February 2009 - Japan

The 'plan' for the second day was to do Harajuku and Shinjuku. In the end... just Harajuku and Omotesando (pretty street laced with trees and shops, many of them designer stores).

If you haven't realised from the last two blogs the only thing that we have really been doing in Tokyo is shopping. Sad to say this will be the theme of at least today and tomorrow's blog.

We began the day with an Iced Cocoa from Starbucks (ok, not great) and then trained out to Omotesando station. We were out there just after 11 and we would have assumed all the shops were opened by then but we found that a number (including a particular designer store that Jonno wanted to go into) weren't opened until 12. So we decided to walk the rest of the street, weaving in and out of shops along the way.

Now this is the point when I tell you that our Aussie dollar kills us here. 6000 yen is about 100 AUD, the last time I was here it was closer to 10,000 yen. Even in a place like United Colours of Benetton for a simple jumper it is around 8,000. Needless to say that bargins are few and far between and to date the hoodie is the only item of clothing I have purchased.

Anyoo, enough rambling. We walked down, stopping at Kiddyland where we searched floor after floor of cool funky toys. Then back up to go back to the store that was closed earlier. There was a store called Loveless that was really funky and were playing the Kylie X album... I was ever so discreetly dancing around the shop. Jonno tried on a coat with a price tag of 168,000 (2,000 AUD on conversion). Twas a nice jacket but certainly not for the price, it was neatly placed back on the hanger.

We walked down Omotesando AGAIN looking for food. Jonno wanted to try this place that had the same name as his, Jonathan's. We went in, the menu was a mixture of everything, kind of the feel of a Denny's or Sizzler but we couldn't figure out if people were waiting on tables or not so we left... Starving.

Continuing the walk down one of the crossroads, determined to find food we finally did in this tiny nook of a coffee shop. The shop was no bigger than my bedroom at the top of a spiral staircase, serving tea and coffee and Jazz music. The food menu contained two items, a pastrami sandwich and raisin pound cake. This did not worry us, the place was so cool. Lined with old jazz albums and posters. Seating across the Bar for no more than ten people. It was the best lunch we could have had on this street.

After our stomachs were full we once again walked back down Omotesando. Time by that stage was quite thin (it was closing in on 4pm) so we barred Shinjuku and headed back to Ginza where we raided the toy story here followed by....

I forgot to mention in my last blog that whilst we were taking photos in Ginza I had found myself looking at the store window of Bally. The cutest bag had caught my eye and I just stood there as Jonno took photos, wondering why I was not moving. He finally came over and all I did was look down at the cute bag in the window and look back to him. Needless to say he caught on pretty quickly.

So back to today, I had to find out its price tag. I knew it would be over the top. I was expecting over 1000 AUD. It was the latest season so I didn't have much hope at all but when the shop assistant gave me a price that calculated to less than half of what I expected, if possible, I wanted it even more. So I indulged :)

Back to the room after another LONG day we had less than 30 minutes to get ready again to head out to Shibuya to meet with Emi and Miyo. Once again Emi managed to find another small door restaurant that we would never have hoped to find on our own. I avoided the seafood but had some delicious beef with tofu and this sticky potato and egg thing and some pork.

Emi then took us on a tour of the Love Hotel hill and we had a great laugh as we watched the couples moving around and looked at all the pictures of the rooms... To Rest or To Sleep rates. We then went to one of those sticker photo booths like we did last time and then we headed to a Cafe for dessert. It reminded me of a run down Victoria Room in Sydney, more Melbourne style than anything else.

This time we made sure we weren't too late to catch our trains back home/hotel. Emi helped us purchase a PasMo card that we can use for all our Tokyo Metro travel. We got back to the Hotel at midnight and I went straight for the bed.