Doing a Proper Job of Tokyo Touring

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2009

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Flag of Japan  , Kanto,
Friday, January 16, 2009

After our stay in the Ryokan, we returned to Tokyo via the "Romantic Road" rail line direct to Shinjiku. From our opulant hotel room in Shinjiku, we branched out to the various districts of greater Tokyo. We visited the cosmopolitan shopping district of Ginza, the passed-by-feeling amusements of the Northeastern areas, the futuristic harbor pleasure districts, the youthful shopping and be-seen areas of Shinjuku, and we visited the Imperial Palace grounds--cold and barren in the midwinter.

Tokyo is a massive metropolis and impossible to even sample in less than a week's time. From the small sections of the city we managed to cover, we noticed the city's immaculate cleanlieness and pricey food. Naturally, we noted the unbelievable numbers of pachinko parlors and smirked our way past themed hourly "love hotels."

One of the nights in Tokyo, we made reservations at a Ninja theme resturant. The establishment was "hidden" in plain sight--the only bit of blank featureless wall in a colorful collage of resturants, shops, and businesses. Inside, we were led to our table by a "ninja" guide (going to stop using quotation marks now) who gave secret knocks to open hidden passageways and lower a drawbridge over a seemingly-impassible moat. At our hidden table behind a sliding wooden door in a underground ninja village, we were treated to tasty cocktails, fair enough food, and some entertaining ninja magic.

After dinner we visited a dance club. Though the music was a cut above most other dance clubs we visited in Europe, it fell short of our old haunts in Los Angeles. The place was also overcroweded, overpriced, and oversmoked, earning an evaluation (in our book) of slightly below the general quality of nightclubs in Berlin--which themselves rate below those of Los Angeles. Then again, if we lived in these cities, we'd be more likely to find the true gems, rather than just the ordinary dross.

We left Tokyo feeling like we could have spent several more weeks, at least, exploring the city. However, we had neither the time nor the money to remain, so onward to Takayama we went. 
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