As I mentioned before I didn’t plan my trip in detail, so I never looked into areas I wanted to visit until I was here. But one place I’ve always heard about was Akihabara. The nerd mecca.
The sound was overwhelming when you entered the stores, all arcades blasting out sound in full volume. The businessmen and students who spent their Monday here looked like they’ve been doing it for a long time, just by looking at their pro skills in these games.
10 years ago (when I was only 17) I would have wanted to buy everything here. Every manga and every single piece of anime merchandise. Things have changed and I grew out of that. Probably a good thing, otherwise my non-existing house would have been full of shit. I was still tempted to buy my favourite manga from that time, but in Japanese. I’m restricting myself to buy anything until I’m back from Kyoto and Osaka.
We headed back to Shibuya to chase the last sunlight of the day.
After only a couple of hours of sleep I was getting ready, because today Tobias was going to join me for a few days in Tokyo!
Luckily he wasn’t as jet lagged as I was when I first arrived, so we went out to get lunch straight away.
These streets felt like something out of The girl who leapt through time. Or something from Ghibli.
We found this really nice place to have brunch, called Hoff. Tbh I was tired of noodles and rice so it was a great idea to have pancakes.
I don’t think I’ve taken a single picture of food yet, so I can’t show you those delicious pancakes.
We headed towards Harajuku through Yoyogi park.
We spent the afternoon having coffees and it felt no different from what we usually have been doing in London and Stockholm. Just picked up conversation were we left it. But on the other side of the world.
It’s amazing to be able to walk around in the night in just T-shirt and shorts. I wish Sweden was like that in the evenings.
We decided to head back to the Airbnb to have some noodles and watch crazy Japanese TV.
After I said bye to these lovelies I went to my next stop, an Airbnb in Hatsudai.
My friend Alex moved to Tokyo a couple of months ago, so I was meeting up with him and his friends for a local Japanese festival and dinner in Asakusa.
After hanging out on my own during the days it was great fun to meet this lovely group of people. Most people in this group had been living in London at some point, so much of the conversation was around that and I realised how much I miss it.
A weird thing in Tokyo is that before midnight you have to decide to either take the last train home or to continue until the trains start going again in the morning. Or to pay for a expensive taxi. But a couple of us decided to continue and we ended up at Womb, which I’ve heard fun stuff about.
Thanks everyone who was there for being so awesome, Alex for inviting me and Yyenki for organising.
I met up with Jangboo in Roppongi because we were meeting a korean/swedish family for lunch, that he met over a Facebook group “Koreans in Sweden”.
It was a traditional Japanese restaurant, 御曹司きよやす邸, with really good food, I definitely recommend it (if you eat meat). The lunch prices are really good but for dinner it will get expensive.
We stayed with the family for a bit, walking around Roppongi we found a pet shop. I’ve never seen dogs in a pet shop before and it felt weird, but we couldn’t help but to stay there a while – look how cute the dogs are!
We wanted to go to the Tokyo City View, but it was closed because of “bad weather”. It was just cloudy. I’ll do that another day instead.
I walked to Shibuya and Harajuku, I felt far from finished with that area.
My goal was to get my first coffee of this trip at a coffee shop I found on foursquare, Omotesando Koffee, said to be the best coffee in Tokyo.
Minimalistic and hipster with a touch of traditional Japanese interior. Loved it. And the coffee was great. So passionate about his coffee.
I walked to Yoyogi park, because I completely missed that it was so close to the Meiji Temple yesterday. But before then, when I was walking down the streets of Harajuku, someone tapped me on my shoulder “Sumimasen, excuse me”.
This guy called Kenji wanted a little interview. He was chatting with foreigners like myself to figure out what made us choose to go to Japan. I said yes of course, it’s not everyday people want to film and interview you.
It was my last night at Jangboo’s place so I went back to meet up with him for dinner. My suggestion for a place to eat was anything local with a vending machine to order from. There was one on the same street we live with only a few seats, and I felt like the only western person who ever entered that place.
They served Ramen but without the broth, at first I find the idea strange. But was really good.
We went back to the house for a couple of beers. Anna was still working but me and Jangboo had deep conversations about life when Veronica Maggio’s song “Jag kommer” starts playing and Jangboo starts to sing the Swedish lyrics. I was impressed. He’s saying it’s his favourite Swedish song (Possibly after Små grodorna).
After a good nights sleep (until 11.30am) I was ready to explore Tokyo. Walking in my opinion is the best way to explore a new city. But I decided to take the tube in to Harajuku. 28ºC and even in shorts and t-shirt it was too hot and humid from what I’m used to.
As soon as I walked onto the path towards the Meiji temple I got this weird but wonderful feeling. The same feeling I get when reading Haruki Murakami’s books. The smell I get when I read it sort of just appeared now. It was strange but very relaxing. The sound of the birds and the protection of the tall trees felt calmed me.
On the train back home I got to experience rush hour. I’m happy that I’m tall, otherwise it would have been hard to breath. And thankfully Tokyo’s subway got good air conditioning too.