Miraikan is quite cool! It’s rather similar to COSI in Columbus for those of you who have been, but we didn’t explore much of the permanent exhibits because we were too busy having fun in the special exhibit. Explanations in photos below!
So, in short, if you have time to go to Miraikan I would highly suggest it and if you are on a budget, the globe is free!
The really cool part about this is that he also told me I could bring a friend, and maybe more than one, as long as they were not Japanese. So I invited my other friends that are co-oping in Tokyo and Josh, Josh, Anthony, and I met in Asakusa for a fun event!
To start out, we were given a free goodie bag including info about Asakusa, green tea, candies, and a souvenir wood block thingy. Then, we went to watch a traditional archery competition that was super cool where all the archers were dressed in very elaborate kimono and went through so many special, perfect steps to shoot an arrow at a plastic deer target. If the deer was hit, one of the judges on each side of the set-up would raise their white symbol of the hit. Basically it was really awesome and my pictures are better than my words:
When we arrived in Chichibu, and I still didn’t know what we were doing, I was a little bit confused. After a nice, long train ride out of Tokyo I had no idea where I was! But then I saw the poster, a poster for fields upon fields of flowers!! We were going to a garden, but even better than a garden!
Then we walked to a nearby shrine and had yummy yummy cold soba noodles for dinner. Just before getting back on the train, we bought a bag of traditional Japanese snacks and I was introduced to some new treats!
So of course, I went and let me just tell you how GREAT it was. It was like being free again while playing soccer because ever since I fell and broke my arm at a soccer practice in 3rd grade I have had a HUGE fear of falling. When surrounding by a bubble, that fear is invalid!
Most of us met there on the spot, there were a few couples, a few friends, and a group that had just arrived in Japan the day before! Mostly European guys, much larger than I, a couple of Japanese people, and then the oddball American! But that’s alright, I think I held my own. J
After paying, we split into teams, got into our bubbles, and we were off! Playing bumper car soccer with on worries except trying to score a goal, and by that I actually mean trying to knock over the players on the other team! My personal highlights of the game: I got an assist and I scored a goal, from behind midfield, and it was my team’s 11th goal (my favorite number).
I might have been sore for more than two days after playing but it was enough fun to be totally worth it!
Oh, and I tried Okinawan cuisine that night but I wasn’t very fond of it. Except for the “grape seaweed” (sorry I forget the actual name) which was a very interesting seaweed that was almost like eating bubble wrap because of how it popped in my mouth!
I officially fully believe that more than 2 million people visit this event. Asakusa is simply teeming with people. Japanese people participating and watching, and lots of foreigners (like me) there taking photos and enjoying!
Basically this is a festival where Mikoshi, small and carry-able shrines, are carried on the shoulders of large groups throughout the streets of Asakusa. The larger mikoshi are carried mostly by men, but they also have ones for women and even smaller ones for kids!
I almost didn’t go to this event and shut myself in my room for a day, but I am so glad that I went! My advice to anyone who is thinking about going, don’t let the crowds get you down! And also don’t try going to this in a large group, you’ll never be able to stay together!