Totoro's rants

Totoro's rants

Day 2 : Tokyo - Shinjuku, Shibuya

JapanPosted by Totoro42Blue Wed, October 29, 2008 10:08:45
I really missed the toilets in Japan. I have become reacquainted with the one in Gimmond Hotel again.smiley

I am always hungry. I took a big plate with scrambled eggs, cocktail sausages, meat balls, fish sticksand still felt hungry afterwards. Had some bread with jam, and ended up still feeling slightly peckish when I left - because well I could not be eating breakfast forever.

We had decided to start the day with a quiet walk in a park, specifically Shinjuku's Gyoen National Garden. The last time I visited it was during spring, when the cherry trees had just started to blossom, this can be read about here.

We walked to Tokyo Central, getting lost a couple of times in the process:-) But when we finally got there it was still rush hour so the trains were pretty filled up, not congested though. Arriving at Shinjuku the sun was shining and it was pretty hot, so off with the armless fleece and a t-shirt only was more than enough (actually shorts would have been nice as well).

It seems to be mushroom season? As there were school classes with young children that were running around collecting things from the ground or maybe it was just a nature day for them.
The koy fish were as curious and hungry as last time, only one colourful koy in the whole bunch though. A lot of elderly locals were out (like last time) painting trees and landscapes. After something like a nearly 2 hour walk, it is a big garden, I simply had to sit down at a bench near the exit for 20 minutes or so to regain some stanima to continue. And the bloody ravens were really annoying with their craw-craw'ing.

It was now lunch time to we went to the Takashimaya shopping center to find a restaurant. But initially there did not seem to be any at all, although I so vividly remembered to have eaten there previously. But after some search we found out that all the restaurants were at the 13th floor, so up we went. After a quick browse, we then decided on the very first one we saw, which was in fact a cake restaurant called Carmel, so it had only two warm dishes for lunch to choose from (but they caught my interest).

I had what turned out to be a delicious Omelette with chicken rice , which was a omelette wrapped around chicken rice with tomato styled sauce, together with some really freshly pessed orange juice.
Blog ImageAs it had primarily cakes, its customers were mostly women of all ages, with a single male companion here and there. It was a small place with room for probably around only 20ish people. Real comfy place, if I get the chance I will be back there for some cake (they looked really nice as well) someday.

We then decided to go to the observatory in the twin towers of the Tokyo Government Buildings.
Blog ImageFortunately they are tall buldings so one can sort of navigate after them.
Blog ImageAfter some initial confusion (lesson learned - look down there might be useful information on the floor where one needs to go to get to the observatory on 45th floor - in this case we needed to go down one floor to get to the elevator that went there) and quick luggage control by an official, we were then allowed to enter the elevator for the 45th floor, we had chosen the South tower, which turned out right as Tokyo to the north of Shinjuku is pretty flat compared to the tall buildings to the south.
Blog ImageUnfortunately the observatory is not quite good in respect to taking pictures as there are windows all the way around and the reflections from the windows in the back are clearly visible. But it was a pretty nice view which can be recommended. There was an environmental conscious building exhibition there as well and I got hitched to fill out a questionnaire about my impressions and got a six-pack of post-cards of my own choice for the effort. The souvenir shop definitely had the highest class of souvenirs I have yet seen on my trips to Japan, I did not buy anything though, regret that a bit in afterthought.

We then took a quick side trip to Shibuya so my travel companion could get a feel for the place.We went to Hachiko crossing, into my favorite cd-dvd shop at the corner and up a side street (by Cafe Danmark, which notably has no English descriptions of what they have) and by Tokyo Hands (will be visiting that tomorrow for shopping) and then back to the station and back to the Hotel.

After some relaxation time I went to Akihabara, only to Yodobashi-Akiba though, to study prices and buy a all-round to Japanese power connector as well as a headset, with ear plugs and small microphone on the wire (I had borrowed one for the trip, but I thought I might need for the future - oh, well,I needed to buy something gadgetry!).
Blog ImageOn the way back to the hotel we decided we were too tired to go to a restaurant so we took some take-away McDonalds (slightly embarrasing), a Teriyaki Burger which was nice and a File-o-Fish Burger, that was very very dry.

And of course I am writing this at 2 in the night as I woke up for my usual required snack, as I have stocked up on 2 sandwiches and rice triangle (with a filling I dont know what is) for this purpose.

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