Japan 2017 Day Two: Tokyo

 

 

So one of Japan’s little cultural quirks is its animal cafes, it started with the cat cafe and it has branched out in all sorts of ways.  It could be argued that the name ‘cafe’ is misleading as very few of these places serve actual food and drink but if it’s cute animals you’re looking for this is the place to head. I’m not a cat person so we decided to head to Dog Heart, a dog cafe. For one hour of doggy fun it cost 1550 yen. You do have the option to walk a dog as well but we didn’t want the hassle of worrying about picking up dog poo on Tokyo’s immaculately clean streets.

There were lots of toy poodles, 2 beagles and a big golden retriever. The dogs were really social,with one another and with the people in the room. It was a relatively small room and there were about 10 of us, sat on the floor. We were never without dogs and often had 2-3 at a time but we did notice some people were left without. I tried to push some of my extras their way but they just returned to me, guess I was giving the best tummy rubs!

After sadly saying goodbye to the dogs we walked onto Meiji Shrine, a return visit to my favourite shrine of our visit last year. I’m glad we went last year because they were doing some renovation work this time and many of the main buildings were covered in scaffolding. Despite this it was still an enjoyable visit because it was a beautifully sunny day and the forest in which it sits is so lovely.

 

From here we walked onto Harajuku, the main street of Takeshita Dori is just around the corner. On our last visit we only spent an hour here, now we were free to spend as long as we wanted! We ended up strolling around for about 5 hours and in that time I bought an unimaginable amount of clothes! I’d come with a virtually empty suitcase for this reason and ended up spending about £500 filling it up. Most items were about £14-£28 and it’s lovely knowing you have something nobody else back home has! Since coming back I’ve got sooo many compliments whenever I wear any of my Japanese clothing.

 

Whilst wandering around looking for a place to sit we happened across the Togo shrine, which had the most charming little garden. It is a very recent shrine, only built in 1940, but had a gorgeous little pond.

 

For dinner we went to the famous Kawaii Monster cafe. We went the minute it opened but there was already a 20 minute queue to enter. The wait was worth it, the decor was very impressive and it was very exciting stepping through the doors into an array of colours, sounds and lights. The restaurant menu was relatively expensive  and I noticed that was a common complaint in some Tripadvisor reviews but I felt it was nothing unexpected as pricing is very clear on their website.

 

You know a place is good when you take a toilet selfie!

My main issue with our meal was the service. We found it extremly slow, and our meals and drinks arrived in dribs and drabs. When the food did arrive it was better than I had expected and our slow service did seem unusual, when compared to the rest of the tables. We really had the best day in Harajuku, filled with frills, bows and rainbows!

Steps walked: 21,971

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