Ueno park was the perfect spot for a breakfast of my favourite supermarket salmon rice balls and little pancakes with maple syrup nestled inside. With a view over the lake, the park’s gorgeous shrines and the hint of cherry blossom trees blooming I began my day feeing super chilled! I had to tick off all of my final stops in Tokyo so headed to Shinjuku on the metro to visit the Golden Gai and the lovingly named “piss alley” which in the day was a myriad of tiny quirky streets that at night would apparently turn into crazy bars. From there I walked down to Harajuku, another awesomely cool area filled with retro stores and galleries. There I learnt to cook Okonomiyaki which is like this gorgeous pancake omelette thing! You simply get handed a huge bowl filled with shrimp/bacon/cabbage/beef and other delicious bits and follow a little sheet of instructions to make egg topped patties! I strolled back to another beautiful park to eat an entire box of Koala biscuits (I am utterly addicted) and enjoy the sunshine. On my way in I was actually asked to be interviewed for Japanese TV but it became clear that 10 hours of Japanese lessons weren’t quite enough to have a proper chat so I had to abandon a possible 15 mins of fame scenario! I spent my afternoon then in Akihabara which is the gaming/manga/anime part of Tokyo and while fascinating, really not my scene. The arcades were unbelievably loud and with Kawaii school girls and maids enticing western men into cafes on every street corner I decided to move swiftly on and back to my hostel! There I met up with friends from the hostel, Louis, Rob, Arvis and other Louis for some rooftop beers and incredible sushi before a possibly ill advised trip to a classic Japanese Kareoke bar. We went via what was advertised as a classic English pub for chips served with chopsticks and to avoid the rest of the bars that were typically filled with cigarette smoke! Then in the little Kareoke booth, having been persuaded to begin my set with Jingle bells (upbeat but not too high pitched), I was spurred on by my fellow karaoke novices and all of the free drinks available to finish with a rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive and felt fully in the spirit of karaoke life! Before we knew it, it was 5am and the trains were running again so we managed rather sleepily to make it home ready for a couple of hours sleep before I had to check out that morning!
(Photos; Chopsticks for chips, Akihabara, Piss alley, a sushi hair clip, origami cranes at a shrine in ueno park, breakfast pancakes, breakfast rice balls and my little journal here i have began to collect stamps that are often thee for tourists at hotspots, shrines or even train stations!)