Odaiba and Ginza as a black hole

Trip Start Jun 09, 2009
Trip End Jul 05, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Sunday, July 5, 2009

The first day that I`m covering was just shopping.  We had resolved ourselves to having a shopping day and we did it at least semi-successfully.  At least, Sean got all of his shopping done.  The second day was Odaiba v1.0.  It didn`t go so hot.  At we`ve talked about before, Ginza is something of a black hole that`s easy to get lost in.  We were looking for the Yurikamome station and just couldn`t seem to find it.  Our book was no help - it told us to follow the signs with the blue seagulls, which we really didn`t understand.  There WERE no blue seagulls at the exit it told us to take.  So we wandered around at Shimbashi station for about thirty minutes before really finding where we needed to go.  By then, we were already frustrated.  The day had started out late and time was ticking by faster than ever.  We missed our station on the Yurikamome line and had to go back one in order to go to the science and innovation museum that we were eager to check out.

Unfortunately, the book led us astray yet again and we found out that the museum closed about two and a half hours earlier than we thought and so we only had about forty minutes to look around.  It was really fun, but we didn`t feel like we visited it all.  That left us with a really packed schedule for basically the next two days, which were the only ones we had.  We still wanted to go to Asakusa to find something for ourselves (a shared thing for when we move in together) and we also wanted to see the Elvises and go to the Tsukiji Fish Market (that we`d been trying for since the beginning), and Kamakura.  We also got on the ferris wheel too early and so we weren`t able to see the city in the dark.  In short, we were depressed by the end of the day.

So yesterday was a repeat pretty much - only better.  We got up and left pretty on time (noon-ish).  Since we knew where the closer station was it was a lot less trouble and we bought an all-day pass so we could just go wherever.  We went back to the science museum and saw ASIMO, which is apparently hot shit.  We took tons of videos of him.  He could actually stand on one foot and run and stuff.  We discovered we had seen a lot more than we thought and so we left kind of early and ate at Lotteria.  Lotteria, if I haven`t already mentioned it before, it like a Korean McDonalds and the food there is pretty great.  We got lunch and sat outside, since it was a relatively nice day and there were lots of birds hanging around - the cute finch-types and not the obnoxious pigeons.  It`s strange because they proved to be just as troublesome.  I gave one some french fry because I never usually feed birds and then they were all up on us and causing havoc.  They actually were so bold as to get on our table (which was really small and so they were basically right in front of us).  So Sean and I had to make our cup into a predator.  We decided that if it was going to be a real predator cup, it would have to have a face and that face would be Michael Jackson`s.  And then, like we have about a million times on this trip, we made fun of him for about an hour.

We went to play pachinko after that, which we had played the day before.  We still really don`t understand it.  By now, Sean has looked it up and we just have no idea.  But there was this one machine that gave us tons of tokens for no reason and so we went back to that one and played there for a while and then we went and shot the coins into that pushy game and one more tokens.  Because I have a gambling problem, I spent like fifteen dollars.  Sean spent like four because he was smart and played pachinko.  We were really eager to see what happens when you get a ball (there are balls on top of the tokens that you shoot into the machine) and when you push the tokens enough the balls will sometimes slide with them into this trap door and everything goes crazy and starts shooting coins everywhere.  We wanted to find out what happens when you get three balls, but some crazy middle-aged woman stole our machine while Sean was pachinko-ing for more tokens.  And then we had to play next to this loud guy on another version of the same game who kept freaking out and being like "WOOWOOWOOWOO" and "ATATATATATATAA" and slamming on the only button you get when you play the game.  I told Sean later that his two least favorite people that he`s met here would be there waiting for him in heaven and do all the same things they did on earth and then he would realize he was in hell.

After all of that nonsense, which we spent about two hours doing, we went into the Toyota display room and climbed in and out of cars and looked at a robot that can play the trumpet.  We also saw a bunch of machines that were completely pointless - like this one that just walks for you and you`re strapped in like in the movies.  And a weird little car.  And Sean and I thought they were dumb ideas because you could die really easily in them.  Then we looked at a counter with a bunch of stuff that they marketed that was just like normal stuff we`ve had for about two hundred years.

We went to the ferris wheel again at around 7:15 or 7:30.  They make you pose for a picture in front of a backdrop with the rainbow bridge, tokyo tower, and the statue of liberty.  Sean and I made fun of the fact that the statue of liberty was there because we were like, "What?  You`re not America!"  And then on the ride home we realized that they thought they were America because they actually do have a statue of liberty and it made me annoyed.  But all in all, it was a really good day and a lot of fun.
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