Japan: Day 2

We went to a ton of places yesterday. We really made good use of the subway system in Tokyo. The first thing we did was hit up the Akihabara shopping district.

We went to a ton of places yesterday. We really made good use of the subway system in Tokyo. The first thing we did was hit up the Akihabara shopping district. Apon arriving it was easy to see why it is so famous. There are stores lining every block and the stores all have several floors. We definitely climbed more steps than I had anticipated. After having walked through the pachinko level of an arcade, we stopped and played a few rounds on some classic arcade games. Next door was an electronics store. Since we had forgotten to bring a few things we entered and picked them up at a decent price. After shopping we were hungry and decided to stop and have some ramen at a place that appeared popular amongst the locals. The ramen shop was cheap and the quality of the food was great. We then got on a train Ueno to see Tokyotouenoonshi Park and Tosho-gu Shrine. The weather was absolutely perfect and the scenery was gorgeous. We caught a mesmerizing traditional dance display on our way through the park to the shrine. Having seen the shrine was under restoration we decided to go to Senso-ji Temple instead. Senso-ji Temple was amazing! The architecture is wonderful and the people there all seemed to be having a good time. As we walked towards the main structure, the scent of delicious food caught my nose. We couldn’t resist the urge so we bought some skewered teriyaki chicken and some cold beer. I cannot even begin to describe the level of satisfaction that food brought. It was bliss! As the sun began to set we walked back through the main shopping area and window shopped until we hit the train station. From the temple, we caught a train to Ginza to see the famous shopping center there. It is more or less the Tokyo equivalent of New York’s 5th Ave or Rodeo Dr. Just walking towards the main street I saw two Audi R8’s as well as two Nissan GT-R’s! The stores that lined the streets were mostly high fashion and sold clothes priced out of this world but an Apple store caught our attention as we meandered amongst the crowds of people. After having killed an hour in the Apple store watching a Logic Pro demo, we left and headed to Shibuya to see the famed crossing there. So far Shibuya is my favorite area of Tokyo we’ve visited. The feeling is slightly more relaxed than others we’ve been to and there were many young people out. We soon discovered that Halloween was being celebrated that night as we ran into hoards of costumed people. Having made the descision to walk around a bit before leaving paid off. As we walked down the street a set of downward leading stairs caught our attention. As we entered the small club we found a Halloween party! After talking with a few people at the entrance we found out that it wasn’t a private party and that the cover charge wasn’t terrible so we headed back to the hotel to shower and change into fresh clothes. Unfortunately I left the camera back at the hotel in the rush. The party was great and I met, danced, and chatted with several friendly young women over the course of the evening into the early morning hours. As we stumbled back to the subway we discovered it was closed but that we could easily walk back to the hotel. I was a tad inebriated and could use the walk so we set off towards the hotel. Although three miles is an easy walk, when you have had a few to drink it seems like forever! The nice thing about Tokyo at night though is that there are street workers and policeman out at all hours of the night. It feels very safe to be walking around at 2 A.M. and apparently we weren’t alone in feeling that. We passed several groups of young people doing the same. I think we are going to go to a major club tomorrow so I will try to remember to bring my camera to capture the action. All in all it was a wonderful day packed full of adventures!

Places: Akihabara, Ginza, Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya, Ueno