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Trip to Tokyo – A First Timer’s Plans and Expectations – Day 7

Hello there, fellow traveller!

Are you feeling tired after six power-days exploring Tokyo, trying to take in as much as possible? I’d expect so. Does the vast amount of things to do finally get thinner to finally enjoy some peace and quiet? Well, in a way. 

Planning our itinerary and juggling spots even after three month of doing so, I find nine days aren’t enough.
 
Two full weeks would have been nice.
 
We would have had two additional days, if we had booked our flight earlier, getting the Friday flight for cheaper. But alas, we waited a week because there was some more organizing to do and by the next Monday the price rose, making it 150€ more expensive, reaching its usual price tag. I had prompted for the special offer. So, we opted for the Sunday flight, which was still cheaper.
 
At least there’ll still be plenty left for a second visit.  

However! Sunday, our seventh day of our itinerary, was actually called “Ghibli & Chill”. I don’t know how chill it is anymore, but at least for once I’ve calculated in lots of time to spare. I hope.

After a yummy breakfast, we will be on our way to – you guessed it – Ghibli Museum. It’s a bit far out, taking about an hour by train. At this point we haven’t made our ticket reservation, since the earliest we can book is in January. 
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Getting tickets for Ghibli Museum is a bit of a hassle. If you’re on a tight schedule, like we are, booking early in advance is probably recommended. They only sell 100 tickets per day. Well, at least you can be sure, the place won’t be crowded. 
There are two ways to book your tickets outside of Japan.
 
 A recommendation beforehand: Booking through Voyagin is not advised, since they take a horrendous fee. The museum ticket itself only costs 1.000 Yen, booking via Voyagin will cost you 6.500 Yen. That’s about 60 Euros/Dollars.

One advised way to get tickets is via a travel agency. It still costs a fee, but it won’t be as much. In Germany, it will cost 18€ per ticket. 
Tickets go on sale from the first of each month for the following four months.
 
 Or you could buy your tickets online via Lawson Ticket. These tickets go on sale from the tenth of each month for the following month.

If you’re staying in Japan for longer you could get your tickets via a Loppi machine at Lawson’s.

Since you’re not allowed to take pictures inside the museum, it’s hard to imagine what’s awaiting you there. I’m hoping for lots of “awwww” moments. 

I feel like I should have a Ghibli movie marathon beforehand, or at least watch or re-watch most of them. You know, to get in the mood. 
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Heading back to Tokyo Centre will include a couple of stopovers. One in Koenji and the other, just a station further, in Nakano.

I read in an article about off the beaten track neighbourhoods about Koenji, funnily, shortly after I already put it in our itinerary. Why, you may wonder. Actually, there’s an episode of Hiro no Sento-Sake in which the protagonist visits Koenjifor an acquisition, but ends up having a bath at Kosugi-yu. For a while I thought about actually visiting that bathhouse too. When I still had some peace and quiet moments in mind.
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The actual reason, why I really wanted to go there however was the restaurant, the protagonists went after. It’s a Korean-style grill close by. It’s called Shokudo Kaburi Koenji Apache. Or maybe just Kaburi for short. You have your own little grill at your seat and you order from a variety of meats. I really have to try some wagyu. It looked so delicious in the episode and it’s located perfectly between Ghibli Museum and Tokyo Centre. I had to take that opportunity.
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While we’re at it, we get to explore the neighbourhood a bit more. Win-win!
On a side note, some bathhouses presented in the show have made their way onto our itinerary. But mostly for sight-seeing purposes. 
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I had already taken Nakano off of our list. I thought after Ghibli, let’s just chill at a cat café. Or rather, even before that, Nakano was supposed to be visited before going to Ghibli. Bad decision. Now it’s back, receiving more attention and time than ever. There’s no point in rushing around on a Sunday anyways.
So we’ll have plenty of time to go around Nakano Broadway, check out Namco and maybe stroll around the blocks. 
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For this day’s dinner spot I selected Gindaco. Probably the one in Ueno, although Shinjuku would be closer to Nakano. I want to stuff my face with takoyaki (ball-shaped pastry with octopus inside)! I wish they could mix their selection, so you could try more. You get at least eight takoyaki per order. That’s enough to fill you up. Maybe I’ll get my travel partner to share. Like, he gets a different sort than me and then we share fifty-fifty. He doesn’t know if he likes octopus, he hasn’t eaten any seafood yet. That’s going to be interesting. I hope I won’t be stuck with sixteen takoyaki. I’m not Yuka Kinoshita, I can’t eat that much!
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Perhaps I get to smuggle the possible leftovers into Karaoke no Tetsujin. Yes, more singing! Got to take advantage of their Free Time!

Day 8 will include some backtracking and revisiting Shinjuku and Akihabara!

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