Thought I'd sleep like a log since couldn't sleep on the plane but only actually managed an hour. Upside was I forgot to set the camera's time so the time lapse wouldn't have happened if I didn't get up to correct it.
Cloudy so no sun visible but not bad. Had breakfast around half 7 before setting out.
Dropped down to get a new SIM I saw in 7 eleven instead of trying to get through customer support for the Mineo card I got from the airport. Works right away instead of requiring activation but you need to manually enter APN settings for internet to work as with other cards. Seems to use Softbank just like UK Vodafone does for roaming.
No bonus coupons or needle for poking out the tray and more expensive than ones you can get from Yodabashi or Biccamera, though.
Today's plan was to go do some Shinkai movie spot hunting for Suzume and Weathering which were concentrated around the Ochanomizu and Ikebukuro areas.
Can't go pass a Pachinko parlour without seeing Evangelion.
First off though, I went to visit the Akiba shrine nearby in the Ueno area which is what you see in Steins;gate although they changed the location to Akihabara.
Some mini shrine along the way.
And even a sweet potato vending machine.
Was quite a far walk from my hotel compared to what Google Maps suggested (as usual).
Interesting entrance with rope wards.
Was just like what you see in the game which is more detailed than the Anime.
Muzan from Kimetsu seems to have infiltrated a designer's office.
Also pre-school children with hats being lead around you see in Anime a lot but not in the UK. Quite cute.
Now off to the Bunkyo Civic Centre near Suidobashi Station.
Wanted to get a Pasmo to collect IC cards but as announced some time ago, they're no longer available due to chip shortages. Someone had said you could still get cards with printed names but even they are unavailable now. Mobile app only.
I still had my Suica IC card from my last trip and they're valid as long as they're used within 10 years so I just used that.
Free observation deck and unlike the Tokyo Metropolitan building there's no bag search involved. I had trouble finding the elevators so a security guard pointed me in the right direction to get to the 25th floor. It also happened to be the Covid vaccination area...
The observatory had some breathe taking views. I could see the Skytree along with the Ueno hotel was staying in.
It was almost like watching Shinkai movies come to life.
The day was clear enough to see Mount Fuji to the left of the cocoon in the Shinjuku area although you can fairly much see the famous mountain from all over Eastern Japan.
Next up, off to Ushigome-kagurazaka Station where a Weathering spot is nearby. Up Asahi Hill we climb...
Can't imagine using these stairs on the right... Have to duck down everyday to get in?
Then it was pass Akagi Hills.
November in Japan, Christmas promo in full swing.
Was telling my native Japanese penfriend about advent calendars but looks like they have them over in Japan too, haha...
Pretty interesting sloping area with lots of little lanes.
Had its own shrine area too.
And the building the KA office was based on. Was quite annoyed when I got back and discovered the video footage I had recorded was corrupted =(
And the slope leading up to the office.
Was going to tour the other Shinkai movie spots around Ochanomizu, Ikebukuro but was starting to feel tired. Legs weren't feeling so great either so decided to to go to Jinbocho instead where one of the book stores Yaguchi Shoten (矢口書店) is featured in Persona 5.
Station had a nice book theme going.
Turns out this area is well known for rare books and other vintage printed media.
Vintage adult media too.
There was 50,000 Yen vintage Gegege no Kitaro themed Hanafuda set... Not fan enough to get it. Especially when you can buy modern ones even though the art's different ^^;
Was definitely a nice store and lots of other old buildings too. I expect it'll have a even nicer vibe during the evening.
Quite a few ladies walking around in Kimonos and the side walk had these engravings that are bookmarks I'm guessing.
Decided to get something to eat and thought Ikebukuro should have some big open places that shouldn't be too tough for my social anxiety to handle so I ended up going there. Had to skip the Shinkai movie spots I originally intended to tour because of my sore legs.
Ended up at Lotteria, a Korean chain for fast food. Quite expensive at just under 1000 Yen for a set meal. Watched people trying to get into the toilet. Some gave up. I saw people entering some sort of code so I was curious what it was and it was actually printed on your receipt :O
Popped into Sunshine City while passing by. There was some kind of Kimetsu related campaign going on.
They seemed to have expanded on the number of Anime stores there, especially Pokemon which had its own trading card and Go shops too now. Used to be just the chain Pokemon Centre store. There was even a new Crayon Shin-chan shop now.
Was going to be rush hour soon so started making my way back to the hotel. Busy place Ikebukuro. This spot near the Lotteria place I ate at is featured in Steins;gate too but not exactly at this angle.
Popped onto a women only carriage by mistake. Didn't see the sign and lots of other male were on so thought it was just a regular carriage but a woman glared at me. Not that everyone else does when I'm in socially anxious mode when out and about... But it seems women only carriages were currently unavailable due to heavy maintenance at stations apparently. They also only in effect during rush hours only.
Ended up going the wrong way back to the hotel but found a quiet ticket machine area. The plan was to head for Nagano tomorrow so ended up trying to buy some tickets. Unfortunately there were no window seats left for the first early morning limited express train.
Evening was looking nice on Panda Bridge back in Ueno.
Searched for a place for dinner. Didn't know where but decided to go for a set meal, teishoku place and went for a chain restaurant, Ootoya in the local area. 1000 Yen, staff friendly but no digital tablets for ordering as shown in the Google Map photos.
I'm not a big eater so I ended up leaving two pieces of fried chicken, karage behind. Felt a bit bad about it but did my best and not sure I could have asked for half the portion ^^;
Was hoping to find a new power bank with Quick Charge (QC) 3.0 support so it could keep my phone charged while Google Maps was running. Nearby Biccamera felt too expensive compared to back in the UK so ended up not getting one.
Did catch an ad for the Persona 3 Reload remake though. Don't have much time or perhaps the energy for gaming these days so no plans to stock up on games or digital codes this time round.
Also the latest Oculus 3 headset from Meta Facebook. I have an earlier Go model which is just slightly better than having a Wii. Playing arcade games like basketball on it is pretty fun.
Well, early morning train for Nagano, Kami-suwa tomorrow.