I planned to spend the whole 3rd day of our holiday exploring on my own. It’s not that I don’t like spending time with my family, it’s just that our interests differ – they don’t really want to look round craft and toy shops – plus I like having time to myself sometimes.
So we all met up in the restaurant area at around 8am, talked about our individual plans for the day whilst eating breakfast (noodles for breakfast?!) and went on our own way. I think Glen was off in search of a music shop we had seen from the train window on our arrival in Shibuya and then on to Nakano, and my parents were wandering around the nearby streets and doing a little gift shopping.
After my little interaction with a local the night before (read about it in Part 3, here), I was very nervous about taking pictures in public, incase I upset anyone. So I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of personal pics from today, so I will enlist the help of Pinterest 😛
I started the day by visiting Tokyu Hands a couple of streets away. Unfortunately today it was raining quite a lot, and seen as I was out quite early had to wait round outside the store for it to open, umbrella in hand 😛
Tokyu Hands is a self proclaimed Japanese lifestyle mecca, and sells a wide range of items ranging from fabric, yarn and craft bits, books, stationary, homeware and furniture, bags, clothing and even pets and pet accessories. The store in Shibuya is the flagship store, and the biggest branch in Tokyo.
I spent ALOT of time in here! There are 10 floors, each with at least 2 different tiers for you to peruse. I got the elevator to the top floor, and made my way, slowly, back to the ground floor and the basement beyond.
Here’s a picture of the steps – I loved these as it made me feel I was doing some exercise! 😛
I got a lot of cool bits and pieces from this store – including a back support cushion for my work chair back home, vinyl stickers, blind box toys, more gashapon, some pens and a stretchy resistance exercise band thingy – you really could buy anything here! I even got a discount card for showing my passport! Yay for money off!
After I’d spent about 3 hours here, it was still raining outside, so I looked for more shops. I visited Seibu, Loft, Shibuya 109 and Kinokuniya, where I bought the Japanese edition of my favourite books – Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, Parts 1, 2 and 3 <3
I stopped for lunch in an Italian pizza restaurant on Centre Gai, where I had the weirdest pizza I’d ever eaten in my life (tasty though!) and headed back to drop my purchases off at the hotel.
I got this shot of a little side street out the back of the building…
The rain had let up quite a bit by this time, so I headed for Shibuya Station and on to my next stop – Akihabara…
Akihabara is a gaming nerds paradise, with streets and streets of retro gaming stores and arcades. There are whole shops full of nothing but gashapon! I think I bought about 30 gashapon here – I even had to exchange some 1000yen notes for 100yen coins. I’m not ashamed…
I wandered the streets, taking in all the neon lights and signage, up towards the massive Mandarake store towards the east of the area. This is the flagship Mandarake store in Tokyo, and it didn’t disappoint!
Featuring 7 floors of books, manga, collectible and designer toys and cosplay items, it even sold a few Blythe dolls! I was very good though and didn’t buy one – I was saving my big Blythe buy for tomorrow, when I intended to visit Nakano.
I left Mandarake and strolled back along the main street towards Akihabara Station – by now it was sunny and warm. I found a great little tax-free gift shop along the way – it sold lots of great souvenirs like mini kokeshi dolls, pin badges, traditional Japanese gifts and electronics. I also might have stopped in the gashapon arcades again…
The rest of the evening I spent in and around Shibuya; I met up with my parents and we had dinner at TGI Fridays. Glen was apparently still on his adventures in Nakano. We met back at the hotel that night and he showed me all the amazing bits he’d found – I was super excited to go there the following day!
And that was the end of Day 3! There’ll be a break in this report tomorrow, when I will bring you a special Tokyo inspired Free Pattern Friday – I hope you can join me!
Read Part 1: Departures and Arrivals here
Read Part 2: Harajuku here
Read Part 3: Mt. Fuji, Hakone and Lake Ashi here