It’s been 8 months since I got back from my quick vacations in Japan T_T
I was about to leave Intel and be hired at Continental when I decided to go to Japan by myself* using the last 15 days of vacations I had got left. So I gathered with friends that went on 2015 and picked their brains with questions. Check their planing trip though is written in Spanish 😉 I followed they advice of staying in an airbnb and I started booking Tokyo, Matsumoto, Takayama and Osaka.
*A friend of mine was in Shanghai so we meet in Osaka by my second week
To be honest I had no idea what was really worth to visit by that time. I started a timing spreadsheet based on the guide I got after I received my Japan Rail pass voucher, online info and whatever my friends and acquaintances recommended to do.
Lucky for me, the golden week was just finished when I arrived there I mean I wasn’t even considering the chaos I would had lived If I ‘d been there by that time, it is NOT recommended to go to Japan during the golden week specially to main cities like Tokyo and Kyoto.
I had a 6 hour stop in LAX and I was stopped in customs and they checked my luggage and sent me to a room with 2 female officers and they checked my shoes and pockets and I got really pissed because they didn’t stop asking what my business in Japan was. Obama was visiting Japan I guess once the heard I was an Engineer they thought I was going to attempt something >__< so I decided to skip Hiroshima for my next trip!
After 10 minutes cursing and since I had a 6 hours stop in LAX I took a bus from LAX to fabulous and delicious in-n-out burgers, I got lost obviously so a 1 hour lunch was actually 1 hour and 45 minutes.
I arrived to Haneda airport (recommended by a friend) around 10:00PM by Delta Airlines. I highly recommend to arrive to Haneda airport is closer and easier to get to Tokyo.
After 30 minutes I passed customs and I was boarding a train to Togoshi Guest House located in Shinagawa a really nice place close to Togoshi-Ginza and Togoshi Station. Around 30 bucks per night cheap desune… ^_^
I had the feeling that Japan did not use conventional western street naming but it blew my mind that there were no street names. More like Prefecture, City (Machi), District (Choume), Block Number, Building number?? This is the address I got from the host
House Togoshi Nine
3-3-1 Hiratsuka, Shinagawa-ku
Tokyo JAPAN 142-0051
3 is the Hommachi, 3-1 is the subdivision Choume and… I don’t know I just copy-pasted that in google maps but check Japan addressing for more information.
I highly HIGHLY recommend to have a SIM card with data or a pocket WiFi I had a SIM card sent with my JR pass voucher. Speaking of JR pass, you need to issue your JR pass in big stations of main cities I didn’t so I tried to do that in Takayama and I ended paying the whole shinkansen fee from Takayama to Nagoya around 6000yens. There are other train lines besides the Japan Rail so your JR pass won’t work for those AND you need to pay per station, unlike Mexico City subway where I can use all the lines for only 5 pesos T_T
I arrived to Togoshi Guest house passed 11:00PM so I went to sleep right away.
My room was small but clean usually I spent the whole day out so I had no inconvenient with other guests plus I had a room for myself, free Wifi, free coffee, free tea. Common area with fridge and dinning room. BTW tap water is OK to drink in Japan I carried a bottle ^^
Around 7:30AM I was fresh and shiny ready for my experience in Tokyo.
I left and I was back 10 minutes later because it was too hot for my pull over I so changed my sweaty clothes not before visiting the closest konbini store.
People say is unhealthy to eat in konbini stores I don’t know I ate many onigiris there the whole 2 weeks and it was delicious. I was “why does this feel so fresh and delicious?” The onigiris and sandwiches (that I ate) were daily made. I was amazed because every time I want to try a sandwich in the closest 7-eleven in Mexico it’s been on the counter for at least 2 weeks.
I took the Asakusa line subway to get to the Yamanote but by that time I hadn’t issued my JR pass so I had to pay the fee.
I first visited Odaiba I guess it was too early because the Gundam cafe was closed.
And the Gundam ^__^ I heard this year the Gundam is going to be removed, not sure…
Odaiba has a replica of the Statue of Liberty something about a French year.
I think I was there the whole day, I first saw the Taito Station building when I was exiting the Akihabara station.
So many things to do! I spent a lot of time trying to win a prize but those claw machines are just impossible. Not even following these tips. Depending on the prize was the cost of the game I think it was from 200 to 500yens. Let me tell you I was there over an hour and I didn’t win anything 🙁
I went to the retro terebi geemu Super Potato Akihabara aaaaaaaaand……. I bought nothing -_-
I don’t have many pictures but it reminded my the Video Game Nerd reviews.
And then I was in my favorite store, the store where you can find all the stuff you don’t need, I just can’t believe I have no pictures outside the building. The super fabulous thrift shop DON QUIXOTE donkihoote!
I bought a maid dress there I ended up using it for Halloween I need more Halloween pics, sure we had a great time. Anyways Don Quijote was the ultimate thing for me I bought many maccha cookies, candy, chocolates, souvenirs and more ^_^ and they have WiFI so I video called my SO.
Then Mandrake, Animate any many other hobii shops. Many 6F buildings filled with manga, books, toys.
I don’t exactly remember how much I payed, I think it was 2000yens and I had a free meron soda once I was there I decided to upgrade so I could go on stage with a maid and take a picture ^_^ I guess it was 300 pesos at the end. Taking pictures is forbidden though unless you pay and I saw many people: young, old, groups, guys by themselves, many tourists and locals.
The maids don’t speak any English so I didn’t pay extra for a girl to seat with me and chat, that reminds me that’s what guys do with stripers in nightclubs in Mexico but sure in a more cute way.
But I got a student discount! Around 30% off ^^ “Watashi wa mekishikono daikaseidesu – I am a student from a university in Mexico”. Technically I was doing my Masters but whatever I had my credential.
I got back to Akihabara with my friend the second week I was in Japan and we went to another maid cafe maidreamin a maid got on stage and danced (kawaii!!!!!). They said nothing when we took these pics.
People may think is expensive and stupid but I sure enjoyed the experience I love being called “okyaukosamaaaaa” a potential customer goddess if you will. If you go to a maid café prepare yourselves to pay around 20 bucks per entrance 1 hour with a soft drink included. Pay more if you eat, or drink any alcohol. Oh oh they have really cute dishes like caree raisu and omuraisu.
Here are more pics of Akihabara:
Bonus! A pic of me in Akihabara ^^
I will try to post better pics (once I have them all) on Instagram and update soon.
Akihabara is a must to visit if you go to Tokyo. You can find many electronics as well brand new and used in neat conditions, many many books and obviously manga and anime. I didn’t see any cosplayers though.
A paradise for Otakus^_^U