Autumn in Japan (part 2) - Western Tokyo

8:08 PM

For the second part of the Japan travelogue, I'll be covering on the places we visited in Western Tokyo, and the day trip we took to the outlying areas!

If you have yet to read the first part to the travelogue, you can check it out here.

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HARAJUKU

Takeshita Dori
@ Harajuku Station

Another one of my favourite places in Tokyo would definitely be Harajuku, particularly because there's no other place in Japan quite like this street that's so idiosyncratic and quirky. It's one filled with many teens - not a surprise there considering their numerous boutiques and cafes - and people from all sorts of cultures.

It's a little less eccentric than the last time I came here (back in 2015), but maybe that has got to do with the time I visited. I remember seeing more cosplayers, street dancers, goths and lolitas on the streets of Harajuku when it was later in the evening.

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The giant cotton candy which we got after smelling this sweet scent, and seeing many girls walk out from a store with rainbow fluffs.

They also have other gummies and candies. I remember seeing some cake pops in Tsun Tsun characters omg. Japan always doing their cute stuff right.

Totti Candy Factory
@ 2nd Floor, 1-16-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku

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And some takoyaki cause we were starving.

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Pretty much a whole day of shopping for us, accompanied with sweet treats and other savory snacks.


Takaosan

Mount Takao
@Takaosanguchi Station

On Day 5, we decided to take a little day trip to the outlying areas of Tokyo to check out the mountains and do some hiking. Sadly, we woke up a little too late for the latter but Mount Takao still managed to offer us beautiful sights during our time there. It was the perfect breather after spending our past couple of days in the city.

It takes about 40mins from Shinjuku, but it's definitely one of the places worth traveling for! Aside from the mountain sights and natural scenery, there's also an Onsen just located right outside Takaosanguchi Station. The Onsen is pretty affordable so if you could afford the luxury of time, you probably don't want to miss soaking in hot water on the mountaintops like we did ):

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Lunch before we started on our journey!! No location for this one cause phone service was limited up in the mountains so we didn't manage to get it down ):

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The monkey park.

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According to Japan guide, Mount Takao has the best few Autumn foliages in Tokyo for viewing. We were in Japan a little too early since the leaves barely started turning yellow while we were there (if it looks more yellow in my photos it's because of my Photoshop and editing LOL) but Mount Takao was already so breathtaking!! I can only imagine how beautiful it would be in full Autumn...
The only downside to Mount Takao is its lack of phone reception at times. But the time you spend disconnected from your WhatsApp and social media platforms is going to be worth every minute here.

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For our dinner, we made our way back to Shinjuku, and then to Ikebukuro to try the highly raved Kura Sushi!! We've been seeing videos and articles of this gachapon sushi place during our time in Singapore so we made a mental note to visit it no!! matter!! what!!

The dinner queue is crazy. You will probably need to get a queue number and spend about an hour or so exploring the nearby Muji store before it's finally your turn.

The attraction of Kura Sushi is that you get to have a go at their gachaphon machines for every five plates of sushi you've eaten. Apart from that, all their sushis on the conveyor belt are in a capsule casing. If you were to order from their iPads, the sushi will come in mini train plates, something akin to what we are familiar with at Singapore's Genki Sushi. The deal breaker though: All plates are only at 100yen!!!!

Kura Sushi くら寿司 Ikebukuro
@ 1-19-5 Minamiikebukuro, G Bldg. Minamiikebukuro B1F

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Not the best sushi around, but they're not too bad. Definitely worth the experience and the non exorbitant price tag!!


SHINJUKU AND SHIBUYA

@Shinjuku & Shibuya Station

And of course, to spend our last two days in Tokyo doing more damage to our banks. Personally I don't find Shinjuku or Shibuya particularly special simply because they resemble Singapore a lot... But still the place for you to go to if you want to get your shopping fix.

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After spending our last day in Tokyo, Shinjuku, we were supposed to board our Night bus to our next destination (Nagoya) but like all travel disasters, we had our share when we missed our bus. Not because we were late, but because the Shinjuku bus terminal was kinda confusing so we mistook another bus for our own.

Luckily for us though, we still managed to get another ride to Nagoya, but only at 7am. So we practically had nowhere to go from 1am to 7am with our battless portable wifi. We were barely surviving with the remaining low batt percentages on our phones and the terminal's wifi when I managed to find a godsend Internet & Manga cafe located not too far from us.

Now, I know that most Internet and Manga cafes don't really have a very good reputation considering how the some media articles often expose these places to be housing weirdos/nerds that has been eating, sleeping and practically living in those places while being glued to their computers for months/years like its their own home, but our near death experience (I kid) gave us the opportunity to debunk that myth.
These 24/7 Internet/Manga cafes are actually pretty cool?? At least, the one we went to was super cool, and very clean. It not only provides you with a computer/manga library and a place to charge up your devices, but you get your own private cubicle/space and free-flow drinks as well! It also has shower facilities and vending machines for you to get your supper fix if you're hungry.

It's actually a much cheaper and viable alternative to Japan's capsule hotels omg?? It's even better considering it's fast wifi and free drinks LOL. Jo and I spent about 1200yen for the five hours we spent there. If you plan on staying a night (apparently that's what most budget travelers do), it probably wouldn't cost more than $25SGD and that's really super worth it??

Bagus Grand Cyber Cafe
@ Daini Toakaikan, 28-6, Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku

To find out more about the cafe before your visit, you can check out this blog post from a fellow traveler. Her post helped to lay out the pros and cons of the place, as well as inlcuded her own personal experience of the cafe.

Again, Japan amazes me with their eccentric ways. But this time, it really saved us from sleeping on the streets at night lol.

That's all for Tokyo then!

Check out my other posts on Japan:
▶ Autumn in Japan (part 1) - Northern & Central Tokyo
▶ Autumn in Japan (part 2) - Western Tokyo
▶ Autumn in Japan (part 3) - Nagoya
▶ Autumn in Japan (part 4) - Osaka
▶ Autumn in Japan - Video Travelogue
▶ #TRIPPinJAPAN (part 1) - Japan tips
▶ #TRIPPinJAPAN (part 2) - Osaka Day 1, 2 & 3
▶ #TRIPPinJAPAN (part 3) - Kyoto Day 5, 6 & 7
▶ #TRIPPinJAPAN (part 4) - Kyoto Day 8 & 9
▶ #TRIPPinJAPAN (part 5) - Tokyo Day 10 to 17

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