Robot Restaurants, National Gardens, and Museums in West Tokyo

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I can’t even begin to tell you all that we did on the west side of Tokyo. We saw all the main tourist attractions such as the National Garden and Shibuya Crossing but my favorite thing had to be the Yayoi Kusama exhibit I got a chance to catch at the National Art Center. Located in Roppongi, it was just a short walk from their subway station and it was such a glorious thing to do during some of the last few days in Tokyo. The feeling I got when I walked into the room filled with her artwork was something I can’t describe. Every single piece of artwork she created was hard for me to wrap my head around since they were such intricate details. The colors were stunning and the titles of these pieces of art made me question the thoughts that ran through her head as she was creating these pieces. She is definitely a character that is unlike any other artist I’ve encountered. Her sculptures were beautiful as well and I can’t even believe I got a chance to see it because I didn’t know that the museum would be running an exhibit on her prior to arriving in Tokyo.

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Along with the National Art Center, I’d guide a tourist to go to Eggcellent for brunch in Roppongi because that was truly an experience itself. The entire restaurant is egg themed and it was adorable. I’ve never seen a place like it and they offer heaps of healthy options that will lead you scrambling to decide what to get. If you’re like me and you’re indecisive, you’ll end up getting two meals instead of one. The staff was patient and helpful with the questions we had and they did offer a menu with english on it! Mara got a buddha bowl that looked delicious and I opted for a tweaked version of the eggs benedict along with a chia pudding and veggie smoothie. The interior design of it felt like the perfect place for a nice Sunday brunch with it’s wood furniture and soft music that contributed to the ambiance.

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Shibuya is a nice place to get some shopping done if you have time to kill. There are lots of main streets that are filled with familiar stores such as Zara and Berksha but if you wander into narrow alleyways, you’ll find lots of hidden gems of independant stores that sell clothing, bags, and gifts. I wish I had more time to look through them all. I also want to point out that the Japenese people that I saw had some of the most incredible street style I’ve ever seen. I admire the fact that individuals there are able to fully be themselves and don’t conform to the norms of everyday style. Everyone looked like they were straight out of Nylon magazine and I was loving it. You can also find a cafe on any street really which was a plus cause all I wanted to do was drink hot coffee due to the harsh cold weather.

We walked from Shibuya to the Meiji Shrine since it was close and it was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city life. It’s funny how you could walk a few minutes outside the city and suddenly encounter a large forest that escapes the sounds of the city. There were handfuls of tourists on the day that we went but it was fine because it was still reletively quiet on the quest to the shrine. For residents in Tokyo, I’m sure it’s a great place to get a nice stroll in because the path to the shrine is pretty long. Along the way we saw a huge collection of sake barrels that are apprently donated from sake brewers from all around Japan.

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The shrine itself is dedicated to the Emperor and Empress and the construction for this shrine began in 1915 after the death of the Emperor. Before you enter this shrine, you’ll come across some large gates.

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The last night of Tokyo we went to Shinjuku where we saw the popular Robot Restaurant Show.  We were lucky enough to get some sort of discount because we went for a show that started around 6. I’m sure their later times are harder to get into and it was also a Friday evening. We only paid 6,000 yen each I believe and it was worth every penny. I can’t really put into words what the show was because it was hard to keep up with. Lots of lights, loud noises, and gigantic robots is all I can summarize it up to be. The waiting room was absolutely stunning because it was decorated like something in Las Vegas with velvet seats and neon lights. I mean the toilet was entirely decorated with this abstract floral pattern. There isn’t really a story line to their performance although there is kind of one in the middle of the show. They often had breaks in between parts of the show where they would allow people to use the restroom and purchase additional snacks such as popcorn and drinks. I loved the costumes and the dedication of the performers though and you could tell they were having fun through all of those. Most of us looked stunned in the audience since I’m sure none of us had seen anything quite like this. Although most people consider it a tourist trap, I strongly encourage people to go to the show if they’re ever in the area. It’s funny at some points and it’s just cool to see massive robots in general.

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Shinjuku had this store that sold every type of Kit Kat you could imagine so naturally I bought a bag of each. Let’s just say that the flight home was hard to get through because having one girl fly eight hours on a flight with nine bags of Kit Kats is basically torture. My favorite by far was the green tea ones or the sweet potato Kit Kats. Fingers crossed that they make it back home safe and sound and don’t melt into puddles in my room.

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