At the end of the Rainbow Bridge

On Sunday, I woke up still feeling sad about the Arashi concert being over. I still couldn’t believe that I had actually seen them live, and that it was already over! I stayed in bed for an hour, pining relaxing and planning what I would do during the completely free day laying ahead of me.

Turns out that one of the other ALTs from my city was in Tokyo, as well; we texted and decided that we would meet at Tokyo Station for breakfast, so I got ready and headed to the station.

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On my way to the Metro, I saw someone fishing – fishing! – right in the middle of the biggest metropolis in the world. What.

… Turns out meeting up wasn’t as simple as we thought.

While we both ended up at Tokyo Station, we had taken different subway/rail lines to get there. Even though we were both standing at the Marunouchi Central Entrance, the other person was no where to be found! We gave up after trying to find each other for over 20 minutes. After, we realized that while we were both in Tokyo Station, we were actually in completely different buildings – go figure. That’s a Tokyo train/subway station for you!

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At least Tokyo Station is beautiful.

I ended up buying breakfast at a bakery in a mall and walking the short distance to the Imperial Palace grounds. It was a beautiful day – 10 degrees C and sunny! – so I sat down outside and watched the many people biking and running while eating my breakfast. After, I strolled through the grounds to Nijubashi, a beautiful bridge near the palace itself, before heading on my way to Shinjuku.

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The giant, gorgeous tree they had set up in the mall.

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At the Imperial Palace! (P.S. This building isn’t the actual palace.)

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The beautiful Nijubashi bridge!

I did a fair bit of shopping and browsing in Shinjuku! I made sure to stop at Uniqlo and Forever 21 so I could finally buy some new clothes! (I hated everything that I owned. EVERYTHING.) I ate lunch at a very small, very Japanese gyudon shop, then took the train back to my hotel to re-charge my phone.

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After the general calm and quiet of Akasaka, I almost forgot that I was in Japan. Turns out a trip to Shinjuku was exactly what I needed!

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The busy streets of Shinjuku.

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Trying on clothes in Forever 21 – my first experience with the face bag! You’re supposed to wear this so you don’t get make up on the clothes you’re trying on.

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Could Akasaka be any more beautiful?!

Around 6pm, I headed to Odaiba to see the illumination. It was totally worth the 30 minute commute! From Odaiba, you have a perfect view of Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and the Tokyo skyline. Plus, because it was Christmas, they had a giant Christmas tree with a lighting sequence choreographed to music. Despite the cold, I spent a long time standing and staring at the view – it was so beautiful!

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The Daiba Memorial Tree, Rainbow Bridge, and Tokyo Tower! One of the best views in Tokyo. <3

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To give you a sense of how big the Memorial Tree really is.

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Cheese!

I walked around other parts of Odaiba and found a mall with an Old Navy. Imagine my surprise when I found it to be spotless! (The Old Navy where I’m from is definitely not spotless… In fact, it’s always so messy that I never, ever go there.) Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for my wallet), the mall closed at 9pm, so I clued up my shopping and instead walked to Daikanransha, the 115m tall Ferris wheel that overlooks Tokyo Bay.

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The entrance to the Daikanransha Ferris wheel.

I didn’t realize how tall 115m was, but wow, when you’re in a tiny little cage and a strong wind blows, you really feel like you’re miles above the ground! Despite being a little scared (but only for a moment or two), the ride itself was beautiful – I had a perfect 360 view of Tokyo Bay, Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo Tower, and Haneda Airport all lit up at night. I’m really glad I went and I’d love to go again! (Hint, hint to my family when they come to visit. :))

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The view from Daikanransha!

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Tokyo is beautiful.

I was hungry and tired, so I stopped for a crepe before catching the train back to my hotel. I Skyped home to show off my purchases and then called it a (good) day!

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A successful day’s shopping!

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