69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 2

Posted on Friday, January 28, 2011 - 2 Comments

Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura)
Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura)

If you read 69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 1, and followed my advice, then you’ll have already sampled some ridiculously good sushi, gone to the park to see how Tokyoites relax and, hopefully, had an amazing adventure in Shinjuku, the details of which you can’t wait to regale your friends with. Well, today will be completely different, but at least as interesting. So let’s get to it.

Day 2 – The Excursion, Electric Town and the Best Damn Cocktails in the World

8 am – Swing by a 7-11 and grab yourself breakfast on the way to the train station. Yes, I actually said that. 7-11 is a Japanese company and actually has good food in Japan. You can find hot hum boa, cold curried pork cutlet sandwiches with the crusts cut off, nori covered rice triangles with tuna or salmon inside and all sorts of other goodies.

9 am – Today you will leave the funky, crazy, overwhelming environs of Tokyo and head off to the small coastal town of Kamakura to see the Daibutsu (The Great Buddha). It is only an hour or so by train and well worth the trip. The Buddha is impressive and its location in a valley surrounded by trees and mountains is magnificent and calming. Enjoy the beauty of the Buddhist shrines that adorn this area and feel the history of this place. Kamakura was once the capital of Japan. Make sure you allocate plenty of time to walk around this coastal town and explore the various temples, shrines and outdoor scenery.

Japanese Lanterns
Japanese Lanterns

Kamakura
Roof Tiles

Kamakura
Kannon Statue

Kamakura Buddha
The Serenity of Enlightenment

Kamakura Statuettes
Jizo Statuettes (Dedicated to the Souls of Unborn Children)

Kamakura Silhouette
Silhouette

5 pm – After returning from Kamakura, it’s time for something totally different. Akihabara!  The amount of lights and items competing for your attention in this part of Tokyo will be a shocking contrast to the serenity of Kamakura.

Maid Costume
Maid Cafe Girl in Akihabara

Akihabara (Electric Town) is famous around the world for having the latest electronics. If you want to see what’s coming to your stores back home soon, you can find it here. My favorite of the electronics stores, which also has a location in Shinjuku, is Yodobashi Camera. This place is fun to explore. In fact, I bought my latest camera, a Canon PowerShot G11 , there last summer.

Akihabara is also the area where all the otaku (Japanes geeks) go for manga (Japanese Comics), anime, and maid cafes (places where you can be served coffee by young women dressed in maid outfits. Seriously.)

The wonderfully jarring differences between old-world, traditional Japan (Kamakura) and new, hyper-modern Japan (Akihabara) make it such an unusual and inviting travel destination. When you get exhausted from looking around, I suggest finding a nice Japanese Curry Shop. Food tends to be expensive in Japan, but Japanese Curry is delicious and a good bargain. You will get a fairly large portion and can continue shopping or head back to the hotel with your finds.

Katsu Curry Raisu
Japanese Curry House

Pocari Sweat
Pocari Sweat. Great Tasting Beverage with an Unfortunate Name.

8 pm – Whatever your favorite Japanese food is, you should go eat that now because I don’t want to be responsible for you not feeding your tempura addiction or not getting your fugu fix, or whatever your food fetish may have. (Yes, I would probably go to Yakitori Alley. Again. But that’s just me). You may have a hankering for Chanko Nabe…how should I know?  We don’t even know each other that well.

It’s after dinner that concerns me. Most folks will head to Roppongi, and experience the madness that is Gas Panic. If you want to be in a bar where the only real rule is that you must have a drink in your hand at all times or you will be kicked out, then be my guest. However, if you are more sophisticated, or aspire to be, then I strongly suggest you head over to Bar Hi Five and indulge yourself with what some consider to be the best cocktails in the world. Master bartender Ueno-san, pays utmost attention to every detail of every cocktail. The type and size of the ice, the intensity and duration of the shake and of course the precise combination of the highest quality ingredients to create cocktails that will tantalize your palate. Be careful how much you drink as these drinks are very expensive and they will put a serious dent in your bankroll.

Bar Hi Five – 26 Polestar Bldg., 4th fl., 7-2-14 Ginza, Chuo-ku; 81-3/3571-5815

69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 1 (If you haven’t read this yet, you should do so immediately!)

69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 3

Full Metal Disclosure: Some of the above links are affiliate links. For those that don’t know what this means: basically, if you buy something via one of my links it does not cost you any extra, but Amazon will send me a small percentage which will then help pay for my daily coffee. Since this blog runs on coffee and passion, you can feel good about knowing you are helping with it’s continued creation. If you don’t care to use the links, don’t feel bad. In case you were wondering, it is safe to say anything I link to is something I personally use and think is fantastic!

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Comments

  1. Hey Algis:
    This is Stefon in Singapore.
    Just checking on your adventures.
    I am yet to venture out of Narita airport.

    Since we met in Bangkok at Central food court, I spent Christmas in Trinidad. I met my brother/sister (in from Winnipeg) and mom (in from Philadelphia) in Toronto and we headed “home” for two weeks. I then went to HQ in Waterloo, Ontario for a few days.
    No travel plans for Chinese New Year.
    Let me know when you plan to make a stop in SIN.
    Would like to catch-up.

    Cheers,
    Stefon

    1. Stefon,

      Fantastic hearing from you. Sounds like a nice Christmas.
      You must make it out of Narita! You won’t be disappointed. Tokyo is fantastic in every way.
      I will definitely give you a heads up when I’m on my way to Singapore next.

      All the best,
      Algis

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Hi, I’m Algis

Algis

I have an insatiable wanderlust which takes me to some crazy places where I try strange foods, pretend I'm a local and talk with elephants. Keep reading...

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