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  • Day219

    Ueno Zoo + Takeshita-dori Lane + Robots!

    October 26, 2015 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    So far we are loving Japan - the food, the culture, the landscape, the world class public transport - who wouldn't want to live here!

    Trav has a surprise in store for Suki. Months before we set off on our holiday she was obsessed with seeing Panda's.......even going as far to try and volunteer with them. Finally we're in luck! On loan for a cool $950k/year from China, Ueno Zoo has two Panda's - Shin Shin & Ri Ri which are the main attraction.

    We catch the train and subway to Ueno station.....still oblivious to the surprise, Trav informs Suki of the Panda's and excitement in uncontainable. Housed in their own separate yards (with a hammock and there own deck!) the Panda's seem very chill sitting own leaning against a rock slowly chomping down on bamboo. Trav was impressed. A 2nd visit before we were allowed to leave proved worthwhile as it was feeding time. Being lazy, the zoo keepers dangle down their food (chicken we think?) on massive looking chopsticks just above headheight making the panda walk around like a grizzly!

    It wasn't just the Panda's that stole the show, a giant Polar Bear diving into the water and swimming backwards in his underground pool, an orangutan family with a shy little baby perched on top of the mum who would jump off and run towards his dad before running back, 2 x manly kangaroo's having a crazy boxing match before the boss jumped in and broke it up, and plenty more!

    Next stop was the famous Takeshita-dori Lane - a pedestrian-only street lined with fashion boutiques, cafes and restaurants right next to Harajuku Station. The sun is starting to set and this street is packed with local teens, school kids and the occasional tourist carrying a massive bulky camera. Certainly the trendy part of town, its not uncommon to see kids dressed up in halloween-like superhero costumes or little kids carrying around fairy floss 3 times the size of their head.

    After some yummy octopus balls we line up at one of the many fancy takeaway crepe stores. With up to 110 options (all displayed with immaculate plastic models in the window) it's really hard to choose the right one. We settle for a savoury ham-based crepe and it ok....but nothing to right home about. Time to move on to our next destination so Suki convinces Trav to line up with her for a custard churro - Tokyoite's seem to love waiting in lines for everything - but aleast this one was worth it. Why did we only buy one?!

    A short subway ride to Shinjuku station and we stroll down to the Robot Restuarant. Recommended by Suki's friends and a glowing review on Tripadvisor, were excited as we pick up our tickets and head into the waiting room. Its like we've been teleported back to the 70's with mirrors lining the walls, old school throne link funiture and 5 piece band dressed like robots. This is crazy town but we love. After a few warm-up drinks we get ushered downstairs and we're seated either side a long rectangular room. We've scored possibly the best seats in the house located in the front row!

    The lights fade and the music cranks.....this is not for the faint hearted. Over the next 90mins were treated to a crazy music/dance show with bikini clad tiny japanese chicks dancing, banging drums, and fighting massive remote controlled robots. Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. The performance is well choreographed and it was certainly one of the best shows we've seen!

    Its getting late but we find the time to take a quick walk around the neighbouring Golden Gai district. A cool little part of Tokyo with about 7 streets of tiny bars - each one can hold about 5 people and some have different themes.

    Its been a massive day but we've had such a blast!
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