Wednesday, 30 July 2014

JENESYS 2.0 Japan Experience - Day 3

Day 3

Our third day in Japan was a very busy one, as we were scheduled to visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Asakusa and Harajuku all in the one day.

Once again we woke up early, had breakfast at the huge buffet and boarded the bus. Our first stop was the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (未来館).
Photo from: http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/日本科学未来館


Outside the museum was a beautiful, green park. (Not super common to find this in the middle of Tokyo)





I'm not really a huge science fan, so I wasn't really interested in many of the displays at the museum. However despite that, the museum was very hands on and interactive, making the visit more enjoyable. Also for this reason, there were quite a few primary school children on excursion visiting. Look at their adorable uniforms?! They were so kawaii♡

The museum was quite large and had a few floors. In the main area was a gigantic earth hanging from the ceiling, which looked rather spectacular. There was a long walk way which curved right around the globe and that took us to the next level.





There were various scientific designs, informative pictures, games and more on display. A special section focused on the machines used in space, and explained how astronauts lived while they were up living in space. 


My friends and I explored the top level of the museum, which is where we found a room where we could view 3D photos. That was a little bit of extra fun ~



My absolute favourite part of the museum expedition was the definitely the special 10 minute robot show held at the end. The Asimo Robot is a Humanoid Robot designed and developed by Honda. This robot has the ability to interact with humans, walk, roll a ball, sprint a few meters and wave. That's pretty impressive, huh?  






After the museum we headed on over to Odaiba where a Chinese buffet was waiting for us. Outside our restaurant was a fantastic view of the famous rainbow bridge (lights up at night time) and Tokyo.


If we finished our meal early, we had the opportunity to have a look a popular lolly/snack store in the famous Daiba Itchome.

Photo from: http://tokyofamilyguy.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/daiba-itchomedecks-tokyo-beach-odaiba.html

Daiba Itchome is a cute collection of shops selling toys and novelty items recreated from the year 1960. My favourite shop is the lolly/toy store because there are hundreds of small, cheap, funny famous Japanese snacks and toys. (These snacks are especially popular among Japanese kids since they can afford the lollies on their low allowances.) Snacks range from a few about 5¢ to $3 (5円-300円).

Photo from: http://tokyofamilyguy.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/daiba-itchomedecks-tokyo-beach-odaiba.html
Famous, iconic Japanese characters such as Doraemon, Crayon Shin Chan, Pikachu and Sailor Moon items can be found inside.

(There is also an old-fashioned styled game arcade with vintage games, as well as a food court and a Takoyaki Museum on the other side of the building.)


These 'Mochi Pudding' snacks (on the right) are a personal favourite of mine! I bought about 20-30 (hehe). They only cost 43 cents (43円) each. [I also recommend umaibo bars which are about 10 cents each-can also be bought at the conbini too]






Cool Japan #6: Cheap Delicious Snacks 

  • In Japan there are lots of snacks which cost around 10 cents to about $1 (I've never seen snacks this cheap before anywhere else!!)
  • A lot of these snacks have been around for quite a few years
    • Umaibo (うまい棒) - a type of potato chip with lots of different flavours -e.g.  cheese, takoyaki, natto, salad, mentaiko and many more
    • Apollo (アポロ) - strawberry and chocolate bites
    • Choco Ball (チョコボール) - peanut or strawberry flavoured chocolate balls
    • Baby Star Ramen (ベビースターラーメン) - Chicken flavoured ramen chips
  • All Japanese children, teenagers and adults will know about these snacks as they are a part of the Japanese culture
  • You can find these snacks in the supermarket, conbini or these special lolly/toy stores


I bought a bag filled with tons of delicious snacks before we headed off to our next stop:
The famous and iconic Asakusa Temple & Shrine!!



One of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo is the famous district called Asakusa. Asakusa has a buddihst temple along with popular markets selling traditional Japanese foods and souvenir items. We were given 2 hours to wander around the area, have a go praying at the temple, shop around and soak in the Japanese atmosphere.



In the photo below you can see the endless street filled with small shop booths: (Be aware, the souvenirs at this shop tend to be more expensive)

Traditional Japanese fans, chopsticks, t-shirts, magnets, postcards, katana swords, shuriken and items to hang in the wind are some examples of items sold in Asakusa. There are also quite a few food stalls that sell traditional snacks such as senbei (rice crackers) or serve delicious ice cream! My friends and I browsed all the stores and then decided to eat soft serve ice-cream. I chose matcha flavour, which was super super super super delicious♡ 

Take note: When eating the ice-cream, you have to stay standing at the shop - it is considered rude to eat and walk in Japan (Japanese manners)







Purify your hands by washing them and drinking the water
If you're feeling lucky, try your hand at 'Mikuju' - which is receiving a fortune (100円 per go). If you receive an unlucky fortune, to save yourself from bad fortune, you must tie your fortune to either the special trees nearby or onto the wire. My mikuji was only average, so I didn't have to tie it up, but I wanted to since I'd never done tied it up before (haha).




This was my 2nd time visiting Asakusa (I went there the first time during my student exchange from Dec. 2012 - Jan 2013)
Taken on 28th May 2014
Taken on January 1st 2013
Everyone had just about finished looking around. Quite a few people bought some interesting souvenirs, such as a katana sword or a ninja outfit! While others just bought fans, chopsticks or lucky cats. While we were waiting for the bus, we had a great view of Tokyo Sky Tree!!! (In the photo below)


After Asakusa, it was time for the best part:shopping in  HARAJUKU!

Everyone on the Jenesys trip was anticipating this, because Harajuku is the fashion district of Tokyo. Fashion trends are created here & it's also the home of the famous Kyary Pamyu Pamyu! We were once again given about 2 hours to explore the area and shop till our wallets were empty!!

I've been to Harajuku quite a few times before, so I knew my way around. I just checked out a few of many favourite stores: Nadia, SPINNS and WEGO. Walked up and down Takeshita Dori a few times, and indulged myself by eating one of Harajuku's famous and delicious crepes.





I had also been on the search for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's limited edition ORA2 toothpaste. Which I luckily found in Harajuku, (I had checked heaps of other supermarkets with no luck so I was stoked!).


After that, a few of us checked out Kiddy Land. This store has lots of themed toys, based on Japanese characters/mascots like rilakkuma. It was in Kiddy Land that I bought a souvenir for my parents. I got a special machine which can make beer in a can become tap beer. (I thought it was a bit of a gag gift, something just for fun)



 It had been a long day checking out the museum, hanging around Asakusa, shopping in Harajuku but we still weren't done yet. Everyone went out to another buffet for dinner, but that time the meal wasn't very impressive. After dinner we all went to the conbini nearby and were amazed at the range of soy milk drinks available. My friends and I bought an almond milk and original soy milk to try. They both tasted amazing, especially the almond milk♡♡





The milk cartons look so pretty for some reason (haha)
Even though everyone was absolutely exhausted, most of us still went over to AEON mall for a bit more shopping. My NZ friend Sarah and I got some starbucks to drink. I of course had the matcha frappuccino, while Sarah tried the limited edition cookie frappuccino. Both were delicious. After an hour or so we both lugged ourselves back to the hotel.


When I got back my room mates and I were having a party in our room, playing cards, bonding and having a good time. It was a long, tiring but awesome third day of our Jenesys Japan trip. Tomorrow we were all splitting up and heading off to our assigned prefectures, so more exciting posts to come ! Thanks for reading ~ Keep posted for more!!!

Love you guys ! Jenesys 2014






1 comment:

  1. Such a nice post this was, thanks for sharing pictures of this famous museum. I have visited over there for once. Your post is informative for all.

    Online Japanese Course

    ReplyDelete