Tokyo Tower & Marunouchi
Today thankfully marked the end of the jet lag. Everyone in our hostel dorm was woken up at half 10 by a strange alarm which went on for at least 10 minutes. We all assumed this was indicating check out time or that they were going to come clean the room. But it turns out it was just a business man too lazy to turn his phone alarm off. The same man who kept most of us awake during the night and was the subject of a thrown pillow (not by me I must add) due to his loud and rather odd snoring, I can only liken it to a crackling radio attempting to tune into a channel, any channel.
I then braved the hostel shower, something that reminded me of my shower back home in my student house. Only difference was you had to put free tokens in for 10 minutes worth of water. But the logistical problem is that when you put the tokens in a box, this box is outside the shower cubicle so you have to get out wet and cold.
But for all its faults the hostel is very friendly and thoughtfully decorated, all by hand. This includes a poster in the washroom showing you how to do traditional, intricate Japanese hairstyles. But as most of my friends know my dexterity leads to either a pony tail or bun.
We first ventured to Tokyo Skytree Tower. The tallest tower in the world giving a 360 degree view of Tokyo. The bottom of the tower is made up of hundreds of bright, eccentric shops. Including one which sold a tennis racket made out of spaghetti and mouldy banana magnets. Of all the areas we’ve been to so far probably non-surprisingly this was where I’ve seen the most tourists but we were still outnumbered considerably by Japanese visitors.
Mouldy Banana Fridge Magnets
Completely by accident we were there for the grand opening of a Pokemon centre. It was packed with kids and adults and extremely enthusiastic staff. The customer service everywhere we’ve been has been absolutely incredible.
The tower itself is 364m high. It costs ¥2060 to go up which, for one of the biggest tourist attractions is very affordable for most visitors. To get to the top you go in a lift, a lift that goes at 600m a second and makes your ears pop. Taking you all the way from the 4th floor all the way up to the 350th floor.
After almost an hour of taking photos of the brilliant panoramic view across the Tokyo skyline we sat down at the cafe. And here, at 600 metres above Tokyo eating chocolate cake one of my favourite songs came on, The Winner Is by Devotchka, probably my favourite moment of this trip so far.
The last stop of our day was Marunouchi. Home of the imperial palace, national museum of art and beautiful gardens. We spent a couple of hours chilling and taking photos. Tomorrow we have a full day planned; the famous fish market, Roppongi art museum and then the famous Shibuya crossing to end our time in Tokyo.
The Moat of the Imperial Palace