February 2009 - Japan
And now let the fun begin…
Arriving at Four Seasons Marunouchi our room was already waiting for us which was a pleasant surprise. Do you think we went to sleep… Hell no. Tokyo awaited.
About the only delay was from me having a shower and by ten o’clock we were out the door in search of a tradition…. The Iced Cocoa tradition. There is no reason for Australia NOT to have this drink but in vain we have searched over the Japan free years for this perfect balance of ice, milk and cocoa to no avail.
The only question was not really a question at all. Medium or Large?
We even went upstairs to sit in the same seat that we had the first day we arrived in Tokyo three years ago. I was glad someone left the Café before we did because it was then I remembered one of the best things about Japan. You ALWAYS clean up after yourself, the only problem was I didn’t know, or couldn’t see where he had left the tray. I insisted on waiting for another person to leave to see where they took the tray. It didn’t take long and the knowledge on where to put the dirty tray was passed to us.
Tokyo Metro subways are like second nature to me now, except for the exits. They still can turn me around and elude me. We trained straight to what we call land of games and vibrators. Others might be more familiar with the name Akihabara.
Strolling the streets and lanes for anime shops, electronic stores we came across the occasional adult store and porn shop, one with a whole floor devoted to vibrators.
Even after the overnight flight we stayed out until around 5pm and then headed back to the hotel for an hour’s downtime before heading to dinner at the restaurant in the Hotel. I had some very nice lamb, Jonno had chicken and we both were a little underdressed for the occasion but since our clothing selections are minimal on this trip it didn’t really bother me. I did however make the comment when another 3 people walked in looking about as casual as us that we weren’t the only ones.
Day One Complete.
After sleeping in until about 930am we both finally got up and went to breakfast in the Hotel. I had those yummy waffles but I only managed about half. There was also a decent half an hour spent sorting out our rail tickets, asking concierge what felt like many questions and chatting with Tim for a little bit.
By the time we made it out of the Hotel it was past 11. We headed for Shibuya and our first stop was the awesome everything store that is Loft. Since we knew there would be purchases made we kept a list of all the items we wanted to come back and buy at the end of the day. After we did that we caught another train to a more suburban area of Tokyo called Daikonyama. Here you will find lots of boutique shops. Jonno had some maps and shops that he wanted to find and I was happy to follow.
We found the stores and more. A few Jonno purchases later and a stop at subway I went to try on this nice double breasted jacket I found in a store. Sadly those pole dancing arms made things a little tighter than I would have liked. It looked nice, it was half price, but I thought my money would be better spent somewhere else.
Back to Shibuya and we went our separate ways for a couple of hours. I went through floor after floor of Japanese teeny bopper fad clothing at 109. I found this pretty cool hoodie and tried on some short short demin shorts… Yeah, that didn’t make me feel so good. Their sizing goes up to medium. Medium is like an Australian size 6 people! It’s nuts.
A couple of hours later and not too worse for wear on the spending side we attacked Loft with lots of small items that could easily fit in a suitcase.
We had to hurry back to the Hotel because we had the Concierge make a dinner reservation at 8 o’clock in Ginza which we made with perfect timing and no problems in finding the building or the restaurant.
Awesome funky Japanese restaurant., complete with a large water feature in the middle and above it was a mezzanine level of the restaurant. I was glad we were on the lower floor that we could see the full effect of it all.
A delicious meal of Potato and Camembert , deep fried with tempura vegetables, pork belly and finally soba noodles which I had never tried before but enjoyed very much. It was served with a wasabi… the actual wasabi root and you grounded it down on a little board. Now I’ve avoided wasabi up until this point, not good with anything hot so wasabi… not a good idea. But tonight I was feeling brave so I tired a very little on some noodles. Tingling yes. Will I have it again. Probably not, mostly because I didn’t enjoy it enough to warrant purposely putting it on things in the future.
The rest of the evening was out in the cold taking pictures of Ginza. When we got back to the Hotel we were more than happy that our feet were warm.