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Published: November 11th 2006
A picture of one of the gates. You can't actually go in the palace, only around the grounds. Still makes for a nice walk though.
Tokyo. The City of Brotherly Love. The Windy City. The City That Never Sleeps. The City of Champions. The Big Apple! Whatever you want to call it, Tokyo is definitely different. It:s the biggest city in the world, so the one thing you can’t expect is normalcy.
Rob and I spent our first day here finding our hostel and getting acquainted with the area (we stayed in the Akasuna district - nice!). On Monday, we went to the Ginza area (famous for all the shopping), and walked around the Imperial Palace all the way up to the Budokan Hall, which is where the sumo wrestling matches take place. We managed to sneak a peek in there, but they were setting up for a concert so we didn’t see much. Afterwards we walked over to Electric City, which is where all the electronic stores are located. Future Shop, eat your heart out! Actually, I didn’t see anything that rocked my socks off other than the new I-Pod Shuffle. It’s about 1 inch x 1 inch, and maybe a quarter of an inch thick. No screen, but it’s 1GB of memory in that little thing, and it goes for 9800 yen ($94.00
Taken by the Imperial Palace.
Cdn). Cool! We also met up with our friend James, who was my next door neighbour for like, 20 years, and grew up with Rob and me.
On Tuesday we took the subway to Shibuya, hoofed it all the way to Shinjuku, where we we met up with James again. He took us on a brief tour around the Shinjuku area, including stops that aren’t on the tourist guide (the prostitution area, sex hotels, that sort of thing). A funny thing about sex hotels here is that they have two rates: one for a rest (4 hours) and one for a stay (overnight). Ahh, the rest stay - for the guy who wants to get laid but is always on the go!
Anyway, ended up sitting at a busy intersection watching the crowd go by, then James took us to a sashimi bar where we had some chow and got rightfully smashed. We even got to say cheers (Compai!) with some Japanese fellows! That was a pretty cool evening indeed. James, thanks for the great night, and maybe we'll see you soon!
Didn't do too much on Wednesday (gotta wash my clothes sometime, people!), and on Thursday
Shop 'til ya drop...
we left for Kyoto. We've been here for a couple of days now, but I'll save that for another blog.
So what can I say about Tokyo? Good question, because I don't think I was there long enough to give a great answer. But based on my short time there, I'd say that it's a really fun place to be with crazy shit going on wherever you look: sex hotels, drunken businessmen passed out on the pavement, dirty underwear vending machines, capsule hotels (haven't seen those last two yet; maybe elsewhere in Japan), and more. But really, it's not much different than any other major metropolis. Those places have bright lights and swarms of people too. I'm not saying don't go to Tokyo - by all means, GO! Just don't expect it to be that much different than any other place you've been in.
Anyway, that's all for now. Later!
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