29 November 2014, it’s difficult to expect everyday good weather when doing Tokyo trip, there has to be one bad weather day. That’s how proper planning play its biggest role. I trusted the weather forecast that today is going to be cloudy with continuous rain throughout morning to afternoon. So i planned the itineraries for something indoor, which is Tokyo Skytree and its Solamachi Mall, then Asakusa, Kaminarimon, Ueno, Asakusa, Takeshita Dori and Daisho.
The trip started from Ikebukuro Station, using the JR Yamanote line (green) to Ueno then continue on Ginza Line (orange) until Asakusa. which connect to Tobu Line (blue), final destination at Tokyo Skytree station which is exactly at the basement level of Tokyo Skytree mall called Solamachi.
The basement has Tokyo Banana stores which sells all variant of Tokyo Banana, its very packed with tourist.. particularly.. INDONESIAN! ha…. even the staff speaks some Bahasa. My personal opinion, Tokyo Banana is overrated, tourist-trap, and in case you are a moslem, Tokyo Banana is not halal as one of its ingredients contain pork. Anw, we skipped the store and go straight up to the foot of Tokyo Skytree.
it’s HUGE! since the weather was so bad and hazy, we can’t see the building’s peak point, it’s 634m high. that is.. if you free fall from above it will take you a lengthy 12 seconds (that’s gravity acceleration meets distance and times, minus wind resistance of course).. pardon my nerdyness. But anyway, we didn’t go up. Why? because it will defeat the point of seeing tall building if you go on top of it.. when you are on top, you can’t see that building.. right?.
Christmas started early here as there were plenty xmas decoration. We went inside the mall to check out some souvenirs, but
the price doesn’t nothing impressed us.
We took the train back to Asakusa, got a bit lost for exiting at the wrong exit point, and walked to Kaminarimon. Along the way, we stopped for Kebab which taste just okay but quite fulfilling. The intersection where the kebab store was offer good view of Tokyo Skytree. We spent sometime walking in and out the kaminarimon and sensoji temple. It was pretty crowded, walking through the nakamise dori was a bit of a challenge. There are so many souvenirs shop selling souvenirs and knicks knacks like keychain, senbei, kimono and etc. After taking some photos, we walked back to the train station. this time heading to Ueno
What i like from Ueno station is, apart from its huge, it feels.. vintage and classy (there is lamppost in the station!), not very crowded, and spacious as well. Went outside the station, the day started to get dark, we crossed the street and noticed this crowd queueing for.. what i later knew as Colossus Titan from the Anime Sengoku No Kyoujin (Attack on Titan). Mom didn’t realise there were queue line, rushing forward in front the large head figure and take the photo, but Japanese people didn’t seem to mind, ‘pfft tourist’ they said xD.
Across the Ueno Station is Ameyoko Market, is a long street underneath the train track, busy with stores selling various things, from knock-off New Balance shoes, clothes, souvenirs, daily groceries, fresh seafoods to discounted store. Most things sold here are relatively cheaper than anywhere else, it feels like ‘chinatown’ part of the city minus the decoration. Mom bought some snacks for souvenirs here.
Final destination of the day was Daiso at Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. It was the biggest Daiso in Japan with 4 floors of 100 yen of everything! However, not everything sold here is actually cheaper compare to convenience store like 7-11 or family mart. Take an example, i saw a jagabee snack sold for 100 yen while i can get it for 89 yen at the convenience store. But there are many other things that you should consider buying here, Stationaries, housekeeping tools, Computer Accessories like mouse pad, mouse, cables, are generally cheap. There is even a digital watch for 100 yen! (how the hell do they make profit out of it!). Sorry not much photo here, there are sign that prohibit taking photo inside the store
well.. that’s for the day. we came back to the hotel with lots of plastic bag of souvenirs. Mom spent the rest of the day packing, stuffing everything into the luggage :D. Mom and brothers are returning home with the morning flight tomorrow.