Autumn in Japan Day 8: Shinjuku + Spontaneous Trip to Sanrio Puroland (Ang layo pala!)
I've been to Shinjuku before, but it's almost always during nighttime. One time, Sarah and I went there for the Robot Restaurant. Another time I went there to meet up with Gervin after his work, and had dinner in a hole-in-the-wall ramen place. I think that one time I went to Shinjuku during daytime was with my Ate, to see the cherry blossoms and have hanami in the park. It was, for me, the best view of sakura blossoms in my whole life!
This time, I wanted to see Shinjuku while it's autumn. Deegee and I went there early in the morning to put a big check in items from our Shinjuku list:
Deegee and I decided to just walk and walk, Google Maps in one hand, as we looked for this "Instagram location". I didn't know about Omoide Yokocho, but it looks nice. I was reading about it when I realized that we've almost missed a turn. A hidden gem in Shinjuku, Omoide Yokocho is basically just almost-hidden, small eskinitas of bars and restos--usually open at night.
Omoide Yokocho literally means "Memory Lane".
Some of the restos have a no-photo signage, so be extra cautious with that. Anyway, saw a branch of Coco Curry here, my favorite from 2015 trip, but since they already opened a branch in Manila, we just passed by the this time.
After the quick photo trip, Deegee and I navigated our way to Shinjuku Gyoen Park, but had to make a quick stop when I saw these cute doggos all lying down in mats:
I just have to!!!
They turn out to be therapy or doctor dogs that go around hospitals to entertain patients with depression! There's a donation box next to the mats, so that these hardworking dogs get the food and care that they need. :) Love you doggies!!!
Shinjuku Gyoen Park
I think it's the only paid park we went to for this trip, but no regrets -slash- the 200 yen is so worth it! This is also where Ate and I saw the best cherry blossom sights for spring last 2015. It brings nothing but good memories of sakura covering the skies, and pink or white flowers sprawling the branches that drape low to the ground.
For autumn though, it is another form of beauty. All reds and golds. In my memory, they are all sparkling! If it's Spring vs Autumn, I don't think I can ever choose one!
Photo worthy here and there:
The park is so huge so I think we weren't able to really go around the whole thing. There's a Japanese landscape garden, a French garden, and even a greenhouse.
The water is so clear it reflects the trees:
It started to rain while we were there, so we decided to rest in one of the benches. It also became our instant photo op area, haha! We rested and watched passersby till we felt we're ready to leave.
We were still in Shinjuku Gyoen Park when I announced that we're going to Sanrio Puroland that afternoon, haha! It was a spontaneous decision as the itinerary maker, since I thought that we had nowhere else to go unless we go back again to Harajuku or Odaiba. And it was rainy, so it has to be an indoor activity. Anyway, we instantly booked our discounted tickets online through Klook. My Ate helped my with our booking since I can't receive text confirmations.
We hopped in the train coming from Shinjuku, and didn't realized how faaaar Sanrio Puroland is from Tokyo, nakakaloka! I thought it's just around the area, but it took us around an hour to get there! I did not memorized the route though sorry, but #TeamTanong uli ako till we get there, hehe. (Nearest station is Tama Center)
It was still raining when we got there, good thing I brought a hat with me!
Price list when you buy tickets over the counter:
It was easy to get inside with our Klook e-vouchers:
Bidang bida si Gudetama this year!
Fake ride display, hehe:
We just came in when we heard that a show is about to start! We were there, I guess, in perfect timing?! It was around 4pm already and the theme park will close by 6 or 7!
Nagdadrama si Hello Kitty, hehehe:
After the show, Deegee and I decided to prioritize since it's almost closing. We entered the Gudetama Land na pabor for both of us, hehe.
The entrance looks like an airport:
The even handed us a Gudetama Passport, aka tap cards to record photos from the booths inside:
Everyone's super game to pose with Gudetama!
Di kami papahuli, hahaha:
After the photo overload, it was time for dinner. We picked the resto that serves RICE hehe:
As expected, prices of food in theme parks are always steep. Anyway, cute naman lahat so okay nadin!
What we had:
Hello Kitty Curry
Kerokeroppi Blue Curry:
Hello Kitty Ramen:
We were the last one out of the resto, and almost all attractions were already closed. Most of the crowd were inside the souvenir shops, so we tried to stroll one last time to see if there's something that we can buy. Ang daming kids umiiyak by now, haha! And parents consoling them with toys they've bought earlier, baka buyer's remorse yung iba pala ang gusto nilang toy mwahaha.
Another resto in Sanrio Puroland:
The chaotic souvenir shop before closing:
White Hello Kitty merch!
Even their restroom is in-theme:
It was still raining when we went out, but it gave us a double rainbow:
We just realized that even the train station is also Hello Kitty themed! Cute, Kawaii!
I'm sure it's unbelievable, but we still ended our day in Harajuku, HAHA! I don't know where we got all the energy to stop over Takeshita, check the luggage we were eyeing the other day since it's almost uwian na for us and we realized that we needed a new bag na for all the things we bought during the trip! 😂😅 We were walking back and forth Takeshita, when we realized sarado yung bags store that night, HAHAHA.
Watch my Autumn in Japan Day 8 IG Stories: