Day 6 was a buffer day I put into our itinerary because I figured we’d be exhausted after all the Kyoto travel, shinkansen etc.
If you want to skip straight to the photos go here to my gallery for Day 6!
In the morning we headed to Asakusa to go to the shrine that’s there and also the long street of stores with lots of traditional Japanese items that might make good souvenirs or gifts. A lot of it reeks of tourist trap, but there’s also a lot of cool stuff there too.
We passed a yakiniku place where we decided to have lunch. I didn’t realize that each item we ordered was a lunch set which came with its own sides, so we probably didn’t get as much meat as we could’ve. Regardless, it was still totally delicious!
At the shrine I showed everyone how you pray to get a special stick that will give you your fortune that you then tie to a rack at the shrine.There actually wasn’t so much to see there so we decided to leave and find a nearby cat café!
JAPAN TRAVEL TIP: Subways and shrines often have hole-in-the-floor Japanese style toilets, so if that’s an issue for you be prepared to wait for the Western style toilet if you don’t feel comfortable squatting down! The majority of toilets we used in Japan were modern with washlets, but the ones at the shrines tended to be the exceptions.
We went to the cat café and scheduled a time about half an hour later. To kill time we went to the “Café Colorado” across the street.
This was one of the only placed we had been to which didn’t have a menu with photos on it or English, but Mark and I deciphered the katakana to make our orders. Also, this very much felt like a local place because people were hanging out reading newspapers and smoking.
Like I said before, A LOT of people in Japan smoke and they don’t have the same ban on smoking indoors that we do in the U.S. But we beared with it and ate our delicious cake, coffee and hot chocolate.
Finally, one of the moments I had been waiting for. A cat café! This particular one was much more “homey” than some of the novelty ones I’ve seen with expensive looking cat furniture and structures for the cats to climb on. Still, there were books about cats, cat decorations and adorable cat themed slippers.
I don’t know how many cats there were, but there were enough to keep us there for the allotted 30 minutes we paid for. The owner spoke pretty good English so she was able to warn us about the most aggressive cats.
One of them was very aggressive but had no teeth, so it wasn’t as worrisome when I held out food for them an they instantly ate it out of my palm!
There were also some kittens, but only one or so was let out at a time while the others stayed in their cages. Part of me wondered if it was all right for the cats’ nutrition to be constantly eating treats all day long.
Mark has a mild allergy to cats so we cut our time a bit short after I luxuriated in the presence of the cats a little while longer. More than anything I was eager to get home to my cats in only a couple days.
After finishing up with the cat café we went to Tokyo station because Heather’s friend had recommended a place to go around there. I also wanted to go to Donguri Kyowakoku which is the only official Studio Ghibli merchandise store other than the museum itself.
Tokyo station has a TON of shopping areas around it, so Mark, JL and I waited around while Heather got in some clothes shopping at the mall. I made up a game to keep JL occupied where we counted 1 point for every guy we saw following his girlfriend around as she browsed clothes and then subtracted two points for every guy who was there by himself to buy clothes. I think by the end we were at around 10 points.
After that we went to get some dinner. It was a little late so our options were somewhat limited, but we found a nice soba place to eat at. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant that specifically served soba because I don’t remember ending the meal with “soba water” which was a nice way to finish the meal.
After that we headed to the basement for some more shopping. Mark wanted to get fancy Japanese Kitkats, and by fancy I mean FANCY. I had absolutely no idea that the KitKat store would look so high end, but DAMN!
Then we went to Donguri Kyowakoku where I indulged myself with an amazing Ghibli themed necktie, tie clip, and a Totoro themed tea cup.
After we finished shopping we headed back to Shibuya. Heather and I went to the same bar Mark and I went to the previous night and met some Americans and Canadians who were either living there or visiting. Two of them were even from Santa Monica!
Our last full day in Japan was going to be one of the most memorable of all because we were finally going to the Studio Ghibli museum. On to Day 7!