Port 2 – Day 3 – Japan – Tokyo

27,039 steps later we have officially had another full day of touring Tokyo. Thankfully, today was a breeze compared to yesterday. The hardest thing we went through today was finding a place to eat lunch. This morning we let ourselves sleep in and just relax a bit before we headed out; we didn’t leave the hotel until about 10:30. Once we finally left the hotel we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the bottom of the building and then headed to the train station. Thankfully, the train station is directly across from our hotel so there wasn’t room to get lost. This morning the train seemed like a complete walk in the park because we didn’t have our huge 65-liter backpacks on. We rode the train from Shinjuku, where we are staying, to Shibuya, which are two of the districts in Tokyo. When we got to Shibuya we went shopping for a few hours and really just tried to take in the atmosphere of the district. We were in Shibuya last night and a lot was happening, but we couldn’t believe that it was still so popping this morning. After exploring and shopping in Shibuya we decided to walk to Harajuku, which is the third district of Tokyo. It was only a 10-15 minute walk from the center of Shibuya to the center of Harajuku. There was a lot going on in between the two and it was a safe area so we decided to walk. We stopped in little shops a long the way and really just enjoyed the excitement that comes along with trying to navigate through a new country. Harajuku is a really hip district known for being fashionable and filled with young people. IMG_4423 It was really fun exploring Harajuku because it was like it’s own little town in the middle of a huge city; it was probably my favorite part of Tokyo that we visited. We spent the majority of the afternoon just exploring Harajuku and trying to find a place to eat. What we didn’t know was that whenever the restaurants in Harajuku sell out of food they just close their doors and are done, at least until dinnertime. We weren’t really hungry when we first got to the district so we would walk by a place and agree to eat there later, but when it came time to eat nothing was open. As we began to realize nothing was open everyone started to get a little “hangry”. After a few “hangry” comments we decided to make getting food our number one priority. We ended up walking around Harajuku for like 15 more minutes until we finally found a little hole in the wall restaurant that was still open. I am so happy we waited so long to eat because had we not we would have never found this place. The restaurant we ate at was absolutely delicious. Most of our friends got a rice bowl, but Rebecca and I decided to split a rice bowl and Japanese pancakes. The pancakes were so thick, but not dry. They came with flavored whip cream on top and on a beautifully garnished plate.IMG_4422I could not believe how delicious the food was. Although we didn’t eat until almost 4:30, it was absolutely positively worth the wait. After our scrumptious late lunch we decided to head back to our hotel for a quick power nap and relaxation time before heading out again, and I’m so happy we did. After our naps and time we took to chill out it was time for dinner. We got really lucky with the hotel we are staying at because the train station and great food options are literally at the intersection of the bottom of our building. We ate at a really authentic Japanese sushi place and it was super great. IMG_4440We ordered the legitimate Japanese sushi where all the fish was raw and some of it was good and some of it I could have gone without. I’m really happy we went there though because we definitely go the authentic Japanese experience. After dinner we grabbed some green tea ice cream; they seem to sell everything green tea here. IMG_4442They offer everything from green tea kit kats to little green tea snack crackers. From what we’ve tried, they’re all pretty good. After our meal and dessert we walked around town and tried to continue taking in the atmosphere Japan has to offer. Japan has been super different than what we expected, but also super fun. Tomorrow we will spend the morning in Tokyo and then head to Kobe in the afternoon. I never thought I would be dreaming of being on the ship, but I must admit that I am super excited about being back on the ship again tomorrow evening.

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