Tokyo Day 2 – Imperial Palace Bike Ride, Yoyogi Park, Harajuku and Cat Cafe!

This is a continuation of the Japan Trip Report. You can read more here:
Booking Lufthansa First Class Using United Miles
Lufthansa First Class Denver to Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Osaka
Japan Day 1: Nijo Castle and Kinkaku-ji
Westin Osaka Review

Japan Day 2 (Part 1) – Fushimi Inari and Nara
Japan Day 2 (Part 2) – Bullet Train/Nabana no Sato Illumination
Conrad Tokyo Review
Tokyo Day 1 – Tokyo Free Guide, Geisha Show and Meiji Shrine

We started off day two in Tokyo with another amazing breakfast in the Conrad Tokyo before heading out for some cycling! I had read online that the Imperial Palace offered free bicycles on Sundays. We decided to go check it out. We weren’t entirely sure what to do when we arrived, but asked a couple of guards who weren’t sure what we were asking but managed to point us in the right direction.

Once we arrived at the bicycle rental area, we had to fill out a form. We were expecting to leave a deposit or a license or credit card or something that proves you’ll come back with the bicycle. But all we had to do was fill out a form with our name and address. No one even read it, they just handed us bikes. Compared to what we’re used to at home the level of trust was incredible.

The entire road beside the Imperial Palace was closed to traffic and only open for cyclists. It was a short but enjoyable ride. Very pretty with the fall foliage in the area. Probably too warm during the summer as it was almost warm in November!

Free Bicycle Riding Near The Imperial Palace

Free Bicycle Riding Near The Imperial Palace

After our bike ride we decided to head to Yoyogi Park and then Harajuku for some people watching. I had read online that many groups/youths met Sunday afternoons in the park. One group I had heard of was the Rockabilly dancers. We had a chance to see them dance to 50’s style music in Yoyogi Park.

Yoyogi Park Rockabilly Group

Yoyogi Park Rockabilly Group

There were many people hanging out in the park in the afternoon. If you have some time to kill it’s a nice to walk around.

Yoyogi Park

Yoyogi Park

After Yoyogi Park we headed towards Harajuku. Harajuku is known for being a spot where people go to dress up and show off, including Lolitas.  We saw one group as we were walking, but I wasn’t able to get a good picture. The only other thing of interest we saw was this guy:

In Harajuku

In Harajuku

After walking around Harajuku for a bit, we headed towards Shibuya to check out a cat cafe.

Shibuya at Night

Shibuya at Night

The cat cafe was called Hapineko. It was essentially a room full of cats. You enter and wash your hands and pay a fee for a set amount of time with the cats. Many people aren’t allowed to have their own pets in their housing in Tokyo. There are numerous cat cafes in Tokyo to make up for it. I think we paid something like $10 per person for a half hour. You also get a drink (they had good hot chocolate!) and some candies. When we entered, we were told not to pet the ones with pink collars. I thought the woman explaining said that they had neck pain and was a little confused – it’s possible she meant they were pain in the neck cats. But of course the really cute ones had pink collars.

Hapineko Cafe

Hapineko Cafe

Going to a cat cafe was on our list for things to do in Tokyo, and we enjoyed it. But really it just made us miss our cats at home. Plus we can pet ours when they are being cute.

Cute "Do Not Pet" Cat at Hapineko

Cute “Do Not Pet” Cat at Hapineko

We ended the night by walking around Shibuya a little more. Stay tuned for day 3 covering the giant Gundam in Odaiba, the Toyota show room and Akihabara!

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About Rebecca

I'm an engineer who is new to the points game. Hoping to share my discoveries as I collect points to travel the world.

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