Happy Halloween

Halloween in Japan is celebrated by wearing Halloween and Cosplay Costumes. It’s a relatively new tradition and the costumes are more cute than scary. It’s one of the few times in the year that Japanese workers are able to let their hair down.

UPDATE: It has developed into a giant unofficial street party. In 2018, more than 300,000 people gathered around Shibuya Scramble Crossing on Halloween and the previous weekend.

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Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


Shibuya

Shibuya is known for its busy shopping district and bustling nightlife.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing is the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing. An estimated 2,500 people cross each time the lights change.

Shibuya Station is one of Tōkyō’s busiest railway stations. In front of the station is Hachikō-mae Square which is named after Hachikō; a Japanese Akita dog remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, Hidesaburō Ueno, for whom he continued to wait for over nine years following Ueno’s death. A memorial statue of Hachikō sits in the square and is used as a popular meeting place. Opposite the statue is a Tourist Information centre.

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Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


Harajuku

Harajuku is popular mainly with thrifty fashion-conscious teenagers and young adults looking for a more upmarket shopping experience.

Harajuku Station was opened on 30th October 1906. The current station building was built in 1924 and is the oldest existing wooden station building in Tokyo. Due to current and predicted future congestion levels; East Japan Railway Company announced that they will be rebuilding the station in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The station has two main exits. The Takeshita Exit which leads to Takeshita Street and the Omotesandō Exit.

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Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


Meiji Shrine

Meiji Shrine (aka Meiji Jingū) is located in Yoyogi, one stop from Shinjuku or Harajuku, on the Yamanote Line.

Meiji Shrine is a Shinto shrine that is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken. 

 


Index

Hamamatsuchō

Happy Halloween

Harajuku

Inokashira Park

Kamakura

Kichijōji

Meiji Shrine

Mito

Mount Takao

Nezu Shrine

Nihonbashi

ODaiba

Ohi Racecourse Flea Market

Ōtsuka

Shibuya

Shinjuku

Sugamo

Tennoji Daibutsu

Yamanote Line

Yanaka Ginza


Asakusa

Whistle Stop Tour

Asakusa

I set off just after 09:00 heading for Asakusa. I caught a train from Kita-Shinagawa to Shinagawa and then caught a train to Tamachi Station.

Then I had to leave the station and walk to Mita Station where I caught a subway train to Asakusa Station. I got there just after 10:00 and spent almost 2 hours looking around the area and visiting Sensoji Temple.

Ameya Yokochou

My next stop was Ameya Yokochou. I returned to the station and caught a train to Ueno. I spent about 20 minutes at Ameya Yokochou market and then made a quick trip to Ueno Park before returning to Ueno Station to catch a train to Akihabara.

Ueno

Akihabara

I got to Akihabara about 13:30. I spent about 30 minutes walking around and taking photos before catching a train to Ikebukuro.

Ikebukuro

I got to Ikebukuro just after 14:00. I looked around for a bit before making my way to Sunshine City in order to visit the Pokémon Center.

While I was in Sunshine City, the fire department were showing a video advising children what to do if the there is an earthquake. The audience was made up of children and their parents. They also had a brass band and Kyuta, the fire department’s mascot, made an appearance.

I spent about an hour in the centre and then returned to the station.

Nakano

I returned to Shinjuku and caught a train to Nakano. I arrived just before 17:00. Nakano Broadway is a popular destination for geeks and otaku but I wanted to visit the many izakaya at the back of the shopping centre. I got some food and explored the area for about 40 minutes.

I returned to the station about 18:00 and caught a train back to Shinjuku.

Shibuya

On my way back to Shinagawa I stopped off at Shibuya and took a few photos. While I was there a fire department vehicle arrived to assist an old man who couldn’t seem to stand properly. A security guard and the police had been looking after him before this.

No Pie

After about an hour I caught a train to Shinagawa. I had a coffee at Anna Miller’s. I wanted some pie but they were out of the one I fancied on the menu. I finished my coffee and caught a train back to Kita-Shinagawa.


Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester


Shibuya

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Morning Coffee

I woke up early and went to Shinagawa. I had some coffee and had a look around for a bit before going to Shibuya.

Shibuya

When I got there around 10:45 I took a few photos and went to Shibuya 109 and bought some clothes for my girlfriend. After that I took a few more photos and some video footage.

Harajuku Again

Just after 12:30 I caught a train to Harajuku and had another look around the wider area.

I took a few photos and then about 14:00 I returned to Shinagawa.

Exploring Shinagawa

I spent a few minutes in the station then went to Kita-Shinagawa to drop off my shopping at the Air BnB.

Just after 16:00 I went for a walk in a quiet street around the back of the train station which was had numerous local small shops and convenience stores. I walked down the street for about 30 minutes stopping to look in shops on the way.

I bought some bananas at a fruit stall and caught a train to Shinagawa from Shin-Bamba Station.

More Halloween Photos

From Shinagawa Station I caught a train to Shibuya to take more photos of people celebrating Halloween and to get some more video footage. I stayed in Shibuya until about 20:00 before returning to Shinagawa.

When I got back to Shinagawa, I stopped for a coffee in Anna Miller’s opposite the station then headed back to Kita-Shinagawa. Anna Miller’s is a chain of Restaurants in Japan (and Hawaii).


Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester


Kansai International Airport

Osaka to Tokyo

Getting to the Airport

I woke up early, got ready and finished packing. I set off for the station and caught a Train to Osaka. I got there around 09:00. I was surprised to find that the station was extremely busy with people coming and going to work and school. I mistakenly thought it would be quiet on a Saturday. The information counter didn’t open until 10:00 but I found a station employee and asked which platform I needed for the airport train. I caught the train to the airport. I had to stand for a few stops before I got a seat.

Kansai International Airport

I got to the airport at around 10:00. My flight wasn’t until 14:05 but I chose to arrive early in case there were any issues with transport. Getting around in Japan only basic Japanese can be a challenge. The stations are huge and finding where to go and which platform you need, can be difficult. Understandably, English is not widely spoken.

I got something to eat and explored the shops and restaurants. While I was waiting a young Japanese women approached me as if she needed some help which I thought was strange because in most cases like that there is a language gap. It turned out though that she was an undercover policewoman and she asked me questions about my trip and where I was staying. She only spoke a little English so the conversation was a mixture of Japanese and English.

I checked-in at 12:00, went through security and waited at the departure gate until the plane boarded.

Narita Airport

The flight took 1 hour so I arrived in Narita Airport in Tokyo at around 15:00.

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Inside the terminal I had to catch a shuttle train to the baggage collection area. I picked up my luggage, got something to eat and headed for the train station at about 17:30.

In the terminal I noticed a policeman carrying out another security check with a group of foreigners.

There several options to get to the centre of Tokyo. I opted to catch the Narita Express which stopped in Shinagawa Station which is close to where my next Air BnB was in Kita-Shinagawa. I got a ticket on the platform and caught the train. The train was reservation only.

Shinagawa

When I arrived at Shinagawa Station I had a quick look around and then asked someone at the information desk how to get to Kita-Shinagawa. I caught the train and when I got there, I checked into the Air BnB which was directly opposite the train station on the other side of the road.

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I dropped my things off, had a quick shower and got changed. I was really tired but it was only about 19:30 and I really wanted to get some Halloween photos. I left the apartment and caught a train to Shinagawa where I caught another train to Shibuya on the Yamanote Line. This line loops around central Tokyo and stops at several popular destinations.

Shibuya

I got to Shibuya just after 20:00. I followed the crowds towards Shibuya Crossing. This is the busiest crossing in the world and a major destination for visitors. I followed everyone to a raised walkway which was packed with people viewing Shibuya Crossing through the windows. I watched for a bit and then found an exit. I exited via the Hachiko Exit. Hachiko was a Japanese dog famous for having legendary loyalty to his owner. There is a statue of Hachiko outside the station in Hachiko Square.

There were thousands of people coming and going. Most of them were dressed in Halloween costumes or wearing cosplay. I explored the area briefly and took several portraits and some video footage then returned to the station.

I caught a train to Shinjuku to see what was happening there.

Harajuku Station

On the way I briefly stopped in Harajuku to take some photos. I heard about plans to upgrade Harajuku Station and I wanted to get a photo of the building as it is now. I took a photo of some cosplayers and of Harajuku Station outside the Omotesando Exit.

Shinjuku

I arrived in Shinjuku just before 22:00. Shinjuku not as packed as Shibuya but still very busy. Only a few people were dressed in cosplay.

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I got something to eat and headed back to the Air BnB. I got a little lost and it took me a while to find the station. Luckily we have Google Maps now to help with directions.

Kita-Shinagawa

I caught a train back to Shinagawa where I caught a train to Kita-Shinagawa. When I got in I just went straight to bed.

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Index

Introduction

Manchester to Osaka

Arriving in Japan

Kobe and Osaka

Osaka

Kyoto

Osaka to Tokyo

Harajuku

Shibuya & Halloween Photos

Tachikawa

Whistle Stop Tour

Yokohama

Narita to Manchester