Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Date With Autumn: Tokyo Metropolitan Garden Square

I was soooo tired when I arrived in my hostel in Tokyo. I left my luggage and used the common room’s computer to send an email to my parents that I arrived in Japan alive. My stomach started to grumble. Time to find breakfast. I headed outside and explored Asakusa. (I’ll talk about Asakusa in a separate post).
Uh oh. The crowds.
There are lots of restaurants and fast food chains around Asakusa. I was in search of something authentic, so I chose a place where the menu is almost not translated. The food pics look good. There was a greeter/ PR person at the door. I have a good background in reading Katakana and Hiragana because I was an Otaku in my teenage years. Well... I thought I had a good background...but my skills did not help me here.

Someone assisted me in operating the vending machine. I inserted the bill in the slot, then pressed my desired order. A meal ticket came out and the staff handed this to the cook. After some time, the staff told me to that my order was ready.

Good thing I was sitting in a corner because I was making a mess of the noodles and the chopsticks. Di ako proficient sa chopsticks usage. The ramen was AWSESOME. Hand-pulled noodles here.
Got the ramen and rice tempura at JPY 580

I ate my meal while digesting the map of the Tokyo subways. This is the craziest metro map that I’ve encountered. I thought the metro map of Paris with 13 lines was insane. This is crazy. 
80 lines of craziness
I located the Metro Line and bought a Pasmo Card with ¥ 2,000 load. Convert that to PHP, it is the most expensive metro pass that I’ve ever bought. The vending machines have an “English” Option so I had no troubles doing the purchase.

Using my map, I eventually found my way to Shinjuku Station. Reading the metro map is one thing. Dealing with exit maps is another crazy challenge. 
Doko desu ka?

But I found it. Bwahahaha.
Entrance fee of Tokyo Metropolitan Garden Square (Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden) is  ¥ 200.

Reminds me of Baguio

I placed my tripod + camera on a tree branch.
Let the drama begin

I asked another tourist who was taking pics of the place. Quite difficult to find passers-by so most of my pics are sariling-sikap shots with the aid of my tripod.

Standard peace sign with the purple camera case

Reminds me of Tendo Dojo. Sorta kinda. Can't help but relate all these real things to the anime version.

I was excited to see the colors of autumn again. Walang autumn sa Pilipinas eh! I was a bit early for autumn in Tokyo. There were some trees who were cooperative enough to let me experience autumn again.
Lovely. But not quite autumn...yet.

Nice to have some silence because I haven't really rested since I landed in Tokyo that morning. I did some park-bench-hopping here. Good to take some pics and exhaust my camera.

The garden is huge.  The park is filled with these bridges and Japanese manicured lawns. Too bad that parts of the park was still closed: the greenhouse was closed when I was there. There were a bunch of students who were cleaning the park grounds, so I ventured out to some paths where I cannot hear them. After deliberately getting lost, I had to find my way back to the entrance/exit gate. The map wasn't really helping me at this point, so I relied on the directions scattered around the park.

On my way back, I finally asked the best route how to go back to Asakusa. I was too tired to figure out the map myself.

Streets of Tokyo...somewhere
After a whole day of walking, I dragged my boots around Asakusa for an evening meal. Too tired to really eat out, I settled for quick meals for a nearby 7-11. Okey, so nagtitipid pa rin ako. Hahaha. I also bought food for my breakfast the next day.

The rice bun was my cheap breakfast.
Day 1 in Tokyo was quite good. Time to catch some much needed rest.

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