Tokyo - Akihabara, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku
Trip Start May 03, 2010
32Trip End Jul 21, 2010
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Where I stayed
During the day we went to the Akihabara district of Tokyo (aptly nicknamed "Electric City"), in which were were like little children in a massive toy shop (sometimes literally)! Akihabara is where all things electronic can be found, as well as all sorts of interesting toys and other novelty items. One of our first stops was to go to a sushi train, where we paid 1640JPY (20 AUD) for 6 plates. It's one of the more expensive ways to eat in Japan, but although we can do it in Australia I thought it would be something cool to do just once
So after many hours of walking around (and many many JPY later) we left the Akihabara district for Ikebukuro, one of the entertainment precincts of Tokyo, to meet one of Peet's friends and his girlfriend. They took us for dinner in a chain restaurant which does different types of udon and tempura. It was cheap (610 JPY - 7.8 AUD) and delicious! Finally we went for a walk through the nearby Shinjuku area, the main feature of which are the love hotels and 'hosts.' A Love hotel is basically a place where couples go to have sex discretely and anonymously (in some cases), while 'hosts' are essentially men that women pay for conversation. When we asked where the 'hostesses' were we were told that they are apparently in another district, and that unlike the 'hosts', who usually try to meet customers in the streets, 'hostesses' tend to work in a bar and meet their clients there. We manged to find a little bar with few people in it, so we had a couple of Japanese sized beers (300ml for 500JPY or 6.40AUD). We had intended to try and finish the night in a bar watching the world cup final, but when it got to 11pm and we realised that it wasn't on until 0330am, we decided to give it a miss.
As a side note, one of the things that I knew about Tokyo before getting here is that it is absolutely huge, but i think that i was unprepared for how big it actually is, and just how many people there are here. Just walking around during the day we were confronted by a plethora of people at every turn, even though it was both a Sunday and raining. Walking around through the Shinjuku area was weird for me, simply because of the amount of people who were there despite the inclement weather and impending work week. This has been a bit of a shock to the system having just spent four weeks traveling through Europe and South America, both of which largely have a culture of shutting down on Sunday. It's awesome at any rate - it means no wasted days!