A few things I learned about traveling in and around the Tokyo area by train: if you go onto google maps before you head out, you can find out how many stops it is between you and your destination, how many minutes it will take, whether or not you’ll have to transfer from one line to another, and best of all, google maps actually tells you how much it will cost, which is essential information for using the ticket machines. Also, inside the trains there are screens to tell you where the next stop will be with numbers beside the names. I assumed they were stop numbers, but I soon figured out (when they kept changing) that it was the time to the next stop. Very handy in a packed train car when one needs to plan an escape route around all the other passengers. If you visit Japan, you’ll thank me for this.
I left Kamakura with a measure of sadness. I’d grown to love the little town and having never been to Tokyo before, I didn’t have much of an idea of what to expect. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the area in which I chose to stay.
Odaiba is a quiet part of Tokyo compared to the other places I eventually visited. It’s off to the east of the city and a great place to stay if you’re planning to go to Disneyland, though I didn’t get close to the place. I stayed at the Sunroute Ariake Hotel.
Under $100Cdn/night, it was very clean and there’s a Lawson (convenience store) right in the hotel, so I didn’t have to go out to get something to eat, nor did I have to eat in the restaurant, which was a little pricey to be dining in at every meal. It was also only a two minute walk from the Kokusai-tenjijou (I always find the longest named-place to have to locate) train station, and it was easy to find! so I didn’t have to lug my cases far. The reason I stayed there was the proximity of the venue in which Buck-Tick was playing – I wanted to be able to walk back to my hotel after the concert. It turned out to be a nice 15 minute stroll.
The morning after I arrived I walked over to Zepp Tokyo to see how best to get there. The one thing google maps is not always good for is guiding one in the right direction for walking. It was hard to tell from the map whether or not they were sending me on a stroll down the train tracks. As it turned out, the fastest way there was a humongous foot bridge.
When I arrived there the crews were working on emptying trucks of equipment.
I was surprised to see dozens of girls wandering around pulling small suitcases. With not a hotel in sight I wondered what they could have been doing. I found out later.
I went for breakfast and decided to head in the direction of Diver City Mall. Then I saw this guy.
Here’s a rare selfie of me beside his foot. He’s pretty tall.
I walked around the mall for an hour or two – there was a band appearing live outside for a small concert and meet-and-greet and thousands of rabid fangirls screaming their heads off to wade through when I came out. But I was heading out to meet Susie, the lovely lady whose Etsy shop is NOW OPEN! (click here) and who was kind enough to buy my concert ticket.
While we had a quick chat, I found out what the deal was with all the young ladies and their suitcases. Not a bag was left to be found but instead, hundreds of heavily made up costumed cosplayers, just there to get together and walk around. The area, being Palette Town which is apparently famous, has apart from Zepp Tokyo this,
as two of its main attractions.
By the time Susie and I said goodbye I was good and tired, so I headed back to the hotel. The next day was dedicated to getting ready for the concert.
To be continued.