２０１６年３月１４日 ➖ ２０１６年 ３月２０日
So I already know...I am a month late with these 'supposedly' weekly posts. But hey! Give me a break~ I am now 3 weeks away until the end of my Study Abroad program, so things have been a bit busy. (And of course, I've been a bit lazy.) But I'm back now! So please enjoy this (really long) post!
March 14 - March 17:
Like I said in my previous post, this week's post focuses on my super short trip to Tokyo! My program had a 3-day weekend from 4/18 - 4/21 (My programs version of a "Spring Break" =___=) So the beginning of the week was boring and filled with my normal
(chotto boring) Japanese classes. I didn't take many pictures during this week, except for this one:
I (for once) went out and ate with people for lunch (wow! Go Aimee!) at a local restaurant near the school. I think this restaurant is called Hourai? Horai? Something along those lines. It's apparently a really popular mama and papa restaurant that many of other program students go to for lunch and/or dinner because it's cheap and delicious. The set above is the lunch special, and boy...not gonna lie, it really was cheap and delicious. :) I might go back again before the program ends, but I've been lazy, and anti-social recently soooo...it probably won't happen. ><
But anyway! On the night of March 17th, Natsuko and I went to Umeda Sky Building to catch our Night Bus to Tokyo!
We decided on taking the Night Bus because it is the cheapest option to go to Tokyo from Osaka. We could have Shinkansen it but a Shinkansen ticket costs around 14000yen for just a one-way ticket! So expensive!!! A Night Bus one-way costs around 5000yen. Half the price. So obviously we chose the Night Bus.
We booked the Night Bus reservation ticket online around a week in advance, through Willer Express. It was a fairly easy process. We chose Standard seats because that was the cheapest option. All we needed to know was the time we wanted to depart, and where we would get off in Tokyo. The best option for us was Shinjuku, So from Umeda Sky Building, we chose to depart at 21:30 and arrive the next morning at Shinjuku Sumitomo Bldg at 6:50. We also booked the return bus trip, so on the 20th, we would depart from Shinjuku at 22:00 and arrive the next day in Umeda at 7:40.
The Willer Bus can stop at other locations such as Tokyo Disneyland/Sea and I think possibly Shibuya as well. It was an okay trip though! Slightly uncomfortable at times, because I was sitting on my butt for 9+ hours, but it was definitely worth it to save a couple of hundreds. I would definitely recommend using booking on Willer Express if you want to travel cheaply!
We arrived early and obviously nothing is open at 7:00. We had some small baggage with us, and we knew we didn't want to hold onto it as we traveled around, so we decided to drop them off at the hostel we booked at the same time we booked the Night Bus.
Before we went to our hostel however, we had a breakfast in Shinjuku station. :) There weren't many stores open at this time, so we settled on some udon and some bad tasting curry. But after we ate, played on the wifi in the station, and put on some makeup, we then proceeded to go to our hostel!
The hostel we booked is named: Ace Inn Shinjuku. For 3240yen a night, we stayed in a comfy capsule-like hostel.
The hostel had exactly what we needed: storage, free wifi, towels, and 10-minute shower tokens with all the shampoo and body soap we could use. Plus they knew English! So awesome! Of course, this hostel is a bit more expensive compared to most (you can find hostels for like...under $20 in some places!) But it was worth the price I paid. I would definitely recommend this hostel. It is 2 stops away from Shinjuku station, easy to find, and just in a convenient location in Tokyo. :)
But anywayyyy.......once we dropped off our baggage, we traveled all the way up to Asakusa, one of the only places that was open during this time. xD
I saw a lot of people from my school post pictures of this place, so obviously I wanted to see what the big deal was all about. Haha~ And it was actually really cool! This lantern was HUGE! One day I will research the meaning of this place is and the red lantern. :) (Though if any of you guys know the meaning, please tell me!) By the way this gate is called: Kaminarimon Gate.
Once you walk past the Kaminarimon Gate, you'll enter the Nakamise Shopping Street. It has a lot of little omiyage trinkets and local specialties. It was pretty cool walking this down this path. :)
At the end, Sensoji Temple awaits you, one of the most popular Buddhist temples in Tokyo. Pretty cool! To the right I believe was Asakusa Temple, but >< neither I, nor Natsuko knew it was there, so we didn't get to see it or take a picture of it. Maybe next time!
We stayed here for a while. I got myself a fortune. And being me, I got a pretty unfortunate fortune...le sigh. (literally, it was just like...you're life is going to suck. Sorry bout that.) Haha, but oh well~!
Along with Asakusa, we wanted to go to Tokyo Skytree. We went there before in January for a school class trip, but we actually wanted to go all the way to the top, so that was our goal for today. We were also planning to meet with an alumni friend, Naalnishi, during this weekend because obviously we knew nothing of what's in Tokyo and he's been there as an assistant teach for JET. :) So since we were meeting him for lunch, we decided to walk to Tokyo Skytree.
Before we left Asakusa though, I had to take a #OOTD pic because...my outfit was on point!
Top: Liz Lisa
Bottom: Aliexpress Black circle skirt
Socks: Alieexpress knee length black socks
Shoes: Flag-J suede black ankle boots
Definitely going to try more #OOTD pictures from now on. ;)
While we walked to the Skytree, we took some detours and had some fun. :) The walk from Asakusa to Tokyo Skytree is a rough 20-minute walk. You can also take a 2 stop or so train ride down to Tokyo Skytree station.
And for those who've never seen Tokyo Skytree, here it is! Now...this is my 2nd time seeing this tower, so the height and being in front of it, wasn't that interesting. We went to see how long it would take to ride to the top, and it was over an hour wait! So long!! We planned on meeting Naalnishi at 12:00pm so, we wouldn't be able to make it, so we just walked around the shops around the tower until he came. (There are many shops around here, including a Studio Ghibli store!)
Now...when we planned to go to Tokyo, we didn't come up with anything to do other than going to the Studio Ghibli Museum on Saturday, March 19. Soooo...we hoped Naalnishi could tell us where to go. lol. Long story short...this entire weekend, we never had much of a plan, which kinda became frustrating at times because literally NO ONE wanted to suggest something, but ugh daijoubs.
We ate lunch at a nearby mall, and then decided to visit Akihabara, and Ikebukuro.
I've never been to Akihabara, so it was interesting coming here. It's known for anime/manga/otaku district, so there were MANY stores like that here, along with Maid Cafes, Pachinkos, and electronic stores. We played some crane games, failed miserably, and walked into some manga stores. (We also visited a 7 story? maybe a bit less?
sex store. gasp!) It was just an interesting experience. Lol.
Japan has bunny cafes.
Luckily, there was a bunny cafe in Ikebukuro!!! So we went here:
So freaking awesomeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Visiting this bunny cafe was still the best thing I've ever done since being here in Japan.
I was in heavennnnnn. My new goal is now to visit all the bunny cafes in Tokyo. I can't wait. :)
Though these are derpy pictures of me, as you can see, I've never smiled that big before since being here in Japan. It was just.....amazing....god I want to go back!!! I definitely recommend Mimi in Ikebukuro if any of you guys visit!
After our visit, we walked around a bit before dinner came. Above is an aerial vision of Ikebukuro. So many people! So awesome~
For dinner, I wanted some kaiten sushi, so we found a small place and ate here. It was okay. :) I don't remember where exactly we ate though. I think in Ikebukuro? Or maybe Shinjuku. One of those places. But since we were tired and had to wake up early for the Studio Ghibli museum, we said goodbye to Naalnishi once we were done eating and then proceeded to go back to our hostel. We had a 10 minute shower, and then knocked out in our little capsule beds~
We woke up at around 8:00 because we bought a ticket for the Studio Ghibli Museum at its opening time at 10:00.
We left Shinjuku Station and took the JR Chuo line to Mitaka Station. From Mitaka station, it's a walk to the Museum.
What's cute though is that while you're walking, they have these little signs that point you in the right direction! So cute!
But we eventually made it! This is what the outside of the museum looks like. It's beautiful! I always love seeing buildings with leaves and nature growing on them, it's so Studio Ghibi!
Unfortunately, you can't take pictures inside the museum. But lemme just tell you, if any of you guys love Studio Ghibli films, and are in Tokyo, I highly recommend visiting this museum! It's truly magical. :)
We did get to visit the roof! It was raining this morning. :( But look!!! The robot from Castle in the Sky! :3 So awesome!
We wanted to eat at the Ghibli Cafe, but it was over an hour wait! So ridiculous! So we ended up eating this ramen at a nearby restaurant near Mikata station.
So freaking good!!! Highly recommend. Although, I have no idea the name. lol xD
Because we left the museum at around 12:00, and planned to meet with Naalnishi again for dinner, we had a few hours to kill, so we decided to do some shopping, so we went to Harajuku and Shibuya. :)
Ah~ I'm just going to post pictures and not comments. We shopped till we literally dropped. (My feet were KILLING me by the time we went to Shibuya since we walked from Harajuku. I was wearing like 2-3 inch high ankle boots...) I did buy a dress from the Liz Lisa in Harajuku! Plus ate at the famous Cafe Crepe in Harajuku. Plus visited the infamous Shibuya 109.
We went back to our hotel for a bit before meeting up with Naalnishi for yet again,
Some kaiten sushi. :3 Delicious! We decided the night before that we wanted to go do some karaoke!
So for 3 hours, we karoke'd until we dropped! It was SO much fun! But unfortunately...we ended right after the last train left. D: So we ended up stranded in the middle of Shinjuku. Although our hostel is in Shinjuku, it's 2 train stops away from the main station. So we ended up wandering around the many love hotels until we found a cheap one that accommodated 3 people. Le sigh....definitely not planned...but...I guess it was an experience?
So because we had to check out from our hostel, we woke up at around 6-7:00 and took the morning train back to our hostel. We obviously wasted money buying 2 nights for our hostel...but whatever. =.= We never had plans, so we decided to go back to Tokyo SkyTree to try and go to the top!
But...with our bad luck, the wait time was 4 hours..........
Another one of our alumni friends (Tomomo from the previous post!) responded back and wanted to meet with us in the evening, so we had to waste a few hours. At the Tokyo SkyTree, they have a bunch of other things you could do, so we went to a planetarium!
Again...with my luck....I ended up falling asleep...so I wasted like $10 going to this show. But hey~ at least it was a good nap!
But after it was done, we met up with Tomomo and since she lives in Tokyo, she showed us around her city, Iidabashi.
There were early Sakura blossoms in bloom there! So cool!
We pretty much just wandered around and Naalnishi met up with us again. Drank some delicious boba. Walked around the cute little streets of Iidabashi. And ate some delicious Italian pizza and pasta. Yum~ It was just really fun talking and being around both Tomomo and Naalnishi. They were a part of the Class of 2015, and I mentioned in a previous post how much that class meant to me so I just loved catching up with them. :)
We had to catch the bus at 22:00 so we pretty much just went to Shinjuku Station with Naalnishi and he treated us to a cafe before dropping us off at the night bus station.
But that was pretty much our short trip to Tokyo! I'm going to Tokyo again once my program is done! I'll be staying with Naalnishi this time though! And I'll actually plan out my time in Tokyo, so hopefully it'll be fun!
The next post will be about my experience of a homestay in Japan, so stay tuned!
Until next time,
Be true and always be you,Love, Aimee
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