I woke up and I wasn’t in a rush. I slept in until the showers and the common area would be open. The showers opened at 6 AM and the common area at 7 AM. I got up showered and headed down to sit in a chair and use the internet. It was already a better morning then the one before. I had planned to take the first little bit plotting my course that morning. I wanted to plot out where I needed to go and figure out the best route for that; then I wanted to take pictures of the google maps while I had access to them. I needed to pick up my pre-purchased Ghibli Museum ticket but could not do so until 10. Then I needed to go a fair piece out to the museum, an hour ride from the place I was acquiring my ticket at. You see I had been really worried about not seeing this museum. The Ghibli museum does not sell them at the door and has set times for each group during the day and a set number of guests that can come through during those times. I knew that I could come to Japan and buy it at any of the Lawson convenience stores. I just was not sure I would understand how to do it and worse yet I was afraid the days I was available would be sold out. I had read a lot of internet tales of being Ghibli denied.So I bought them through a third, well I guess through a fourth party, you know, since Lawson was already a third party. I am doubtful that I would have had to worry about it in hindsight but I am glad I didn’t have to find out. I paid too much for the ticket considering all the “tour company” did was hand me a map of the park the museum is in that I had on my iPad and the instructions for the train. Either way the place I picked up the ticket at was in Shibuya.
Shibuya is a huge shopping area apparently. I grabbed a map, since I had 4 hours until I could actually enter the museum, but with the exception of the Hachiko statue at the station I was not super interested in seeing anything on the map. Who is Hachiko? I am so glad you asked. Hachiko is the loyal dog who would go to the train station everyday to greet his owner. Unfortunately, the owner died but even after the owner died Hachiko would go to the station and wait. Dogs are cool. It is such a sweetly sad story that Richard Gere tried to make money off it and starred in a movie called Hachi based on it. Despite being seen hugging dogs in this movie, Richard Gere is most definitely not cool. I took a picture of his statue, Hachiko’s statue not Richard Gere’s statue, then a ton of people started posing in front of the statue and I thought that would be cool to have that picture. Unfortunately, every time I would walk toward the statue a group of girls would appear in front of it. I was amazed because I could not figure out where they were coming from but it was a non-stop kawaii fest. I eventually hit my limit of patience and walked away.
I mentioned before that the things on the map held no interest. At that time they really didn’t but it was more that I was so worried about being lost like the day before that I wanted to just get to the museum. When I was leaving the museum I saw a few things that would have been a nice place to visit that morning. Either way let me attempt to be chronological in my story here. I headed toward the station and bought a ticket for the train to the Keio Inokashira Line. I had to buy this ticket separately because the line is private train and not part of the JR line or the subway. I could have went a different way there but my supplied instructions said it was the most direct way from Shibuya station and no matter how much I looked at the map they were right. So I bought a ticket for the line and hopped on a train that arrived within moments. Unfortunately it was a local and it stopped every 2.5 cm and took forever to get to my stop. This actually wasn’t that big of a deal because I had plenty of time, like a whole ton of time. When I did arrive at my station I headed to a Starbucks bought a Tokyo coffee cup and a coffee and enjoyed some wifi. I was still trying to figure out the plan for after the museum. I also decided to try and see anything that might be on the way to the museum. There was supposed to be a nice shopping area near the station and I tried to find it but nothing matched the description. I did find a shopping area but it was not how the guide book described it. Either way I wandered the covered shop area and found a few interesting things.
Unfortunately my camera battery was dying so I only took these 2 pictures.
I meandered my way through shops and toward the park that the museum was in. I stopped at a place selling some tempura items. Unfortunately by the time I found a place to eat the food was cold. I then had to walk forever with the trash because apparently Japan hates public trashcans.
The park was not at it’s most beautiful, Fall had come and mostly left. Bare trees and construction greeted me during my walk. The train station I arrived at was pretty far from the museum and in hindsight I should have paid more attention to the description of the buses that I could take to the museum. I arrived an hour early and I killed some time looking for a trash can. I ended up having to walk to a Lawson convenience store to find one. I then sat in the sun and waited to go in.
The museum has a no camera policy which worked out considering my dead dslr camera that hung from my neck. When the camera worked I never noticed the weight of it but since it was useless I felt every ounce. I followed the rules and only took selfies where I was allowed to.eum has a lot of sketches, storyboard and character development papers on display. It also has some pretty cool moving exhibits that I would have loved to film and share. They also had an adorable little movie that is an exclusive to the museum. you won’t see it, at least not legally, outside of the museum. It is a story of a little girl’s puppy that takes you through the entire range of emotions. I laughed and also fought back tears during the 30 minute film. There is a reason I made sure I came to visit the museum, this guy and his crew are good! I bought some souvenirs and then headed to the café. I had an ice cream and a coffee but I was eyeing the beer. So I also had a beer.
I left after the beer was done and walked back to the station and I decided to explore Shibuya. So I did. I walked for quite a while in the area and found a Tower Records! It was an 8 floor record store with a bar on the roof. On one of the floors they had live music and on the bottom floor they had a JPop person that I snapped a picture of.
I decided to keep walking toward the Haruku area of town. It was getting dark and cold as I walked so I busted out my gloves and my ski cap. This was the only time I would use the ski cap because I lost it that evening somewhere along my travels. I made it to Haruku street and I have to say, even though I saw nothing I wanted to buy, that I actually really liked walking around in this area. I saw all kinds of interesting signs and even ate takoyaki again.
After I had wandered around for a while I hopped on the train and headed back to the hostel. When I arrived I plugged my camera battery in and headed to the common room. It was early, despite the darkness, so I plotted a course to the Tokyo Sky Tree. It was open and I figured that night would be the best time to see Tokyo. I headed over there and I went up to the observation area. It was amazing and I was very happy had forced myself to go there despite it being cold. However, the Sky Tree people are tricky and they have another floor above that you can pay to go to. So I shelled out the money and was greeted by awesome Star Wars displays because apparently they had fashioned the lights on the building like a light saber…. Either way the extra cost was fine and I enjoyed the view and the various Star Wars items they had displayed. I even got to take a picture with Kylo Ren’s light saber (and before you ask of course it was his and of course it was a real light saber!)
On the way out I went down a different staircase and discovered a Winter Village in the midst of closing but I had time to take selfies and be in group shots with 5 other random people. I also saw a Sizzler and was dying to go there but it was too late and they would not feed me. Sorry Grandpa. I settled for some prepared foods from a fancy grocery store that would be closing soon and had reduced the price of the food prepared that day. It was yummy and I was happy as I ate it back at the hostel before calling it a night.