On the last day of our trip, I had mixed emotions – excited by the prospect of seeing family and friends again, but sad that nine days had already passed and we had only scratched the surface of the city.
I was actually prepared to drop Odaiba from our itinerary (with so much else we also wanted to see and visit), but it sounded like a fun day out, so we tagged it on to the end of the trip.
It took a little while to get there from Ueno, but the view from the train going over the water was incredible.
Our first stop was the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). We arrived very early, and were possibly some of the first visitors through the door that day!
I had been particularly interested in visiting Miraikan because of its robot exhibitions. We’ve all heard of Japan’s progress with robotics, and I was excited for what we might discover.
The museum was very hands-on, and everything on display was also in English. It was amazing to see ASIMO, after seeing it on TV so much – we watched it hopping up and down, kicking a football and running. It also sang a little song, which wasn’t really our cup of tea… but the technology was impressive nonetheless.
The highlight of the Miraikan for me was the android child reporter, who sat in an eerie white room, viewable through a long slit in the wall. It was uncanny, only made ever more strange by its young Japanese voice. It is an experience that will definitely stay with me forever, as I pondered the question the exhibitions were prompting – ‘what is human?’
There were also some other fun exhibits and experiments we were able to take part in. The museum was like nothing we had ever visited before, and we were relieved we had made the effort to go to Odaiba on our last day!
We made our way over to Decks Tokyo Beach for lunch, before stumbling on a whole floor of retro arcade games.
We spent much of the afternoon visiting the shops and playing on the many games there!
One of our final stops was to visit the ferris wheel (Daikanransha) in Palette Town, which was 115 metres high! We also finally captured a picture of Mt. Fuji through the window, after it had been obscured by cloud on the three other chances we had to see it – it was a momentous moment!
We finished our last night in Tokyo at the huge arcade in Palette Town. We must have been in there for at least two hours, determined to use up the loose yen in our wallets.
My visit to Tokyo was epic beyond words. It was everything I had hoped for and more – the food, the hospitality, the culture, I was seduced by all of it. Ten days was never going to be enough to explore the wonderful city, and I don’t regret our decision to stay put in Tokyo for our entire trip – Ueno quickly became our home, and proved an excellent location for us. There’s so much we did that I haven’t even had time to cover – crepes in Harajuku, visiting Shinjuku and experiencing the wonders of Daiso for the first time (literally the highlight of the trip for me). I’m sure those photos and stories will materialise on here eventually (probably during Wanderlust Week), but I feel it is time to move on to other exciting things, like my recent trips to Dunster Castle and Bath!
When I first boarded that long flight to Japan, I was sure I never wanted to be on a plane for that long ever again! Now, I can say with confidence that I’d do anything to return there, and hopefully one day will get to go back. Watch this space…
You can view a list of all my Tokyo posts here.