Japan: Tokyo Part 2

Day nine

Today was our only full day in Tokyo so we had a lot to pack in. The first stop was the city’s top attraction – its oldest Buddhist temple, Sensō-ji. About a million tourists had the same idea and the place was rammed. Thailand often touts how many tourists it gets, but I’ve never seen mass tourism on this level anywhere.

Wandering the tourist streets packed with trinket stalls, food vendors, t-shirt shops, and the usual fayre did provide some good photo opportunities though it was virtually impossible to get shots without people in them.

Walking while eating is considered impolite in Japan as it suggests you don’t appreciate the food. So each place has a designated area to stand and eat, and those that don’t sell food have signs telling people not to stand and eat there!

Getting hungry we jumped back on the train to Skytree but ended up at the wrong station so decided to go to Akihabara which was on the way back. Electric Town is famed for Manga, gaming, and all things tech so I was at home there. We found an eatery called “Go Go Curry” for a Manga-themed Katsu curry lunch.

There is often a queue at Japanese restaurants, especially popular ones since opening and eating times are set. Eateries are small, bar-type places where you order from a machine and put bank notes into it, food arrives and consumption is quick – the Japanese are constantly on the go.

Our final Tokyo destination was the famous crazy ‘Scramble Crossing’ at Shibuya where I’ve never experienced such a seething mass of humanity. As many as 3,000 people cross this intersection every couple of minutes when the lights go green and utter mayhem commences. However, it did seem that many were tourists and we crossed a couple of times ourselves just for the experience.

We found a back street to sit and grab a cold beer while waiting for nightfall to venture back into cyberpunk city to mingle with the human mélange for some more neon-inspired photo opportunities.

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