By Cyrus Johnson
This summer, I got to go to Japan. It was my first time out of the country and I was pretty excited! My aunt paid for a plane ticket and the hotel, and my mom came with me.
After a 13-hour flight, we landed at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. We got lost in the airport pretty quickly, but once we found the bus that would take us to our hotel, it was pretty easy to navigate. When we got to our room on the 20th floor and got settled, the first thing I did was look out the window. We had a great view of the Rainbow Bridge and could see both the Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower from there. The next day I checked out the nearby malls, Aqua City and Diver City. Diver City was cool because they had an entire shop dedicated to Gundam, and they also had an arcade there. The arcade games are a lot more fun than the ones in a Dave & Buster to me. They had a bunch of rhythm games, a lot of crane games, and this really fun mecha piloting game, among others I wasn’t really paying attention to. I ended up playing until closing multiple times while I was there.
After that, we went to Akihabara, an area with a lot of electronics shops. We got lost almost immediately, but we found our way to a bookstore and bought some manga before we got back on the subway to go to Sensō-ji, a large Buddhist Temple. We went and got fortunes, but they were both bad, so we tied them up on the bad fortune rack, I don’t know what it was called. The next day we went to Shibuya and saw the Shibuya crossing, a famous spot surrounded by malls known for letting pedestrians cross through the middle of the intersection at the same time.. We were going to go see if we could take pictures from the top of a building, but you had to pay per picture after you paid to get up there. After we were done checking out nearby shops, we went to the Tokyo Skytree. It was cool seeing so much of Japan from so high up, but since it was pretty cloudy that day we couldn’t see too far out.
The next day my mom wanted to check out the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo. They had an exhibit on Takahata Isao, who worked on Grave of the Fireflies, Heidi, Girl of the Alps, and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which I enjoyed. Afterwards, we went to the Tokyo Imperial Palace grounds. The gardens there were pretty, but our feet got tired pretty quickly. We were only there for a week, and it was a pretty nice trip. The week went by fast, and I’d love to go back someday.