Our main destination for today was to check out Ginza and Ikebukuro. We decide to do Ikebukuro last since we stayed in one of the hotels in Ikebukuro area. We originally didn’t plan to visit Ginza, however, wife wanted to visit and checked prices on some cosmetic related items.
Note that Ginza and Tsukiji fish market are very close to each other and I would say it’s within a walking distance. You could go to Tsukiji fish market in the morning to see the fish auction and eat some sushi for breakfast then walk to Ginza, stroll around the area and have lunch there.
We left our hotel around 8am and despite being Saturday, we still saw a lot of people at the Ikebukuro station. Not as bad as a rush hour during weekdays but it’s still crowded in comparison to what we normally experience back in Toronto.
To go to Ginza, we took Marunochi Line toward Ogikubo to Ginza station and the train ride took about ~20 minutes. It was still quite early in the morning and generally stores don’t open until around 11am. We stopped at Starbucks at Ginza station to chill for a bit and enjoyed a cup of joe before we continued to stroll around. Wife noticed that the price of a normal coffee was almost the same as flavour drink like latte etc. We’re not sure if this is normal. Maybe anyone who lives here can confirm if that’s the case by commenting below.
After we got out from the station, the area was still quiet and there weren’t many people around yet.
Luckily for us, we found a Muji store and it opened at 10am which was perfect. We could take a look around in there until 11am for rest of stores to open in Ginza area.
After we finished at Muji, we went to the main strip of Ginza. This is truly a high-end shopping district. All the international and luxury branded items can be found here and it’s no surprised that we found an Apple store here as well.
Strolling around in Ginza area took its toll on our stomach. We were starving so we went to the first restaurant we found on our way which happened to be a Korean restaurant (couldn’t remember the name). All the waiters spoke fluent Korean as we overheard them talking to other customers. I got myself a Bulgogi (beef on top of rice) and my wife got a Bimbimbap. They tasted ok and we thought that the ones we frequently go to in Toronto were better.
We were fascinated by the fact that all the side dish were served in buffet style. It meant that we could take as many side dishes as we’d like as well as various drinks ranging from water, tea, soft drinks, etc. Back in Toronto, typical Korean restaurants normally bring us various side dishes and we can get more, however, we have to ask them to bring more side dishes.
After lunch, we took the same train back to Ikebukuro and exit to Sunshine City direction. There were a lot of people and it’s so crowded. I think ‘a lot’ was an understatement. We barely could walk without bumping into other people. My wife and I wanted to visit Animate in the area.
Before we went to Animate, we stopped by at a cafe nearby for some refreshments. We ordered various deserts. They tasted so delicious and we inhaled them with no time :). What we really loved about this place was the fact that they put how much calories each desert has. Even though we’re on vacation and on our ‘cheat week’ in term of diet, we thought that it’s amazing and a great concept to have. It would be great if more restaurants put their calories on the menu back in Toronto aside from fast food.
After enjoying our delicious desserts, we were on our way to animate. They have nine floors in total but we didn’t check out every single floor. In addition, we also didn’t take a lot of pictures inside Animate since it was very crowded inside and some items we couldn’t take a picture.
We thought places like Animate and Radio Kaikan in Akihabara were actually where we experienced our most culture shock. Yes, we do have similar stores back in Toronto but it was nothing these big with these many people. The only time we saw this many people was during a major anime convention like Anime North.
They even had various merchandise from on-going anime series for Spring 2016 season. From left to right, it’s Sousei no Onmyouji, Bungo Stray Dogs, Super Lovers, Sakamoto Desu Ga?, Kuma Miko, Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?
I just couldn’t resist this plush toy of Moogle from Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Click here for a referenced picture). It was around 4pm before we decided to go back to our hotel to get some rest before dinner time.
For dinner, we went to Lumine again near our hotel. They have various restaurants on the 8th and 9th floor. I couldn’t recall the name of the restaurant but I had udon noodles with beef donburi for ¥1,000 which I thought was a pretty good deal considering the portion. Even the kid menu for my son was pretty generous as well. After dinner, we went back to our hotel to get some packing done to go back to Toronto. Tomorrow will be our last day in Tokyo, Japan.
That summarises our day 7 in Ginza and Ikebukuro. It’s our last day and tomorrow, we will fly back to Toronto. If you haven’t done so, check our other adventures on Day 1, Day 2 – Daiba, Day 3 – Ghibli Museum, Day 4 – Tokyo Disneyland, Day 5 – Asakusa, Tokyo SkyTree and Akihabara, Day 6 – Shibuya and Day 8 – Final Day.