Japan: Day 8, Tokyo

It was my last full day in Tokyo and Japan in general. I had so much I had yet to see and I headed out hoping to see as much as possible. My first stop was the Tokyo National Museum, which was just a little past the JR train stop nearest to me. I arrived right before it opened for the day and I stood in line to get my ticket. Then I wandered in and headed straight toward the special exhibition: The Terracotta Warriors from China. I have yet to see them in China so I was excited about the exhibit. It was nicely laid out and had replicas and real examples inside. There was a place for a selfie, the only place a picture could be taken and I took a quick shot of the warriors and had planned to get in a selfie but I was all of a sudden at the end of a very long line.

The rules for photography were very strict about not allowing any photos in the Terracotta Warrior section so I used the lockers to store everything; including my camera. I made the mistake of thinking that policy applied to the entirety of the museum but that just wasn’t true and by the time I realized that I had already seen the entire museum. So I do not have that many photos to share. The museum is not small it is actually 6 separate buildings that are quite large but some things were closed on this trip. I went in and explored 3 of the 6 buildings. The main building has Japanese artwork (the place in the pictures above), the building behind it was where the Special Exhibiton hall is, and the final building I entered was to the right of the main hall and it was filled with art from various parts of Asia. I took some pictures here because I figured out that unless it specifically said no picture you could take a picture as long as flash was off. After I explored there I went to the onsite restaurant for my lunch… lets be honest, it was brunch. I skipped breakfast again that morning, with the exception of the can of coffee and the seaweed wrapped rice and salmon thing I really fell in love with while in Japan. I decided to sit and eat instead of getting something from the café. You will see a picture below advertising a salad with cone in it, that made me giggle.

After I ate I headed out toward the station in the middle of the park the museum was in. As I walked I stumbled across a bunch of blue pools containing giant koi inside. I have no idea what was going on but I took the camera out to take some pictures.

Unfortunately this was when my day went off the rails. I turned off my camera after taking a few shots but then I saw a giant koi and was going to take his picture so I turned it back on and this loud noise, a chchchchchch sound came from my camera and it would not stop. Something was wrong with the camera and I had no idea what. I had no idea what to do about it. I wandered for a bit before I decided to head back to Akihabara. I thought that if it was the camera I was screwed but if it was the lens I could get a new one…. maybe. When I went to get the train ticket I realized I had no more money, only just enough for the ticket. I started looking for an atm and could not find one in the subway despite always finding one in other stops. I did not see one at Akihabara either and I ended up walking for like an hour until I found one. Then I started going in to places and asking about lenses and to get one like the one that died I was going to be dropping some decent cash. Then I went into a place that had used camera equipment and I ended up buying a cheap lens to get the camera working and then I bought a different used camera. It is a Canon and about 8 years old. It was hardly used and looked immaculate. It came with 2 lenses and was cheap. I still don’t know why I bought it but I did and that seemed to snap me from my funk a little bit. I went from super despondent to feeling ok and slightly bewildered by my impulsive purchase. It is a nice little camera and in an upcoming blog, not a Japan one, you will see its handiwork. I am still pretty happy with this purchase. I am less happy with my cheap lens for my Sony because I have no telephoto capabilities. I will be looking for lenses for it and the new/old camera in the future.

Akihabara was interesting that day, they had blocked off the streets near the heart of it and hundreds of people were wandering the street. It was a perfect time to take a few more pictures.

I spent at least 3 hours wandering Akihabara in search of a solution. The sun was starting to set when I had accomplished finding a lens and buying an unexpected camera. I walked around trying to figure out what to do next. I decided to go to Roppongi Hills and see the Winter Village they had there and to see Star Wars; if tickets were available. I arrived and went straight to the theater and got really bad tickets near the front and then I went out to explore the Winter Village. It was pretty crowded and the food vendors had long lines in the village. I wanted to get gluhwein but that line was long as well. I wanted the boot it was served in more then the drink itself. It is tasty but not something I usually crave, I guess I’m not German. I decided to have some Japanese Whiskey instead because that place had no line. It was time to see the movie, or so I figured. I headed back to the theater and bought a huge tub of popcorn with salted and caramel divided inside. Then I added a beer and a Kylo Ren soda cup. The movie was not letting people in yet so I had to stand there with my popcorn and drinks. It finally let us in and I was able to begin eating and sipping away. The movie was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the popcorn mix too. On the way out I bought Darth Vader and Kylo Ren chopsticks as well as two Japanese Star Wars related newspapers with Kylo Ren and Rey on the covers. I then headed home and only briefly stopped to have sushi one last time.

The unexpected failure of my camera had derailed my day and when I got back up and running I had a new plan. The Imperial Palace would be closed or closing when I headed to Roppongi Hills and I was not doing it with a broken camera lens. I simply forgot about the Tokyo Tower but with the exception of a couple hours I spent trying to find an atm and a new lens the day was good. I am glad I saw the movie in Japan. I wish I had more photos to share from this day but the broken lens really put a stop to the photos I captured. The next morning I headed out to catch the flight back to Hong Kong. It took a long time and I was not thrilled about having to pay twice for the ride to the airport. Which I guess means that I should share the story of paying twice. The machine ate my ticket because I got off at the right stop but had selected the wrong one when I purchased the ticket. I tried to explain this but they insisted I pay for a ticket and never got the confiscated one out of the turn style. This ticked me off and I kind of raised a little heck over it to no avail. The good that came out of it was I taught him some lovely curse words. I paid for the ride twice regardless and felt grumpy until I ate. I had left without breakfast again because I was nervous about getting to the airport on time. The flight was uneventful after my argument with the jackass at the train depot. The sushi I had for breakfast was exactly what I wanted before saying goodbye to the island country that I had spent the last 8 days exploring.

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