14.09.2010 - 15.09.2010 23 °C
THIS CITY IS AMAZING! Imagine what you think it would be like, and it is actually that!
We are staying in a capsule hotel called the Ace Inn and its so cute. The beds that are holes in the wall are surprisingly spacious and theres free internet, not that we will have much time to use it!
Im also struggling slightly with the Japanese keyboard, last night we both kept getting it stuck on japanese and although I can sort that problem now, today the keyboard has decided to switch the letters y and z around, and just wont type some punctuation like apostrophes so apologies in advance for the bad writing!
We've done so much in one day so far (just found the apostrophe!) so here goes...
Started off more than a little confused with the subway here, there's no English, aaaah! After a whole day now though we're experts, if you're ever here just follow the colours and read the number and the letter of the station you want to get to, easy! We began the day in Shinjuku and had breakfast, where I ticked off the first in my list of things to eat here...NATTO. It's soya beans fermented with a bacteria called bacillus subtilis natto and it's really really really gross, bleurgh, especially for breakfast! So not trying that again, wish you could've seen how stringy and slimy it was!
After breakfast we walked past some markets and went to Hama Rikzu Teien gardens, and we had a small japanese tea ceremony in the teahouse on the water...and with it came gross food no. 2, some sort of super sweet powdery mushy 'confection' that you have to eat before you drink the tea. I'm a bit disappointed with myself for not liking the food we had in the morning, but there were some successes in the afternoon!
We walked back past the markets and this is where all the free stuff started! We got a few tasty things to try from the vendors on the way past, the best were some kind of sweet sesame tuna cubes (Shona even liked these!). We then took a walk around Ginza, the upmarket shopping area and we got a free bag with some kind of sweets and a little notebook in it from a really cute little sweet shop, but we haven't tried these yet not sure if they're tasty or not. Next stop was the Sony Building and we got to go in and see all the latest Sony technology, there was some amazing cameras in there, and their 3D TV's. No robots though, boo.
Then we went to the Takashimaya department store to check out the famous gourmet food basement, depachika, which was amazing and we got yet more free stuff! Every second stall had some sort of taster and all of it was yum, we definitely managed to eat our way around the floor!
Next stop was electric town (Denki gai) Akihabara, where the geeks hang out as it's the Manga and electronics main area. This place was amazing, so colourful with lights and adverts everywhere, people standing outside the shops with microphones trying to get you to come in, and lots of girls dressed in manga style maid outfits trying to get the men to come into their maid cafes (nothing dirty, they just serve people dressed like that). We got some octopus balls too (another on my list to try, bits of octopus in runny batter and harder batter on the outside) and they were really good! We're back at the hotel now, going to head out to Omoide zokocho (also known as Piss Alley), a street full of street food vendors to get some dinner then we're going to go explore Golden Gai, lots of narrow alleys filled with little tiny bars. Some only fit 3 or 4 people in at a time! Some don't like foreigners though, so wish us luck...