Ueno, Ameyayokocho Market. Alice in Wonderland Restaurant and Karaoke in Ginza.
For our penultimate day in Japan, we took a trip to Ueno to visit the Ameyayokocho Market. And, for the very last time, Ashton got to wear her travelling outfit, a close replica of the Canadian Olympics 2012 team uniform- frilly socks added for the Japanese touch.
The market is made up of a long strip of little stores with interesting goods and clothes. However, we didn't manage to snap up any bargains because the prices were close to normal shops. It's quite nice to browse the different stores but we found the shop keepers overly helpful -if they see you looking at an item, they have to come over and get it out for you, demonstrating all its functions. This sometimes puts you off going to have a closer look.
We also stumbled upon this little shop right next to the market:
We aren't particularly fans of comic books but we spent a good hour roaming the floors of this shop, looking at all the little gadgets, games, clothing, models etc. It was a bit of a treasure trove.
We couldn't resist the flashing lights of this coffee shop in Ameyayokocho Market either before heading home on the tube. We stopped in for a lovely luncheon of quaint little finger sandwiches and a cup of tea.
In the evening we headed to Ginza for the Tokyo moment we'd both been waiting for: the Alice in Wonderland restaurant. As it was Halloween, we decided to embrace a little dress up and went hats and gloves to dinner.
The start of the evening didn't work out quite as we had pictured it. A leisurely stroll to our dinner date turned into an hour's frantic flap to find the restaurant before they cancelled our reservation. In Toyko in particular, the multi story buildings on the main streets are all packed with numerous restaurants/shops/bars and karaoke venues. Apart from small signs (in Japanese) on the side of the buildings, there is very little to indicate where different places are, so finding 1 place in 1000 can be quite tricky. However, a google map print out from a hairdressers and a sprint up Chuo Dori meant that we eventually made our table with 5 minutes to spare. Hallelujah!
Here we are in our fabulous get up, in an extraordinary venue!
The corridor as you walk in is lined with pages from the book and the main interior is decorated using iconic scenes from the story.
All the staff were dressed as characters or in Halloween garb. The menu too was a novelty; the waitress brings over a fancy box which, when opened, reveals a pop up scene from Alice in Wonderland with little booklets inside for you to read the drinks/food list.
The food was also fantastically presented in accordance to the theme:
Scrumptious food and yummy cocktails all round then!
After our brilliant dinner, we were determined to have a true Japanese night out and visit one of Tokyo's karaoke bars. We stopped in at a little out of the way shack called Nelson's Bar where the price was right and the atmosphere was nice. A couple of glasses of wine and we had all the dutch courage we needed to hit the karaoke and sing our hearts out. You will be pleased to hear that we performed some interesting versions of P!nk and Oasis before picking up a maraca each and dancing to the amusement of the rest of the bar.
We met some really nice people here including the Filipino hostess who supplied us with snacks, chocolates and drinks galore. Here are some friends we made:
We had a thoroughly good time and it felt like a good end to a trip of a lifetime. Only 1 more day to go!