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Days 1 and 2 in Tokyo: Akihabara, Suntory Hall and JLUG

As you might remember, we left off the story last time with departing to Tokyo. Our hotel in Tokyo was a pretty cheap place called Horidome Villa (business hotel). The room about the same size as what we had in Osaka we were able to book for just about $65/night. We arrived quite late in the day and took what appeared to be the last available room, that also turned out to be the worst room as well: very humid, with small flies everywhere and with bad smell. Front desk acknowledged the problem and promised to provide with another room on the next day after some people check out.

So we slept for quite a bit of time in the morning and then the front desk informed us that we can move to another room at like noon, so we decided to wait until noon in hotel (and it was around 10:30 already) so that we can move our stuff to that other room.

Another problem with this hotel turned out to be that they did not have any nonsmoking floor. One of the floors had all non-smoking rooms, which just meant that all smoking guests of those rooms went to the hall for a smoke, and the smell immediately penetrate at least our room (both of the rooms we tried actually).

Window view
This is what we had for a window view.
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Tokyo Dolpa 26

Today we have yet another out of line post I guess.

On Dec 18 there was a Dolpa 26 held in Tokyo, an event Ksusha wanted to attend, so just as if we had not enough flying already we boarded a plane and went to Japan (again).

We have read before that Japanese Dolpas are very unlike USA dolpas, but wanted to see it all with our own eyes anyway.

To get to Japanese dolpa you need to buy a guidebook, special booklet that is used as a ticket and explains the planned activities, has various forms and such.

Official Guide Book

The guidebook might come in two forms too, just a guidebook or with lunch tickets. They are sold in VOLKS showrooms or on the VOLKS website. Some events are very popular and the guide books are sold out fast, some events are less popular and the guidebooks are available for quite a while.
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Day 8. Ginza, Suntory Hall

For our last full day in Tokyo the plan was to visit Ginza in the morning and we already had purchased tickets for an evening performance in the Suntory Hall.

Ginza station
Ginza subway station. Unlike other stations we have see, there are automatic fences that block the way if there is no train.


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Day 7. Evening at the Chidori ga Fuchi moat

In the evening of day 7 we decided to go to the Chidori ga Fuchi part of the moat around the emperor palace. We have  seen some spectacular pictures of beautifully lit sakura trees at night and wanted to capture something like that.

We arrived during a day time, though the sky was overcast and not pretty. Yet right after exiting the subway station the atmosphere looked quite different from the rest of Tokyo. We immediately saw a lot of sakura trees and people with cameras taking pictures.

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Moat during the day.


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Day 7. Harajuku

On Sunday our plan was to go to Harajuku, this is a famous place in Tokyo. People of strange fashion meet there and there are a lot of fashion shops too.
Another of the VOLKS shops is located there so we wanted to visit it too.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower
This building is near Shinjuku station and it is the second biggest educational building in the world. It's named Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.


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Day 6. Hamarikyu Garden and Odaiba

The day 6 was preplanned long before we came to Japan. On this day we decided to go to Hamarikyu Garden and then to Odaiba with our friend (and then - coworker) Ihara-san who greatly helped us to prepare for the trip too.

So we met at Shiodome station at 13:30 with him and his wife and daughter and entered the Garden.

Hamarikyu Garden

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Day 5. Roppongi, Mori Tower.

After Ghibli museum we briefly returned to our hotel to pick another camera and tripod and then headed to Roppongi Hills area hoping to get to Mori Tower's sky deck in time for sunset.

Unfortunately we miscalculated the time needed and arrived somewhat late, so no stunning sunset pictures.

Moori tower in the evening
Mori Tower.


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Day 5. Ghibli Museum

On day 5 we had previously acquired tickets to the famous Ghibli Museum dedicated to animations by Studio Ghibli and its director Hayao Miyazaki.

Our starting time was scheduled for 10am so we actually had time to have a breakfast before going. Found some other Udon place this time.

Udon
Udon with an egg.


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