This day could best be described as a day of leisurely cramming.
Day 3 and 4 was dedicated to music-festivaling, because really that was the entire point of this trip. This day therefore, day 5, was our last full day, since the next day was the one wherein we fly back home to Manila (sadness). So tired and bruised though we were from two consecutive days of dancing under the sun, Hazel and I were still hell-bent on getting the most out of our last day in Tokyo.
Sushi brunch at Tsukiji Market. There was no way we were leaving Tokyo without having gone to Tsukiji. Apart from the promise of heavenly sushi, Tsukiji Market was scheduled to be relocated to Toyosu in a couple of years, a location much farther away from the city. So while the famed market was only a few train stations away, we just had to visit. Hazel and I weren’t keen on waking up early to watch the 5am tuna auctions, so we made do with going there for a late second breakfast. We got off at Tsukiji station, followed the fishy smell, and looked for the restaurants in the outer market.
There was a tourist information stop that guided us to the more famous restaurants, and although we didn’t find the famed Daiwa Sushi or Sushi Dai, we did find Iwasa Sushi. The queue outside wasn’t as legendary as the ones marking the more touristy restaurants (where we would have waited for 2-3 hours to be seated), but the sushi inside did not disappoint. House rules: one sushi set per person + unlimited green tea and miso soup + free bottled water outside.
It was a tiny space, a narrow hallway type with a counter that can seat maybe 10 people max. We sat there, chose our sushi set (omakase for me, sashimi for Hazel), and the chefs started making them right in front of us, plopping the sushi and sashimi on the banana leaf plate as soon as they’re done. A sweet lady served us complimentary hot green tea and steaming miso soup. The sushi set was complete in a matter of minutes, by which point the chef instructed us which sushi should NOT be dipped in the soy sauce, and then told us to please begin our meal.
How to describe that meal? It was perfect, it was zen, it was heaven. Sushi anywhere else (specially the ones back home) was its bitch, though the ones at Gengki Sushi were pretty good too. Even the tea and the soup were just awesome, and frankly we would have ordered another omakase set if it did not cost JPY3,100. I don’t care how far Toyosu is. Will definitely come back for more of this next time.
Looking for Domyouji at Ebisu Garden Place. Well okay, not really. I was really looking for that rock monument thing. Not only did that spot have special significance for Hana Yori Dango‘s Tsukasa and Makino, but it was also an important setting for Takeshi and Hikaru in my own Blossom Among Flowers. Because she’s a true friend, Hazel very kindly indulged my otaku fan girl heart. We took the train and got off at Ebisu Garden Place for my J-dorama feels.
For a huge rock thingie, it was not very easy to find. Some blogs reported that it was promptly emphasized by Christmas decor during winter, but when we were there it was hidden by some sort of pop-up cafe and was standing next to some damn trash cans. Ugh. Maybe it has been too long since that drama was popular. But at least, yay, we found it! One lesser dream come true!
Going back for Hachiko in Shibuya. It was only a few train stops anyway, and it’s not like there was nothing else to do in Shibuya. So we went back, found the Hachiko exit and said hello to the dog statue, before venturing on another few hours of shopping.
Hunting for Sailor Moon stuff at Akihabara. Hazel promised Sailor Moon stuff for her sister, and we were actually hoping to find some at Shibuya. But when we didn’t, I remembered the one fail-proof place for anything manga-anime related.
Akihabara wasn’t part of the original itinerary. I thought we didn’t have time for it, plus Hazel wasn’t really an otaku (hehe, she’s cooler than me, yeah), so I was stoked that we actually had a chance to go there. It was EXACTLY like I imagined. Girls in maid costumes inviting you to their maid cafes with their shrill voices, students and salarymans lingering inside the manga stores, the higher (or sometimes the basement) floors of buildings housing the kinkier merchandise, yayoi posters proudly displayed in brightly lit shops. It was amazing (haha). We found Sailor Moon merch there, definitely, more than what either of us could afford haha.
Night cap at Ueno. We were instructed to go to Ameyoko at Ueno for more stuff on Hazel’s list, but what we found instead were dirt cheap Doc Marten‘s. It made Hazel really happy. After that impulse buy, we found a place near the train station called TOWA, where we capped our night and our first trip to Tokyo with draft beer and cold soba noodles. After that it was time to go back to our Chiba home and face that dreaded chore of packing our bags.
Good night and goodbye Tokyo (cries). Maybe it will be raining cherry blossoms next time I see you #goals.
Round trip fare (+baggage, airport fees, etc.) P8,905
Japan visa P800
Summer Sonic tickets P10,830
Train, taxi, bus around Tokyo P4,601
Total (exclusive of shopping and music festival tickets) P22,192