We spent about 30 minutes at the nearby Starbucks (which by the way is everywhere!) before heading north to Harajuku. We passed by the old Tokyo Olympics Indoor Stadium and then entered the Yoyogi Park. We actually got lost in the park thinking that we can cut through it and into the Meiji Shrine. To make up for the 20 minutes of walking, we were rewarded with one of the few remaining trees that still had its yellow autumn leaves. We took lots of photos with tree.
Upon reaching back the main entrance of the park, we came across a Rock & Roll busking group getting ready to perform for the park visitors. We patiently waited for them to start at 2pm while eating our hot taco snack. Their dance numbers were quite entertaining but we had to leave by 2.15pm in order to visit the Meiji Shrine before sunset.
The Meiji Shrine was a treat. A tribute to the first emperor of modern Japan, we were amazed at how pristine the park is especially when you can’t find a single bin in the park. In fact, there were so few public bins in the whole of Tokyo (and possibly Japan!). Once again, we were lucky to come to Meiji Shrine on a Sunday as we got to see a number of Shinto-style weddings. Being a fan of the anime Samurai X, I’m quite aware the significance of the Shrine and would stop once in a while to admire the surroundings. I found out later that there’s more to see at the Shrine (like the treasure room, picture gallery, garden, etc) but we had to move on as it was getting dark. If there is a next time, I would love to come back here and explore the rest of the Shrine.
By the time we reached Harajuku's main shopping district, we felt too tired so we just tour the place for a short while and then headed to the rest train station towards Shinjuku.
Shinjuku was a mix bag. I know it’s the capital of Tokyo’s shopping paradise ala New York but there were just too many people and our 5 senses were overloaded with the sea of people, billboards, and such. Trying to fine a decent and quiet eating place was a challenge and we ended up at MacDonald’s. Sad...
After just 90 minutes at Shinjuku, we were on our way to Akihabara ‘Electric Town' where I was hoping to get my discounted Apple MacBook. To my dismay, the Macbook has Japanese kanji on the keyboard and I wasn’t very confident about using one after seeing the sales person unsuccessfully changing the whole system to English.
I asked Honz if we could make a quick visit to the official Apple Store in Ginza. With just 1 hour before closing time, we reached the Apple Store and I went straight to the Macbook section, select the 13 inch Pro with 256gb, paid Y147800 (no tax) and happily went back to the hotel before 9pm! Did I tell how easy and efficient it is to travel around Tokyo! Spent the rest of the evening setting up my MacBook while Honz busied herself skyping with the kids.