Our third day in 東京 led us to a place a bit of a ways outside of 東京 itself for a trip to the 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 (Mikata City Ghibli Museum). For anybody who likes Ghibli films, this is a must visit if you are coming to 日本. In addition to seeing some awesome exhibits with real sketches from the movie plannings, my friends and I also got to see a short film about a puppy that was made exclusively for those who come to the museum. I highly recommend this museum, but keep in mind that you have to buy tickets in advance. If you are not in Japan, this might mean visiting a specific travel agency in order to buy the tickets.
Our fourth was spent doing some intense shopping. First off, we headed to 中野ブロードウェイ(Nakano Broadway) where we spent time looking through a ton of interesting アニメ/マンガ related shops. I would compare 中野 to a smaller, less flashy version of 秋葉原 (Akihabara) and I think アニメ lovers would definitely find it an interesting place. Afterwards, we headed to 原宿 (Harajuku) where I dropped a nice chunk of money buying clothes. We also headed to a toy store called キデイランド (Kiddyland), where I bought my host sister a birthday gift. After buying a delicious chocolate and banana crepe, we walked about 10 minutes or so to 渋谷 (Shibuya). We spent the remainder of the day shopping in イチマルキュー (Shibuya 109).
Our fifth and final day in 東京 was spent retracing our steps and spending more time in places we didn’t have much time to spend in on our previous days. We returned to 浅草 (Asakusa), spent a little bit of time eating frozen yogurt in 新宿 (Shinjuku), went back to 渋谷 to check out some of the giant Tower Records and explored the character street under 東京駅 (Tokyo Station).
Overall, I feel as if this trip was a success. My friends and I got to visit so many wonderful places that appealed to our interests. I definitely think that 東京 is a rather amazing place to visit and go shopping in, but I also think it is kind of overrated. Compared to 名古屋, it is much more crowded and sometimes very confusing to navigate. If you are planning on studying abroad in 日本, I urge you to consider programs outside of 東京. You might discover that there are equally amazing if not more wonderful places in 日本 to discover.
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<p>Hi, my name is Ashley Bell and I am a Junior Political Science major at Santa Clara University. I'll be spending my spring semester in Nagoya, Japan and am very excited to share my experiences with you. I hope you enjoy seeing Japan through my eyes!</p>