Friday, 12 September 2014

Day 3 - Shibuya

As we are based in the Shibuya area of Tokyo, we stayed local today. Tokyo is like a city made up of several cities and Shibuya is a 24/7 city full of lights, under and over passes. It's always busy, feeling like Times Square in New York at it's heart, Shibuya Crossing.

The streets around our apartment. 

Today was our first full day in the city and we had a priority to get in the groceries. Using we were able to find a small supermarket some 200 metres from the apartment. There doesn't appear to be large grocery stores here, land apparently is too expensive to support them. We do quite a lot of shopping in Asian supermarkets back in Dublin and it helps, we did recognise many of the Japanese food items. We picked up amazing tofu and other essential food items.

Our grocery shopping done and unpacked back at our apartment.

We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening exploring the shops/sights and sounds of the Shibuya area. In parts its very traditional Japanese, in others it feels very like New York with yellow cabs and branded stores like Apple and GAP.

In Shibuya

The statue of Hachikō, the faithful dog who waited here for years for his owner every day near the train station. His likeness can be seen outside many of the stores in this area.

The famous Shibuya Crossing as seen from the 1st floor Starbucks. You could people watch here for hours.

No visit is complete without a trip to the Apple Store. The iPhone 6 will launch here on Friday. 
Even at night, the Shibuya crossing is ALWAYS packed. 
A very funny thing happened today. Vinnie's sun glasses broke and we needed to get a screw to fix. We stumbled across a sun glass shop so we popped in to see if they could help. Like most places here, no one speaks English, but we managed to get them fixed for free and received the royal treatment in the process. The gentleman who fixed them even waited by the lift for the doors to close bowing non stop. The bowing and paying of respect to others is comical, but such a nice touch.

We rounded out the night with a visit to the Shinjuku Ni-chōme area where we revisited Arty Farty, a bar where western people are allowed. Not all places allow non-locals in. And it's comical - no dancing is allowed after midnight and signs makes this clear!
This is Japan - no dancing allowed!

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