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June 15th 2006
Published: June 15th 2006
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HarajukuHarajukuHarajuku

My favourite photo- as Ai said "They are men"!!

Hi Rob!!!! :-)



Tokyo

Asakusa
On the weekend of the 9th of June Marissa sensei and I headed to the big city!! Actually more than big, it was bloody massive!!! We headed down on the Shinkansen on Friday night, just missing the Hikari train (the faster one) and so having to catch the Kodama (that stops at all stations and meant we arrived at tokyo station when we should have been arriving at our hostel). But after wandering around a little bit lost for awhile we caught the right subways and trains to Asakusa (not to be confused with another suburb called Akasuka!!) and our friendly hostel manager was waiting up for us. They only opened for business on the 1st of June so I dont think they wouldve locked us out!! The hostel was beautiful, obviously clean and fresh and new, but very nicely furnished and had a cosy feeling.
After doing the weekend dance in our room (jumping up and down waving our arms around while singing it's the weekend and saying woohoo!) we headed off to find some food and watched a bit of Japanese T.V. before we went to bed.

The alarm woke us to a lovely warm morning in Tokyo, we said goodbye to the hostel and headed for the Sensoji Shrine just down the road. There was a souveniry shopping street, where i bought a lantern like the big one in front of the temple and a little hut type thing that had incense burning in it. It was fascinating to watch people patting it into their hair and skin and breathing deeply as it is believed to be good luck, one little boy had to much of a good thing though as he got smoked out and started coughing!!!

While wandering we found the dock for a cruise boat that went down the Sumida River to Tokyo Bay, which was where we were planning on heading, so we jumped aboard and had a picturesque view of Tokyo (and its gazillion bridges) from the river. We caught the ferry to Odaiba, which is a man made island filled with great fun things, and also where we met Ai, a girl I used to board with at Westminster. She was an International boarder and since returning to Japan has been living in Tokyo and studying and she invited us to stay with
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Our room at the hostel
her for the weekend.

Odaiba
Odaiba was amazing with at least four huge shopping centres a ferris wheel not quite as big as the London Eye and a beach (for tanning not for swimming!!). My favourite shopping centre was the one made to look like a European village, as you can see in the photos. It was also great fun riding in an electric car and checking out the pet store!!

When we'd had our fill of shopping (actually we could have gone on for hours but it was getting late) we had a quick change of outfits in the toilets at the train station and we ready to go out! We headed to Shibuya and for the first five minutes after we walked out of the station my mouth remained open, the lights and people where literaly breath taking. I felt like I was in a movie. I had to close my mouth and pull myself together though as we took our life in our hands to make our way through the swarming mass of human life to cross the road. After a yummy dinner at an Izakaya (Japanese bar) we got back on the trains (they
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The hostel
are a little confusing) and headed to Roppongi, the area known as a clubbing place for International tourists.

Roppongi
We ended up going to a club called Vanilla, apparently one of the biggest but I know I'm not in a hurry to go back there. The room that was playing the best music was just a mosh pit of gross, and a word of advice for any single guys reading this- if you are a non Japanese guy in Japan it is so easy to pick up!!! Anyway, we left Vanilla after nearly losing Ai and her friend Azusa in the make out mosh (a couple of times) and went to a bar called Wall Street.

This was much more our style and they even had Australian wine lined up on the bar, we met a friendly Sydney sider and a kiwi and they took us to a bar run by Australians called Geronimos, which was too packed so we left and walked to a restaurant called Gompatchi- where Bill Clinton is said to have eaten and was what the restaurant in Kill Bill was based on. After icecream and tea (the boys had sake!) we got back
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Plastic food, the real stuff looks exactly like it!!
on the silly subway to get some rest for the next day of sight seeing.

Sunday
After a sleep in to recharge the batteries we got back on the tricky trains and went to Shinjuku, more shopping but not so much fun for me this time, 7 floors of tiny shops and too many people isnt my cup of tea!! So time for another highlight- Harajuku!! It was raining when we got there but it didnt stop some rather alternative Tokyoites dressing up in their Sunday best and just hanging around hoping to be looked at! Though one did refuse a photo, a bit of an oxymoron I think!!!

Anyway, that was my first weekend in Tokyo, Wow!!!!!!



Additional photos below
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Plastic food, the real stuff looks exactly like it!!
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Marissa and Anpanman!!!
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Me and Poter Ninja!!
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The first big lantern!!
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Underneath the big lantern, its good luck to walk under it!
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A women giving her dog a drink from the good luck bamboo cleansing water thing that we are experts at- sacrilege!!
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One for Mum!!!
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Man with a fan
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The hut that poured out with good luck incense
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The temple
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Pagoda at the temple
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Just a little Buddha
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Japanese shops
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A little Aussie patriotism before the soccer
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A chopstick shop
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Icecream for breakfast!


16th June 2006

Wow
Loved tyhe photos- glad you could catch up with Ai. Did you get any fashion tips fron the Harajuku girls?

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