You never really know when it's going to rain in Tokyo so because it was perfectly sunny on our 4th day, we changed our plans and went to Harajuku instead. There is the Meiji Jingu shrine right nearby in the middle of a forest which we went to first. This would've sucked on a rainy day hence why we changed our plans! Also it's best to go to Harajuku on weekdays when it's less busy on the streets~
After seeing the shrine, we finally got to the good stuff...shopping!! We stumbled across an awesome mall called Laforet where I got some unique pieces (outfit post soon to come!). It's like a seven story building with 20 small women's stores on each floor packed with stuff, so it took us about 2 hours just to conquer it (my bf is a patient angel- kudos to him). Back on the streets, there were some cool novelty stores such as the Barbie store and then I found a second hand designer store in which I got an Alexander Wang l/sleeved top for $30 lol. We worked up an appetite obviously and stumbled across an oishii Hawaiian food chain called 'Eggs and Things' which served the best Eggs Benedict I've ever had! Big call I know... I've never been to America so it's kinda cool that I get to try some American food too in Japan. I am really missing Vegemite for breakfast though.
After refuelling (hehe) we hit Forever 21 & Zara in which I got quite a few things too. By the time we finished it was dark outside so we continued to explore around little streets until dinner, in which we chose a random hot plate place and ordered okonomiyaki (savoury pancake) and yakisoba.
We went on a Nikko Heritage Tour. It was a 3 hour bus ride to Nikko, but to be honest it went really fast because the sights along the way were awesome (driving through small towns, etc). On the way, we first stopped at Lake Kawaguchi and there I got another glimpse at some Sakura that hadn't fallen yet. After the lake we went to a beautiful waterfall. I've never seen trees so lush and green before! The waterfall was on the top of a mountain which had 28 hairpin curves on the road going up and 20 going down, so 48 curves in total- same as the Japanese alphabet so on each curve there was a sign with a different character on it. It was fun trying to remember them all from my school days on the drive. We also saw a white-tailed deer on our way down the mountain! It was like a Pokemon heh, so cute :)
The Nikko area itself when we eventually got there was huge. It consists of multiple temples, shrines and even a tomb. We spent a good 2 hours there exploring, then it was home time!
This was Studio Ghibli Museum day and Sumo Tour day! The Sumo Tour started at 1:40pm so we went to the Ghibli museum first.
It was mega kawaii. You pretty much just walked through this giant Ghibli mansion which had rooms full of sketches, illustrations, animation reels and little character displays. There was also a cinema where we watched a bit of Totoro! The rooftop garden is where the well known iron giant statue is and to get up there was a cool garden round staircase.
Like noobs we didn't leave enough time to get from the museum to the tour, but fortunately we got there just in the nick of time before they shut the counter! Sumo tournaments are only held in Tokyo three times a year (I think Jan, May & Sept?) so we were lucky to book a tour. Apparently tickets sold out for the day by 8:20am, so I would recommend doing a tour as this guarantees your ticket without the hassle.
Watching the tournament itself was cool, but in the end was a bit repetitive. The 'wrestling' part of a sumo match only goes for around 10 seconds. Before this, you watch them bowing, settling into the ring, throwing salt to ward off evil spirits for about 5 minutes (they repeat this process 2-3 times so this is a long time when you watch 30+ matches). We ended up leaving a bit early before the last few matches to beat the crowd and decided to take a night trip to Shinjuku to explore. This was the end of the day for us and also was the last of our tours for this trip. The only thing we have left pre-planned on our itinerary is Disneysea on Tuesday! Oh and we'll be going to Kyoto soon too...