Our travel methodology consists of being as unprepared as possible. We found cheap tickets with Lufthansa, booked a hotel that seemed to have a fairly good location and was adequately comfortable, then we pushed the “confirm”-button. Then we did nothing for over six months. The week before departure, we booked parking for our car at Copenhagen Airport, booked a portable Wi-Fi and checked on how to get from the airport in Tokyo to our hotel. (You can read more about the portable Wi-Fi and transfer to the hotel in this post: Tokyo much? (day 1, travel and arrival))
The travel guide was not purchased until after we were checked into the flight. Rebels, is what we are! Old Mamasan’s thoughts on what to see and do in Tokyo was simply; Japanese tea-ceremony and “old temples” (Check!) Sir Nerdalot wished to go to a ball game. (Check!) The Karate Kid wanted to do some Manga-stuff (Check!)
As you can see, a lot of what we do on our travels is not planned in detail, but this rather whimsical approach works for us.
Day two was spent at Harajuku and Meiji-jingu, and after a quick stop by our hotel, we wanted to try a Garden Restaurant we had passed the evening before on the way to Tokyo Tower. Unfortunately they were closed for a private wedding party (maybe one of the weddings that took place at the Meiji-jingu). Being already half way to Tokyo Tower, we decided to go all the way in our pursuit for something edible. Despite the fact that we eat both fast, plenty and often, the typical “fast food” is not what we aim for. Ever. At Tokyo Tower fast food is what is offered. So we planned to do what the Kid really wanted and then have dinner at the restaurant at our hotel afterwards.
In the base of Tokyo Tower there is something called Tokyo One Piece Tower . An explanation might be needed here: Manga is the Japanese word for comic book. Mangas are very reputable in Japan and has since the very start been recognized as an art form. Manga is quite different from western comic books in drawing style, storytelling and plot, due to the vast differences in culture. Popular Mangas are often processed into Anime (Japanese for animation).
One Piece is one of Japan’s most popular and bestselling Mangas, and tells the story about the young Pirate Monkey D. Luffy and his crew. The Karate Kid is a big fan!
Inside this One Piece Tower there is, in addition to a store and a cafe, some sort of arcade. Talk about being lost, we did not understand one bit of what was going on. Nothing. Zilch. Zip. Nada. The young Japanese girls that work there have this annoying way of yelling in a baby-voice and it is the most irritating sound ever! Oh the noise level! Oh my poor head!
The girls with the annoying voices nagged, convinced, pulled and pleaded with us to join in some of the games. We didn’t know how to get out of this, so we partook in a couple stupid games. I have no idea if we won anything, I don’t know what the heck was going on. It felt like we were stuck in a crazy Japanese game show.
Obviously this place is not just for kids. There were several grownups, without kids, running around with some plastic sea shells, ducking in and out of tunnels and doorways. The Kid picked up one of the shells and headed into a tunnel. He later told us that he had had a great time. He had no clue what he was doing – but it was great!
We did try to follow instructions from these cute Japanese girls with the annoying voices, and we smiled and we tried and then we smiled some more. We were as confused as freshly released flatulence in a wicker chair. Even the Kid, who reads this stuff, was confused, shocked and rather amused by the whole thing. Surreal. Weirdo McWeirdface. Like, totally.
When we finally found the way out of that crazy place, we were really hungry, so we headed for the Japanese restaurant at our hotel. Whaddayaknow! We were 5 minutes too late! At 9 pm there are not many restaurants still open, but we did manage to find a nice American coffee shop/restaurant/bar where they had great food, but sadly nothing Japanese on the menu.
Stay tuned for more Tokyo craziness. The next post will be on electronics galore.