decoration is still Christmas theme but the merchandises are mixture of Christmas and the upcoming Dog Year. I did not buy anything yet since I need to to plan what I will buy due to limited luggage space but I am already eyeing the new year Mickey and Minnie plushies (they are unique as they are holding umbrella). The new year and spring merchandises are already a lot although there are still some Christmas stuff. I will also get Aladdin and Jasmine key chains which look like small plushies.
Chip and Dale
Although it was only 1 shop, we still spent more than an hour there. Lol. After that we decided to explore the area to find where the visitor center is located and the Disney Hotel Ambassador in preparation for our Disneyland stay from the 28th-30th hehe.. We passed through the Ikspiari which is a shopping mall and there is a Disney Store there as well. Only now that I learn that Disney Store items are different from Disneyland items which means wallet and credit cards have to be ready. I was eyeing for Aladdin tsum tsum set (there are 8 tsum tsums) which was put in Genie's magical lamp. It was a battle between reason "tsum tsums are not that cute and small and expensive" vs desire "aiya just buy la since Aladdin stuff are not common". I decided to KIV it because of luggage space. Lol. Another thought was to buy and ship it home when we stay at Disneyland later on.

We went back to Tokyo to have lunch and my sister suggested Ramen Street. My sister relied on whatever online map which clearly did not help at all. In the end I got the useful information from random website but we still lost our way because the address was "Yaesu South" which made me think that it should be at Yaesu South exit. I was so hungry and that impatience cost us time and even more walk. If only I scrolled down a few lines further, I would find that the exit is from "Yaesu Central". Gosh..

All the shops had long queue and I was more interested to go to other restaurants without queue. Haiz but I gave in to my sister who wanted ramen so I chose the one with somewhat a short queue and English writing in the menu. I don't have a golden tongue to appreciate good vs not-so good food so I don't know if the ramen I ate was good or just normal. Lol.

After lunch we went to Character Street and again this was a street of temptations. There is JUMP shop and I was so tempted to get Saint Seiya otedama (which is basically like Tsum Tsum) but I refrained myself because it was not no as cheap as Tsum Tsum. Then there is also Conan karuta card set at Nippon TV shop. Again I tried to tahan myself not to buy anything yet since eventually I will return here to buy Kit Kat Tokyo Banana.

From here, we went to Yurakucho since on the train we saw Bic Camera there. My sister wanted to get Apple Watch and my dad was tempted to get iPhone since the prices in Japan are much cheaper. After going through all levels, there was nothing I wanted to buy at the toys floor. My sister still wanted to shop but I was so tired. I took a rest near the vending machine where I saw some people were also taking nap. Lol. She took almost an hour that I got a bit warm and I went outside to get some cold air. After walking a bit, she texted me that she was done so I went back in. She actually spent so long just to queue at the cashier. Sigh.. ladies and their shopping.

It was only about 5pm but we were already hungry again. So we had dinner at the station before going to Ginza. Both of us had never been there so we were quite curious. It is really a street full of high-end brands so it is not really our cup of tea. The decoration for Christmas (or perhaps I should say for winter since Japan does not celebrate Christmas) is also disappointing. Now I understand why people are crazy about Christmas decoration at Orchard Road.

The only shop we entered was Uniqlo flagship store lol. I was so tempted to get cashmere coat but since it was not discounted I guess I should wait. I am still trial-and-error for my winter clothes combination and I am quite pissed with my sister. She just had a work trip at Europe (which is colder than Japan) but she could not offer any useful tips for winter wear. I only prepared 1 heat tech fleece jacket and 1 ultra light down as the outer most layer and they don't look stylish at all. I see most people are wearing long coat here which looks neater, more stylish, and better in photos.

Caretta Shiodome was our last stop for this Christmas eve. We were already feeling cold but according to website, this is supposed to be the best winter illumination in Tokyo so we had to see it. Sadly reality was not as good as the pictures in internet T_T The area was very dark except for the illumination area so it was not very pleasant for the eyes. There were shows which curiously used Beauty and the Beast songs. I think I would enjoy it even less if they don't use those songs that I am familiar with. There is a theatre here where Aladdin Broadway's musical is showing.

And that's all for today. We reached the hotel back at about 9+ feeling cold and disappointed with the Christmas decorations but still happy and excited for the next few days that we have. I wanted to take a picture with Zidane poster at Shinagawa but I think I would look awful at the end of the day. I should do it in the morning. Curiously I did not see the FF poster at Yurakucho or Tokyo today. I guess the 'game' is not that easy to play i.e the posters are not that easy to find especially at a station as big as Tokyo. Perhaps I am just lucky that the exit that I take to my hotel at Shinagawa happens to be the place where they put the poster here.

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