In this post I tell you what we did on the first day of our trip to Japan! (If you missed the previous post, I leave the link here). We will talk about our tour of Akihabara and Neko coffee, or coffee for cats.
We started by getting up very early (I couldn’t sleep, thanks jetlag), we bought a breakfast at the Ueno station with the intention of starting to explore the surroundings. What I did not know is that all shops open between 9:00 am and 10:00 am. We also planned to go to the Ueno Park Zoo, but it was Monday, and that day was closed, that’s how we went straight to Akihabara.
Akihabara, the birthplace of anime (I’ve been a fan of Japanese animation for years), is the paradise of the “otaku” (fan), like me, it is also known as electric town. We walked there observing the tall buildings, the pink rivers of sakura petals and the ornate manhole covers. When we arrived the neighborhood was just waking up, but in the distance I heard a familiar sound, we followed that sound until I realized it was the opening song of one of my favorite anime series, One Piece. Not only had we found a 100% merchandising store for that series, but that year they turned 15 years old from their first broadcast on television and the country was crazy, without a doubt it was paradise. This is how on day 1 I filled my suitcase and had to buy another. Without regrets.
It is a very popular neighborhood, there you can find many activities, visit the electronics stores, merchandising stores, arcades, maid cafes. Don’t you know what a coffee maid is? Let me explain, they are cafes where the girls are dressed in maid costumes, they are quite popular (and expensive, if you want to go I recommend this one), we could not visit one but it is an interesting experience. Instead we went to a cat’s café, yes cats! They are cafes that have several cats that interact with customers. A fixed price is paid and you can have a drink in addition to hanging out playing with the cats and feeding them, without a doubt a bizarre experience. There are also owl, rabbit and robot cafes (I leave the link for the tickets here), crazy.
After touring Akihabara a bit (we missed a lot), we continued walking towards the Tokyo Tower, through the Chiyoda neighborhood. Everything was huge, we only saw buildings, there were no parks or shopping areas, we were starving. We kept walking, wanting to find something to eat, until in the middle of the gray concrete we saw a small red door. We realized that they sold food there and as the next blocks did not look very promising we decided to go inside. It turned out to be a very small but picturesque family restaurant, they used traditional dishes and brought the food on matching wooden trays. Before bringing us the food (which I could order because I managed to read chicken and fish on the menu) they brought us water, yellow, very clear, it turned out to be jasmine water, the food was delicious and the staff were very friendly. Undoubtedly an Oasis in the middle of the city.
Anecdote: on the way to the Tokyo tower we passed a mega store, Laox, where of course there was a lot of One Piece merchandising. Suddenly I see a blanket with the face of my favorite character and obviously I bought it, I don’t know why, but I bought it. After carrying the blanket all day, when I get to the hotel I open it and see that it was not a blanket, it was a full-length pajamas that included even a hat and mittens. My happy face is only describable by my sister who could not believe that I was so happy with such great nonsense.
Finally, if you want to take a guided tour of Akihabara, I leave you the link to schedule here!
See you in the next post!