Lost in Translation

Woke up early again today with plans to head off and explore the real Tokyo. On my way to the train to start my journey, I took a stroll through the Sens?-ji Temple and market area as everyone was setting up their shops for the day.

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Grabbed a One Day ticket for Tokyo Metro & Toei Subway so I could traverse the city.

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For 1,000 yen it let me travel around the city all day on the Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway lines. I must also mention the Tokyo Tourist Guide has been a life saver, I’ve literally used it at every turn to find my way around and also decide where I want to visit. Grab it at the airport!

My first stop was in Ginza to check out the Tsukiji Fish Market, the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world. What could be better than a market visit early on a Saturday Morning? Also famous for it’s fish auctions for which people wake up at the crack of dawn to witness. Walking through the market was a voyage of discovery. Men zipped around in electric carts delivering styrofoam containers of fish in ice as fishmongers sliced up tuna and shucked oysters, all fresh from the boats. The smell of seafood permeated the air as I avoided puddles of water and navigated through the massive terminal, passing buckets of fish guts around every corner. It was definitely a cool place I would highly recommend on a trip to Tokyo.

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After traversing through the giant market and terminal, I took a quick tour of the main road in Ginza, which is basically a high-end shopping area like Bloor St. in Toronto. I then headed for Shibuya. [pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-tLD9sgPXLSs/VIulVXNaNWI/AAAAAAAAMcg/B_dfOC1uxKQ/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_113013.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092144707374822754″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_113013.jpg” ]

Shibuya is most well known for its crazy scramble intersection, which can be seen in countless movies and music videos. People watching is the name of the game here, and I found the Starbucks to be a great place to get a nice view.

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After spending some time wandering through the stores here and having McDonald’s for lunch (yes I had to try it once!), I headed up the road to Harajuku. Sadly, I did not see any Harajuku girls as promised by Gwen Stefani, however I did find an amazing candy store where you can watch them make the candy right in the store. I was fascinated, so I ended up buying a couple of bags.[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-Swrsf43c9eY/VIwFqRsBCbI/AAAAAAAAMhs/DSLRGFnjkC0/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_160424.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092250619786103218″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_160424.jpg” ]

Another highlight was an amazing store called Kiddyland. It is a 6 storey toy store, filled with tons of random amazing products that I have never seen before. I wanted to buy everything, but managed to leave with nothing. The place was packed with people, so it was difficult to navigate a bit.[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-2JbvYI4CLzQ/VIv3Y9ZTZqI/AAAAAAAAMgo/mxbY6N6BsLA/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_151754.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092234929118340770″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_151754.jpg” ] [pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-CQMX4sJG40E/VIwFzk20_zI/AAAAAAAAMjA/ub0k9ojxh4I/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_150113.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092250779550547762″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_150113.jpg” ] [pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-HypGyMWvhTo/VIwFyN-P69I/AAAAAAAAMi0/ew9vlR7H_5I/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_145930.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092250756227787730″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_145930.jpg” ]

 After Kiddyland it was getting dark out, but I took a stroll through Yoyogi Park to take in the atmosphere before heading to my last spot for the day: the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Shinjuku.[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-e8gOJEPSodI/VIwEFoTezJI/AAAAAAAAMhE/VQpSi5OOJL0/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_163102.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092248890690423954″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_163102.jpg” ]

It has a free observatory on the 45th floor with views of the city in all directions. It was incredible to see how spread out Tokyo is in all directions, I just wish I had come in the day so I could see Mount Fuji.

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While I descended I remembered the Park Hyatt Tokyo was in this part of the city, and it was on my must see list of destinations. If you’ve seen the movie Lost In Translation then you are familiar with the amazing view from the bar at the hotel, where scenes from the movie were filmed. It really is a gorgeous hotel, unique in that the lobby is on the second floor of an office tower, and everything else is way up on the 42nd floor and higher. While I didn’t have a drink at the bar, if you have an extra 1800 yen I highly suggest it for the view alone. [pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-7dk25KjchsE/VIwtfPxHW4I/AAAAAAAAMlU/0B8Wj5nEs10/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_190817.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092294410757168002″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_190817.jpg” ] [pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-vOvzP1Prm1I/VIwN8PNedsI/AAAAAAAAMkk/MbDjssBPBiQ/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_185906.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092259724451804866″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_185906.jpg” ] [pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-61brzhhqWDM/VIwNroh4wjI/AAAAAAAAMjw/eTp3NoAikGE/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_185506.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092259439190524466″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_185506.jpg” ]

 After venturing through the hotel and wishing I was staying there, I headed back to my hostel. I ended up on the wrong train so had to backtrack. I was impressed that this was the first time I got lost all week on the train. The walk home was beautiful, with everything lit up and still bustling.[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-dDbkH2wplpU/VIwttswOTXI/AAAAAAAAMl0/usTfLzTw3qE/s144-c-o/IMG_20141213_205506.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/106936826608506155895/20141213?authkey=jfYRJW3iEzA#6092294659056225650″ caption=”” type=”image” alt=”IMG_20141213_205506.jpg” ]

I needed to do laundry so I just chilled out at the hostel and got that finished. I would say it was a very successful and crazy busy day. Just the way I like it! Tomorrow is my last full day and I still have a long list of things to do. I have also decided to buy a bunch of things and ship them home. There is so much cool stuff here I just cannot leave without taking a few things!