Japan Trip, Day 3: Harry Potter, Akihabara, and dinner with Martin

Harry Potter Cafe

Lily and Amy and big Harry Potter fans. So naturally the Harry Potter cafe was on the must visit list.

Lily and I arrived by subway; Amy and Diana took a taxi. (Robert didn’t join us for this outing.) The subway station next to the Harry Potter cafe, Akasaka, goes all out with the Harry Potter theme, replete with theme music playing from the speakers as you ascend a red carpet staircase leading up to a golden spinning time thing.

The Harry Potter cafe is in a nearby mall. You need reservations to get in, and fortunately we had them. You are led into a dining room and you feel like you’re on a set that could be in one of the movies.

The food there is just regular food, just with names that reference Harry Potter things. For example, you can get a soup meal based on each of the four Hogwarts houses. The food was fine, and the drinks were fine.

When we were done with our meal, we hopped back outside and took a look at the Harry Potter gift shop.


Diana went back to the hotel, leaving just me, Lily, and Amy at the point. The next stop was Akihabara, where we’d do two things. One, Lily wanted to go shopping, and two, Amy wanted to go see the bunny cafe.

We first went shopping. The first shopping destination was Animate, a store dedicated to all things anime and manga. In short, heaven for Lily. This particular store was so big that it actually occupied two buildings next door to each other, and each building had five floors of merchandise. We went through all the floors of both buildings.

After Animate, we went to the bunny cafe. Well, it was described as a cafe, but there’s no food or drink served. What you got was essentially a tiny room on the second floor of a building in an alley where you had a chance to hang out with four sets of bunnies in four different playpens. Each of us got a handful of rabbit treats and a 15 minute block of time in each playpen.

Robert joined us after the bunny cafe, and we proceeded to do more shopping in Akihabara. We went to Trader, another store with lots of anime and manga, but also video games.

Dinner with Martin

In the evening, we headed to Ikebukuro to have dinner with Lily’s friend, Martin.

Lily had met Martin while she was living in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT); they were both part of the Japan English Teaching (JET) program. Martin is from the UK, but it just so happened that he would be in Tokyo visiting while we were around, so Lily arranged for a meetup.

The restaurant of choice was Saizeriya. It is an Italian restaurant, in Japan. Lily had told me about how she loved eating Japanese Italian food when she lived in Japan, so I was eager to try it out.

I got myself a basic spaghetti bolognese. I really liked it. I can only describe it as “light and delicate,” which is a far cry from the spaghetti that I’m used to in the States. I’m so used to spaghetti slathered in a thick red tomato sauce that the “here’s spaghetti with just the right amount of thin sauce to coat the noodles and nothing more” was an eye-opener.

It was a great time. Lily and Martin got to catch up, I had my first taste of Japanese Italian and really liked it, and Robert and Amy enjoyed themselves too.

The Day 3 video

Here’s the video I put together for Day 3.