3 months later and I'm still blogging about my Japan trip! =)) This is the last but not the least post!
My Tokyo volunteer guide, Chiaki, fetched me on my hotel's lobby. Months before our actual meeting, we've been emailing each other back and forth about my day 3 itinerary in Tokyo. We agreed on a Tokyo midtown tour from morning until the afternoon. I already had my quick breakfast at the nearby 7/11 before meeting her.
The first stop on our list is Tsukiji Fish Market, it is the busiest and largest fish market in Japan. I'm lucky to be able to visit it this year because there are plans to move it to a new location.
|Alight Tsukiji train station, turn left to Ginza area and cross the pedestrian|
One of the main attractions in Tsukiji Market is the live tuna auction that happens daily at 5AM. I've read that they serve the first 120 people and registration starts at 4:30AM, I decided to skip this.
|inside Tsukiji Market|
Chiaki and I arrived at 9AMish, its the time when the auction is already closed but there were still a lot of trucks and trolleys roaming and delivering goods. Its amazing to see various seafood, especially ginormous fishes displayed on stalls. We're not allowed to take photos but its okay.
There are plenty of sushi and ramen restaurants on the outer market area but even after walking for 2 hours, I wasn't able to burn my breakfast. I was able to sample some free taste items but I didn't have a proper sushi breakfast :(
Next on the must see list is Tokyo Tower, a communications and observation tower and a popular symbol of Tokyo. Because I'm a cheapskate, I didn't bother to pay an entrance fee to the observation tower. Chiaki, led me to a beautiful park near Zozoji Temple where I was able to take good shots of the tower and these colorful flowers!
From Onarimon Station, we went to Tokyo Station. The interior can be both confusing and amusing as it has different train lines for intercity and Shinkansen or bullet trains bound for other areas in Japan. The exterior is amazing, the red brick building looks anything but a train station!
|train station or old school building?|
|Pine trees, everywhere!|
|Monopod-ing in Tokyo|
Being a monarchy junkie, I was thrilled to visit a place where an actual Emperor/King lives. The Tokyo Imperial Palace is the main residence of the emperor. Because of that, the inner grounds of the palace is only open for official state guests and to the public on the "People's visit to the Palace for New Year Greetings (2nd of January) and on the Emperor's Official Birthday(23rd of December).
Japan is famous for their "omiyage culture" or travelers bringing souvenir gifts for those who did not make the trip. I don't know if its an Asian thing but Filipinos are also into giving "pasalubongs" in a form of food or trinkets, usually key chains LOL, that can be shared with family members, friends and co-workers. I've noticed that its a big tourism thing in Japan, they even have "meibutsu" or products associated per region.
A perfect example is the famous Japan pasalubong, Kitkat! I've stumbled upon the green tea, strawberry, red bean, orange and cheesecake variety from the Narita airport, Don Quijote in Akihabara and convenience stores. I've read that other flavors are assigned to Osaka, Nagoya and Kyoto based on their specialty.
|hand carry =))|
Speaking of Hello Kitty, Japan's kawaii ambassador, I've found these dolls and interchangeable clothes from Harajuku Daiso!
|for my inaanaks|
Most of my souvenir shopping was done in Nakamise-dori in Asakusa. I've bought several Kokeshi, geisha and ninja figures!
I found a lot of quirky gifts from Don Quijote in Akihabara. The ninja eye masks and One Piece cards for my cousin since I wasn't able to find Nami's poster or a Pokemon manga.