Tokyo Day 2

[Taylor]

On our first day we explored Tokyo’s historical and contemplative side with visits to Senso-Ji Temple and Ueno Park.  Day two, in contrast, was a tour of the center of the city.  It was a day dominated by skyscrapers, crowds of pedestrians, enormous stores, and so many train rides on the subway that we lost count.

Shinjuku District was our first destination.  We visited a book store that had, you guessed it, seven floors of books.  A few books in English with various Japanese themes were purchased.  Thanks for the gift cards, Mom and Dad!

Shinjuku

Afterwards we went to Harajuku, a district known for trendy stores and loitering teenagers who dress up in wild and elaborate outfits.  We didn’t see any of these high fashion teens, but we were bombarded by those famous shops.  Most of them were packed with people so we only chose to go into the ones we found the most interesting, which turned out to be a toy shop (with seven floors) and a few used clothing outlets.  We also strolled by a pizza buffet famous for bizarre toppings (i.e. marshmallows).  By then we had already eaten lunch so we decided to keep walking.

Harajuku

A display in Kiddy Land, a seven story toy store in Harajuku.

From Harajuku we took a puddle jump on the subway to Shibuya.  When we left our train I naively thought the pace would slow down.  It actually increased.  You would think the sprawl of people, trains, and skyscrapers would stop or at least level out, but it doesn’t.  There is a constant movement timed to rhythm of day and night shifts, subway stops, and traffic signals.

Here is a video of the world’s busiest crosswalk.

Anyway, we found some interesting items at a huge Tower Records.  Yes, it had seven floors.  By then the sun had gone down so we thought it might be a good time to catch a train that would give us a tour of the Tokyo cityscape at night.  Sure enough we got some fantastic views of Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge.  The train dumped us off next to a huge ferris wheel that we decided to ride.  To get there we had to walk through the Toyota showroom featuring all the latest models of Toyota cars.  Had we arrived a few hours earlier we could have toured a separate building showcasing other new innovative technologies, including robots that can play the trumpet.

Tokyo

For dinner we traveled back to Asakusa for some monja:  a traditional dish in Tokyo served on a griddle at your table.  It’s a little hard to explain so I’ll have to let the pictures do most of the work.  Basically you pick ingredients for a batter that the chefs prepare for you.  Your host then pours the mixture on your griddle and cooks it.  You scrape chunks off onto your plate and eat.  Got it?  Well, just a have a look for yourself then.

Ham and cheese monja.

Thus concludes Day 2.

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One Response to “Tokyo Day 2”

  1. tokyocityblues Says:

    Haha… makes me miss Tokyo… I applied to go back as an ALT… hopefully it will come through!

    Thanks guys!

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