Touched down at 10 p.m. at Haneda Airport, traveled for almost a day from my house to the airport then to Tokyo. I followed a tour for this trip for this time around. We checked in a hotel near the airport at around 12 midnight. However, our stomachs got the best of us, we went out to get food despite of the fatigue and jet-lag.

6 a.m. was a prime time to get up for a invigorating morning run as Tokyo was at its summer time. The sun was up at around 4 a.m. Warmed up with my sports attire on, I ran for an hour and a half, mostly was to take in and enjoy the scenery in that region.

Here is my run in pictures,

haneda tokyo run scenery 1 travel
1st of many shots…
haneda tokyo run scenery 2
Reflection from the bridge.
haneda tokyo run scenery 3
Tokyo housing areas.

I continued my run to my north. Unexpectedly, it brought me to a park, fully furnished with sporting amenities like baseball courts, basketball courts, futsal courts and the basic sport equipment. The view around the park was breathtaking as well.

haneda tokyo run scenery 4
The park blossomed with white flowers.

Realising time was not on my side as the tour was heading out to our next location in the next 25 minutes, I rushed my way back to the hotel. In the midst of the panic, I got lost. I had no time to fret or whatever, I had to use the Maps to guide me back to the hotel.

haneda tokyo run scenery 5
A separation of work and life.
haneda tokyo run scenery 6
that anime scene…

Alas, I got back in time and had a quick breakfast before departing. The tour was scheduled for three locations- Asakusa, Akihabara, Gotemba- before heading to Mount Fuji. The tour told us some norms and customs of Japan before reaching our first location- Asakusa Sensoji Temple. Normally these temples / shrines in Japan are places where people worship or pay respect to the Gods there, and there are charms to be requested.

asakusa sensoji temple tokyo japan 1
Asakusa Sensoji temple (Rear View)
asakusa sensoji temple tokyo japan 4
Asakusa Sensoji temple (Front View)
asakusa sensoji temple tokyo japan 3
Asakusa Sensoji temple (Side View)
asakusa sensoji temple tokyo japan 2
Asakusa sensoji temple (Inside)
asakusa sensoji temple tokyo japan charms
Luck and charms…

If you are willing to take a few more steps ahead of the temple, around 15 minutes walk, you will reach the signature golden poop-like structure of Asahi beer. On the way there, you will also see the big red lantern of the temple.

Asahi golden poop structure tokyo japan
Group photo time! Golden poop!
lantern of the Asakusa Sensoji temple
Big red lantern of the Asakusa Sensoji temple.

One funny thing that caught my attention was the trishaw culture that they have here as illustrated by the tour guide. Many buffed and handsome males will be pulling the trishaw, resulting those Japan girls or any girls want to have a ride on their trishaw. If they are serious about the ride, they would get into a relationship. (I know I am talking this poorly but this is the main idea behind it).

Trishaw Tokyo Japan Asakusa 2
Arguably one of my best shots taken during the trip.
Trishaw Tokyo Japan Asakusa 1
Look at them… Simply look at their faces…

Next up, Akihabara, the home to electronics and anime! (Yay for weebs like me!) No photos were allowed in the those buildings so I followed suit. There are floors upon floors of anime stuffs, even those adult ones from body pillows to doujins filling up floor after floor. There is also the market for re-selling the anime stuffs, just like how they do with selling antique art pieces. They are very open about it as their culture is to simply respect and follow the one who had pummeled them in WW2- the U.S. One more thing that is famous here is the maid cafes, speaking of being open and ironically they are okay with objectifying people. I also bought some for my father and for one of my colleagues.

Akibahara tokyo Japan street view
Akibahara street view
Akibahara Zone Tokyo Japan
Akibahara Zone Tokyo Japan. Six floors of goodness (for weebs)
Mandarake Building Akibahara Tokyo Japan
Mandarake Akibahara Tokyo Japan, here is where hard-core selling and re-selling occurs.

Lunch break! I was late for lunch as scheduled by the tour. We were taken to a seafood steamboat store. To be frank, it is not as good as I expected, but I do appreciate the food.

After lunch, it is time to go up to Mount Fuji. Before that, we headed to Gotemba Premium Outlet for a quick stop.

Gotemba Premium Outlet Tokyo Japan
Gotemba Premium Outlet

Time to shop! I got myself a sport-fibre Puma jacket, two more jerseys, also from Puma after a whooping 60 percent discount, meaning I only spent around RM 200 for things that cost around RM 300 or more. The stuffs there are worth the buy especially when there are sales going on. Buy your desired pair of shoes there as my previous buy is still in perfect condition after a year of rigorous usage.

Gotemba Premium Outlet Tokyo Japan 1
Another shot of the scenery around the outlet.

After all the shopping spree, we were brought to the hotel at Mount Fuji. We were prompted to have another group photos in our yukatas, have dinner then go to the hot-spring if you wanted to.

Yukata Mount Fuji Tokyo Japan culture
Yukata with relatives. I am the one with the highlighter-orange shirt popping out (second from the right)

Dinner was a buffet. Not much to comment about, had not tasted real Japan food at this point in time. But, Mount Fuji was visible from the balcony of the buffet area. Really good atmosphere eating there though. I did not get the shot in time as I was busy eating.

Mount Fuji Tokyo Japan in clouds
Mount Fuji in clouds… Sad.

Before tapping out, I went to experience the hot spring in the hotel. It was a queer experience. Having a bunch of naked dudes with their dicks dangling around as you wash yourself up just to get into a sharing hot pool filled with other people. Not to say I am being culturally insensitive, but I just could not wrap my head over the hygiene factor in this culture. Nonetheless, it was an revitalizing experience, being sunk in hot spring water for a good half an hour.

After the hot spring experience, I had to head back to my room to get myself wash up again. Perhaps I just could not accept the culture as it is.

Light out, another run next morning.

Craving for more? Down below:
A Trap Called Life
Hear the Wind Sing by Haruki Murakami (Book Review)
this is normal
A Loss In Time, Taken For Granted
Nine Hours Apart…
Trichotillomania

 

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