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December 31st 2016
Published: January 1st 2017
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Today we ventured to Akihabara (one of our main reasons for coming to Japan). Akihabara or 'electric city' is a suburb of Tokyo fil with arcades and alleyways selling electronic goods. There are multi- storey buildings sellling nothing but video games and merchandise.

As soon as we stepped off the train we knew exactly where to go: a tall blue building labelled 'SEGA.' There were six storeys of arcades and claw machines. Why so many bloody claw machines? Seriously, they are everywhere.

After playing playing some prettying cool games, even beating someone in a challenge we moved onto the next building. Here, we stepped into a gigantic pod containing a huge screen and controls. The instructions of the game were in Japanese, but to the best of my understanding, you were supposed to be a human in a robot suit and kill the other things. It was pretty fun.

Next we moved onto a maid cafe (a must do in Japan). This was basically the most awkward thing I have ever done. Probably best to Google this one. The barmaids were excited by the fact that we were westerners and they wanted to try out their English. They also got extremely excited whenever we used a Japanese phrase. They also loved it when James opted to used chopticks to eat. Their excitement for anything was unrealistic beyond belief. It was like living in an Anime. At one point a barmaid revealed to us that she was not human. 'I am a peacock.' She said. The she did a 'peacock dance' for us. The maids were obsessed with my blonde, curly hair. Naturally, I let them touch it. As I was leaving one of them said that I was 'very cute'. I misheard and responded with 'hai'- Japanese for 'yes'. The whole cafe erupted with laughter, this was our cue to leave.

On New Years Eve the place to go is your local shrine. Locals come here to ask for blessings for the coming year. This is done by pouring water over your hands, placing a coin in the well, ringing the bells, bowing before the shrine, making a wish and clapping twice. As New Year approached there was a line leading out the gate of people waiting to do just this. A group of Japanese drummers welcomed in the New Year, as the crowd began to celebrate.

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