We reached The Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu hotel a little tired… but excited!
While in Kyoto there had been a sense of peace and calm all around… Tokyo was different. Even though it was a little late and relatively quiet, there was a vibe of energy…
The hotel was quiet, with a 24*7 mini-mart downstairs and a direct connection to a shopping mall to the right… and as expected, there was ‘Kawaii’ merchandise in the lobby to purchase.. 🙂
The room was comfortable and spacious, at I was more than happy to get a chance to recharge and prep for the next day.
The next morning my first objective was to explore…… breakfast! I have to be honest and say that it was actually a little disappointing, especially after the amazing options back at our hotel in Kyoto (Tokyu Hotel). It’s not that it was bad… it’s just that it was.. ordinary.
Although it was fairly early, we decided to explore the connection to the nearby shopping mall. Nothing was open at that point but that didn’t stop us from taking some snaps.. 🙂
With the rest of the group up and about, we set off to our first stop in Tokyo: Isetan department store. Unfortunately, I was too busy browsing to take many pictures. It’s massive! Floors focused on fashion, ceramics and more! Although I didn’t pick up anything (I was hoping to pick up an Apple Watch at the Apple store inside Isetan but I decided to pass), my sister found some great items!
I didn’t spend much time at Isetan because, together with a couple of other members of the group, I walked to a couple of nearby stores (outside Isetan) searching for sports merchandise. Walking and sightseeing is much more fun than browsing department stores! (Or so I thought till I went to some unique stores later on in the trip .. 🙂 …. )
One place I regret not trying:
After a mini-shopping spree at Isetan, we headed to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building to enjoy an awesome view from the top.
“The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building (東京都庁, Tōkyō Tochō) in Shinjuku is often visited by tourists for its free observation decks which provide good panoramic views of Tokyo and beyond. The 243 meter tall building has two towers, and each houses an observatory at a height of 202 meters. It had been the tallest building in Tokyo until it was overtaken by the Midtown Tower in 2007.”
The view was definitely enjoyable but it was difficult to take pictures without reflections in the glass:
It finally gave us a bit more insight into the size and scale of the city….. massive!
On our way out we stopped at the Tourist Information Center where I finally got some decent pictures and more importantly, picked up a map of Akihabara (post coming soon!)..!
Coming up in the next post: Lunch at Turkish restaurant: Bosphorus Hassan and finally: Akihabara! 🙂