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.
… 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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. :))
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!