69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 3

Posted on Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 0 Comments

Insane Hair
Awesome Hairstyles

Day 3 – Shop ‘til You Drop, But Don’t Miss Your Flight

8 am – Harajuku. Mention Harajuku and people instantly think of harajuku girls and Gwen Stefani’s song which introduced them to the world. Well today you will have the option of getting photos of the girls who dress in all the outrageous clothing, before you check out the freshest fashions Tokyo has to offer. The best day to see the girls dressed Harajuku style is Sunday. You will generally find them congregating on Jingu Bridge where you can get photos of them. If you are interested in seeing giant pompadours rocked by greaser dudes you can head over to Yoyogi park in neighboring Shibuya and check out that scene.

After getting your fill of costumed folks, it’s time to grab a coffee and some fresh pastries at one of the cafes before setting out to do some damage on your credit cards. In the Harajuku/Shibuya areas, you should go down Takeshita-dori, a narrow street packed with the latest in Japanese street fashion, and Omotesando where you will find more upscale stores that rival the stores in Ginza, think Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Prada and the like.

Some great Japanese stores to keep an eye open for are: Uniqlo and Muji. Uniqlo carries reasonably priced clothes that are similar to gap but funkier. I am a huge fan of their socks and underwear and stock up on both every time I go to Japan. Muji has all kinds of stuff from snack foods, to clothes, to pens and paper goods. Check it out. It has this very clean modern aesthetic and their stuff is affordable.

10 am – After your initial foray into the shops, I recommend trying something uniquely Japanese and grabbing some takoyaki at a takoyaki shack so you can keep your energy up while shopping without losing all the time it would take to have a sit down lunch. This last recommendation is for adventurous eaters as takoyaki are octopus balls. No, not that kind! Gross!!! They are pieces of octopus coated in batter and grilled in round molds and covered with all manner of toppings. If you are not feeling bold enough to try them, you can certainly get a donner kebab or some sweet or savory crepes from a shack or a small food-truck. Just don’t go to a sit down restaurant yet. Remember, you still have more souvenirs to buy and more credit cards to max out!

Takoyaki
Takoyaki is a Very Popular Japanese Snack

Takoyaki Shack
Takoyaki Shack (I love Street Food!)

Takoyaki Grilling
Takoyaki on the Grill

Noon – Time for some okonomiyaki. This dish is unreal. It is often described as Japanese pizza or a Japanese pancake. It is hard to describe. Look at the photos and trust me, you must eat this concoction. It is very hard to come by outside of Japan (at least in the U.S. that is true)! I almost forgot to mention it pairs well with an ice-cold Asahi draft.

Okonomiyaki with Noodles
Okonomiyaki with Noodles

Okonomiyaki Grill
Okonomiyaki Grill

Putting the Finishing Touches On
Putting the Goods on the Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki on the Grill
Okonomiyaki

Asahi Super Dry
Asahi Super Dry

1 pm – Back to Shinjuku and Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands is a “Home Goods” store. It is 7 floors filled with the most fantastical, unique, useful, memorable, crazy, interesting and reasonably priced stuff. How else can I describe this place? Space Invaders ice cubes? Check. Plastic Bacon iPhone cover? Check. Psychadelic Skull hand towel? Of course.

Psychadelic Skeleton
Psychadelic Skeleton

It’s safe to say, you must go and experience it for yourself. It is in the Times Square Building near the Shinjuku JR Station. There are actually more locations but this one is just blocks from the Shinjuku Sunroute Plaza Hotel. They can easily show you the shortcut of how to get there.

4 pm – Time to catch the Narita Express back to the Airport and start planning your next visit to planet Tokyo. Even the airport will entertain you.

IMG_0066
Narita Express

Narita is No Fun for Samurai
Narita is No Fun for Samurai

Do Not Try to Sneak that Katana Aboard
No Katana on Board

Narita International (Japan)
My Favorite

69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 1

69 Hours in Tokyo – Part 2

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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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