Saturday, 21 October 2017

Tokyo Personal Diary | Day 2 : Kanda Myojin & Yushima Seido In Akihabara & Night In Nishiarai

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Hey again!

Day 2 marked as my first time coming home late at night (not even in Malaysia I've done something like this lol) including getting lost for a 3 hours in total and only reached home at 3 AM! But first, let't start from the day.


Hwi checking out the location we're going on Google Maps.

I had a lot of fun getting around and discovering Akiba with him, since he has been there for 10 times so he was forced into being my tourist guide for the whole day lol, only thing is he's not an otaku at all like I am (or am I not?) I mean I'm not really the biggest otaku lmao, I sure love ACG (anime, comic, game) scenes, just that I still consider myself to be a lot more normie since I am a well socialized person, I love Japanese cultures on top of all. In the nutshell, I love those acg things but not as much which is enough to be labelled as an otaku, former statements was just a joke. I strolled around Akiba that day to just sightseeing around this famous spot in Tokyo, not really looking for something to buy like costumes, anime merchandises or such.

This friend of mine, I am infected with his funny hobby of taking my photos every time I looked puzzled into finding a right way or looked like being at lost, so this time I took his photo while walking behind coz it was fun.

This is my first time getting told me that taking someone else's photos especially a tourist like I am is fun moreover when they got lost coz they made the most funniest face for being clueless while trying to find their way back LOL! After that I find that hobby to be funny and interesting to do as well and I can't stop from doing the same thing as him even now, what a contagious guy haha.


Up the Ginza area, a blaze of adverts and a cacophony of competing audio systems announce Akibahara (秋葉原). Akiba, as it's popular known, is Tokyo's foremost discount shopping area for electrical and electronic goods of all kinds, but these days it has also become a hotspot for fans of anime and manga, it's also famed as the spawning ground for the decidedly surreal "maid cafes". Though Akiba's buzzing, neon-lit streets are almost entirely dedicated to technological wizardry and pop culture, there are sights of different nature to the west, in a wide area split by Kanda-gawa (神田川), including the lively Shinto shrine of Kanda Myojin, and an austere monument to Confucius at Yushima Seido.

Opposite to Kanda Myojin (Shinto shrine), believed to be the old Edo Castle.

There was a bit of construction going on while we visited, probably the preservation construction so I did not get to take more photos around it.

Kanda Myojin

A vermilion gate marks the entrance to Kanda Myojin, one of the city's oldest shrines and host to one of its top three festivals, the Kanda Matsuri. Founded in 730 AD, the shrine originally stood in front of Edo Castle, where it was dedicated to the gods of farming and fishing (Daikoku & Ebisu). Later, the tenth century rebel Taira no Masakado, who was beheaded after declaring himself emperor was also enshrined here. When Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu was strengthening the castle's fortifications in 1616, he took the opportunity to move the shrine, but mollified Masakado,s supporters by declaring him a guardian deity of the city. Exiting the shrine to the south, past the large, copper Torii (鳥居), you can pick up some Amazake (sweet and non alcoholic sake) at Amanoya.

Hwi washing his both hands before praying at the Kanda Myojin.

Compared to catching a sight of one of the city's best to offer, Akihabara shopping district, I think I find myself to be more into the enjoyment of having the exploration of some shrines and temples that Tokyo contains which is very therapeutic and mind-easing. The story behinds every shrines they have is just so amazing to discover and to learn. After spending some time checking out Kanda Myojin, we moved to Yushime Seido by foot which is only 200 meters southwest from Kanda Myojin.

Yushima Seido (湯島聖堂, literally "Hall of the Sage in Yushima"), located in the Yushima neighbourhood of Bunkyo, Tokyo. It was established as a Confucian temple in the Genroku era of the Edo period (end of the 17th century).

A copse of woodland hides the distinctive shrine of Yushima Seido, dedicated to the Chinese sage of Confucius. The Seido (Sacred Hall) was founded in 1632 as an academy for the study of the ancient classics at a time when the Tokugawa were promoting Confucianism as the state's ethical foundation. In 1691 the hall was moved to its present location, where it became an elite school for the sons of samurai and high ranking officials, though most of these buildings were lost in the fires of 1923.

Today, the quiet compound contains an eighteenth century wooden gate and at the top of broad steps, the Taisen-den, or "Hall of Accomplishmens", where the shrine to Confucius is located. This imposing, black-lacquered building was rebuilt in 1935 to the original design, look up to see panther-like guardians poised on the roof tiles.

I clicked this coz I love how beautiful the "Ema" looked like from the reflection of the water in front of it, the ambiece is just so peaceful.

Good luck prayer tablets called "Ema" at the Yushima Seido

Mulan instantly came into my mind for the "Reflection" in this water lol

I told Hwi I had forgotten to bring my DSLR if I'd known that I would need it to take nice photos of these places and he said that I was such an "aho" for forgetting such stuff lol. In return of that I called him "bodoh" and he finally learned that it stands for "fool" and can't stop from repeating it all day long hahah

Confucius Statue at Yushima Seido.

Some engraved descriptions on stone that we both can't read at the Yushima Seido, standing next to the Confucius statue.

Now it's finally time to roughly explore the rest of Akihabara after Kanda Myojin and Yushima Seido.

Sotobori-Dori, a street that is near with Ochanomizu Station.

We went into the Tokyo Anime Center on the 4th floor of UDX Building. It is a mainstay of the local IT industry, this center features small displays on the recent anime and hosts regular events that can be a lot of fun. To non-believers, however it might seem little more than a glorified shop selling anime-related goods. If you're here on a weekend (which we didn't), make sure to visit the ultra-hi-tech Akiba 3D Theater where some of the latest anime releases are on show.

I tried to take some photos of what is inside the Tokyo Anime Center but was told by one of the staffs to put down my camera because no recording or photos are allowed. Kinda tad bit disappointed I can't show you what was inside.

Let's just see the streets taken from my point of view when I was strolling around the Akiba with my friend, Hwi.

Some shopping district in Akihabara.

Still around Akihabara

Akihabara's Gachapon Kaikan!

Gashapon or Gachapon is actually a "capsule-vending machines". Gachapon needs you to insert a one coin (100-500JPY) and turn the lever (it produces "gachagacha" sound), a capsule with something inside will fall out with the sound "pon!"

Children and adults alike are attracted to the excitement and the heartthrob that results from not knowing what you get until opening the capsule. Gachapons provide exceptionally high quality products, there are various things from animation series, sometimes a toy jewelries like bracelets, keychains or even hairclips. I got a Gachapon with a cookie hairclip for my youngest sister, and she loved it after I came back and gave it to her.

A big store that sells Adult's toys a.k.a sex toys.

There were a brief sight of faces of schoolboys, teenagers and adults that are interested to step in but being embarrassed and shy. Hwi showed me to this place saying that in Japan it is a norm of getting these stuff. Well I learned a new thing.

Late afternoon view of the holy land of ACG fans, Akihabara.

After gradually getting tired from walking around the whole day we decided to go back and Hwi suggested us to drop by Ameyokocho to refuel ourselves (yayy my fave place for foooods). Undeniable that Ameyokocho is a very convenient local market to hunt for daily Japanese street foods and we both definitely love it. Both of us made a way onto Ameyokocho just for a late lunch.

Showing our PASMO card lol

Being in Japan a lot more longer than myself, Hwi introduced me to PASMO when he saw me struggling with queuing at the train token machine to buy the token for train since I am barely can read and half illiterate in Japanese. 

PASMO is one of Japan's most popular smart cards and widely being used by both locals and foreigners for a hassle-free fare calculations and train transfers. It is extensively sold at the participating private railway and subway stations or bus depots by their counters in every stations. PASMO can be used for everything from train travel to vending machines, and you can top it up at the railway ticket machines. By using this it eliminates the need to purchase separate tickets for a various purposes. If you didn't bought the JR pass beforehand coming to Japan I think PASMO is an opportune option.

We dropped by at a Japanese Donburi stall at some corner in Ameyokocho.

I wanted to eat that fresh oysters again but Hwi made a better suggestion (I must listen to a senpai lol). He opted to eat this and I am so happy to have tasted a Donburi made by a local Japanese themselves. I picked the rice bowl with a fresh raw sliced Tuna, Salmon and Sea Urchins (Echinoids). This is my first time savoring the fresh raw Sea Urchins, they tasted so good. Each bowls ranging from as low as 500JPY to 1000JPY depending on the size and the menu you choose.

*Japanese Don or Donburi (丼, means "bowl", also frequently abbreviated as "don", less commonly spelled "donburi") is a Japanese "rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi meals are served in oversized rice bowls also called donburi.

My Donburi with sliced raw Tuna, Salmon & Sea Urchins. Itadakimasu!

After the lunch I saw a Taiyaki stall towards the street we're exiting to and we dropped by to buy it. Delicious. This is my first time tasted the famous Taiyaki. Mine was a red bean filling (coz I love azukiii)

*Taiyaki (鯛焼き means "baked sea bream") is a Japanese fish-shaped cake. The most common filling is red bean paste that is made from sweetened azuki beans. Other common fillings may be custard, chocolate, cheese, or sweet potato.

Our freshly made and hot Taiyaki.

I must thank Hwi for being so nice to spend a lot of his time to teach the noob me new things and giving the tips living in Japan and always trying to be aware of what I can eat and not, after our stop at so many stalls for foods, he treated me to another sweet course! Since I was a newbie and had no idea of this place that much I just followed him around to wherever he suggested us to go and eat but that was really fun, I actually learned a lot from him. Senpai indeed lol

The last restaurant in Ameyokocho that we visited.

I had forgotten the name of the menu that we had nor that I have the photos of them. We had something on the skewers, vegetables like sweet potatoes and cucumbers, deep fried with flour (Tempura-alike) and served dipped into the soy sauce. Delicious and simple as hell.

Hoppy, lil did I knew that it contains alcohol, I accidentally drank two glasses since Hwi himself had no idea about it as well.
Welp, I call it as an accidental experience.

We both sure ate a lot and stuffed. Regarding to Hwi, he was going to meetup with his friends that night so he invited me to join him along, after all I was going home later if I didn't join them and did nothing so I agreed to tag along.

Coldness, but I love my Adidas a lot. Must praise Adidas for making a high quality and comfortable kicks for over decades.

While waiting him to call his friends over to decide on where to meet and dine in together. I remember that the morning was a lot more warmer than the evening. All I could feel now was the deep and cold heavy air. Really can't stand sitting outside longer than half an hour and need to get back inside.


Calm view at Nishiarai at late evening.

The thing about that evening on that day was, we moved to one to another spots a lot. This is where both Hwi and I met another friend from Philippines, Dan. I call him Dan-chan. He's almost 30, a lot more older than I am but his personality is just so cute and he is such a pretty young-looking guy.

Rofl another round of foods. 

That night was filled with a lot of talks and laughter from all of us and non stop drinks and foods, I have a very bad memory memorizing names and I had forgotten those people's names I met on that night except for Dan-chan, Saa-chan and Hwi in which we are now still keeping in touch with each others. That was really fun, and memorable. I accidentally drank Sake, and I had to forgive myself for not knowing. I didn't ate anything at the last place we gathered around that night because they served pork, quite unfortunate for me but that was one of the most enjoyable gathering I've ever had in my life, everyone treated me so nice and friendly although they hardly understand what I was saying except for Dan-chan and Hwi (they both speaks English well).

That guy with fedora is Dan-chan, and while enjoying the drinks and foods a magician came in to perform some magics we've never seen. It was a very lively night.

Non alcoholic cocktail, too sweet even for me but the taste of the sweet and sour plum lingered on the tongue leaving a very fragranced taste.

It was already around 12 AM in the midnight when I left, they invited me to join them for a karaoke session next, but I need to decline since it was getting very late and some of them were half drunk lol. Hwi walked me to the nearest station and I bid goodbye to Saa-chan and Dan-chan. That was the last time I saw both of them. Feel blessed to have crossed path with those friendly peoples.

Night in Nishiarai view, quiet and cold.

Arrived at the Takenotsuka in Adachi to go home, a local seen riding a bike passing by me probably going home from work or something. Nothing else can be seen, only the sound of wind in a very cold night.

A quite  unsavory experience for me when I was going back, my battery gone very low and the phone eventually turned off by itself, I was really alone, can't use the google maps and no one around to help me. It was as cold as being soaked in a tub of ice all my hands started to feel numbed. I remember the temperature being around 15/16 degree celsius (to me it was really that cold plus being jacketless). I relied on my instinct a lot given that was the only thing I had and can rely on. 

Adachi is a relatively big area, the street of Takenotsuka I was heading to was the thing I can't remember. I felt so disappointed with myself for not remembering the physical and the street numbers around the place I stayed in that time. So I began to save everything I see around in mind to not let myself getting lost again on the next day getting home. After 3 hours of a lot of hassles and struggles I slowly started to remember the road and everything and got back home safe. Hwi came home a lot more later. Glad I didn't came with him so I can sleep much earlier. This is for the first time in my life getting home so late, and those aside I am blessed once again to have experienced such panic situation and learned how to be calm to puzzle down the difficulties I faced. Experience does teaches a lot. 

I'll write for the next days in Tokyo, make sure to stay tuned for it, and feel free to click the links below to read for the other days. 


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