Let’s wrap up the Tokyo visits with absolute opposites: cute stuff and a violent sport before going to Mount Fuji to look at a spectacular mountain.
Thursday, June 7
Having seen a number of temples, I need a change of scenery to finish my stay in Tokyo. Let’s dig in the world of manga, comics and anime after the morning routine.
A quiet subway trip after breakfast brings me near the main rail and metro station. This time, it feels a bit like Montréal did, because I have to be in an underground shopping area to see something that is highly recommended for geekery.
Part of the Tokyo Station is set up with a Kitchen Street (restaurants) and Character Street (21 stores based on comic/manga book characters) to cater to different needs and interests.
I can’t say that Character Street is overly impressive because I expected larger scale. Nevertheless, having this kind of space dedicated to cute stuff is what makes Japan unique. Even Americans don’t deep dive into cuteness all that much outside of a few flagship Disney stores.
Deepening my “social research”, I walk about a kilometre to visit the Mandarake Complex. The narrow building has eight floors of shopping space squarely focused on comic books, toys and anime. For those who are unfamiliar, I am talking about a very colourful Japanese style of comics. I didn’t take pictures of the most amusing part, but a whole floor is made of an adult section. Just think of anime characters and nudity meeting in comic books. The best part is that many women shopped in that section.
Having gotten up late today, I have little time to walk just over a kilometre to reach the Tokyo Dome site. The biggest attraction on the premises is the Tokyo Dome stadium, which hosts baseball competitions. From what I can see, there’s a live match today.
That’s not what I’m here for. I am a boxing fan and whenever I visit a country after moving to Europe, I try to attend a local event for the thrill of it.
After picking up a ticket, I have about 90 minutes to wander and there is a park nearby. The Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens is a nice sight and there are irises on display during this season.
At 17:45, I’m well seated at the Korakuen Hall for fights. There are many excellent, disputed fights tonight. No commercial breaks to satisfy television needs, just pugilistic fun for those of us who are into this sport.
Friday, June 8
The last day of the week doesn’t bring much of a story because it’s a transition day. Riding the train to Mount Fuji takes most of the afternoon after my typical slow start.
I could have taken creep pics, but I’m not a fan of doing that to people. Haha.
A nice evening treat, however, was dining at Kosaku. This, and my hostel, showed me that as soon as you step out of Tokyo, you are discovering a more traditional side of Japan. Everywhere I go, I have to take my shoes off upon entering and put on slippers.
The restaurant’s appearance and food? Spectacular.