Today we went to the famous Tokyo International Anime Fair. There were many booths featuring many Japanese production companies, such as Toei Animation, Bandai Namco, Tezuka Productions and many more. There were also foreign companies for all parts of the world. There was a live show at the Pokemon booth. This show is a huge exhibition showing the different animation booths, what they make, how they make it, and have a lot of people dressed up as characters such as Pikachu from Pokemon. After wandering around the show a bit we all got portraits of ourselves done as if we were anime characters which turned out to be quite funny!As we were walking around in Japan, we noticed a lot of people wearing masks. We were curious so we asked the hotel concierge about it. He said that it was because they are afraid of spreading germs around, and so they would wear sterilized masks. They don’t protect the person wearing it, but the people around them. Interesting to know! Another important thing that we have learned is don’t draw attention to yourself in public by being like an individual. In Japan, everyone is very universal and don’t like to do things out of turn. The Yen, or Japanese Yen, is the money that we had to convert our Canadian dollars into. There are different items that are considered to be bad luck in Japan, such as the number four, because it is pronounced the same as death, so you couldn't buy anything in fours, you had to hide your thumb when a funeral car passes, and many more such as the black cat crossing the street. Good thing we found this out now! We continued lurking all the booths until we were dead tired and starving.
We went and had Sushi in the hustle and bustle Shibuya shopping district. Emily and Erin didn’t like the Sushi so they ended up having typical American food, chicken and fries at KFC. In Japan, there is no tipping allowed, like ever. We learned that to tip someone means that you are insulting, because the prices they are asking for is paying for them. In Japan use this philosophy: a price is a price. Erin went to leave a tip, and was chased down the street by the server saying how she needed to take it back. Quite a hilarious scene to see. Check out this website for more customs about Japan: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/10-japanese-customs-you-must-know-before-a-trip-to-japan
Once we had filled up our bellies, and Erin was chased, we all went on a shopping spree. We visited many stores, our two favorites were “Takashimaya Times Square” one of the largest department stores in Japan where each of us bought something and Tokyu Hands. Tokyu Hands was different as it was aimed more towards do it yourself things, arts and crafts, stationary, outdoors, hobbies and less on fashion. We went to the Daiso Harajuki 100 Yen Shop, and it is one of the largest shops in Central Tokyo, including clothing, kitchenware, food and stationary on multiple floors. If you don’t like spending a lot of money, this is the place to go! After all the shopping we went searching for the famous Hachiko the dog statue. We took some pictures here, the statue is not very big and it’s more the meaning behind it that matters. The story is that Hachiko the dog waited for his owner to return from work at the same station every day, but one day the owner never showed up as he had passed away. Hachiko kept returning to the same spot for years waiting for his owner until he too passed on to the next world. The statue stands for loyalty and it’s a great reminder for all those that walk by it each day on their way to the train station.
Here is a map of where we were and some attractions that we saw: