It’s finally time for me to share Day 3 with all of you! Doing this on a weekly basis is kind of hard on me, I’ll be honest, because I’m just impatient and want to tell you all about everything right now. But in order to do that, posting about one day per week is the only way to do it. It’s the only way that I can really get in as much detail as possible, and give everything as much time/space as it deserves. It’s a rainy day here today, and it seems only fitting that I write about another rainy day today, which happened just a few weeks ago…
When we woke up on May 13th, it was a Saturday and the rain was coming down hard in Tokyo. We’d been planning to go to Kamakura (a lovely town on the coast) that day, but had changed our plans the day before due to the announcement of rain. My parents were a little down about the downpour, but I was as happy as could be. There’s something magical about rain in Japan (and I found later that the same applies to Korea), and I couldn’t wait to put my newly-bought Japanese umbrella to use!
Due to the high levels of humidity, I didn’t even attempt to make my hair look presentable, and just gathered it all into a ponytail. Because no matter the amount of work I would have put into my hair that day, it would have ended up looking the same (like a deranged mop). The temperature had also cooled due to the rain, so I put on some jeans, a casual pastel purple t-shirt, and one of my favourite cardigans. My makeup was also lighter than the day before, and we were therefore ready to head out into the city much quicker than the day before as well.
We met my friend down the street, where our streets conjoined, and then walked together to Roppongi Hills, where we stepped into the largest Starbucks coffee shop I had ever seen in my life! There were tables upon tables upon tables. And thinking about it, it really makes sense for that particular cafe to be so large, simply due to the popularity of Roppongi for tourists, and also due to the dense population of Tokyo. Maybe more so the latter than the former, since we were the only group of not-Japanese people in there at the time. This is definitely one of my favourite Starbucks locations now, and I’m very sorry that I wasn’t able to take more photos of the inside, due to not wanting to invade others’ privacy (there were people sitting at nearly every table!)
I ordered an iced Americano, and the peach earl gray tart which had caught my eye. It was interesting to see how different their food section was, while their coffee options were almost identical to those in Canada. I love the taste and texture of Asian peaches, and the the tart was therefore the perfect choice for me, because it was to die for! I wish we had them here, but it wouldn’t taste the same with Western peaches (or whatever they’re called). We enjoyed a nice, relaxed breakfast before my friend had to head to work, and then parted ways outside as she was heading to the train station, and we were aiming for Tokyo Tower that day. The rain had stopped at the time, and we figured that it would be less busy due to the weather, and that this factor also wouldn’t affect how the tower looked to us really. We weren’t planning on going up, due to the cost, and the fact that once can get a better view from a government building in Shinjuku for free (but more on that on Day 9). We had a lovely walk to Tokyo Tower, our pace more relaxed than the day before, just taking everything in.
Like I said, there’s something magical about Tokyo on a rainy day. When it’s raining in Canada, I usually get all sleepy and lazy, sometimes even depressed, but in Tokyo I always want to be out and about for some reason. I do not have many pictures from that walk because my sister called and we FaceTimed on the way to the tower. In a way she was sharing that experience with us because I would turn the camera so that she could have a look around. And she was also able to see that moment when the tower came into full view. She then had to end the call because she had to go to class, and I resumed my photo-taking!
The last time I was in Japan, I hadn’t taken the time to go see Tokyo tower of close, and had really regretted it once I’d returned home. So I was happy to be able to experience it this time around! I was also happy to be able to share that experience with my family! My father has loved Japan for over 30 years, and we watched numerous Japanese dramas and films as I was growing up. Tokyo Tower was shown in a great many of them, and therefore became like a sort of symbol for us. We were definitely in awe to finally be seeing it in person!
It was awesome enough that we were able to see the tower from our apartment every day and night (we seriously got so lucky with the AirBnB we rented!), but being able to walk over to the tower and see it like that. Well, it simply felt amazing. There was also a sort of beauty about the bright green of the trees, and the red of the tower, washed clean by the rain and contrasting against the gray skies. It was a photographer’s dream! Our timing was perfect too, because it started to pour once we arrived at the base of the tower, and we were able to go inside and find shelter…
…and souvenirs! While waiting for the rain to stop or at least lessen, we wandered through the stalls inside the base of the tower, and spent far too much money on souvenirs (or, omiage as we started calling them) for our loved ones back home. This was the perfect time for shopping too, because that rain was really coming down, and our umbrellas would have offered little to no protection. Once we bought the majority of the gifts we planned to bring home, we found a little restaurant around the the corner and sat down for some beer and katsudons (pork schnitzels on rice with egg on top).
By the time we finished our lunch, the rain wasn’t quite as intense, and we debated whether to take a cab (my parents’ idea), or walking back to the apartment. I’m all about saving money, and taking the scenic route…and I won the debate (haha), so we had a nice rainy walk back to the apartment (while properly digesting our food and also working off the calories!) My parents ended up being happy that we walked, since we took another way to our apartment and were able to see other parts of the neighbourhood, and I was also able to take some neat photos (such as the two above)!
We arrived back at the apartment around mid-afternoon, and I packed an overnight bag while my parents rested. My friend and I had planned for me to sleep over that night after marathoning all of Yuri on Ice, while my parents planned to go to Roppongi Hills and look around at the shops (something which my wallet, and myself, were not interested in). I told them that I would pick them up the next morning before we would head to Kamakura (because the weather would be more favourable), and wished them goodnight. My friend had invited a few more people over to her place to watch with us, and I made some lifelong friends that evening, while marathoning Yuri on Ice (my review for which you can find here). I wish that I could have spent more time with everyone, but the other guests went home once we finished the anime (late in the night), and my friend and I fell asleep the moment they were gone.
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS POST ABOUT MY JAPAN AND KOREA 2017 ADVENTURES! ALSO, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND/OR SOME OF YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!