Today started off right with breakfast at Saint Germain’s, a bakery and coffee shop that had all kinds of baked goods ready for the taking. I took some video of it, along with other various adventures, but discovered I’m missing a few things to get the videos onto my laptop for editing. Once I get back home, I’ll start working on a nice movie or something.
Breakfast at Saint Germains.
After breakfast, we headed down to Yasukuni Shrine where Yuushuukan, the war hero museum, is located. Yuushuukan is meant for the war heroes of Japan who died for their Emperor and their country. It has a lot to do with Japanese military from the days of the Samurai all the way up through WWII. I walked away from this museum knowing that many warriors don’t wish to fight, but are willing to give their lives for their country, people, and especially their Emperor.
Wall of the Yasukuni shrine outside of the War Memorial Museum.
Gateway to the Yasukuni shrine.
Emily standing in front of the shrine.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this museum as there are some disagreements with the accuracy of some of the information among other things. No photographs were allowed inside.
Yuushuukan main building.
Statue of a mother outside of the museum.
The museum was a lot bigger than we expected. It took up two floors in two different buildings. After spending a decent part of the morning there, we decided it was time for lunch and also to move on to Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine dedicated to Emperor Meiji, the current emperor’s great grandfather. Emperor Meiji played an important role in Japan’s history. The 122nd emperor, Meiji lead Japan through some rough times as they opened themselves up to the world after being secluded for so long. He decided to promote friendship with other countries and to bring in technology and western civilization all the while preserving Japanese traditions and building the foundation for the country that it is today.
Real ramen! Our lunch on the way to Meiji Jingu.
After getting a little lost, we finally found ourselves at the gate to Meiji Jingu.
Visitors walking under a gateway to the main courtyard of the shrine.
Meiji Jingu Shrine itself.
After walking around the shrine and the very peaceful forest surrounding it, we decided to head on over to the Suginami Anime Museum! Back on the train!
I love taking the train, it’s such a convenient way to get around.
This is considered a ghost train compared to how packed they usually get.
The Anime museum was a bit small but we found a couple of really cool things to see, such as the Gundam figure! It’s hard to top the Ghibli museum.
Em and I at the Suginami Anime Museum.
Yes, another gateway. This was outside of the Anime Museum.
After that we decided to go back to the apartment for a bit to clean up since it would be our last night there. After lounging around after a long day of walking through the extreme heat and humidity, we looked for a local place to eat. Dad and I usually walk around the area near our apartment every morning and had found an interesting looking place to eat so we decided to go there for dinner. As usual, the food was fantastic!
An alleyway right outside of where we stopped to eat.
Emily told me that since I’m a lover of animation, I had to visit Akihabara with her. Akihabara is known as the “Mecca” for anime fans and must be visited at least once in their lifetime. It is also home to the Gundam Cafe. So Em and I set off on our own to visit the electric city.
Right outside of Akihabara Station
The glorious Gundam Cafe in Akihabara.
A game station where Em and I had an odd photo booth encounter.
Pretty lights everywhere!
Another Gundam! This was inside the Gundam Cafe.
Akihabara was very pretty with all of the lights everywhere. The shops were cramped and didn’t allow photography, which isn’t a bad thing if I want to keep this blog pg. Mostly they contain anime related trinkets, anime, video games, arcades, and some non-mentionables. I think my favorite part was the Gundam cafe itself which is located a little further away from the craziness that is the electric city. Em and I had some drinks there and then soon left for home, almost falling asleep on the long train ride back to Nishi-Ogikubo where our apartment is. Tomorrow we will be leaving Tokyo to go to Hakone.
Our very colorful cocktails from the bar inside the cafe.
Hakone is part of the Kantō region of Japan which is located on Honshu, the same island of Japan that Tokyo is on. That means it’s only a short train ride from our apartment in Tokyo. We’ll be spending one night in the home of Japan’s largest mountain, Mt. Fuji.
Fuji, also known as Mt. Fujiyama, is still volcanically active but hasn’t erupted since 1707 and I’m hoping it stays that way. Many mountaineers and tourists visit Mt. Fuji all the time seeking its beauty and adventure. They say you’d be a fool not to climb the mountain once, but a fool indeed to climb it twice. I don’t think we’re going to be climbing the mountain, not this trip at least.
Hakone is also home to Lake Ashi. Lake Ashi is known for its onsen or hot springs, which attract attention from both natives and tourists. Here we will expect to see many tourists like ourselves but we’ll also get to hang out with some Japanese citizens. Aside from Lake Ashi, Japan is covered in onsen hot springs. Many have bath houses built around them, making them the perfect vacation spot, especially when you go to the more mountainous regions where not only can you relax in the natural hot springs, but you also get a magnificent view of the beautiful Japanese mountains and landscapes around you.
I find it unlikely that I will be able to upload my post about Hakone until we’ve moved on to our next location so unless Olde Japanese Inns had internet back in their day, you’ll hear from me in two days!