25 February 2014, Today trip is guided by Ryotaro, a guide from Tokyo Free Guide. He was kind enough to meet me at Kadoya hotel lobby. When he introduced himself, i could tell that he speaks little english but good enough to make a simple conversation, and he tried so hard to make sure i understand everything he said. plan today is even more packed than yesterday: finding knives and plastic food at Kappabashi, check out Harajuku, posing at Tokyo Tower, observation deck at Roppongi Hills, and get smoked at Omoide Yokocho while enjoying Yakitori!

As early as 10am (that sounds very late :p), we headed to Kappabashi, part of Asakusa, that is famous for plastic food, knives, and pottery. I initially wanted to buy a good quality knive for souvenir, but the hefty price tag surprise me, the smallest knife (3″)  cost starts from yen5000! One of the store owner explained that each knive is individually crafted and can last long with good (and loving) care. There is different knive for chopping or slicing. Then there is different knives for skinning fish skin or slicing beef steak. Unless you are a fish-skinning mania, or a professional chef, those knives will not be worth it.

Me and Ryo posing at Intersection near Kappabashi, Tokyo Skytree on the background

Me and Ryo-san posing at Intersection near Kappabashi, Tokyo Skytree on the background

Kappabashi Street

Kappabashi Street

Kappabashi Street, with Tokyo Skytree on the background

Kappabashi Street, with Tokyo Skytree on the background

One of the stores that sells various knives at Kappabashi Street

One of the stores that sells various knives at Kappabashi Street

Japan made knifes, notice that the knifes has indifferent texture. These are expensive :|

Japan made knifes, notice that the knifes has indifferent texture. These are expensive :|

Since we have spent too much time strolling around, getting in and out from knives store, we only had visited one-two stores selling plastic food. While they are made to look like very real and detailed, they are bloody expensive. A small sushi keychain is priced at least 1000 yens, and no matter how real they look, it’s still a keychain, and a keychain does not deserve to live with 1000 yens price tag :|. Anw, we visited Asakusa Don Quijote and a Takoyaki Store.

One of the best Takoyaki i've ever tasted! it has crispy and thin skin, but very soft and juicy filling inside.

One of the best Takoyaki i’ve ever tasted! it has crispy and thin skin, but very soft and juicy filling inside with generous mayo topping.

With the takoyaki bus!

With the takoyaki bus!

With the owner of Karitama Takoyaki

With the owner of Karitama Takoyaki

Asakusa Don Quijote, this was recently opened in December 2013

Asakusa Don Quijote, this was recently opened in December 2013

Asakusa Don Quijote FREE MONEY: Get free one cent coin if you need some small changes

Asakusa Don Quijote FREE MONEY: Get free one cent coin if you need some small changes

We hopped into train going to Akihabara, the electronic and anime cities. The moment you head out of the station, you’ll see many stores selling electronic parts and anime figurine. After strolling a while at this colourful part of Tokyo, i stopped by a store that rent a small glass cabinet for those who want to sell their figurine to public. For an anime fans, going to that kind of store is like a hunter in hunting season. There are plenty of rare figurine and limited editions, buy they are not cheap either. I didn’t notice that there is a sign that says ‘no picture’ until one of the staff warned me :).

Yodobashi Akihabara, the largest in Tokyo. great place to find camera, heavy discount for Japanese electronic brand

Yodobashi Akihabara, the largest in Tokyo. great place to find camera, heavy discount for Japanese electronic brand

In Front of Akihabara Station

In Front of Akihabara Station

Akihabara Surrounding, filled with video games and anime store, they are all over and very colourful

Akihabara Surrounding, filled with video games and anime store, they are all over and very colourful

One of many rental showcases business at Akihabara. People rent a glass box to sell their figurine. I'm not actually allowed to take picture though.

One of many rental showcases business at Akihabara. People rent a glass box to sell their figurine. I’m not actually allowed to take picture though.

Those mini figurines are very attractive and detailed Especially the facial expression

Those mini figurines are very attractive and detailed Especially the facial expression

One of Rental Showcases

One of Rental Showcases

 

One of showcase at rental box. That one piece character priced at 1,260 yen is bloody cheap.

One of showcase at rental box. That one piece character priced at 1,260 yen is bloody cheap. Though i’m not fans of figurines

For lunch, Ryo recommended a restaurant that sells Beef bowl. I ordered mine with curry sauce and it came in an oval plate with huge portion, tender beef slices, thick and tasty curry sauce.

My huge portion of Beef and Chicken Katsu curry on top of rice.

My huge portion of Beef and Chicken Katsu curry on top of rice.

We checked out AKB48 theatre, it’s where famous japanese girl band doing their training regularly. Watching the performance will require one to pay a ticket and get in the *long* line of fanatics fans. Apparently, Indonesia’s counterpart of AKB48 = JKT48, is also quite famous at Tokyo! at least Ryo-san have heard about their name. Adjacent to AKB48 theatre are AKB48 cafe and Gundam cafe. Apart from the cute and pretty cashier (who refused to take photo with me :( ), AKB48 cafe is just a typical stores selling band’s gimmicks and accessories.

AKB48 Cafe and Shop, people will line up when there is performance by AKB48.

AKB48 Cafe and Shop, people will line up when there is performance by AKB48.

Gundam Cafe is more interesting, it’s decorated to look like the inside of a Gundam, and all the menus are named after Gundam Characters. We ordered two Gundam donuts, and while they looks awesome, they taste just okay. Then cool things happened, i went to the restroom, the toilet seat is coloured with Gundam themes, and there is this big red button that looks like it really need to get pushed :D. So i did, and the whole restroom turned pitch dark, after a while, a large Gundam eyes show up in the mirror, emiting faint yellow light,  and then a ‘beng’ sound similar to the macbook startup song, slowly returning the light to its normal state. weird but cool :p

Gundam Cafe!

Gundam Cafe! sell foods and drinks inspired by Gundam

Gundam Cafe Interior, it's designed to give the feel of inside of the Gundam Robot

Gundam Cafe Interior, it’s designed to give the feel of inside of the Gundam Robot

Gundam Donuts! they taste okay.

Gundam Donuts! they taste okay.

upon heading back to Akihabara station, i was randomly challenged by this troupe wearing weird costume. It’s RedBull campaign and they challenge me to throw a ball into a small target placed in one of their crew’s head. For about 10 meters, i hit the target on second try, and they rewarded me with a can of redbull and a photo! yay!. i gave the red bull to Ryo-san since i’m not much of an energy-drink-man.

My 2nd attempt (out of 3) throwing balls, targeting the small redbull can on top of someone's head. This throw hit it.

My 2nd attempt (out of 3) throwing balls, targeting the small redbull can on top of someone’s head. This throw hit it.

Me and Redbull campaign crew with cosplay

Me and Redbull campaign crew with cosplay

We left Akihabara and took train to Shibakoen station which is close to Zojo-Ji temple, which is close to Tokyo tower. Since time was limited, we didn’t explore the Zojo-ji much. The temple complex consist of the gate, a statue of a goddess, Cemetery, and the temple itself with Tokyo tower at background view.

These two adorable dogs was tied together, left by his owner who go shops. The brown one was running in circle, eventually tightening the rope.

These two adorable dogs was tied together, left by his owner who go shops. The brown one was running in circle, eventually tightening the rope.

ZojoJi Temple Main Entrance

ZojoJi Temple Main Entrance

Tokyo Tower behind Zojo Ji Temple

Tokyo Tower behind Zojo Ji Temple

Tokyo Tower behind Zojo Ji Temple

Tokyo Tower behind Zojo Ji Temple

The cemetery is pretty interesting and unique. It’s occupied by plenty of mini ‘Jizo’ statues (one of buddhist monk). Jizo has been worshipped by Japanese people as the souls of unborn children due to misscariage or aborted fetus.  Jizo help those souls to go to afterlife, since there are beliefs that says that unborn child will never find it’s way to afterlife. So, each of the statue represent one child who had no chance to be born on earth. Sad, scary but it yield strong beliefs and culture that Japanese still preserve.

Jizō Statue represent dead baby soul due to miscarriage or aborted

Jizō Statue represent dead baby soul due to miscarriage or aborted

A short walk north from Zojo-Ji temple lead to Tokyo Tower. After admiring the tower and took some photos, we left and i parted with Ryo-san. at this point, people will ask ‘wait you didn’t go up to the observatory deck?’.. not for me. What’s the point of admiring a city icon if you go on top of it and can’t see it anymore? :p

Tokyo Tower!

Tokyo Tower! nothing extraordinary except that it is the city icon

I rushed to the station and take a train to Roppongi. After quite a walk (i had to fast walk!), i reached the Roppongi Hills at around 5.30, the sun has set, i missed the golden photo moment :(. Roppongi hills is a building complex consist of office tower, malls, museum and restaurant. On top of the office tower (Mori Tower) is an obversation deck. at around 238 meter height, one of the highest in Tokyo.

This huge spider made of steel are standing in front of mori tower, roppongi hills

This huge spider made of steel are standing in front of mori tower, roppongi hills

I paid 2000 yen to go to the top floor. View from the top floor sucks, the glass is so thick with annoying lighting reflection, top top it all, there were people who camped at best spot with their full-sized tripod. The extra 500 yen ticket will bring you to the skydeck, it’s basically a helipad with 360 views of Tokyo! unobstructed!

my Roppongi Hills / Mori Tower Observation Deck ticket, priced at 2,000 yen

my Roppongi Hills / Mori Tower Observation Deck ticket, priced at 2,000 yen

SkyDeck is basically a helipad on top of mori tower. The helipad area are restricted for visitor

SkyDeck is basically a helipad on top of mori tower. The helipad area are restricted for visitor

Wind was chilling that evening but the view distance is clear and far. The view of red-orange lid Tokyo Tower among other building is amazing, it’s well worth the 2,500 yen entrance ticket.

Tokyo Tower Evening View from SkyDeck

Tokyo Tower Evening View from SkyDeck

Romantic Couple is enjoying the brightly lid Tokyo Tower from SkyDeck Observation

Romantic Couple is enjoying the brightly lid Tokyo Tower from SkyDeck Observation

View of Tokyo Tower from SkyDeck observation at Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills

View of Tokyo Tower from SkyDeck observation at Mori Tower, Roppongi Hills

I lost on my way back to the Roppongi station, Google help directed me to cross a street that is not crossable without crashing into fast moving car :S.

The plan for dinner was Yakitori. I had booked a local guide from meetrip who will show me good place to eat Yakitori. Hideaki-san is a typical salaryman working in network industry. We met infront of ABC mart shinjuku and he walked me to Omoide Yokocho. Omoide Yokocho is narrow alley filled with small eating shops. Each shops can only host 6-8 people. Menus are usually in Japanese although some cafes show signboard that says ‘english menu available’.

Me in front of the Yakitori Store, notice the limited seats availability.

Me in front of the Yakitori Store, notice the limited seats availability.

Hideaki-san guided me to one of the Yakitori shops and we ordered Yakitoris which is basically chicken parts other than the meat, on skewer. Those parts are skin, liver, soft bone. They can be served savory or sweet, and we ordered both flavour for each menu. They taste really good, the liver and soft bone are very juicy. I prefer the sweet version though. The total bill is a whopping 4,000 yen, i offered to pay the whole bill but hideaki refused, so we split. I really didn’t expect that it will be that expensive. While it taste good with authentic ambiance in the middle of busy Shinjuku, i think it’s an overpriced experience.

My Yakitori Plate, Left to RIght: Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Chicken Skin. All salted and grilled.

My Yakitori Plate, Left to RIght: Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Chicken Skin. All salted and grilled.

the Yakitori Stall owner at Omoide Yokocho

the Yakitori Stall owner at Omoide Yokocho

Hideaki-san was nice enough to give me brief tour of Kabukicho, a Tokyo Red-light district. He showed me which ‘massage’ gives what kind of ‘services’. He also suggested to not visiting any of this place unless you are Japanese, or accompanied by a Japanese.

Kabukicho Entrance

Kabukicho Entrance – Shinjuku Red Light District

robot restaurants robot

One of Robot Restaurant Robot controlled by a lady, she would sometime touch the b*ob :0. There are more of these crazyness inside

Well that’s wrapped today packed and tiring journey!

Fitbit Stats: (i’ll add this later :p)