The orange leaves and blue lights of Tokyo in December…

To make the most of our Tokyo Disneyland trip, my friend and I stayed in a hostel in Tokyo on Sunday night, and had a day in Tokyo itself on Monday.  It felt really good to get away for the weekend.  We stayed at the Sakura Hotel in Jimbocho, which is actually the very first place I ever stayed in Japan, back in 2006.  It hadn’t changed much, and it was nice to be back.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone who just needs a place to crash in Tokyo.  The staff all speak English, it’s clean and friendly, and they do a simple breakfast of tea/coffee, toast and soup (although we  couldn’t find the soup) for just 315 Yen.

We both woke up fairly early on Monday morning, so we set off for Asakusa and Ueno.  Asakusa was pretty crowded (as it always seems to be!) and there were loads of other tourists about.  You could tell the shop staff there were catering to the tourists, too…

Obama mask…

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Obama omiyage…

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Asakusa was looking beautiful in Autumn colours and decorated very subtly for Christmas:

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And Ueno was even more beautiful:

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In the middle of Ueno Park there is a big lotus pond.  In the summer, I saw this pond in its full glory, so I was quite shocked to see it dead now.  It was kind of spooky.

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I think the decorations at Harajuku were mostly their usual ones, but it still felt like Christmas there:

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In the evening I headed over to Shinjuku.  I’ve always kind of liked Shinjuku, even though it’s pretty mad and too busy there.  I figured in Shinjuku there would be some pretty impressive lights for Christmas, and I wasn’t disappointed.

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I wasn’t sure what this last illuminated thing was, but there was a long line of people waiting to try it out, and it was making sounds.  If I had had more time I would have joined the line, but I was cold, loaded up with shopping, and I had a train to catch.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I managed to visit the new H&M store in Harajuku!  There was heavy security and a whole system for entering and exiting, but once I got inside it was just like being on Oxford Street at this time of year!  It was really nice to be in H&M again – it felt like home!  Now, H&M people (and Next people too!), open up some stores in Nagoya please!!

Finally, it wouldn’t be a blog about Japan without a mention of Kit Kats…  In Tokyo, just as I was about to go home, I had the luck of finding two Tokyo Limited Edition special flavours of Kit Kat:

Koi Kinako (Can anyone tell me what this actually is?!  It tastes good but I can’t figure it out…)

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Shoyu (Yes, that’s Soy Sauce flavour… Surprisingly not half as gross as it sounds – actually, really tasty!)

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5 thoughts on “The orange leaves and blue lights of Tokyo in December…

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