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  • Day28

    Tokyo (Part II)

    November 2, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We finished our trip back in Tokyo where we stayed in the Henn na Hotel at Hamamatsucho, which is also known as the Robot Hotel. We arrived at the reception where we were met by two robots behind the desk. We had to use the machines to check in however the machines wouldn’t read our passports properly. After several attempts we had to call the staff for help. Eventually the lady came and like with all malfunctioning technology, she turned the machine off and on again to get working. In a process that took a lot longer than if there was a human receptionist, we finally got our room key from the machine and dropped our bags to the room.

    We then headed north to Akihabara and walked around the Electric City. This area was made up of lots of multi story electrical shops and game arcades. There was a huge Pokemon shop selling toys, cards and games. We also came across a shop with seven floors of old computer games and toys. There was even an area where we could play some of the old Gameboy and PlayStation games. We finished by having a drink in Gundam Cafe, which is dedicated to the Japanese anime series.

    That evening we went to Tokyo Tower and did the audio tour of the top deck (Y3000/€25). It was nice to get a good view of the city’s night lights.

    Next day we decided to relive our youth and headed to DisneySea theme park which is about a 40 minute train journey from the city. We purchased a Day Pass (Y7500/€62.20) and spent the day exploring the different rides and shows. Unfortunately we struggled with the shows because they were in Japanese! Even Mickey Mouse sang in Japanese! But we had a great day and finished it off with a spectacular night light show on the lake, where they played all the old Disney songs. After the show there was due to fireworks which we had been looking forward to. However as we were waiting, there was an announcement that they were cancelled due to the weather. We were a bit confused as it had been a lovely sunny day and it was really calm and dry that night, the perfect conditions for fireworks in my opinion. Maybe finally the Japanese got something wrong!

    The following day, after a busy day in Disney, we had a lie in and a nice chilled out morning. We headed for a stroll around Ueno Park. There were lots of different street performers, all over the park. Some better than others.

    That evening it was time for our second rugby match. So we put on our Japanese headbands and went back to Tokyo stadium to watch New Zealand beat Wales (40:17). There were lots of different nationalities at the match so there was a great party atmosphere. The match was quite an open one with lots of tries which was great and added to the atmosphere. We got to see some of the great Kiwi and Welsh players’ last match such as Kieran Reid, Ryan Crotty, Ben Smith, Sonny Bill Williams and Alun Wyn Jones. Even the Japanese Emperor and Empress made an appearance at the match to see them off. The rugby results may not have gone to plan from an Irish point of view but it was still amazing to be there and met lots of rugby fans from all over the world.

    Our final day in Japan started with a delicious breakfast in Le Pain Quotidian, just up the road from the hotel. It was a busy bakery with a small restaurant at the back. It was definitely worth the wait for a table. Next, we walked to the Zojo-ji Temple. It is only a small temple but it was one of the nicer ones we visited in Japan. Inside there were lots of gold buddhas and a very shiny floor. Outside there were children buddhas made out of stone with red hats and scarves. Then we went back to Tokyo tower to visit the One Piece Museum. It was made up of games and historical information about the animation show.

    We came across a rugby festival in Shiba Park where there were various dance performers, drummers and brass bands on the stage. There was lots of children playing rugby in the park and participating in rugby skill games. There was also a big screen where they were showing the World Cup Rugby Final.

    We went for dinner in a restaurant in the World Trade Centre Building beside our hotel. In keeping with the Japanese rigidly sticking to the rules, we were given the snacks menu as the full menu was only available from 5pm, despite it being 4.45! So we ordered food anyways and just as the food came out...the waiter gave us the full dinner menu! This sums up the Japanese culture.

    After dinner we went to the Irish pub ‘Craic’ under the hotel to watch the Rugby World Cup Final between South Africa and England (32:12). Before we took the one hour 20 minute direct train to Narita airport, on our way back home to Ireland.
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