Our last day in Japan, so we tried to fit as much as we could in.
Here's an outside view of our hotel again, this time from the rear. Wait! What's that at the window? It's Pen and Squished Pen watching us leave.
We started off by heading to Roppongi Hills for the Pokemon exhibition and Pikachu cafe!
The Pokemon exhibition had some great displays of preliminary artwork and designs. I managed to take a few photos before I was told to stop :(
The exhibition was really cool and the views from the 52nd floor were amazing too. (Also meant we could cross Tokyo Tower off our list as we got a much better view of it!)
Lots of pictures of Tokyo from above coming up. Here's the Tokyo Tower.
A rooftop fun(?) ride.
Me being amazed.
Michaela being amazed.
I got to watch a preview of the new movie, which I want to see and took purikura photos in a special Pokemon booth.
This isn't the booth, it wasn't very photogenic from outside, this is one of the photo op displays that littered the place.
The Pikachu cafe however had an 80minute wait…..so we skipped that and went straight to the shop. We bought a few things including a mega Venasaur plush and then headed off for lunch.
The Pokemon snacks were beautiful. Each was hand made by staff who you could watch at work. If we'd stayed to eat I'd have ordered the whole menu.
On the way back down we did actually manage to lose each other, we’re not entirely sure how to be honest but we found each other again and began the hunt for lunch.
The whole of Roppogi Hills was being taken over by TVAsahi as well as Doraemon.
We lost each other because I took the world's slowest and most crowded lift to the ground floor. Of course, the ground floor the lift stopped at wasn't the ground floor the stairs went to. Michaela took the stairs.
I (finally) emerged by the boy band and some Japanese TV reporter who saw me and promptly made a bee line towards me, microphone in hand. I had to dodge this guy for quite some time while I tried to find my way back to where I wanted to be, he was very persistent but I wasn't going to look like an illiterate gaijin on Japanese TV no matter what.
There was a huge stage with lots of screaming girls standing in front and as for Doraemon, there was about 50 statues of him in different outfits near the entrance. I’m not entirerly sure who it was on the stage (all I know is that they were men) but the fans seemed to be enjoying it!
The Doraemon statues were cool. Quantity has a quality all of its own.
The giant spider thing however was an abomination.
We managed to find a nice little cafe where we had pancakes (I had savoury ones and Dad had sweet) while listening to the screams from outside.
On our way out we passed a pet shop and salon. You could see some dogs being groomed as well as little tiny (but very expensive) kittens in the window. We bought some treats for our cats but didn’t really have enough to bring one home….
Next we headed off to the Pokemon Center. This was a little disappointing. There wasn’t much more then what had been in the Pokemon Exhibition shop and there was no Pokemon Center music!!!! Just lots of children begging their parents to buy them everything. A little sad we left with only the free sticker we were given at the door.
However all was not lost as the station we had travelled to to get to the Pokemon Center was also a Monorail station! We had originally planned to take the monorail from the airport to the hotel (well as far as it went and then get the metro) upon arriving but had been too exhausted to deal with lugging our suitcases around, so opted for the friendly airport limousine that drove us straight to our hotel.
Although it was a much better way of doing it we had both been a little upset that we hadn’t been able to ride the monorail. So now it was time to fix that! We got on the monorail sat on it for a couple of stops and then traveled back (exiting the station to correctly pay of course).
The monorail was brilliant. Monorailing above Tokyo is Sci Fi made real. Everyone should try it. It leans into corners which you can see at the end of the video.
Here's the nice little garden I rested in at our turn around stop whilst I sent Michaela for food and drink.
Here she comes.
Even though it was a short trip (The Monorail is quite fast) it was very enjoyable, the monorail track was most of the time higher than all the other roads so we got a great view of the multilevel city. There was also lots of posters of HKT48 around as they are advertising for the Monorail!
After our little trip we headed back underground to travel to Asakusa to visit the shrine and ‘old town’.
There were rickshaws here but they were expensive so we didn't bother trying them. I suppose that means we failed to complete our transport type collection.
The juxtaposition of old and new.
This again was actually a little disappointing. The walk from the huge gate to the shrine is lined by crappy souvenir shops and the shrine didn’t have the same tranquility or respect that the Yasukuni shrine had.
However, I knew that because of this their fortunes were translated, as our last ones weren’t I decided to get one.It turned out to be “The Best Fortune” so it wasn’t all bad.
We didn’t hang around and went straight back to the station to travel to Akihabara one more time. I had heard from a friend that I could still purchase the AKB48 monthly theatre photos so I wanted to get two packs before we left.
Putting Dad in a cafe I went up to the 5th floor of the Donki building where I bought a Team K & Team 4 pack. You get 5 random photos of the members from Team you select. I didn’t get my favourite member from K but I did get one of my favourite from 4!
There were a few fans milling about so I decided to approach them. I had bought two copies of SKE48’s new single during the week and had two handshake tickets that were of no use to me. I ended up trading them for photos of my favourite member.
The whole experience is something I can’t really put into words, it was both fascinating and terrifying to be honest. Though maybe that was mainly because of the language barrier (I think I held my own despite my poor skills though!).
I hurried back to Dad (after a quick stop at a 2nd hand photo shop to finish spending Ali’s money) and retold my tales.
We finished off the trip with dinner at Mosburger before getting a taxi back to the hotel.
Mosburger played Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird. I tried not to think of it as an omen since we were flying the next day. What was Lynyrd Skynyrd's last hit?...
The evening was filled with packing, weighing and repacking our suitcases before we passed out at midnight ready to wake up at 5 the next morning.
We had to dump all our toiletries and a number of other things to get our swag into the cases under the weight limit. Finally managed it.
Every time we travelled down the 13 floors to weigh our cases the hotel staff had put the scales away in a locked room and had to go though a two person rigmarole to fetch them just so we could be disappointed that we'd failed to get under the limit (again) and return to our room before repeating the whole process again (and again).