DAY 23 TenQ Space Museum and Tokyo Station Character Street

DAY 23 TenQ Space Museum and Tokyo Station Character Street

November 5th, 2019

Clicking on a link marked with a * takes you to a more detailed post, such as a review.

TenQ Space Science Museum
Tokyo Station Character Street

Hotel: Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza*

Food: Nu dish Deli and Cafe*; T’s Tan Tan at Tokyo Station*

 

The itinerary had listed today as a day trip to Kamakura and Enoshima. This would have happened if we hadn’t been tired and over being on transport thanks to the 5+ hour bus ride the day before, which should have taken two hours. Dee and I both woke up and felt no way to a big day out some distance away.

As it also turned out we had to visit the Tokyo Police Lost and Found Centre to collect a relative’s laptop that had been left on a flight within Japan a few weeks before. I had to take a printout of a form my relatives emailed me, and my passport, to the centre located near Iidabachi station.

This turned out well as the lost and found centre was a short walk from the TenQ Space Museum which opened at 11:00. We were early and noted there were some open gardens nearby according to Google Maps so we took our convenience store breakfast foods but the gate for the gardens was closed.

Getting in to the TenQ museum was tricky and I couldn’t see obvious signage outside, so we just did tourist-face when in a building and a security guard asked if we needed help. From what I understood we had to look for a yellow building and go up in an elevator, but my Japanese was good enough for us to have followed the directions closely. Whew!

When purchasing our tickets at the TenQ counter at 11:00, we were asked which time slot we wanted for the Cosmos show so we chose the 11:30 slot. We browsed the gift shop for a while which like all the other gift shops we’d seen in Japan, had items of good quality and the space geek in me was excited to get some spacey earrings and a spacey gachapon.

We had to wait near the gift shop entrance for the Cosmos show and wow, WHAT a show. All in Japanese but you don’t need to understand a word to know what’s going on as it was mostly all brilliant visuals. Epic stuff, we loved it. From there we were led to like a reverse planetarium where the ‘dome’ was a big round pit in the floor and images were projected in to this pit. We were looking down from a sort of balcony/raised section. This was more wow, I loved that it wasn’t your traditional spacey kind of show at a planetarium where you’re looking up. It really makes you appreciate the design and tech that goes in to creating something like this.

When exiting this show, you are then in the interactive exhibits area where everything was hands on. There were numbered stations you could visit in order. At one station you have to control a Sphero ball to reach a goal within a time limit. We had fun on this one. At another station there were puzzle blocks where you could recreate a picture (such as a planet image) or, as most people seemed to do, create your own puzzle art.

This was a great place to visit, I highly recommend you take the kids and go early on a weekday. There was hardly anyone there when we visited. There was one other family with kids but the other visitors were groups of adults so you don’t have to only go with kids.

When we left TenQ we found a courtyard area outside and spent some time sitting there eating our snacks before heading off to Ain Soph Ginza. Which unfortunately was closed so went around the corner to Nudish Deli and Cafe (review here). I got the European curry plus a cheesecake, while Dee got a juice and chocolate cake:

We visited the Itoya all-things-stationery store in Ginza and spent a long time in there. It’s one of the most beautiful stores I’ve ever seen, with many levels.

We had a short walk back to our hotel, Daiwa Roynet Hotel Ginza (review here), dropped off stuff and had a little rest before heading back out for a walk to the¬†Sanrio Ginza store. From there, a 15-20 minute walk up to Tokyo Station to find Character Street. I braced myself for walking around in circles but luckily we saw a sign pointing to Character Street on the wall and floors ( it’s a blue arrow) so we found our way easily.

We spent time at the Pokemon store, Rilakkuma, Donguri Ghibli, and more. Pretty much every shop there and of course the gachapon place too. I had read to be prepared for the crowds but it wasn’t crowded at all and some stores were close to empty.

Seeing as we were in Tokyo Station the only option for dinner was of course T’s Tan Tan. We looked for signs to Keiyo Street where we knew T’s was located but didn’t see any, so followed Keiyo Line signs figuring they’d be in a Keiyo kinda direction. Good call as this eventually took us to a sign for Keiyo Street and we found T’s Tan Tan at the top of some escalators (another instruction I’d noted down!)

I got the gold sesame tan tan and mapo tofu set (review here):

As we’d needed to pass through the ticket gate to access Keiyo Street I got the foreboding feeling that the ticket gates would give us the embarrassing red light and embarrassing BA-POWWWWW noise and I was right. The part of the station we were at was unstaffed so we had to walk all the way back (and it was a long way) until we found someone at a ticket booth, and we were able to find our exit before heading to the swish hotel for baths and bed!

 

On to Day 24.

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