Sunday – April 16, 2017
After a late night last night we all slept in thus giving us a late start to the day. We didn’t end up leaving the room until after 10am. We skipped breakfast and took the train straight to Tokyo Dome City.
Tokyo Dome City
Once there, we grabbed breakfast at a bakery. We ate outside in the shade and then grabbed tickets for Thunder Dolphin (the roller coaster). Luckily you can buy individual ride tickets and it was only ~$10. They were running two trains and because it wasn’t very busy, we only had a 10 minute wait.
Panorama of Thunder Dolphin
Because LaQua (the name of the amusement park; part of the Tokyo Dome City complex) is in such a confined space, Thunder Dolphin has to make due with what space it does have. Both the lift hill and drop are steep and the ride is relatively compact, but, despite that, it packs a punch.
What I loved is that you never get the chance to ride a roller coaster in the middle of a city. It’s a great way of not only getting a ride/entertainment, it’s also a way of getting a 360 view of the city.
The ride ended up being great, we all loved it and were kicking ourselves for not getting a five ride pass so we could ride it five times in a row.
The Tokyo Dome; pretty self explanatory I guess
We then made our way over to the Tokyo Dome (literally next door) which, apparently had a baseball game going on. After getting a few pics, we made our way to the train station. Ignoring my directions, we ended up going to a station that was a bit further than the one I was taking us to. Whatever. We took the train three stops (instead of just two) and ended up in Akihabara.
Btw, while walking around Tokyo Dome City after having ridden Thunder Dolphin, we totally came across a small Muji store. Super dope.
I don’t remember how this got on the itinerary. It must have been either Dan or Pete’s suggestion. Either way, Akihabara is the anime district/electronics/video game district of Tokyo. Imagine if everything you think about Tokyo were located in one place, this would be it.
That said, it was immediately apparent that this was not my scene. Dan and Pete on the other hand were loving it. Being that I was going nuts staying in the manga and card shops with them, I told them I wanted to walk around and we decided to meet back at the JR station in an hour (14:00).
This is a general overview of what Akihabara looks like
I spent my hour popping in and out of arcades, exploring the different levels but not actually playing any of the games. I also sat and posted my Instagram for the day. Additionally, I used the change machine to get smaller denominations of Yen as I keep getting screwed by big bills.
When I went back to meet up with the boys, I fully expected them to be ready to move on to the next thing seeing that I had walked the entire area. To my surprise, they said they had only just finished the building we had started in!
One of many SEGA arcades
I decided that this was my que to split. I grabbed my things from Dan’s backpack and took the JR two stops to Iidabashi Station. I then walked about 10 minutes to the Yushukan War Museum.
Yushukan War Museum
Not gonna lie the main reason I wanted to go was to see the Zero (airplane) they have on display. As you enter, it is literally the first thing you see in the lobby. I admired it and took some pictures before buying my ticket and entering the main part of the museum.
One of two Zero’s on display at the museum
I sort of perused at a steady pace. I couldn’t really take it all in because only a few of the plaques were English. Eventually however, I made it to the room with the vehicles. There they had a tank, a boat, miniatures of battleships, a mini-submarine and another Zero.
I ended up spending an hour and a half there. As I was walking out through the lobby, Pete Facetime Audio called me. I told him I was done at the museum and was heading back to Akihabara. We decided to all meet at MariCar.
For those who don’t know, MariCar is a company that allows you to rent a go kart and, if you want, dress up as a character from Mario Kart while driving around on the streets/taking a tour of Tokyo.
In the lobby of MariCar – Akihabara
I arrived first, despite being the furthest away, and found out that they were all booked up for the day. When the others arrived, we agreed to reserve an 11am slot on Thursday. I was a little bummed that we weren’t gonna do it today, but I was glad that we at least put it officially on the itinerary.
After booking our tour, we grabbed a bite to eat. Pete went to Carl’s Jr. and Dan and I ended up at Mos Burger. Once we were done eating, I wanted to go to the Park Hayett Hotel to make up for my not going last night. Pete realized there was some car meet near by, so once again, we split up.
Park Hayett Hotel
Dan and I took the train to Shinjuku Station. I had done my homework this time and wasn’t going to make a mistake with regard to directions again. Unfortunately, despit all that, that is exactly what I did. We walked for about 10 minutes in the wrong direction before I realized my mistake. I was so bummed and angry.
The entrance to the hotel
We then backtracked to the station and started over again. As we got to the station, I realized my mistake, we had come out the wrong exit. I had figured out how to walk to the hotel from one specific exit and, despite following the signs to what I thought was the right exit, we had somehow screwed it up. Whatever.
We then walked 15 minutes to the hotel which normally would not have been bad. However, when you’re tired and have had a long day and are pissed off, 15 minutes seems like forever. On top of that, when we got there we realized that the hotel is part of a much larger building complex.
This meant navigating the complex in order to find the entrance to the hotel. Once in the lobby of the hotel, we had to figure how to get to the New York Bar. This meant taking two elevators, one to the 41st floor and then a second elevator to the 52nd floor.
When we arrived at the New York Bar we were told we couldn’t be let in because Dan was wearing shorts. He insisted I go but I simply took a peek before heading back down to 41. Clearly I am not meant to have a drink there.
My “mocktail” and Dan’s whiskey at the Peak Bar
Instead however, we grabbed a drink at The Peak Lounge, the more casual but still upscale bar on the 41st floor with great views of the city. This actually ended up working out well because rather than just getting a beer, I was able to get a “mocktail”. Dan ordered a Japanese whiskey and though the drinks took forever, they were delicious.
I told Dan I’d grab the tab as I had dragged him on this somewhat fruitless endeavor and because he had had to deal with my shitty attitude.
After our drinks we made our way to Shibuya Crossing where we met up with Pete and took some pics and vid of the famous crosswalk. After a little bit of that we walked around the area for a bit before taking to the train back to the apartment.