A day in Tokyo (Akihabara + Ueno Park + Asakusa)

It's been over two months since we went to Japan and I don't think I'm over it. Japan is the type of place that you can go over and over, and don't get tired of it. (Although, I would say this applies for Australia too). We had this whole two week trip planned out, visiting Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. Our itinerary is jam-packed but it was worth it, we were able to see all these temples, gardens and tourist spots. Plus, Autumn in Japan is spectacular. It can be a bit cold and windy but it is always a welcome change to the unforgiving Manila heat.

First things first.


We were supposed to arrive Sunday (22nd October) but due to the typhoon, our flight was cancelled and rescheduled the next day. We stayed at Hotel Sunroute Higashi Shinjuku, which was right next to the Higashi-Shinjuku station. Location-wise, this hotel is pretty convenient albeit a bit of a walk if you're coming from Shinjuku station. There's a Lawson and Family Mart nearby. A Kitchen Origin for late night karaage cravings. McDonalds, Coco Ichibanya, and Matsuya within walking distance. Plus, a really big Matsumoto Kiyoshi on the next block for your pasalubong and shopping needs.


Despite the delay, we started our first day in Tokyo by going to the Imperial Palace Garden. A short walk from Tokyo station, we were able to get a glimpse of the Nijubashi bridge. Also took some photos of the moats and walls but we didn't really stayed here for long.

Off we go to Akihabara, where the fiance bought what else - Gundam model kits! We also got obsessed with toy cranes/UFO catchers. It was fun but can easily deplete your pocket money. :P

Next stop, Ueno Park!
I've went to Ueno during my first visit in Tokyo and actually went to Ueno Zoo. I did not really venture into the park that time. Surprisingly, the park is quite big with museums, temples and fountains. We wandered to Toshugu Shrine, walked a little further and ended in Bentendo. Next to the temple is the Shinobazu Pond. The pond has three parts -- the lotus pond, the duck pond and the boat pond.
Despite being kitschy, we went on a ride in one of the swans. You can rent a rowing, cycling or swan boat for 600-700 yen (30 minutes). I loved it! It was fun and relaxing at the same time. A good activity to spend quality time together and just people-watch. I was hesitant to go at first but good thing the fiance insisted.
It was already late in the afternoon when we decided to push through to Asakusa. As we were going back from Ueno, we passed by Ameyoko Market which is bustling with tourists, food and shops.
Late afternoon and early evening was spent in Asakusa where we visited the Nakamise Shopping Street and Sensoji Temple. Eating away all my feelings with dorayaki, mochi and green tea.
Sensoji is one of my favourite temples in Tokyo. Know your fortune by drawing an omikuji.
We stayed a bit longer to see the temple illuminate at night.
After which, we headed back to the hotel for a good night's sleep. ;)

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