Japan Day 2: Exploring Odaiba & Yodobashi Akhibu

Waking up bright and early (a result of the 13-hour jet lag and early-rising sun; 4:30am), we ventured out of our hotel to seek breakfast at a safe bet: McDonald’s. It wasn’t far from our hotel, and we were able to recover from our freaky food experience the night before with the familiar: a chicken biscuit for myself and my sister, and an egg McMuffin for my dad.

We made our way to Miraikan, the Japanese museum of Emerging Technology. After queuing for tickets for a bit, we made our way inside. There, we were greeted with children and adults riding around on little wheeled stools made by Honda. We walked upstairs to the permanent exhibit hall, complete with a giant globe covered with little screens. We were just in time to see Asimo, Honda’s child-sized humanoid robot. After a brief demonstration of the robot’s abilities (such as hopping on one foot and kicking a soccer ball), Asimo returned to his closet for charging.

After exploring the other exhibits, we left the museum and walked around a shopping mall in Daiba. Outside one of the malls (there’s lots in Tokyo, and particularly Daiba) there was a large Gundam robot statue, easily 20 feet tall.

Feeling adventurous, my Dad and I took Tokyo’s very sophisticated and easy-to-navigate subway system to Akihabara. Our mission: to find Yodobashi Akhibu, a large 7-floor electronics store in the heart of Tokyo. We ate dinner at Bar Rhythm, a little bar in Akihabara serving light fare (my dad was after yakisoba, I ate some unremarkable fried shrimp) and, of course, drinks. We indulged ourselves a bit, and went into Yodobashi. In a word, the store was overwhelming. With just about everything relating to electronics and office supplies, this seven-story behemoth had too much stuff. Signs everywhere indicated sales and new items, and salespeople politely invited you over to view their wares down nearly every aisle. Without buying anything, we left and headed back for our hotel room.

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