Originally published on 7th January 2016 on Blogger
We all slept really well in the “Comic Room” or Manga Apartment, in the very luxurious bedding. We woke up, not too early, but were driven out, as usual, by hunger. It’s always hard to decide how to spend your final day, in a city which is so enormous you could literally spend the whole day travelling from one side to the other. There are so many areas of Tokyo that we really love. So, we made a quick plan of attack, and headed out.
First stop, the train and car shop, much to the children’s delight…. Then some more shopping. Finn returned to Super Potato, a tucked away retro gaming haven, where he purchased a Game Boy of some discription. He has quite a collection of Japanese retro stuff now. Mya and I looked around Animate. A huge anime shop, five or six levels. We mistakenly started looking around the second floor. I saw a word I recognised- doujinshi- a word that means amateur manga publications, that usually have some sexual content. As soon as I read this, Mya said, “I don’t think I should be in here, mum”….oops. This is a danger in Akihabara, in fact, all over Japan. Porn is not really available or legal. It is illegal to show pubic hair….. So, they get around it by animating it, drawing it. It’s everywhere and it’s pretty out there, kinky kind of stuff. Shit, we came up the back stairs. Had we come up the lift we would have seen the NO under 18 sign. A hasty retreat, reasonably unscathed. And a bit of a laugh. We had been very aware of this first time around, but had obviously become quite complacent on our return.
Another day, another Yodobashi Camera. The one in Akiba is the largest in Japan, and, coincidentally, the busiest. Far out….I stocked up on toy trains, train band aids, train iron on patches, the kids think I’ve lost my mind. Oh, well.
Back on the real thing, the Yamanote train, to Harajuku. Harajuku crepes for late lunch. Mya misses Marion crepes on just about a daily basis when we are home, so, they had a new year special. Almost double the price of any other crepe, it had matcha ice cream, chocolate sauce, plums, brownie, custard, cream, really a very healthy option. Of course, she had one. Takeshita Dori (THE street to shop in Harajuku) was packed. We were on a shopping frenzy. Kids wanted to spend all their yen, and so we headed to Kiddyland. Our very favourite toy shop. It was the 70th Anniversary. We received a commemorative plate each, with our purchases. The day was flying by…
Back on the train and back to Shibuya for dinner. Genki Sushi, for the second night in a row. The kids love, love, love this place. Mya was still full from her crepe. She suggested she would only have a bowl of udon, but the temptation was too much. Inari and tamago began arriving via conveyor belt, and were quickly ingested. Finn ordered plate after plate of unagi. It was a feast. We were full, we were tired, we were finished for the day. We made our way back to the apartment along the now silent streets. Tokyo is such an incredible city. I can’t describe the feeling I have while I’m in Japan. It’s like whatever piece of me is missing, or lacking, it stays in Japan, and just slots in when I’m there. I feel vital and whole, and although I miss family and friends and fur babies, I somehow feel complete. When I’m not there I feel it pulling me, a longing, a very dull ache. I will return. Soon. I love it.
We left the following morning. I will not bore you with over weight luggage and forgotten phone charger stories. Suffices to say, our trip was amazing. Japan is amazing.