Exploring Tokyo (from the top)

Our first night in Tokyo was OK. The hotel room was comfy and we could take the rest we needed.

For this day we planned to visit Tokyo Tower, exploring the city and of course we had our reservation at Alice in Wonderland Cafe. Besides this we hadn’t any concrete plan as the whether still was not as good as we hoped it would be.

We left our hotel, stopped at a bakery and bought some Snoopy donuts (which is actually pretty interesting, Snoopy seems to be the burner in Japan. We’ve seen so many merchandise of Peanuts!). Bianca loves Snoopy. Having this bakery next to our hotel was a pretty good coincidence. Then we headed to Shinjuku Station with Meiji Jingu Gaien as destination in mind. When arriving at Shinanomachi Station we started to walk around.

At this point it is the first time we have seen a Japanese flag. It was kind of a highlight for us so we took some pictures of it as you can see above. As well we spend some time watching the baseball team doing their training.

After having some sports (of course we didn’t!) having a drink. Right next to the sports park you can find a beer garden. We liked the advertisement so we had to get a picture of it!

From there we continued our walk with the idea to visit Togu Palace and
Akasaka Palace. But we didn’t thought about that these are restricted areas where you can’t just walk around. So we didn’t find any entrance for some time and as we found one there was a very very long queue waiting to get in. With limited time we decided to not stop here and move on for now. We might visit when we’re back! Nevertheless we had a break right in front of the gate to the palace where we ate our Snoopys 😉

When continuing our trip we basically walked almost once around the whole area of the palace. Looking back this was almost one hour totally “wasted”. Don’t get me wrong, it was interesting but we could have invested the time into something else. Nevertheless we looked out for a shrine or temple to have at least something worth it. And luckily we found one: Toyokawa Inari Tokyo Betsuin.

One thing we experienced during our stay in Japan is the mix of temples and shrines in the middle of the city. So after leaving the shrine we immediately had a big city in front of us.

Next stop: Roppongi Hills!

Why did we want to see this place? Ah right, some time ago there was THE SUN & THE MOON restaurant having a special exhibition about Sailor Moon. Unfortunately it was over when we were there. Nevertheless we wanted to have a look – but actually we didn’t enter the restaurant as it was quite expensive and we had quite a bad mood when arriving – more about later!

The area of Roppongi Hills is huge. There is a shopping center in the underground, a museum in the tower, an exhibition platform on the top of the tower and most probably a lot of things we just missed. After having pretty good experience in Fukuoka and Osaka seeing the city from above we wanted to try it out here, too. So we joined a queue waiting in front of the elevator to recognize after a couple of minutes that it just goes up in the 3rd floor. So we decided to finally take the stairs and we were faster than the others still waiting in the queue. Nothing bad so far. Now, our plan was to buy a combi-ticket for the viewing platform and the museum. But being in hurry we bought actually the platform-ticket only which we would notice later.

So far so good. We took the lift up to the platform for having a nice view of Tokyo. To follow our plan we wanted to have a picture shot of us while having Tokyo skyline in the background. Meaning, the staff would shoot a picture of you with a nice background and later on your tour you can buy it if you want. We did this for the other towers so our plan was to do it here as well. And we did. It was pretty expensive and due to the rainy whether you can’t see very much of Tokyo… So after wasting an hour walking around we now wasted money for a picture where you can’t see anything. But it gets even worse, as about 15 minutes later the sky got clearer. Man!

On the pictures above you can see how the sky clear up from picture to picture. In general the whole atmosphere on the floor wasn’t a good one. Just blank walls, no furniture, no cafe. In comparison to our previous experience totally disappointing. But hey, we still had the museum to visit – but wait! As we had to show the tickets for the museum entrance they told us we have the exhibition-platform ones, only. Okay, this gave us the rest. Seeing the prices of the restaurant just made us going to the exit immediately.

Now we needed to have some good experiences. Thus, we wanted to move on to the Tokyo Tower which we have already seen from Roppongi Hills.

Now, as I uploaded all the images I wonder why we haven’t shot more pictures from the view from Tokyo Tower’s viewing platform. Well, too late anyways. In comparison to Roppongi Hills it was much more fun to be here. We had a cafe, bought some souvenirs and enjoyed the view. That’s why we would prefer Tokyo Tower over Roppongi Hills for having a nice view over Tokyo.

Time passed by and our reservation in Alice in Wonderland cafe came closer. We had to leave this nice place and going back to the rainy outside.

The Alice in Wonderland Cafe is basically kept in the style of the story. You get some bunny ears before you get to your table. Interesting for us was, that we had to pay kind of entrance-fee/table-fee. So on top to the food and drinks we ordered we had to pay for the time being there. I don’t remember how much, but I think about 5.000 ¥ for 90 minutes or something like that. The food was OK, the atmosphere was not as good as we expected. Due to Halloween season they were playing not really Alice in Wonderland soundtrack – and what the played was repeating all time. After more than an hour a bit annoying. In summary, it is a nice visit. Specially the interior is pretty cool.

After the snack we continued our shopping tour from the day before. We found a small store which provided everything. Everything but Chi – The Cat! They had even “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (Die kleine Raupe Nimmersatt). This was nice.

Well, that’s how our day ended basically. In the late evening we were looking for some restaurant next to our hotel and of course we found one.

We know where we ate but we forgot the name of the small restaurant. You can find it here. It was not as good as other ones we visited, but it was interesting. We ordered using a vending machine outside of the restaurant, brought the ticket inside to gave it the cook and just waited until they’re done. Was a funny set up, but I think it’s not that uncommon in Japan 😉

After dinner we just went back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the upcoming day.