Day 185 – Big spender(s)

Throughout the course of the trip we have managed to find pretty decent accommodation for the most part, Mendoza was a mistake and a couple of the places on organised tours left a little to be desired, but overall in 180+ days we have stayed in some great places.

Tokyo is never going to be a cheap city, but due a combination of a well timed use of a loyalty system, a sale and some good luck we have managed to bag a really good hotel for our last few days of the trip.

For the second time in succession we’ve received a free upgrade on arrival and have a wonderful room with a view of the Tokyo Tower and remote control curtains!  It is also located in a park so a morning stroll grabbing some breakfast along the way is a lovely way to start the day.

So what do you do in Tokyo?  It is not a city with a huge list of ‘must see’ attractions, but instead one that you should just spend time in its various districts and soak up the ultimate in Japanese urban culture.

With the end of our travels in site, a long haul luggage allowance with a good few kilos spare and a few bits and pieces we wanted to pick up we head out to the streets of Tokyo to do what, despite the economic slowdown, locals do best.  Shop.

An example of how well organised Tokyo is for shopping is the poshest second hand shop in the world.  It would look at home on Oxford Street and has all the designer clothes organised by brand, style and size!  Another close by example has a tag that gives a profile of the previous owners!

Our first stop is the Ginza area of the city full of some of the biggest brands and kooky shops.  We get lost for a hour or so in a 6 storey

toy shop selling all kinds of nonsense, visit the bewildering food hall of the Mitsukoshi department store to buy some lunch and then end up hiding from a thunder storm in Starbucks whilst and secretly eat our purchases.

Consultation with the guidebook highlights that round the corner is a 5 storey stationary store.  On reading this my wife is anything but, and I struggle to keep up as she head over there….thankfully it closes at 7pm so we still had enough of the evening left to enjoy dinner in a very cool Izakaya (an informal food/pub) and a grab a Japanese craft beer on the way home 😉

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