Our time in Tokyo felt unending and yet so short. We saw and experienced so much. Every day was go, go, go. But before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye to our lovely hotel room, our wonderful district and friendly neighbours. The Blue Jays were in the playoffs while we were in Japan and Dan, being the diehard fan he is, wanted to watch the games live. We both woke up super early to catch the game from the comfort of out hotel room, watching the sun sweep in through the window as we saw Tokyo wake up for the last time.
Dan continued to watch in the lobby, and I took the portable internet to listen on the radio while I wandered around Akihabara for the last time. I always try to do this at least one early morning when I'm visiting a new city. Seeing the streets silent, in the dim light of the morning is a unique way of exploring and I never miss out.
Before leaving for the day I searched out a coffee shop that was open early and sat with my book on Kyoto. I enjoyed my morning coffee, watching people coming in and out on their way to work. The fast paced nature of Toyko never more present than in the morning as commuters rushed to get their breakfast in as fast as humanly possible.
Walking along the streets of Akihabara in the morning compared to at night is literally night and day. In the morning there is barely a soul to be seen. Gone are the little girls dressed in maid costumes and geeking out otaku nerds. The neon lights and loud nosies from the arcades have all been turned off and there is a eerie emptyness to the streets. All that's left are a few street cleaners and one weirdo (me) walking along the sidewalk.
Most stores along this street don't even open until 10 am, so you have a long time to explore in silence before things start up again. Without anyone running into me, I had the chance to sit and stare at some of the buildings. Admiring the designs or being bewildered by them. Coffee in hand, I was in my element. Feeling like an explorer of a long forgotten city. I decided to do some shopping at Don Quijote (at they're open 27/7) since the store was a ghost town and the best time to shop with ease.
I took my time to walk up and down all the hidden side streets, studying up all the vending machines on each corner. For the most part, the only items I found inside were coffees and sodas, but I did manage to come across the machine below selling what I can only assume are cans of beans? Or perhaps a very thick soup? I wasn't quite sure and too scared to try it out.
Looking back on the past few days I tried to write down or make lists of every memorable moment that took place. It was a whirlwind week that surpassed all my expectations. When we were first booking our hotels, we had no idea how massive Tokyo really could be but also how accessible it was. We picked Akihabara as our home base since we felt it would be the perfect mix of "location" and the "scene". Although we loved this area, throughout our travels we discovered so many other small little districts we would have enjoyed staying in more but overall Akihabara was the perfect place to start off when first uncovering all those secrets Tokyo has to offer.