Last September, I went to Japan to attend my little brother’s graduation. I was so excited because I thought it would be full autumn there with its yellow and orange trees. But it’s not autumn yet, people. It’s still a transition from summer to autumn, and sometimes the weather was still hot. I had to abort my mission to take a dramatic selfie with a setting of fallen leaves.
This time I went with mom, and my brother and I decided that we would take her to places that show the two sides of Tokyo, the metropolitan and the traditional. We included Shibuya, Harajuku, Asakusa, Ueno and Yokohama to our itinerary.
Our flight was at 9.30 PM from Soekarno Hatta. Actually I booked our tickets via Garuda Indonesia website, but then we flew with ANA, Garuda’s partner. The flight attendants were really nice and helpful, but to be honest, I still prefer to fly with Garuda because the food is more of my taste. Anyway, the flight was hella bumpy I couldn’t sleep! I kept holding my mom’s hand and kept reciting any prayer that I could remember at that time. It was that terrifying. And when I was being really anxious, I looked to my left and found the woman next to me was peacefully sleeping. Even snoring … Thankfully, the plane landed safely in Haneda, earlier than the schedule in fact! Without any problem, we passed the immigration and customs. After my brother and his wife came to pick us up, we took the train to their apato in Kita-Ayase, around an hour from Haneda.
My bro’s apato was in the suburb of Tokyo, so it’s still kinda quiet. In front of it there’s Big A supermarket and it’s only ten minute walk from Kita-Ayase station. Everyday we walked to and fro the station, and although it felt heavy at first, we later felt the good effects for our health. Arriving there, we decided to have lunch first while waiting for the courier to deliver my pre-ordered modem. Based on a friend’s recommendation, I rented a modem from Pupuru. Actually wi-fi was provided in the apato but I knew we would go out a lot, so I chose to rent with the cost of 400 JPY per day. At eleven, the courier came, right on time. Later, I just had to put the modem and its charger into a provided envelope and put it into a post box.
Even though we’re still worn out due to lack of sleep, after lunch we went straight to Omotesando (I like the atmosphere here but the stores are not for my wallet apparently). My main destination is Magnolia Bakery in GYRE (the nearest station is Meiji-jingumae Station). The store isn’t big but when we came it’s quite packed. I really wanted to go there because I’d like to taste the famous banana pudding. And it’s worth it! Though it looks messy, it is soooo scrumptious. A kind of delicious that will last long in your mouth. Its combination of biscuit, creme, vanilla and bits of banana is just right. It’s too good I don’t even know how to describe it!
The price is 660 JPY for the small size and 880 JPY for the large one. Pricey indeed, but if you like banana flavoured sweets, it’s a must try.
Afterward, we walked to Harajuku since my mom and sister in law wanted to check Daiso and the branch there is big. Because it’s public holiday, Harajuku was freaking crowded. We didn’t stay long there and headed to Meiji Jingu shrine in Shibuya. It’s located inside a park, 20 minutes from the gate. What a coincidence by the time we arrived there was a wedding procession going on.
As the day was getting darker, we made our last stop in Shibuya. Of course I must visit Tower Records! We also showed Hachiko and the famous Shibuya crossing to mom. Probably some of you who have visited Tokyo a couple of times are already bored with Shibuya, but not me. I always love the vibe of the area.
We already left the apato at seven and our destination was the Turkish mosque in Yoyogi (3 minutes from Yoyogi Uehara station). When we arrived, the mosque was already full but we still got space and could join the first session of Ied prayer. After that, we went to Asakusa. Besides shops that sell souvenirs and traditional food, in Asakusa you could also find a shrine. Here you could get a fortune predicted by taking a piece of paper (the fee is 100 JPY). I tried it and thank God the prediction was excellent 🙂
We continued our journey to Ueno Park! Unfortunately the museum I wanted to visit, National Museum of Western Art, was closed for renovation or something. So I decided to join my family to National Museum of Science and Nature. To be frank, I wasn’t really impressed by the science part, but the nature part was alright. The museum is divided into two main buildings, the Japanese collection and the international collection. I personally enjoyed the Japanese collection more, even though it’s quiet there and kinda creepy. When we went out of the museum, it’s drizzling so we directly headed home.
Oh, but we stopped at Chococro at Kitasenju station to get some croissant and milk tea. The choco-orange croissant was the bomb.
Also, finally tasted it for the first time and instantly in love. It’s the best thing ever from Starbucks!
(to be continued)