If you didn't catch the last couple of posts, this series is about our trip to Tokyo (again) way back in August 2016, when we went there for a short international exchange program called Promoting Asian Leadership (PAL) with Keio University! The program was a week long, but we went there a few days ahead of time to explore and revisit our favourite places.
So last week, we celebrated our last day of freedom from all the other students (they went on an onsen trip somewhere outside Tokyo) trying Sushi Zanmai for the first time!
It may not have been the freshest since it was a late summer afternoon, but it was still really tasty! And sushi zanmai became my to-go sushi place from then on!
7 August 2016. Saturday.
Anyway, it was time for us to get back to the program and do some serious work. I don't really remember what we had to do that day but we split into 2 groups and had to debate/discuss some issue. It was always pretty broad topics like censorship or international trade or something like that. The 8 of us international students just shared how our respective countries handled the issue.
We're all very excited as you can see. Also look at Sean being all business.
Anyway, we pretty much had discussions and debates in the Keio campus the whole day until about 3pm, when we could finally go out and have some fun. And the Keio students took us to Harajuku! You know, one of the most crowded places, and in the height of summer. Yay.
If you caught my last Travel Japan series (which was also my first time visiting), you'd know that we already visited Harajuku before, so there wasn't really anything new for us to see here. But tbf it is a hot tourist spot especially for young people so it makes sense that they brought us here.
It was ridiculously hot outside though, and I was in no mood to walk around and shop. So we decided to cool off (and get away from the crowds) in one of our favourite cafes - Hoshino Coffee!
And we ordered some of their famous soufflé pancakes to share!
We decided to try their pot-baked vanilla soufflé this time, which came with a side of chocolate sauce:
And we also got a regular pancake soufflé of course, which comes with maple syrup.
The pancake were so yummy! Crispy out on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Absolutely delicious! 😋 The pot-baked one wasn't as crispy as the regular one, but the chocolate made it heavenly.
After that very satisfying dessert, we decided to head to our other favourite place in Harajuku - the LINE store!
Turns out it was also Brown's birthday during that period (Sean's was on 4th Aug, just 3 days ago)! What a happy coincidence!
They were having special edition items for Brown's birthday, including some new summer-themed merch like these plushies!
Thankfully the store wasn't as crowded as it was the last time we came here in December, so we were free to walk around and take as many photos as we liked.
The store also had a lower level with more merch and a photo area called Brown's room! And guess who was there!
We met the birthday boy himself!
Thankfully we didn't have to buy anything to grab a photo with Brown! The lighting wasn't great, but oh well.
We also managed to snag a selfie with the giant Brown upstairs!
We did end up buying some small stuff like a Sally luggage tag, that remains on my luggage to this day!
Every time I go to shops like the LINE store that sell all these cute items I want so many things but then my rational brain talks me out of them because either I wouldn't know what to do with those things after I get them, or I already have stuff with the same functions. I'm glad my brain talks me out of impulse buys (because they're also really expensive) but they're so cute tho!
The luggage tag was legit though since I was using a free one that was going to break any second.
Anyway, after taking a ton of photos, it was around 6pm by the time we left the store.
Which made the weather an acceptable temperature to take a walk outside!
We made our way back to the station and since we've never been, decided to go check out Tokyo Skytree - the world's tallest tower at 634m!
Check out that sunset in the back tho
We went to check out the prices and queuing system, which was fairly long. Since it was pretty late and we hadn't had dinner yet, we decided to go up the tower another day, when we could enjoy the sunset.
For now we just took a walk around the really large mall connected the Skytree.
I have no idea what this shop is; it might be some VR thing but they had a photo screen with different effects and we tried it!
We also found the newest (and possibly largest?) Pokemon Centre in Tokyo!
This Pokemon Centre was much bigger than the one in Tokyo Station; there were so many shelves full of all sorts of merch and plush toys.
And of course the first thing you see when you walk in is Pikachu riding a Rayquaza crashing through the roof of the store.
There were innumerable Pikachus everywhere; different sizes, wearing different costumes, in different poses, etc.
I think this was one of the biggest ones I could reach.
There was just so much stuff; any Pokemon fan would go crazy in this store.
We ended up buying some stuff for my cousin (who's a huge Pokefan) and for people on Airfrov.
Oh the queue to the cashier also has a Shiny Rayquaza crashing through the roof.
After paying, we left the store and walked around the mall some more. I'm not kidding when I say Tokyo Skytree Town is massive. There are so many different shops and restaurants, and even a planetarium!
We decided to go look for some dinner since we were getting hungry and went to the basement.
There were quite a lot of shops, but nothing was really appealing to us so we decided to try Lotteria!
This might be our first time trying Lotteria, but I'm not too sure. Sean ordered a teriyaki burger with soft-boiled egg and I got a bacon cheeseburger.
And it waas delicious! I think Lotteria became my favourite burger joint in Japan (since we don't have it in Singapore). The buns were soft and fluffy, the patty was nice and juicy, and the bacon was slightly crispy! Oh man just thinking about it is making me hungry now.
We also ordered a side of onion rings instead of fries, and milk tea for the drink! All different things you wouldn't get at McDonalds.
Some of the onion rings were huge!
Overall an extremely satisfying and hearty meal. It didn't make me too full but it made me happy. 😊
And that's all for today! Tune in next week when we go on an excursion to an actual TV set! I guess us visiting Tokyo Skytree was kinda foreshadowing (since it's a broadcasting tower and all)? 🤔
Thanks so much for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!