Tokyo — Day 2 of a 5-Day Trip in Japan’s Kanto Region
The day started off cloudy and cold, got warmer throughout the day and ended with a downpour! Day 2 took us to a variety of districts in Tokyo. Each district has its own culture— Shimokitazawa is hip, Chiyoda is traditional, Nihonbashi is business and Akihabara is all about the electronics.
Day 2 started with a trip to Shimokitazawa, a hip neighbourhood in Tokyo where you can find vintage clothes and other small shops. Note: Most of the vintage stores and restaurants do not open until 11am. There is a mall with a Uniqlo, Daiso, and Muji which opens at 10am if you are interested in doing some shopping. We had souffle pancakes at Flipper’s for breakfast. So light and fluffy!
After spending the first part of the morning wandering Shimokitazawa, we stopped at the Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Shop to pick up some Totoro cream puffs. We got the custard (green leaf) and the chocolate cream (blue ribbon hat). The store is tucked away in a residential area near Setegaya Station and also has a sit-down cafe upstairs, which we did not go to. We were headed to Shinjuku for a quick lunch and wanted to save the cream puffs for later.
We decided on getting rice bowls at Tatsuya Shinjuku for lunch. The restaurant was somewhat difficult to find due to no obvious English signage. It had a bar setting where the chefs cooked in the middle. We pointed out what we wanted — a bowl of katsu don and a bowl of gyudon. In less than 5 minutes, we were served our meal and it came out to less than 800yen (about $10 CAD) for the both of us. Wow, so quick and at such a reasonable price!
Our next destination was the Yushukan Museum and Yasukuni Shrine. Before entering the war museum, we sat down on a bench outside the Yushukan Museum to enjoy our Totoro cream puffs. Note: They were adorable and delicious. The museum itself is actually quite large and describes in detail Japan’s war history. All the exhibitions have English translations and no photos of the museum exhibitions are allowed. We spent a few hours here wandering the halls.
As an avid Pokemon fan growing up, I knew we had to stop by the Pokemon Centre Tokyo DX. We located the Pokemon Centre sign on the building, and took the elevator up to the store where we were greeted by Snorlax with Pikachu and Mew on either shoulder. The store is lined with Pokemon merchandise and there is a Pokemon themed cafe as well. A Pokemon fan paradise!
To end Day 2, we headed to Akihabara for dinner. Akihabara is the prime location to find electronic stores, arcades, and maid cafes in Tokyo. We were craving Japanese curry and headed to Go! Go! Curry for pork katsu curry. After dinner, we stopped at one of the arcades to use the ‘Purikura’(Photobooth). We posed for 6 cute photos and confusingly tried to translate the Japanese on the screen while decorating our pictures. It started to rain heavily, so we headed back to our Airbnb for the evening.
Complete Day 2 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train stations. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
8:00am: Head to Shinjuku for breakfast. Tatsuya Shinjuku is open at 8:00am on Saturdays (all other days, they open at 10:00am).
11:00am: Travel to Shimokitazawa (7 minute train from Shinjuku Station to Shimo-Kitazawa Station). Stop by Flipper’s for some Souffle Pancakes. Wander the vintage shops. Pick-up some Cream Puffs from Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Shop (9 minute walk from Flipper’s).
2:00pm: Travel to Yushukan Museum and Yasukuni Shrine (8 minute train from Shimo-Kitazawa Station to Shinjuku Station, 12 minute train from Shinjuku Station to Iidabashi Station). Alternatively, you can visit the Tokyo Imperial Palace Gardens which is near this area.
5:00pm: Visit the Pokemon Centre Tokyo DX (5 minute train from Kudanshita Station to Nihombashi Station).
7:00pm: Head to Akihabara (3 minute train from Nihombashi Station to Kanda Station). Grab dinner at Go! Go! Curry Akihabara. Wander the various stores in Akihabara.
16-Day Japan Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 16-Day Japan Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in Japan!