On the way to Tokyo
After a great day in Narita, on the second day, we had breakfast then checked out to move to Tokyo by bus. Vietnam delegation was arranged to go on the same bus with Thai contingent. To express our friendliness, we sang the Christmas song for Thai. The song really broke the ice and made the start for nearly 1-hour singing on the bus. 2 groups took turn to give the other the traditional songs and sometimes all of us raised voice together.
Center for Youth Exchange
Our luggage was moved directly to Tokyo Dome Hotel by another bus while we visited Youth Exchange Center. In there, we had a chance to meet high officials of YEC and find out about the operation of the center. After some speeches, we raised our glass then ”kampai” (“cheer” in Japanese) – of couse there was no alcohol, just soft drink 😀
The schedule for the afternoon was city tour and Vietnam delegation hed to Asakusa because we chose that destination before. That was my first time to travel by subway. It’s just so fantastic!!
We first came to Sensoji, a very famous Buddhist temple in Japan. Because that time was the end of the year, there were many people coming to visit or pray. On about 1 km from the gate to the temple was there a wide range of stores, shops with different products, especially traditional food (eg: rice cake) and souvenirs. Immersed in Japanese style, sis Y and I even took the smoke from the incense to our head like Japanese did (they believe that this helps them be smarter) There were only 20 min for us in the temple. Later on, when gathering with the whole group, I realized that I even did not go to inside the temple where there are Buddhist statues. Some bought rice cakes but I did not buy anything, though, all the souvenirs really captured my eyes. They are too expensive, I have to say. 300¥ for a pair of chopsticks. “This is tourism spot so it is hard to find cheap stuffs. I can have better price in supermarkets. And now is just second day. 8 days left are enough for me to go shopping”, I thought.
Leaving Sensoji, we walked to Sky Tree which is nearby. This one replaced Tokyo Tower to be the highest tower in Japan.
In fact, the tower is a shopping center with many famous brands. Higher floors are cinemas and restaurants. To go to the top, we will have to pay for a short visit by escalator. The price is affordable, however, limitation of time did not allow us to go there.
Tokyo Dome Hotel
The second hotel I had a chance to stay is Tokyo Dome Hotel, one of the most famous and luxurious hotels of Japan. Despite spending only 1 night there, I still realized the high quality service, from room, meals to attitude of staffs.
Before travelling to Japan, my classmates highly recommended me to visit Tokyo Dome for its breathtaking views. However, because of tight fixed schedule, I did not have chance to go inside and just saw it from my room. At the night in Tokyo Dome Hotel, I chose to drop by Akiba with the hope that I can buy a camera for myself. Akiba is nearer Tokyo Dome Hotel than Prince Hotel, where I stayed for the final days, so that is why I wanted to visit Akiba immediately, instead of Dome.
Generally speaking, Akiba is like a busy district with a wide range of shops and markets. Although I had searched about this place carefully in Vietnam, when reaching here, I was still overwhelmed by its large scale and abundance. Not only is it a big market for technology products but there were many restaurants, CD shops and game centers.
When returning with other Vietnamese delegates in Tokyo after 3 days of local visit in Tottori prefecture, I had a short shopping time in Shibuya. As far as I know, this is a famous shopping center with reasonable price, different from Ginza, which was a luxurious center. We first hed to a Zara building. Though Zara products here are cheaper in Vietnam, they are still not affordable to me. I tried to take advantage of 20 min given to wander around as many shops as I can before reuniting with my delegation. After that, the guys went to a shop for men while all the girls moved to Forever 21, a famous brand with reasonable price for young people. The Forever 21 building has 6 floors and just only it can take us more than 1 hour to discover so visitng Shibuya for over 2 hours were not enough for me to buy some clothes. This is Shibuya intersection, one of the most busiest crossing in the world. When the lights in all direction turn red, traffic stops completely and pedestrians surge into the intersection from all sides. The green light lasted for only more than 1 minutes but we still tried to capture this moment by photo.
We dropped by a ramen restaurant. The noodle and other dishes looked tasty but because my appetite does not match Japanese food, I could not finish my bowl no matter how hard I tried. Instead, I brought fried chicken to my room and enjoyed it later.
After dinner, I implemented one of the most important missions given by mom: buying a coat for Chip. We dropped by a Forever 21 shop again (this building is different from that in Shibuya). I soon found 2 coats which made me pleased and took money out of wallet for them. Dinner took us more time than I thought and because we had to submit our passport before 10 p.m, I did not have enough time to visit Uniqlo as planned.
Tokyo Prince Hotel and nearby
Deciding to try Sake, Japanese particular alcohol, at least one time, we went to a small restaurant near the hotel. I ordered hotpot which was super delicious, especially after several days I had not had any hot food and 1 bottle of Sake. It is more expensive than I thought, 400Y for a big one which is just about 500 ml.
Tokyo Tower is very near Prince Hotel and I can see it right from my room.
Where we had group discussions, photo session, closing ceremony and farewell lunch.