Saturday, 24 May 2008

Akihabara and Shinjuku

If an area of a city could be described as a shop, then Akihabara is literally the Richer Sounds of Tokyo. Referred to as the electric city, shops in Akihabara sell anything that needs a battery or a plug. (St John - note the couple of cheap Chinese watches below).

We then made our way to Shinjuku - a skyscraper and retail district of Tokyo. Lunch was some rather fine sushi (below left). The area is also home to the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel, made famous in the film Lost in Translation (below middle). We got a great view from the neighboring Tokyo Government Metropolitan Building (45th floor- below right).

We accidentally went one stop along the wrong line, came back to the original station and then needed to get through the barrier. Having bought only a single ticket, the ticket barrier repelled us once again so we had to try and speak to the conductor. He just let us through the barrier - and with a full refund for our wasted journey! (Below - what not to do on the subway)

After tonights noodles we went exploring in some atmospheric alleyways next to the train station in Shinjuku. We stumbled into a small bar and a very kind Japanese businessman ended up buying us a beer and yakitori (chicken skewers). We managed to have a bit of a chat (we shared about four words in common) before he had to leave to return to Kyoto. We were overwhelmed by his generosity. What amazing people!

(Below - a wet Shinjuku evening; everyone has these same 400 yen umbrella's - including me now).