photography and stuff – melbourne, australia

Japan – Day 5

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Brunch Time. We head to Keio Plaza foodcourt (found out the name) again below Shinjuku Station for food. I got some buns and dumplings at Pao Pao. Ordered 2x Pork and 2x Prawn dumplings and what I thought to be a meat bun – Instead ended up being red bean..Still tasted really good though.

Sarah went to a french bakery (which seem to be huge here) and got some baked products.

The plan was to do a walking tour through East Shinjuku, starting at Shinjuku Dori. Went all the way down to the Isekan building. Here you can arrange to have your own english assistant to help you shop. We just went past it though and headed towards Hanazono-jinja – There is a cool Shinto Shrine here (our first one) – Took some photos, there were some cherry blossoms out which was cool. Now on to Golden Gai.

A network of little laneways that all have these little stand up bars. Being daytime, it was pretty much deserted. Really dense and its hard to imagine how many people this place must have to sustain all these bars.

The road lead us to Kabukicho, the red-light district of Tokyo. Lots of girl clubs here, again..there are just so many places..see photo, each of those vertical signs on the buildings show at least 10 bars per place! and there are a lot of signs..

Funny sign here too..Work it out.

We eventually ended up at the Koma theatre area, where there is a square that had some buskers. A girl was rocking out on the stage here as we went by.

By this time we’d done a big square of East Shinjuku..and it was time to head out to Ikebukuro. We also spotted Vinh’s Doppleganger.

Jumping on the Yamonote line, we ended up going past Takadonobaba Station – where the Astroboy theme is played when the train stops. Trains in Japan (On the JR lines at least) play a little tune when the train is waiting. The few stops later and we were at Ikebukuro, where we head straight to the Tokyu Hands store. On the 8th floor, there is a place called Nekobukuro. Its like a petting zoo for people, and a luxury apartment for about 20-odd cats.

The story with this place is that since Tokyo is so busy, and people lead busy lives..they don’t have time for owning or looking after a cat. So they can come here instead.

We spent some time checking out the kitty’s and then had a look at the actual store outside the petting part – All sorts of pet accessories here..from Collar+Bow things for cats, to hats and clothing for dogs. Hilarious.

Exiting the Tokyu Hands building, we went to the Amlux building where there was a Toyota Auto Salon display on (we found out later there’s an observatory deck in this building) and after a quick look around, we went outside to line up at the crepe stand. Windy and cold (the wind even blew off a crepe the guy was making for the people in front of us) we left to go back to Shinjuku, and get one there instead. Ikebukuro was pretty packed, looks like lots of young people here. A lot of Pachinko palours and arcades.

Back at Shinjuku, we went by a Kebab stand and I couldn’t resist. Pretty good, I think they use Mayo instead of garlic sauce. Reminded me of the Kebab’s I had in Madrid. They opened up a pocket of bread in a half moon shape and fill it in.

Sarah got a crepe and compared to the Melbourne Japanese crepes – Were totally awesome. Not to mention about half the price too.

Just near here there were some more buskers – A violinist was drawing quite a crowd.

After a bit of a rest back at the hotel, it was time to get some dinner. We went to a Soba place about 5 minutes down the road – These little places have vending machines inside the restaurant, where you pay for your order and then pick it up from the counter. Saves having to pay someone to serve customers..great idea.

On the walk back we stopped through a place called Frigo – A european beer cafe. Not heap to drink here, about 850yen for a 250ml glass.

We had some garlic toast, a few beers and then moved on back to the hotel.

There was some pretty funny “Getaway” style TV show where this japanese woman was going through Italy tasting foods looking at the sights. It then went back to a panel of people who were asked certain questions..Kept us amused thats for sure, Sarah’s mouth was watering at all the italian food they were showing on the TV. It did look awesome though..

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Written by Aaron Tan

March 6th, 2011 at 12:21 am

Posted in Travel

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