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Japanese Tour Day 7March 7th, 2010
6 March 2010
Not sure if it’s the fact I’ve got over my jet lag or the 2 pints I had last night with Koichi but I slept in to 9 this morning. It’s probably the ending of the jet lag which is typical seeing as I’m leaving tomorrow morning.
Met some new arrivals who looked a bit green so I offered to take them to the metro station and show them how to get the one-day metro pass. After breakfast they said they would just have a shower and meet me downstairs. I should have known better - an English girl and an American girl disappeared and re-appeared in the blink of an hour! Amazing! What do they do with the time?
On the way to the station I bumped into a girl I met in Osaka Castle. I love travelling! This kind of coincidence happens all the time!
Koichi recommended I go to Odaiba. This town was the last line of defence from naval invaders. Part of the name “Odaiba” means canon so there would be some history there.
Caught the Ginza metro to Shimbashi, then hopped on the mono rail. Odaiba is on a set of little islands off the south coast, so there is a suspension bridge which looks very like the one in San Francisco, only white. The bridge must have been built after the town because on one side the bridge comes down as you would expect but on the other side it turns 270 degrees looping under itself coming down parallel to the coast line. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much history when I got there.
To be fair I had actually gone to see the Fuji TV (TV station) which is another tall building with an observation platform. Unfortunately it was really chucking it down again and I didn’t have the heart to pay entry to see another grey skyline, so I just looked around the shops.
At the end of the island there are a set of hotels. One of the hotels was a really posh affair and was totally set up for your “White Day". You’ve guessed it weddings! I really don’t think anyone does anything else in their spare time other than get married!
The shopping centre was having a press release for a film called Liar Game. The stars of the film were here doing interviews and there were hundreds of people screening and waving. It is a Japanese film so there is no one I recognised but the crowd was going mental each time the stars turned around.
I had seen enough and headed back to Shimbashi (the start of the monorail and the edge of the metro), then over to Shibuya. Had a spot of lunch in a restaurant next to the park - a bowl of paste with “special meat sauce” which turned out to be bolognese sauce with no meat in it! Can’t grumble as it cost less than a pint of beer. The restaurant was packed but for some reason I was the only man! Heaven!
After re-energising I went over the road to Yoyogi Park. The closest thing I can liken it to was Hesketh Park only Japanese style. Loads bigger, the paths were 2 or 3 times wider; it was more like a massive coppice. It was in fact very mellow, I could easily have spent all day there. There was a huge shrine in the middle and gardens created for Emperor Meiji.
The weather was miserable so I decided to give Akihabara another go. Walked up and down the main strip and went into a couple of computer shops. It was just like Tottenham Court Road. The prices were similar too. There were plenty of nice cameras, but I don’t know enough about them to make a sensible purchase. Besides, I didn’t actually need anything.
I did come across another porn related craze over here. Ultra-hardcore cartoon porn. It ranged from the very disturbing under aged (4-5) stuff right the way through to adults. The shop had a video playing the most bizarre thing: a school girl (in uniform of course) getting raped my a huge monster which had its tentacles penetrating her every orifice and the really strange bit was the part where the tentacle entered her body was pixelated out. It beggared belief. I was getting peckish so I headed back!
I had really enjoyed the shrimp sushi a couple of days ago, so I wanted to try a bit more. Trekked around Asakusa, which I know pretty well now and found the alley where the restaurant was. The same chefs were working again; they recognised me from last time and welcomed me in. I went for the assorted menu. Four sets of fish meat of various colours. I have to be honest - it all kind of tasted similar but it was nice. I’m sure once I eat more, which I will certainly do, I will learn to taste the difference.
Photos on my FaceBook page.