Edit Blog Post
Published: October 12th 2015
On checking in to the Intercontinetal we found that the assistant service manager who was dealing with us had spent 21/2
years at the Wellington Intercontinental so we had a chat about this and that. Russell was American. I mentioned to him, after Lyn had walked away, that it was her birthday that day and where could I buy a bottle of champagne? Oh, he said, I meant to do something about that because apparently Lyn had mentioned her birthday to him. "Do't worry about it - I'll send up a bottle in a few minutes". Bloody hell! Sure enough a bottle of Vueve Cliquot (which I would never have bought being a cheapskate) arrived at our door. I think it was a gift because it had a hand written card from Russell attached to it. We'll find out when we check out. Very thoughtful of him.
Lyn was working in Shinjuku from 1.30pm. We'd checked in at 11.45am so she was able to clean up and have a rest before heading off with some other NZ teachers who were staying here also. There was to be a reception at 6.30 which I was invited to but before that I
set out to explore the area around the hotel. As I found out later I didn't explore very well. I found roads, traffic, very tall buildings, some cafes, convenience stores and not much else. I found the Metro station by the hotel and entered into the bowels of Tokyo. The subway tunnels run for literally kilometres. To get to the Maranouchi Line where I wanted to catch my train I walked over a kilometre underground in well lighted, broad, clean, tiled tunnels with cross tunnels, up and down tunnels, heading off at regular intervals. Bought my ticket and got on a packed carriage ( it was end of work rush hour) with me the only white face in sight and stood elbow to elbow with many others for 15 minutes through 10 stops until we arrived at Shinjuku. And so.....20 minutes later after stopping 4 different helpful Japanese to get directions from I still hadn't found the Sumitomo Grand Tower. It was dark, there were several buildings called the Sumitomo Tower and I'd actually gone to the 30th floor of one thinking I had it right only to be ushered out by a concerned employee when she saw me trying
Volunteer street cleanup
to get into locked office doors. By this time Lyn was texting me at two minute intervals. "Where are you?' "I don't know". It was hot, I was a sweaty mess when, finally, a young man physically took me to the right building, having turned round from his original direction to walk with me for three minutes. Those sorts of actions leave a good memory. 30th floor this time and bingo, there it all was. Caught up with Yosuke who had been a student at HVHS last year and who Lyn and I had met in Tokyo two years ago with his Mum. They had spent a day then showing us around. He had been at the fair with Lyn to talk to any interested students about his experiences in NZ at HVHS.
Next day was a shopping day for Lyn. Onto the metro to Omotesando/Harajuku where Lyn shopped up a storm, mainly for others at home like granddaughters who I think could open a clothing shop of their own with what Lyn bought them. The fashions of the young Japanese girls in this area are well known for their outrageousness. You have to see them. The pavements and
shops were packed. Shopping is obviously a national sport.
Last full day, Sunday. More shopping. Enjoying using the superb Metro system, visiting Roppongi District at night and gawking at the people, lights, sights, night club,s eatery's, super cars promenading along the streets and eating at a very pleasant place on the street while watching the world go by. Also visited Ginza where the eye watering prices of EVERYTHING made us quickly stop looking. Glitzy, expensive, fascinating with crowds queuing at store doors before opening time.
Flying out at 6.30pm tonight Japan time, home in Wellington 1.15pm Tuesday.
Tot: 3.544s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 13; qc: 60; dbt: 0.0458s; 3; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb