DAY 11 (CON’T)
Continued shopping after a sumptous lunch …… and got some teas and dried seaweed. Saw Tokyo Skytree from a distance while walking up and down the streets of Ameyoko.
Proceeded to locate the shop that supposedly sells green tea kit kat …… but after walking up and down 2 times, can’t locate it at all. So gave up the search and walked onto another corner street where there were many restaurants and food outlets. Spotted an interesting stall selling a fish-shaped red bean taiyaki pancake + also Odeo Sushi!
It was getting really hot (it was 17 degrees and I had 3 layers including my down jacket) & crowded so decided to leave Ameyoko and make an unscheduled stop at Tokyo Station to hunt for the Kit Kat that I didn’t manage to get at Ameyoko. Luckily Tokyo Station is just 4 stops down the green Yamanote Line. Reached Tokyo Station somewhere around 220pm, and located the shop selling KitKat (which is right opposite Rokurinsha that I went on Day 1). Green tea kitkat also sold out! The shop assistant told me that the only green tea kitkat available would be at aiport (Narita/Haneda) and in Kyoto. So in the end, just grabbed 2 small boxes of rum & raisin kitkat instead in order not to make it a wasted trip 😛
Went up to Daimaru for a while to get away from the station crowds and for a breather, as well as to take off my down jacket since I was sweating (in 17 degrees weather, can you believe it). As I was at a corner of Daimaru resting, I quickly consolidated my shopping bags and realised that my bag of seaweed was missing. Sharks! Either I dropped it, or I paid the shopkeeper 700 JPY …… only to leave the bag there! I guess there is no point crying over split milk over a 700 JPY seaweed (around SGD8.89) which I can always go back to Ameyoko to buy again (if need be).
As I was sweating and still feeling heavy from sushi lunch, and since it was relatively straightfoward to walk from Tokyo Station right to Yurakucho …… and then to Ginza, decided to just do so. So instead of going to Meiji Jungu/Omotesando as originally planned, I will go to Ginza instead and hunt down the Meiji owned chocolate cafe i.e. 100% Chocolate Cafe.
Tokyo Station (Marunouchi side) on a Sunday afternoon. It was already 2.52pm and there were lots of people passing through the station.
No other pictures as I walked as fast as I could to ‘cool’ myself down and to digest off my lunch. This time round, the walk was more straightfoward than Day 1 as I stuck closely to the train tracks (above ground) all the way till I passed by the restaurants/eateries under the train tracks itself …… and finally Yurakucho. Went onto the ‘Ginza’ side basd on road signs as indicated.
After a close to 10 min walk (longer than expected), I’m finally at Ginza, and at the main Chuo Dori street. Recalled coming here quite often during my last 2012 trip, so its back to familar sights once again.
Ginza is not only famous as one of Tokyo’s most upmarket shopping, dining and entertainment districts with numerous department stores, brand name boutiques, night clubs, cafes …… it is also one of the most expensive real estate in Japan. That is why many of the buildings are tall and narrow in size. Another marked difference is that since it was a Sunday, this meant the Chuo Dori street is closed to traffic (during weekends) and thus becomes a pedestrian zone for many to walk through (from 1200 Hrs to 1700 Hrs). You can even see people taking a break on the tables/cars/stools right in the middle of the road!
This was also one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Ginza …… to gain a different perspective as compared to my previous visit. And true enough, having many people walking on the traffic-less roads makes Ginza an entirely different landscape from the usually busy roads with heavy traffic.
While walking down Ginza 3-Chrome (the Chuo Dori street is a very long street), saw a busker doing a live puppet show as well.
Continued to walk further down to 4-chrome where I saw another distinctive Ginza landmark – the Ginza Wanko (icnoic building with the clock tower) and the 11 storey tall Uniqlo that I shopped at during my last trip. Right opposite Uniqlo, the Matsuzakaya Department Store that we previously went is now torn down, and going to be rebuilt/redeveloped. Another icon of Ginza (Matsuzakaya was Ginza’s 1st department store) is gone and to be replaced by yet another concrete development.
Stopped and sat down on a stool for a short break while trying to get the free wireless in Ginza working …… but it doesn’t work. And since I did not see any 100% Chocolate Cafe in near sight (note to self: should have jotted down clearer directions the night before/in the morning) …… decided that its better not to waste time to search. And since my bags (and down jacket which I took off and folded back into a pocket) were getting heavy, decided to finish the stretch of walk towards the next nearest JR Station – Shimbashi …… and head back to hotel to drop some bags off!