Ginza shopping, Shibuya Indian Restaurant Tokyo Japan


Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, Asakusa and Shibuya
At about 11am I headed out for some food. I found a cheap little place that did morning sets and I ordered the chef's special which turned out to be whole cooked crunchy fish with bones and scales - like a large sardine - plus miso soup, seaweed and radish and some fried tofu. Also had hot sake with that. Under $10! Then I went into a Starbucks and did some writing while watching people go by. A relaxing morning.

I'm a member of an online travel group that helps travellers meet other travellers. A japanese woman in Tokyo wanted to meet me and emailed me this week so I said yeah, sure. So we met in Ginza and chatted for about an hour before I headed off to meet Alan again.

These are good situations as I probably would not have had a chance to visit Ginza unless someone wanted to meet me there. Ginza is an expensive shopping district. This is where you buy your Prada, Giodano, Armani, Gucci and other high class names. Roppongi Hills is another district that sells these sorts of things but it doesn't yet have the reputation for high class shopping.

I also checked out the Apple store which had many pieces of advanced technology but at prices I couldn't afford anyway. They had the latest Video Ipods as well as some very small Mac laptops. Cheap flash chips were also available as well as a selection of state of the art high quality head phones. I picked up a Japanese brochure but didn't buy anything.

Alan and I headed separately to Shibuya station. I was going to meet him at Hachicko statue again but when I got there I was surprised to find that half of Shibuya was already jostling for position next to the statue. Meeting place is right! I imagine the calls on the myriad of mobiles "I'm right next to the tail, can't you see me?"

The square was packed with no seating room and barely any standing room so lots of people were on their mobiles directing them to their exact location.

Even through all this I was happy that he was easy to spot. There weren't many gaijins around (foreigners). We walked around different areas of Shibuya, passing the Outback Steakhouse selling Aussie Beef with such creative names like Kakadu steak, before heading to an Indian restaurant - all you can eat. I gave Alan a tube of vegemite as my 'o-miyagi' and we planned for the next day - Mt Fuji.

Got back to Asakusa, getting lost in the streets before finding the hostel again. This time it was raining slightly so I took the undercover routes. What surprised me was the amount of homeless Japanese sleeping on the streets. I saw at least 30 on my way back to the hostel. In large boxes or in the corner of shops, all undercover. If there was one or two I could believe that life had been harsh, but 30 or more? That suggests a breakdown in the system. Or maybe it is just because there are so many people in Japan that the percentage of homeless is about the same.

When I was in the bathroom Thursday morning I felt a mild Earthquake. On Friday morning I was in the shower and felt another Earthquake and saw all my bottles and containers swinging or shaking. Cool! 2 Earthquakes already.

Asakusa has two different train stations. Asakusa Toei line and Asakusa Ginza line. Both these stations do not advertise each other much because they are competitors. So, if you got to one station and look for the direction to another it may not be highlighted very well, a fact that I discovered much to my dismay on Saturday morning.

Got to sleep at 12:30am after exchanging emails with Alan re: transport to Mt Fuji. I had a brochure that showed a bus from Shinjuku station that seemed easy but Alan had discount tickets for the train so even though that would take a little bit longer, it should be cheaper. Here's hoping I can get that connecting train.

< Shimokitazawa | Mount Fuji >

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