Compared to the excitement of our first day in 2012, day 2 was a lot quieter. We had no real plans, so we just went to the Shibuya district in Tokyo, which is relatively easy for us to get to from Kawasaki City (a single train line from the nearby station). There wasn’t much for us to do in Shibuya apart from a little shopping. We stopped at a nearby KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), which is much better than the KFC stores in the US (ironic since it is an American company), but the portions are a bit smaller:
…or maybe the American portions are too big. Anyhow, we got bored in Shibuya pretty quick. If you want to spend lots of money and wade through heavy crowds, it’s great, but we wanted to do something as a family so we wandered a few blocks over to NHK’s studio park:
NHK is the national channel of Japan, similar to the BBC in the UK, or RTE in Ireland (no analogy in the US), and we often watch it at home on cable TV. My daughter enjoys a lot of the childrens’ shows too.
We were lucky because admission was free to the park because of Japanese New Year, so we just went right in. NHK’s studio changes often and there’s a lot of interactive rooms where kids and adults can see how shows are made, how studios are constructed, or how sound effects are created. It’s a great way to spend about 2-3 hours, and it really goes fast. NHK really deserves some credit for making such a nice studio.
Toward the end is the studio cafe, featuring a life-sized model of NHK’s famous mascot, Dōmokun:
Domokun is often recognizable in various and strange internet memes, but here’s the (uncorrupted) original. 🙂
By the time we left, it was about 6pm, and it was time to head home and so we did. Like I said before, if you want to kill an afternoon in Shibuya ward, you can’t go wrong with the NHK studio park. I went there 6 years ago on my first visit to Japan, and it had changed quite a bit. Even then it was impressive, but this time technology made a big difference. 🙂
P.S. Going off the radar for a couple days. Apologies for slow replies/comment approvals.