Japan – Day 2
After a good night’s rest, we were awake by 6am. We could have slept in a little longer because our bodies were still trying to get used to the time zone, but we decided not to. Although it was tempting to stay inside a nicely air conditioned room compared to being outside in the hot and humid weather, we made the decision to get out and make the most of the day. It was sooooo tempting! You’ll know what I mean if you’ve been in a summer around Asian countries. You can feel the humidity come through the front doors as you stand there waiting for it to fully open. Already, you can feel yourself regretting what you’re wearing or wanting to just jump into a nice cold bath! It’s that humid!
I am amazed at how well dressed the Japanese are in this humid weather! I see girls dressed up in so many layers and guys that are in black suits being so well composed in this weather. And then there’s me…, just look at me, I’m embarrassed to say that here I am in a tee shirt and shorts still dying to go back into an air conditioned room. All together, I feel under dressed if I left the room with my plain outfits and feel extremely dead, horrible, and drenched if I’m dressed too well (nothing to fancy, just my normal everyday wear of a skirt and blouse). There’s no in between!! How do you do it!? Tell me your secrets Japan! I assume if you lived there your whole life you’re just accustomed to it, and it’s already programed into your genes to be used to this kind of weather. But seriously, I’m sure with this kind of humidity it’s still complicated to deal with right?
We decided to tour around Akasaka that day since we didn’t get to see much the night before! It was Sunday, and compared to how busy it was last night (Saturday), this morning was completely dead silent. I noticed that in the hotels there are notices up about noise level. No noise before 11am (which I totally love!). Growing up and living in such a busy country where everyone is always rushing, I found myself at peace here. I enjoyed that people weren’t mowing their lawns at 7am, causing drama outside, or honking their car horns at 7am!
The country was awake and we noticed restaurant/shop owners everywhere were busy getting ready for the day, but it was so quiet! When you’re out early and the crowds aren’t out yet, if you ever played the game Silent Hill, I would say it gives out that same eerie vibe. There are people around but it’s so quiet you feel like something creepy might just pop out around the corner! Not that it was a bad area, the place we stayed in was lovely! Akasaka is one of Japan’s central business district filled with expensive hotels and corporate headquarters. This district is known as a high-end district. If you own a business in this district, you’ll be held up pretty high.
When we left the hotel we made our way around the neighbourhood to get familiar with our surroundings. The details that go into every little bit of Japan just continues to amaze me. You look down and your feet and you notice the cutest man hole cover/sewer covers. I mean look at that, I haven’t seen anything like that before in the States, or in New Zealand. It’s just so cute! For those of us who like to watch where we’re stepping, I bet you wouldn’t mind seeing some cute art around. I know I wouldn’t mind.
Although the streets were quiet you can see shop owners hustling around trying to get their stores ready for the day. It was nice to see so many shop owners take the time to prepare their ingredients for the day. Some shops had their doors propped open and you can see the chef’s chopping away at ingredients. A lot of the shops/restaurants weren’t open until 10am or 11am, but it was nice to see them working so vigorously. The only shops that were open are your fast food restaurants, like your McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, etc. But we didn’t come to Japan for that. Why would you anyways!? Right?!
One thing we did notice was a lot of the locals would walk into the convenient 7Eleven, or Family Mart, they would hurry in, buy their lunches/food and be out on their way to work, or where ever they were off to. So we thought we check it out as well. We walked into a nice breeze of AC a 7Eleven and check out their amazing range of lunch/boxed food. Amazing food at 7Eleven!? Bet you’re saying no way. But yes way! It was like your regular 7Elvens in the States, but combined with other amazing range of things. If you’re ever in Japan, this place will be like Target. We grabbed a few rice balls for breakfast. It was cheap, easy to eat, and fulfilling. The rice balls were amazing for the amount we paid for. Quick, easy, and convenient. That’s what we liked. Once we munched away at our breakfast and soon we ventured onto the main road that we were at last night. Right down at the middle we noticed a giant ‘torii’ – gate. I believe this is usually a symbol to mark a shrine, or a sacred ground.
This amazing shrine had escalators that lead up all the way to the top of the hill! AN ESCALATOR! Notice those people on the right side of the photo. That’s the escalator there. I was so amazed I couldn’t believe my eyes, my husband and I laughed, then he said, maybe we should have taken the escalator instead of walking up the stairs! It was pretty cool alright! An escalator for going up and down the stairs. Where else can you find something this awesome?! Haha!
Once we got to the top, we both noticed that there was a Sunday ceremonial session going on. We didn’t want to disturb the session, so being respectful we walked back down on the other side of the shrine and left without taking any photos. The feel of this city was extremely beautiful, the streets felt safe with so many security guards and police officers patrolling the streets. Never have I felt so safe walking about in a strange place. As the hour quickly passed we made our way over to the next stop. Tokyo Tower. We walked of course!
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