Yasukuni Shrine is the first (but hopefully not the last) shrine we have visited during our trip. Its one I learnt about during our Culture Lectures and has wanted to visit since then.
But first we started with lunch from a small cafe near the shrine. My Japanese hadn’t quite been good enough, so instead of ordering pasta for my Dad and a toastie for myself we ended up with two pastas and a toastie. My pasta however was not like Dads and had a strange item in the mix. I’m not sure what it was but I know it was something that had I known what it was I wouldn’t of eaten it. I refuse to let Dad tell me what it was even now two days later….
It was squid.
Fully replenished we entered the grounds of the Shrine. For somewhere surrounded by modern tall buildings and roads its strangely quiet. The grounds were larger than I expected and the Tori gates especially were huge!
I opted to walk along under the trees which offered some respite from the Sun. I scavenged some twigs and stones for basing miniatures as I went of course.
We cleansed our hands in the traditional way and then slowly walked around the Shrine.
Although neither of us prayed we did get our fortune (no translation unfortunately so hopefully it wasn’t bad…) and I did write a wish on one of the wooden plaques. They had the traditional shaped ones I had seen in photos and in anime but they also had ones shaped as Sakura blossoms. I bought one to write on and one to take home as they were so beautiful.
We spent most of our time sitting and people watching while enjoying the quiet and the nice breeze (the heat isn’t actually bothering us anymore!) before buying a few souvenirs and heading off to Akihabara.
This was very pleasant.
But, there was shopping to do in Akihabara so, off we went. I was left trailing behind in the heat whilst Michaela forged ahead no doubt drawn by the lure of more swag. There she goes, wait for me!
My goal for the trip to Akihabara was to buy the Grand Shuffle DVD, my plans however were foiled by the fact they were sold out of the DVD and only had blu-ray.
Ah, back on familiar ground, this is like a home away from home now.
I didn’t let this ruin the trip though as we still got to have a look round the Donki building (though of course not the theatre) and bought lots of goodies! Including the Kenkyuusei concert I’ve wanted for ages.
The Donki building was impressive (it's actually called Don Quixote, Donki for short) 12 floors of weird stuff I wanted to own. I resisted and bought nothing in the end because I couldn't decide what was best. I think we bough some bizarre KitKats though. Japan has a thing about odd KitKat flavours.
Here's my more familiar viewpoint of Akihabara- waiting on the pavement while my daughter shops for photographs of pop idols.
We also got to go to another shop where Dad found some goodies he wanted too.
A set of Totoro miniatures in a scale close enough to add to my games, a plush cat bus and some Totoro playing cards. Here are the miniatures after I got them home and based them:
I also managed to win a Madoka figure in an arcade! The game was actually pretty easy and I got her on my 3rd go. I wish I had continued playing to win the matching Homu one.
Once we arrived back at Shinjuku station we were greeted by music. All along the road there were people singing or playing an instrument. There was one girl that caught my eye though (Helped by the fact she was by the entrance and the taxis) who was so sweet and cute but had a really beautiful and quite powerful voice.
She didn’t have a CD unfortunately but I’ve followed her on twitter and hope to support her in the future. She also followed me back and replied to my tweet (in english!) which was really cute ;3;. She’s performing at Zepp Tokyo on the 9th of Sep but I of course won’t be here ;_;.
After speaking to her and getting the leaflet we got a taxi back to the hotel to rest. The day was generally very chilled as we were preparing for the early start and full day that was Day 8.