Chasing Planes Day 3: Bonjour, Gundam

Fatigue (and old age) finally caught up with us, so today we decided to take it easy. Our original plan was to go to Hakone, but for that we had to get up really early, and, well, no.

So we went to Harajuku instead.

Omotesando
Somebody did not get any shopping done

I somewhat planned to go shopping in Omotesando, but then I suddenly remembered I had no money to splurge on designer crap. So instead I just sat there, basking in the sunlight and trying to figure out what the hell these Japanese women were lining up for (Max Brenner's, some other popular cafe, and what appears to be some Barbie-themed store). People here have no problem with kilometric queues as long as there's something good at the end of it, which was how we picked out where to get crepes.

Japan has always had a fascination with all things French, so much so that they ended up being most susceptible to Paris syndrome - a bizarre psychological condition that arises when one's ideal picture of the resplendent City of Lights meets the reality of reeking metro stations and rude waiters (if you've experienced Japanese customer service, then you would know how much of a shock this would be). Everywhere you look there is something French-inspired - a patiserrie, a boutique, a giant man in a French maid costume (with blonde ringlets and fishnet stockings, thankyouverymuch).

Harajuku Crepes

There are probably as many crepe stands in Tokyo as there are in Paris (or maybe even more). In Harajuku alone, there is one in practically every street corner. The most popular ones are Marion Crepes and its rival Angel's Heart, and they're literally an arm's length from each other. We went with Angel's Heart because it had the longer queue that morning. Also, Cafe Crepe Image Girls.

Cafe Crepe Image Girls 2013

My staple order has always been the strawberry cheesecake crepe, because ice cream and nutella and bananas you can get anywhere, but where else could you find a crepe with a solid block of cheesecake inside?

Because my shopping dreams went out the window we left Harajuku for Odaiba. It's a man-made island filled with several attractions and shopping malls, and you get there via the driver-free Yurikamome line, which I am especially fond of because it sounds like "Eureka moment".

Odaiba
Mahangin sa labas

Our first stop was Diver City to see Gundam.

Gundam


It's huge, I'll give it that, but I was expecting it to be more prominent - it took a while for us to find it because it was hidden behind the mall. It was still too early for the evening show, so we went to Deck's first because I wanted to visit the takoyaki museum.

Untitled

It's actually not so much a museum as it is a takoyaki-themed food court. And with very few people (we went on a weekday) it was kinda bleak, if I'm being honest. We ordered a sampler of four different types of takoyaki, and while interesting I can't help but think that Gindaco's is just as satisfying (and cheaper, too). But then again I don't have the most sophisticated palate. Plus they have the catchiest jingle.

From Deck's we went down to the beach. It was a very chilly evening, and for the first time in this trip I was forced to buy a hot drink from the vending machine. I used to do this all the time during winter if I'm caught outside at freezing temperatures without gloves. By the time I get home my hands are still attached to my arms, and I have an ice-cold drink.

There's an outdoor pathway back to Diver City, with several good spots to take photos of the Rainbow Bridge and the Statue of Liberty (yes there is a Statue of Liberty in Odaiba and yes it does not make sense and no, not everything has to make sense). Or in this case, take photos of people taking photos of the Rainbow Bridge and the Statue of Liberty (and themselves - can you spot them in the photo?).

Odaiba

We hurried back to Gundam Front and waited excitedly for the evening show. I have it all on video - all ten years of it - but I can share with you the highlights. Gundam's head moves left. And then right. And then he looks up. And then smoke goes out his boobs chest. Twenty minutes of cartoons (projected behind him). And then his head moves again! Left. Right. Up. Smoke. End. What. the. French. In hindsight we should have googled for videos first so we would know what to expect, but ah well. The moon looked pretty, though.

The Moon over Odaiba

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