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Japan: Day 2

There was no plan for today, so I just went off of my general plans for my stay in Tokyo: and that was to visit the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, visit the general area of the Imperial Palace, and see Tokyo Tower. Of course when the day started out, I didn't expect to do all three in the same day, but that's how it worked out.

Painfully.

I failed (again) at getting a ticket from the Loppi machine at the Lawson Station (a convenience mart, Lawson's for short) closest to my hotel, so I just headed to the station instead (I knew I was going to to somewhere today, just not where). On the way, breakfast:



It's a "Chicken Lettuce Dog" and orange juice. The whole thing was less than $3.50!!! :D

Get to station, find myself on platform for train going to Mitaka. I get on.

I get to Mitaka station. Mistake number one: I asked an old guy for directions. I forgot that I can not understand old Japanese people. Anyway, he said a number of things, and didn't seem to understand what I was looking for, but I walked with him a short distance anyway, and said thank you. Then I wandered around randomly and within about 5-10 minutes found the Lawson's! Hooray! The lady there helped me (apparently all I had to do on the screen I got stuck on was type in some approximation of my name in Hiragana, and then for the phone number portion she just put the phone number of the Lawson's) and I got my ticket!

I had about 45 minutes to get there, but I got a bit lost along the way, especially since I didn't ask for directions from the store. But I got there eventually, and on time too! I just have one question: Does this look like a waterway to you?



There's no photo-taking permitted inside the museum, so I only have outside pictures. Here's the entrance, sort of:



Not going to spoil it, but my basic summation is that it's an ANIMATION museum, which happens to only show Ghibli work. Kind of like how I remember some Disney exhibitions/memorabilia/stuff being like. There was an awesome short film we got to watch too. :D And a Catbus that I didn't get to play with :(

Question! What is/are your favorite Hayao Miyazaki film(s)?

There's also a cafe that's part of the museum. I ate there for lunch, and made Mistake #2 - I didn't look at the menu thoroughly, just picked the first that that sounded familiar and good. I was stuck eating a hamburger steak and milk tea (although it was tasty!) when I could have been having some cool fruit sandwiches, a neat banana/kiwi/strawberry ice cream thing, and/or a really cool blue drink!

Tokyo station: Next time, look at map. Imperial Palace Plaza is boring. What one wants is Imperial Palace Gardens. Should be less boring. I don't know, I never got there.

Then, although I at first planned on catching a Metro or something to see Tokyo Tower, I decided that it didn't seem like it was so far, and started walking. It is VERY. FAR. I thought I was going to die of dehydration before I got there (remember, I was walking all around the Plaza and such beforehand). I forced myself to sit down, take a few breaks, and down some real water, etc. I finally made it! And I couldn't let myself not go up the tower. Apparently there's the "Main Observatory" (820 yen) and then the "Special Observatory" (another 600 yen). Sure, the view is more spectacular from the Special Observatory, but I'd say if it's a cloudy/hazy day (or time of day), don't bother. I think the guy in front of me in line for the Special Observatory tickets must have asked something like "Can I see Mt. Fuji today?" because whatever the answer was, he replied, "Ah, then never mind."

The whole thing is really weird, because besides the two observatories, there is also like a mini shopping mall, a food court, a wax museum, a Guinness Book of World records museum, etc... talk about weird tourist traps. Oh, and an amusement park:



But definitely if it's early morning or something and there's no haze/fog/rain/natural disasters, you gotta go up and see it :)

Leaving the tower, I had originally planned to go to the Akabanebashi metro station because it was closest, but somehow I got turned around and saw a sign for a JR station and headed that way instead. ANOTHER. LONG. WALK. I was so relieved when I finally got to the Hamamatsucho station. And then finally back to Shinjuku.

Took the South Exit this time. There happened to be a girl doing a live performance there, in front of a crowd. Nice voice!



She was doing her last song when I joined the crowd, and afterwards, a lot of people were grabbing for her flyer and buying her CDs! Awesome!

From there, I backtracked to the East exit, and I actually found the quickest and most direct route to the hotel! Ate at a "buy a ticket before you enter" tonkatsu place. Decent, but not very good.

Now at the hotel, and am dead tired. So, sleep.