day 3 – akihabara and ueno pt. 2, and karaoke

Woke up way too early at 6am.  Having fallen asleep around midnight, I knew this would be a rough day.  And I was right.  I ended up being pretty exhausted most of the day, though there were bouts of energy, thankfully.

We had our traditional breakfast at Oven Fresh Kitchen outside our station.  Oh, the yum:

roll with a baked potato inside & flaky apple pie

Engrish on our way to the station

We headed back to Akihabara so Nick could get some exploring in. On our way there, I was distracted and led us to the wrong station. We went through the turnstile and then discovered the mistake. When we tried to go back out, the machine gave us an error and we had to talk to the station master. He seemed confused but was able to clear the machine so we could pass through.

When we arrived at Akihabara, we first went into the Sega store, but discovered it was more of an arcade and so went to the next shop, which had 10 stories. There were a lot of rental boxes similar to the ones we saw at the shop where we bought Phil’s gift.  There were also lots of nerdy items to be found on the many floors and we were very curious about this floor:

Sadly, the store was closed.

Nick was looking for a computer keyboard and wandered into a few stores before an employee at Alienware pointed us in the right direction.  Sierra and I really needed to sit down, so we went to the McDonald’s next door.  The ground floor was where you ordered, then you could either go to the basement or 2nd floor for seating.  We chose the basement and enjoyed our cantaloupe smoothies in the crowded, slightly warmer than comfortable seating area.

The boys eventually joined us and we were on our way again.  We stopped for lunch at a crêperie.  Yummm.

waiting for our crepes

Crazy Crêpes – mixed berry flavor

Jason and I had used the last of our cash earlier and were looking for an ATM that would take our card.  I had signed up for a card that allows withdrawals anywhere in the world with no fee.  Any incurred fees are refunded.  I had tried a few ATMs and was starting to panic, when we finally had success at Lawson’s.  Yay!

We were on our way again and ended up back in Ueno park.  It was beautiful and there was a market of sorts going on.  Some people were selling random knick knacks, and there were tons of food vendors.  Jason got this ring and pipe:

lookin’ fabulous

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We wandered around the pond and ended up outside the park, on our way to the Tokyo National Museum.  We meandered through a residential area and stumbled across this temple:

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I love coming upon these temples and shrines in the midst of the big city.  The juxtaposition is startling and wonderful.

As we made our way back to the park, we came across a cafe and Jason voiced his craving for coffee.  I was thankful for the chance to sit down for a bit.

Bourbon Vanilla

Precious Moments

Kuromon (black gate)

We made it to the Museum and discovered that it was closing in an hour.  Deciding to come back another day, we crossed the street and were drawn to a street performer.  At one point he was juggling three katana and was very animated.  A great way to pass the time.

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We wandered through the park and made our way to the street level to get dinner in the food court.  Jason got a traditional Japanese pizza (it’s a thing), while I got the curry.  His pizza had teriyaki chicken with corn and small strips of seaweed (naturally).  I did warn him.

Gojoten shrine

seaweed cut out

After eating we went back outside and made our way through the street vendor section.  Not finding anything to capture our interest, we started looking for a karaoke place.  Karaoke in Japan is nice in that you can rent your own room. That way you don’t embarrass yourself in front of a crowd full of strangers.  The first place we found looked too fancy for us so we kept looking, eventually ending up at Big Echo.  For ¥2700 we could rent a room for an hour.  All but Riley sang our lungs out.  Good times.

We had been meaning to go grocery shopping every day, but had been too exhausted every other night.  While the night was still young, we made our way back.  But not before I had a delicious cremia.

We made it back to our station before 9:30, did our shopping, and headed home.  Great day.

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