Grutto Pass – Tokyo Cheaply

Grutto Pass costs 2 000 yen (in 2016, about 16€) and with it you can visit most of the Tokyo’s museums and sightseeing attractions. It’s valid for two months starting from the first use and you can buy it from the most of museums and places where you can use it. You can also buy it in set with day train ticket. When buying the pass you get small notebook of places where you can use it or get discounts (and it is in English or at least was when I bought mine in 2015).

http://www.rekibun.or.jp/grutto/pdf/grutto_pass2016.pdf

From the link above you can find places where the Grutto Pass is valid in year 2016. Below the ones I went and liked the most…

 

 

mitsuoaida

tomatoes, you know, are real
that is, if they remain tomatoes
if they try to be melons, however,
they then became fakes
though everything and everyone is real
in their own way,
it seems we always try so hard to become fakes
-Mitsuo Aida

Mitsuo Aida Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 800 yen. Even if the poems are at Japanese are they beautiful to look and every poem is translated.

 

 

Ueno Zoo PandaUeno Zoo

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 600 yen. Go and see pandas and other cute animals!

 

 

Tokyo Sea Life ParkTokyo Sea Life Park

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 700 yen. Who doesn’t love aquariums?

 

 

Tokyo Innovation MuseumMiraikan

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 620 yen. The national museum of emerging science and innovation. From the first look it may seem like museum for children but it’s a lot more. Go there to see robots and space ship.

 

 

fortuneShitamachi Museum

Free of charge with Grutto pass. Without the Grutto pass 300 yen.  Get to know how Japanese people lived in the past. They have free English guided tours and you can even get free fortune like the one above.

 

 

Tokyo National Museum of Nature and ScienceNational Museum of Nature and Science

Normally 620 yen but with Grutto pass you get 100 yen discount. This museum is huge and full of things to see. For example 360 theater, dinosaur bones and information of japanese nature. I recommend for science and nature students.

 

Should I buy Grutto Pass?

My opinion is yes. If you are going to spend more than day or two in Tokyo then definitely yes. You don’t need to go many places before Grutto pass pays itself back.

Also was fun how people always commented that I must be professional tourist because I have the Grutto pass. Apparently normally non Japanese speaking people don’t know about Grutto pass. Using it made me have many funny conversations with museum guides and other local people.

I hope me sharing my experience with Grutto pass makes someone else to safe their money! For me staying over month in Tokyo it saved a lot of money and made me go places I maybe wouldn’t have gone with out the free admission.

Follow my blog to read more of my adventures!
With love and passion,

Neidotta

Food in Japan

This post is just going to be pics of food and me rambling nonsense. You have been warned so enjoy!

crepes
I miss crepes! They are so tasty and pretty. Look the pic and try to insist you wouldn’t try them. You can’t! I don’t think there is person who doesn’t find crepes tasty.
crepes2
I did try so many different ones but banana-chocolate crepes where my favorites. Well of course eating these wasn’t all fun and games. In the first time buying crepe I didn’t have idea how to eat it. Like should I use the spoon and and eat the filling first or maybe approach it like ice cream.

 

food2

 

During my trip I got really attached to convenience store food. It is cheap and tasty. You wouldn’t believe what things you can buy from there! Like that chicken thing and sushi.
food

This is meal I normally had. Noodles, rice and something extra. I have used chopsticks every now and then in home but eating everything with them challenged me.

My first time eating out scared the hell out of me. I mean there was that spoon like thing and noodles in soup and sticks and no one talking English and I really didn’t know how to act.

Even if the meal  was straight from nightmare of course I did survive. I have always been good at pretending to fit in. Spying and imitating other customers saved me.
food3
In Tokyo I found this cute little restaurant place right next to my home. As shy person it took almost one week of living there to visit this place for the first time. In Japan food places often have this machine thing you need to use to order. As non Japanese person there’s no way for you order without asking help.

I lived near Ueno park and in the area there was not so many white people. Of course the owner started to recognize me when I walked past his small just big enough to fit five people noodle place.

So one night he was standing outside and he did shout happy greeting for me. It took all my courage but I asked him how to order. Well of course he didn’t speak English but in the end I did get to eat super good food. After that we kind of become friends with him.
Tullyscoffee
So this pic looks like normal coffee mug. Well it is normal coffee mug (surprise!) but I did want to share this with you for reason. Tully’s Coffee it says in the upper part of the mug if you have sharp eyes.

Tully’s become quickly my favorite coffee place -funny because I don’t drink coffee- and I recommend it for everyone. Yes, it’s just normal cafe. However their teas are straight from heaven! And the places felt nice and cozy.

 

tea

When we talk about teas it’s impossible for me to not mention the milk teas. The Lipton’s Milk Tea in pic is bought from convenience store and I don’t admit drinking them at least every other day. I have never ever before been able to stand milk teas (or cold/ice teas) so it doesn’t make sense how I ended up only drinking milk teas in Japan.

Fortunately I had 100YEN shop right next to my home as well in Tokyo as in Kyoto. From there it was easy to buy my favorite milk tea (the one in pic). For 100YEN (it’s around 0,80€) you did get 1 liter (two times as big as that one in pic).

 

Japan: Capsule Toys

Like I promised I’m here with the article about capsule toys and claw games! I loved capsule toys when I was little. The surprise what you will get was still as exiting as younger.

Claw games I didn’t play that much because I never win. Despite that I went to see them a lot because they remind me of my sister. She loves claws! I hope I would have taken one with me and given to her. The machines are just so giant and probably expensive and I don’t even know where would you get one.

 

Japanese Capsule Toy Machine

 

Capsule Toys

In Japan the culture varies from the western one I know. I have got used to little kids drooling over these toys. Imagine my surprise when in my first week in Tokyo it wasn’t children who used capsule toy machines.

If you have never visited Japan you are now probably thinking who then would use them. It’s very simple. Normal people. Everyone. From business men to cool teenagers. After a while I started to see the kids trying to get toys from these too but I still wonder what people do with the toys. Do they just collect them?

 

capsuletoys2

 

Special Toys

The capsule toys in pic above look totally normal, right? You are wrong… or at least partly wrong. This picture is taken in museum. Do you want buy souvenir in Japan. Don’t worry you can find capsule toys anywhere you go!

Some of these “toys” can be breathtaking. Pocked-sized replicas of art works, poems by famous artists and do-it-yourself dinosaur skeletons. You just need to find these. I will give a hint go to museums and tourist attractions.

 

capsuletoys3

 

As Super Junior (boyband from South Korea) fan I couldn’t pass these capsule toys without trying to get my bias (means the favorite member, mine is Eunhyuk). Tower Records music stores are popular in Japan and you should definitely visit at least one. These capsule toys are from one of Tokyo’s stores.

 

clawgame2

 

Claw Games

In Finland we only have claw games in cruises and amusement parks. In Japan I saw buildings full of different types of machines. The prices very from stuffed animals to anime figures and fan products.

 

clawgame4

 

Not everyone recognize these bears but to enlighten you all these are Bigbang’s (South Korean boyband too) mascots. I really tried to get one but didn’t have luck. I’m bad at these.

Well the most important this wasn’t to get reward. It’s just funny to try get something (and fail badly). Some people were really good at these and it was magical to see them getting the toys out of the machines.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog!
And see you again next week. 🙂

Japan: Vending Machines

Of course before traveling to Japan I had heard about the vending machines but I never really realized how many of them there would be. Every corner of street bottles of different drinks are waiting for thirsty passerby.

 

Japanese Vending Machine

Lemonade and Tea Vending Machines

Cold lemonades and iced teas are the most common machines in Japan. Usually couple of different ones stand next to each other so no one can complain not finding the right drink. If you are lucky the vending machine has also section for hot drinks. Usually tea, hot chocolate or canned coffee.

Because of my nonexistent Japanese skills I had no idea what I was drinking. However I grow attached to the green drink in pic and it’s pink twin bottle.

The one drink I hate and apparently regular citizen loved was some kind of ice-tea (I think??). It’s the one in bottom left corner of the pic. That green one with black text in it. You should probably give it a try but I couldn’t even nearly finish it

 

Japanese Coffee Machine

Specialty Coffee Machines

I admit that I hate coffee and I never even tried these machines. (Well at least not after the first accidental time…) There are more variety in these machines than in normal cafes. Unfortunately with my bad Japanese skills I can’t tell you much about the drinks you can get from these ones.

 

Japanese Ice Cream Vending Machine

Ice Cream Vending Machines

Do I even need to mention anything else? Ice cream from vending machine? Japan, you have made me fall for you!

So yeah back to the point… These ones weren’t that usual but I saw one at least once every day in Tokyo. I liked every ice cream I tried even if the prices were more expensive than in convenience stores. For the thrill of using the machine I was ready to pay a little bit more.

 

Japanese Capsule Toys

Capsule Toys

Capsule toys are the thing in Japan. They are everywhere. Little figures you can get change often and if you are lucky (and wealthy) you can collect different type of toys. Prices wary from 100 to 500 yen and the gifts you get out can be nearly anything from panties to cute tiny mascots.

 

Japanese Claw Crane Game

Claw Games

I bet everyone knows these games wit craw you use to get prices from the machine. Japan is the promised land of claw lovers. You have game halls 5 floors high full of different this kind of games. You can win anything. Cute stuffed animals, game figurines with big boobs, video games, towels, candies. I think you get the idea, right? Anything is possible here.

 

 

Thank you for reading my first post in this blog! My idea is to post new travel themed text every Sunday (or Monday depending where you live) so I hope you will follow me. Next week you are going to get better article about capsule toys and claw games.

Welcome and see you next week!