food, friends, harajuku, japan, odaiba, roppongi, Tokyo, travel

Gonpachi and Hot Springs!!!

For our last full day in Tokyo, we decided to tackle 2 must-do-before-we-leave activities – eat at Gonpachi (where they filmed Kill Bill’s fighting scene) and go to an Onsen!! Nico and Juan (totally our new bffs in Tokyo now) were interested in going to Gonpachi too so we all met there for lunch.  The restaurant is much smaller and less glamorous than it appeared to be in the movie, but nonetheless it was exciting to just BE there.  Gonpachi is a soba restaurant, but I think it’s more of a tourist attraction for Kill Bill.  There’s a bunch of pictures of the owner with various celebrities – even Stephen Harper (Prime Minister of Canada) was there. What was funny was someone scribbled fascist on his photo – like….what?

After lunch, we said our goodbyes to Nico and Juan with promises to see each other when we go to each others’ respective countries. I’m really glad that we were able to meet them just by sheer chance because without meeting them our trip would have been totally different!

We then headed ourselves to Odaiba again to visit Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hot Springs, a hot spring “theme park”. The hot spring we wanted to go to was too far away and would require a day trip, so we settled for Monogatari which gives you the feel of one and they claim their facility uses natural hot spring water. My favourite part about the hot spring was being able to dress up in a yukata! And also the outdoors hot spring area where you can sit in little individual wooden basins. It would’ve made an awesome picture especially with us sitting in one, with towels on our heads haha – except cameras are not allowed inside for obvious reasons…

At night we walked around the waterfront of Tokyo Bay and got to see the Giant Gundam and Rainbow Bridge lit up too! Totally did not expect to see a mini Statue of Liberty in Japan.

Our last day in Japan was spent briefly touring Harajuku before heading to the airport.  I couldn’t leave Japan without visiting it for the fashion, and also for their famous crepes!  To my surprise, there were many hip-hop style shops in the district too. Many of the shopkeepers looked like they belonged in a rap MV.   One of my favourite souvenirs that I brought back from Japan is my $3.00 clear plastic umbrella which I had purchased in Harajuku as it suddenly rained.I really wanted one prior to going, so I was more than happy to purchase one. It didn’t rain at all during our 2 week trip, the umbrella was meant to be mine. I still have it and use it to this day!

Going to Japan has always been something that I wanted to do as I was always interested in Japanese culture since I was in high school. Definitely an awesome check on my to-do list. I still definitely have to go back for cherry blossom season though !!!

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