Thursday, 24 December 2015

Tokyo Central

Imperial Palace, one of the building that the Shogun ordered to have moved from Kyoto to Tokyo
The Tsukiji Fish Market meant an early start. Thankfully the tuna auction was not open to tourists during the time we were here otherwise I could see Malcolm wanting to go...apparently visitors usually start lining up hours before 5am as visitor numbers are limited on a first come first serve basis. For those wishing to go when the tuna auction is open to tourists, check out the Fish Market's website for more info. 

Very busy fish market!

We tried to choose a venue with the shortest lines

Fish for breakfast!

Our breakfast and fish market visit took us longer than expected and we found ourselves sprinting to make our 10am tour of the Imperial Palace. It didn't help that we not just at the wrong gate but at the gate that is completely at the opposite end of the Imperial Palace Grounds compared to where the right gate was! We made it for our tour...just. The Tokyo Imperial Palace was a little disappointing having visited the Kyoto Imperial Palace. Although we did expect the buildings to have to be modernised, we didn't expect them to be so ordinary. The only buildings that were of interest were the original ones built around the 1600s by the Shoguns.

We made it...just!

A contrast between the old and the new

Practising our poses. We were taught the "reindeer" recently...

We walked through the Marunouchi area to the Yarakucho eat street. It is an area directly under the Yamanote railway track starting from around Tokyo Station to around Yarakucho Street. Although we were aiming for yakitori, we ended up settling for a chicken restaurant to rest tired feet as they had seating for 10. The walking continued through Ginza as we perused the swanky buildings on the main shopping strip, one the world's most expensive real estate. Who would have thought shopping at 4 storeys of Japanese toys could take so long...It was of course obligatory to stop at Uniqlo, this one being the largest in Japan apparently. Besides the Kohs had things to buy!

Yarakucho eat street

Inside one of the eat street alleys

Let's go shopping at Ginza!

Two large bags! SO proud of them!

The children were kept motivated to continue by keeping the Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo until last! It was with great excitement that they visited the biggest Pokemon Store in Japan. Our train ride from Tokyo Station to Ikebukuro was another welcomed rest! The Pokemon Center Mega is at Sunshine City, another one of Tokyo's many large entertainment and business complexes. The shopping continued with a visit to the Disney Store. By this stage, feet had been going for 12 hours and it was time to call it a day!

Very excited children

Andrew in his element

You can get anything pikachu here...

It appeared the children could not walk away without making a purchase

The shopping continued

tsums tsums!

Even the big brother bought one!

The evening did end on a high. This is how I want all my ice-creams served from now onwards.

Handy Hints
Tours to the Imperial Palace can be booked online on the first day of the month prior to the month of your intended tour date.

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