Winter Break : Tokyo Trip
Assalamualaikum wr. wb.
On the first days of my winter holiday I got a chance to go to Tokyo :) I went to meet my auntie and uncle who were having a holiday here in Japan; and of course, to have nice, stress-relieving days with them.
My trip begun on September 21st. I was leaving Sendai by the bus at 2.00 PM. To tell you the truth, my bus was not that nice since it doesn't have built-in entertainments such as game console and television for each person. Neither did I get this pull-down hoodie on each seat which allows you not to be looked at while you're sleeping. Such a bad luck, I paid almost the same amount of money with my friends who got those kind of stuffs. Haha.
Tokyo's Warm Welcome -- Tokyo Station Light Show
I arrived at Tokyo at about 8.00 PM. I was with a senior of mine and he showed me the trains and ways to get to my hotel. He's such a great help :) When we first arrived at Tokyo, we went directly to Tokyo Station to catch a train. But it came to my surprise that there was a Light Show at Tokyo Station. It was a great show, so beautiful :) and yes, we were extremely lucky, haha :D Well basically, it's "just" a projection of motion lights on this front side of Tokyo Station. I think we also have this kind of thing in Indonesia. However, the cool part are the colors (very bright and there were so many colors in one projection) and the fast-paced motion.
Tsukiji Market (Largest Fish Market in Japan)
The next morning, I, my uncle, and my auntie went to Tsukiji Market which is the biggest fish market in Japan. There is always a big Tuna Auction that can be seen by tourist each morning at this market. But well, in order to see that auction we need to line up for the "show" since 3AM, haha. We're not those dawn-people so we decided only to go and have a nice sushi breakfast. Tsukiji is so busy and even though it's a tourism spot, everyone's working there. You'll find heaps of small motorized trucks running here and there. But it's fun to see, we can see this daily life of Japanese fish-seller in this real market where they work at each and every day. Interesting :)
We were not staying for long at the marketplace since we were there to get a nice sushi meal, hehe. So we went to this small sushi restaurant with a 'TripAdvisor' logo at the front door. We need to queue up for about 30 minutes. But that was not much of a time since our line was not as long as other restaurants' haha. The sushi we had was great, the ingredients were so fresh. Best sushi I have ever had! :D
Sensou-ji Temple and Nakamise Shopping Street (Asakusa)
Basically, those two spots are located at the same place. Nakamise shopping street refers to these stalls lining up on the way from Sensouji Temple's main gate to the temple itself. We went here right after having brunch at Tsukiji. The temple, to me, was so big but it's just like usual temples in Japan. I do appreciate temples here but I'm not a big fan of it. Maybe one of the main attractions are the big paper lantern at the Thunder Gate (kaminari-mon), sacred sake (Japanese alcohol) in front of the temple, and a big pagoda nearby.
Ginza Shopping District
You sure have heard of this place, right? Haha. It's a busy shopping district in Tokyo. Compared to other shopping places such as Harajuku or Shibuya which are also popular among young people, my auntie said that there are more 'mature' people here in Ginza. The shops are not only those high-end brands such as Dior and Gucci, there are also stores like Uniqlo, H&M, or Forever21. This place is so lively at night, many people stroll down the street even with formal clothing (wait, isn't it normal in Japan? Haha) and everyone looks so fashionable (at least to me, haha).
On September 23rd, we went on a one-day-trip to Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi. The first destination was mount Fuji. We were supposed to go up to 2500ft high at Fuji Mountain (The 5th station, if I'm not mistaken), but since it was snowing heavily, we could only get to the first station. There was not much to see at the first station, only snow, haha. After that, we went to a temple near Fuji and had lunch afterwards. On the way from the bus and at the restaurant where we had lunch, we could see a very stunning view of Mount Fuji, with the best part of it: snow-covered top! (this is how Mt. Fuji looks like in photos :P p.s : you can't see such thing during summer). Fuji mountain is a very beautiful mountain with this almost-perfect symmetrical cone. It's such an amazing experience to be able to see it up close :')
Lake Ashi, Hakone
Our second destination on that day trip was Lake Ashi, Hakone. It was one of five lakes which surrounds Mount Fuji. We were supposed to be able to see Fuji-san from that lake, but unluckily, Fuji-san didn't appear at that time since it was so cloudy. Too bad :( However, we went on a cruise and a cable car; both were amazing! :) On the boat, we could see the beautiful view of Lake Ashi and its surrounding hills and mountains. After that, we went on a cable car which takes us to about 2000ft high, we could see beautiful view on our journey to the top. Up on the mountain was extremely misty, it's an indescribable experience to be amid such a mist. Haha.
The next day after the tiring yet stoking trip to Fuji-Hakone, we went to see this second-tallest building in the world and the number one tallest tower in the world: Tokyo Sky Tree! :) This has officially been the tallest building in Japan (of course :p) since 2010, but it was just recently opened to public on May 22nd, 2012. Since it's quite new, I'm so delighted that I could be one of the people who visited it in its first year of opening :D In my opinion, this tower must be the next icon of Japan since Tokyo Tower is getting old. But I'm sure when visiting Tokyo Tower, the excitement will definitely be different! :)
At night, we went to Shibuya, another teenage shopping district in Tokyo. We didn't take many pictures here, and too bad we didn't take any picture of the famous Shibuya crossing (I bet you've seen this crossing on many movies, hehe) which usually is very crowded and busy. It was a great place with many shops and restaurants, and... many people. Ah, one more important thing about Shibuya is the famous Hachiko dog statue! Too bad we didn't have a chance to go there; but I will definitely go one day!
After Shibuya, we went to this well-known Harajuku located close by. We went there on Christmas Eve and there were many people dressed-up as santas :) We also had a chance to see a santa-parade on motorbikes! Haha. We could only see one person dressed significantly unique but we couldn't get any picture of her. Ah and here's the only place where I saw Yamapi's signboard! Hahaha :P
You must have heard a lot of this place called DisneyLand. But how about DisneySea? Tokyo DisneySea is the one and only DisneySea in the world. It is part of Tokyo Disney Resort (includes DisneyLand, DisneySea, and Disney Resort). We went here on our so-called last day (since we needed to leave Tokyo first thing in the next morning). Tokyo DineySea was very entertaining. Even though we could only get on three rides which are 20.000 Leagues Under The Sea, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of Crystal Skull, and wait for it... Journey To The Center of The Earth! The rides were amazing, especially the latter. As you have probably guessed from the attractions, DisneySea is more for adolescences rather than children, so the rides are not as fairy-tale-y as DisneyLand. However, we could still see Disney live shows and Disney signature charcters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, etc wandering around :) And also, while DisneyLand's icon is the famous Cinderella Castle, DisneySea's icon is this gigantic volcano in which Journey to The Center of The Earth ride took place.
Sorede, owarimasu! That was my Tokyo Trip! :) It was such a great experience. It's a dream comes true :D Since there's still tons of undiscovered things in Tokyo, I will come back! (hopefully, aamiin :P). Special thanks to my auntie and uncle who took a really good care of me during my stay in Tokyo with them :')
This first holiday in Japan is uh.may.zing :P looking forward to having other trips in Japan! Haha. Anyway, did I tell you that I changed my mind of going to South Korea? I'll have a wonderful Kansai-trip instead. I'll be meeting Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara in my Spring holiday, insyaAllah. Gotta save money for that one since no family's coming for the trip, haha.
Good night! :)