Wedding Anniversary Trip to Tokyo and PunkSpring 2023

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Spring last year, Kevin and I booked a spontaneous trip to Tokyo for our 2nd wedding anniversary. We actually forgot to plan something so everything was really booked at the last minute. In 2021, on our 1st wedding anniversary, we were not able to properly celebrate due to COVID, so I think we deserve a trip this time round. Kevin actually was quite hesitant to go because we have not applied for leaves yet; plane tickets and hotels were quite expensive already; and we may not have enough time to apply for a visa. But luckily, things fell into place. Since everything was already settled, he didn't have much of a choice but to just go along with it. Happy wife, happy life, right? Haha!

Anyway, aside from celebrating our anniversary, the other reasons why I was so eager to travel to Tokyo was because of these two: cherry blossoms and PunkSpring! The cherry blossoms part, I guess, is self-explanatory. The PunkSpring part, if you have not heard of it before, this, I will explain. It is a punk rock-focused indoor music festival held during the spring season. Well, the name should already tell you. Haha. It was a yearly event until 2017, and the 2023 edition is the first one in 6 years. Simple Plan and My Chemical Romance were playing, and if you know me and Kevin, these are our favourite bands. You see, I really had a good case for Kevin on why we needed to travel to Japan.


We arrived in Tokyo in the afternoon, so we didn't have much time to visit places, and besides, we didn't have the energy as we were so exhausted from the flight. In the evening, we decided to have dinner at Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku. This place is a famous alley they call the "Piss Alley" where there are a lot of bars and restaurants. As expected, the entire stretch of this alley was so crowded even if it was raining that evening. I didn't had the time to research which restaurant is good, so we just randomly looked for a place where there are available tables. We ended up at this restaurant called "Saitamaya". We had yakitori and beer. 

The next day, the first agenda in our itinerary was to eat breakfast at Tsukiji Fish Market. We roamed around the area and bought whatever we fancied. I still cannot forget the stick of A5 wagyu that we ate here. It was quite expensive for a single stick of beef cubes but it was so delicious! It was so flavourful and tender. I am salivating as I type this.

Afterwards, we travelled to Harajuku to check out the famous Takeshita Street. We tried their photo booth machines called "purikura". Our photos came out so weird. I think we were not "kawaii" enough for this. Haha! 

It was nearing lunch time already when we finished strolling. I remember, we were quite hungry already but we saw a sign pointing towards Meiji Shrine. This was not part of our itinerary, but since we were there already, we thought, we might as well give it a visit. Upon approaching the entrance, my eyes widen and saw Chuck Comeau from Simple Plan. I was so shocked! Our last minute decision to visit this place, despite being hungry, has proven to be worth it. I wanted to take a photo with him but I was very shy and I didn't want to disturb him during his personal time as he was with his family and friends. Kevin and I were actually trailing them behind, but on one of the stops, I plucked up the courage and said hi to him and told him that we will be attending PunkSpring. He was friendly and he told us to enjoy the show. But still, my courage was not enough to ask for a photo. It's okay, though, at least I was able to talk to him. I just took photos of him from afar.

The vicinity of Meiji Shrine was so big, and it was already past 2pm when we finished. We had to hurriedly travel to our next agenda which is Shibuya Sky at 3pm. Luckily, we were able to flag down a cab. At this point, we were so tired from all the walking and we still haven't had our lunch yet. Haha!

We reached Shibuya Sky just before 3pm, and we went straight up to the rooftop observation deck. I remember, aside from getting late, the reason why we forgo our lunch was because it seemed like it was going to rain soon. Lo and behold, just a few minutes after spending some time at the observation deck, the sky poured down. We hurriedly went down, and just settled for a view inside the indoor observation deck. We spotted a snack bar, and bought some food in lieu of our lunch while waiting for the rain to let up.

In the evening, we had a wagyu yakiniku dinner at USHIHACHI. This was our first wagyu meal out of the many wagyu meals we had on this trip. We were obsessed with wagyu and *may* have eaten wagyu every single day during this trip. Haha!

The second day was PunkSpring day! The music festival was held in Makuhari Messe in Chiba City, which is actually outside of Tokyo. Before heading to the event, we dropped by Asakusa area first to see the Senso-ji Temple and the nearby areas. It was actually raining heavily that day so we were not really able to explore much. It was around lunch time when we arrived in Chiba, and we ate lunch before entering the venue. 

There were lots of Japanese and foreign bands who played. It's my first time to attend a concert in Japan, and I am really fascinated on how they behave during a concert. You see, the bands are full on rock bands, playing full on rock music, but the Japanese are just watching as if we are watching a musical. In contrast, I am jumping non-stop and screaming my lungs out. Haha!

At the end of the day, I was so happy I was able to see Simple Plan again. The last time I saw them was way back in 2016! It was also nice to see MCR perform live for the first time. I thought I wouldn't have the chance anymore since they have been inactive for a long time. 

On our third day, we planned to visit the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the morning, and have our breakfast there. And boy, this was a mistake. When we took our queue number, there were more than 300 groups ahead of us. Of course we did not wait! Haha!

We ended up eating breakfast at Burger King LOL. After eating, we went to Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, and we met with our photographer. I booked a photographer for this trip so that we would have nice photos with the cherry blossoms. Unfortunately, it was raining the entire time. But I think the photos still turned out okay, right? 

The photoshoot ended just before lunch time, and we queued up for Ichiran Ramen. It was still raining this time and we queue up for around one hour for a bowl of ramen. Lol. My hot take on this ramen: it's not that good and you are paying more for the booth experience. I think Ramen Yushoken in Alabang is better. 

Anyway, in the afternoon, we travelled to Koto City to visit TeamLab, and see the Gundam statue at Diver City. The last time we went here was in 2016, and it was a different Gundam statue erected in this same place!

In the evening, we were craving for an A5 wagyu. We randomly stumbled upon this restaurant in Ginza called Ginza Steak Ginza Honten. We were so lucky that they were able to accommodate us without reservation. It was one of the best meals we had. We had the A5 Wagyu Shimohuri and Akami Steak 7-course. The food, service and the staff are all impeccable. It was quite pricey but it was worth it. I highly recommend this place! We went back to our hotel so filled and satisfied.

The following day was our last full day in Japan. We booked a day trip to see Mt. Fuji. We were so lucky that day because Mr. Sun finally revealed himself. We were so worried we won't be able to see Mt. Fuji due to the nonstop rain. After the trip to Mt. Fuji, our group stopped by at Gotemba Outlet before heading back to Tokyo.

On the day of our flight, my husband roamed around Akihabara to buy toys while I stayed and chilled in the hotel. Our flight was in the late afternoon and we arrived back in Singapore almost at midnight.

It was so nice to travel to Japan again. I won't ever get tired of visiting this country. Next time, I would like to visit Hokkaido, Hiroshima, and Shirakawa!

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