We tried waking up EARLY at 6am, but while the hubby got up duly at the alarm time, V and me continued snoozing … my back was aching a little from hauling the luggage and V was just tired out by the travelling I guess. By the time we got up, it was 7am. We decided to take our breakfast in the hotel since we think that the noodle shop was probably gone (it was one of those quaint noodle shops that you buy your meal ticket before you enter the shop, and then hand the ticket to the counter to get the food). We decided to opt for the Japanese buffet and we had to queue to get in. The place is small, I think it seats a maximum of 30 to 40 pax, and its usual “function” is a teppanyaki restaurant. While children 3 and above will be charged for the meal, the waitress was kind enough to waive it for us. The buffet cost 1,500 yen per adult and 500 yen per child (above 3) so we saved 500yen for the day. More for me to shop with …
We planned to be in the area of Asakusa, to visit the Sensoji and neighbouring temples as well as to do some souvenir shopping. By the time we left the hotel and headed for the train station (about 10 min walk) it was already past 9. In the train station, we got a little lost and we had to lug V and the stroller along (in the massive crowd, we just tried to move along as fast as we can). On the way down to the correct platform, I overheard this 2 ladies chatting in the parallel escalator down, and I immediately remarked to my hubby, “confirmed Singaporeans”. Later I had the change to ask them (curiosity kills the cow in this case) and they replied in the affirmative. They were also kind enough to guide us to the correct platform since we were still a bit confused.
When we arrived in Asakusa, it was close to 11am. We did a little shopping (hint: souvenir shopping here is the “cheapest” even though it seems they mainly cater for the tourist crowd), and within 30 mins, after V had some ice cream, she promptly conked out. In the meantime, I had accumulated about 3 shopping bags, much to the dismay of the hubby. I bought some “amulets” (for the lack of a better word) for good health for the oldies, and then took some pictures of the crowd. It seems like it’s been a really long time since I took pictures! We headed off to the side street, and passed by an amusement part. Too bad V was fast asleep so we gave it a miss. We (or rather I) decided to head for Kappabashi, where they sell all those kitchen stuff (for retail, so they are like wholesalers). I managed to find the previous shop I bought my “strawberry sundae” from, and I picked yet another “strawberry sundae” to add to my collection, but this one had some mandarin oranges. I was tempted to buy the “fries” but I decide not to risk my kids trying to chomp down the fake fries.
We started heading towards the Sumi River, trying to decide where to go next. They had a bus that goes to Akahibara, which the hubby wanted to go. On the way, while not feeling very hungry, but slightly puckish, and V still fast asleep, we came across this small tempura shop. The prices were very tempting – the cheapest tempura don was 550 yen (about SGD9) so I opted for a 580 yen bowl while hubby opted for a tempura don set with udon. V woke up about then, so it was just nice, and they kindly let us have children utensils to feed her. Just when we started on the meal, she wanted to go to the loo. We told her to do it in her diaper but she refused to, and frankly speaking, I hate dirty toilets the most. I rather hold my business than to visit one. Thankfully, the sole unit they had in the shop was CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN. So V did her business without me having to gack or use up the entire dettol wipes.
We decided to go to the Palette town, and we took the river cruise to Hinode Pier. We got a little lost again but the server at the Café there was very helpful and gave us the handy guide to Tokyo (this is the BEST guide to me) and we found our way to the correct station. This time, it was much easier, since we could locate all the necessary elevators! The train to Aomi is a little like Singapore’s LRT, but with more carriages. One way trip cost us 310 yen per adult (free for V). V fell asleep along the way again, but woke up in time to see the giant ferris wheel. We headed for the Toyota showcase first to see the cars. The moment she saw the playground, she started jumping up and down (finally she found a playground in Japan, since asking us about it on the plane). She zoomed straight there and before she dive into the pool (it was just a pool of balls with a slide) she wanted to pee. Anyway I got the hubby to bring her since my feet were already starting to cramp. When she got back, she happily just played in the pool, and even waited for her “playmates” to push her down the slide. The hubby went over the stimulator and had 1 go at the “race” (think Daytona). After that, they went for the Ecco car ride … V wanted the Hello Kitty car, but too bad the cars were assigned, and cannot be chosen. She was very excited after the ride, telling me how the car can drive by itself, and at the same time, mindful of driving precautions, she ordered the hubby to put both hands on the steering wheel at all time.
We then headed for the ferris wheel and this time, she wanted to ride on a red car. Er, we got something close to it, we got a pink one! She did sulk a little :P but she was busy looking out and asking hubby things. I just sat in my little space and tried not to move. I looked back once and I freaked out a little. When we past the highest point and I saw the car behind us above us, I also freaked out a little. Yes, I have a phobia of heights, and it’s not just a slight phobia. It extends to depth, so I don’t like to swim in too deep a pool. Thankfully it was not windy at all, so the ride was very smooth, without the car swinging around. They now have a see through car (including the floor) so obviously I said “NO” when they asked if we wanted that.
After that we went to the arcade and lost over 1000 yen (so angry!!!!) trying to scoop up some toys, but we gave up in the end. We went for dinner at First kitchen, but the meal was a huge disappointment. The fries were limp, and the pasta in a clump. Ah well, thankfully we only bought 1 set to share among the 3 of us.
We went into Venus Family for a walk and a visit to the loo (wow, the washroom here is FANTASTIC, and I mean FANTASTICALLY SPECTACULAR, except who ever did the English translation for the instructions ought to be shot, and again and again). We walked to the end, and they had this pet shop (think P’s) and the puppies (and kitties) were SO CUTEEEEEEEEE. V insisted on going into the shop, and we saw a baby version of Rascal. What had my eyes popping out were the price tag. I saw one was priced at 302,000 yen and I almost choked. Then we walked over to the other side and saw one going for 500,000 +++ yen. I am not sure if this is just the price of the dog or includes a lifetime guarantee of food, and supplies, but if it was just for the dog, then it probably cost as much as this trip (our flights are free though) (and also includes the cost of our side trip to Kyoto by Shinkasen).
By the time we head back to Shinjuku, it was about 8 pm. Remember I said the Handy guide to Tokyo was the best? The train map includes most of the train lines plus station, so it was much easier for us to figure our way back. Again, it was a breeze since we could locate most of the elevators. Just that when we reach Shinjuku, we had to exit from A1 (I think) and people who stay at Hotel SunRoute Shinjuku probably will benefit) but we managed to figure our way back since we know the landmarks to look out for.
We were deadbeat (and my feet were screaming – I have flat feet so walking too much makes my feet arch hurt v v v v much) but we still had to pack for the Kyoto trip, so in the end, we slept close to 12 midnight. Tomorrow we will have to lug the big suitcase … but we will figure it out. Hopefully we can find most of the elevators!