The second day was dedicated to shopping on the one hand, on the other to visiting Kamakura and Enoshima outside of Tokyo.
Even in the metropolis of Tokyo, most shops do not open before 10 am. To make use of the early hours I went to Tokyo station from Ueno, since more shops are opened early in the station’s underground maze. At that time, I got in the middle of the morning commute and I had to skip two trains to even fit into a car. Luckily the train interval is about two minutes.
At the station I redeemed my Japan Rail Pass voucher and made my first reservations for the second half of my trip. Especially in high season I recommend doing so early.
The weather that day was not that nice, it rained lightly in the morning and remained cloudy throughout the day. I strolled around Yurakucho, Ginza and Asakusa, at latter I bought the infamous Dorayaki from Kamejuu. The shop is that popular that I had to queue fifteen minutes for it.
After depositing my goods at the flat I went on to Ikebukuro, another busy district of Tokyo. There I visited various stores such as Bic Camera, Tokyu Hands, and the KitKat store in Seibu. Moreover I Looked into the Evangelion anime shop in the Parco department store.
For lunch I went for Ramen and then returned to my flat to exchange shopping goods for my camera.
A bit later than planned I left Tokyo southbound for Kamakura. The city at the coastline attracts me every time I come to Japan. It is not only a cultural heritage site but also a scenic place with its long beaches. Furthermore, it harbors popular sites such as the big Buddha statue.
Kamakura can be reached in about an hour by train from central Tokyo with up to one transfer. Luckily I managed to get a seat but regretted it soon. My body still is not fully accustomed to the time zone and I fell asleep and forcefully woke up several times on the way.
Originally I wanted to explore the area around the station in more detail but decided to leave it out to save time for my other plans. Hopping on the iconic Enoden train it took me a few minutes to reach Hase station, from where the Daibutsu statue as well as Hase temple is accessible.
Here I also found a single cherry tree showing its blossoms proudly.
One stop further down the line is Gokurakuji station, another iconic place during spring. Unfortunately, I barely missed the cherry blossoms, but I remember the site vividly from the many occurrences in films, such as Umimachi Diary (Our little Sister) from Hirukazu Koreeda, which I recently watched.
The ride went on until I reached Enoshima station. From there it is a 10 minutes’ walk to the island. The sun was slowly setting, but I managed to reach the other side of the island before. On the way I found a Dango stall and several other shops and restaurants.
Passing the observatory tower I made my way until the Southern coast. From there we could watch the sun setting.
There is a regional dish called Shirasudon, or in general, dishes including Shirasu. This is a collective name for small fish such as baby sardines which are caught in the vicinity of Enoshima. The dish was featured in Umimachi Diary several times so I wanted to try it out. Indeed, it is really tasty.
The grounds are illuminated after sunset but activity ceases quickly from 8 pm, so plan to come early enough.
My last destination of the day was the Tokyo Tower. The iconic construction inspired by the Eiffel Tower is illuminated at night. From two observation platforms (150 and 250 meters respectively) the cityscape can be viewed.
Japan is good in adapting food culture from other countries and bringing in their own taste. One such example is Crepe. Before leaving I treated myself to a savory crepe with cheese cake, strawberries and vanilla ice.
With that my second day in Tokyo came to an end. I have three more days before leaving for Okinawa.