Day two (March 28, 2013) is intended to hit all of the destinations that the Houkago Tea Time girls hit. We will aim to match most of the locations within the movie, but for the sake of practicality, not all locations will be replicated. The locations visited on day one by the girls will, strangely enough, be visited on the last day. For ease of access, the map may be accessed here.
Day Two Itinerary
Before breakfast, we will depart the Ibis Earl’s court and head down to the World’s End Shop (Vienenne Westwood World’s End 430 Kings Road), where the girls take their photo with a massive clock on the store’s facade. The World’s End is a district of Chelsea, London, lying at the western end of the Kings Road. Taking its name from a public house, the area became a centre for the counter-culture world of the 1960s. This continued in the late ’70s and ’80s with the opening of the boutique SEX started by Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s (which is now known as Worlds End). En route to the Troubadour Café, a host of sights in the movie may be observed, as we are travelling down the Old Brompton road, a major street in the South Kensington district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea lined with several 5-star hotels and upmarket shops along the road.
- In an earlier post, I noted that some Japanese fans immediately went to London to search for the Troubadour Café and presented the owners of the establishment with a poster.
- The whole of the second day is spent recreating, to the best of my ability, the events the girls experience, but in no particular order.
Heading back northwards, breakfast today will be had at the Troubadour Café (265 Old Brompton Road London). Established in 1954, the Troubadour Café is one of the last remaining coffee houses of its era in London, with a club room in the cellar famous as one of the primary venues of the British folk revival in the late 1950s and 1960s. The cafe offers some excellent breakfast items for a considerably lower cost than the Hotel Ibis, with items ranging from 2.75 GBP to 12.75 GBP (4.39 to 20.35 CAD). In the movie, the girls likely ordered the Eggs benedict, served with the user’s choice of ham, smoked salmon or spinach for a cost of 9.95 GBP (15.88 CAD); a hot chocolate costs 2.60 GBP (4.15 CAD).
- The ability to understand English (or lack thereof) forms the bulk of the humour for the movie, as demonstrated with the “Dog Waste Only” receptacle in Kensington Park. Staff maintaining the park are depicted to look quizzically at the girls.
- The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences between them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Since 2004, the original, conserved stone has been on display in a specially built case in the centre of the Egyptian Sculpture Gallery, while a replica of the Rosetta Stone as it would have appeared to early 19th-century visitors—without a case and free to touch—is now available in the King’s Library of the British Museum.
Following breakfast, we will leg it to Kensington Park, where Yui gets her hand stuck in the dog waste container. The Kensingtone name reflects its 19th century designation for a London residential district now subsumed within Notting Hill. Fortunately, for our English-speaking visitors, we will have no issues with any dog waste receptacles. Having taken a few pictures, we may proceed to the Knightsbridge station on the Piccadilly line and take the underground to Tottenham Court Road. We will arrive at the British Museum (Great Russell Street), where the girls see the Rossetta stone, which was mimicked by the Occult Club and borrowed as a substitute for the tombstone during their school play. Established in 1753, the British Museum is largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759 in Montagu House in Bloomsbury, on the site of the current museum building. Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of an expanding British colonial footprint and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington in 1887. Presently one of amongst the largest and most comprehensive in existence, the museum holds exhibits that originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. Admission is free, and owing to convenience there are several locations that serve lunch here. The Gallery Café offers hot pies, soups, light salads and toasted sandwiches. No reservations are required, making this an excellent location to stop for lunch. While there are no quoted prices, it is reasonable to assume that 20 GBP (31.90 CAD) will more more than sufficient.
- There are 32 sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules on the London Eye: they are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each of the 10-tonne capsules represents one of the London Boroughs, and holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. The wheel rotates at 26 cm per second (about 0.9 km/h) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes.
- The view from the London Eye is nothing short of impressive. With the numbers given above, it is hardly surprising that Mio does not notice the wheel’s rotation. Understanding of Mio’s fear of anything exhibiting circular motion in the movie continues to elude me, although I’m guessing it has something to do with the baggage claim at the airport.
The British Museum is about 1700 metres from the London Eye; along the way, we may proceed down Denmark Street to find Wunjo Guitars, a shop the girls would visit in the movie. The London Pass does not cover the cost of admission for the London Eye; tickets are 18.90 GBP (30.15 CAD) if purchased on the day of visit. Lines might be a factor, so a portion of the afternoon will be set aside for this excursion. The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft). The London Eye was completed in 1999 and was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. The duration of a stay within the London eye is 30 minutes. It will be late afternoon once this component of the visit ends, so it would be prudent to visit the Jubilee Gardens, which is adjacent to the London Eye, and also the site where Houkago Tea Time perform their final London Concert.
- Another day draws to an end. On March 28, 2013, the sun will set in London at 18:27 local time. If we eat dinner at 1830, it will likely be dark by the time we finish.
- The girls wished to have sushi in London to compare it to the sushi found in Japan. However, miscommunication leads to them not having any dinner. With this in mind, travellers wishing to have sushi in London might find Ozu to be a pleasant surprise. It’s not a conveyor-belt sushi place, but it does offer some excellent fare.
It will be evening by this point, so we may travel down Belvedere Road, as there are numerous dining establishments here. While this deviates from the original procedure within the movie, we have selected a Japanese restuarant, Ozu (London County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road), for dinner. Located inside the Riverside building, the establishment is an excellent location with a modern design. The cost is approximately 20 GBP (31.90 CAD) per person, offering a diverse array of Japanese dishes, including a Temaki, Tebasa, the Kamo steak and Salmon teriyaki, amongst others. Once dinner concludes, we will sightsee around this area before returning to the Ibis via the Westminster line.
The day’s expenses total to around 115 Canadian dollars per person.