Sunday, 27 September 2009
My free day was a struggle at first as all i wanted to do was go back to bed after breakfast. But how many times do you get the chance to be in Tokyo? Fatigued or not i was doing to tackle Tokyo head on. My first port of call was the Japanese social thing shopping. Tokyo Hands, a department store that sold everything imaginable. Seven floors of gadgetry and wears. Those that know my shopping habits, know that this is a dream for me. Aisle browsing. Even their toilets were a treat.
Which brings me onto toilet etiquette here. There are toilet doors with different signs. Japanese style, international & ones with spray symbols on them.A vast choice when in a hurry. My first experience was at the airport. Going into a 'spray' marked one uncovered a hidden world for me. This toilet had a extra unit attached to it, with many buttons and symbols. You could play an imaginary flushing noise while doing your business or wash your parts with different temperatures, different spray powers and even have a heated seat. Perhaps this is just too much. However, with one very similar in my hotel room I am now practised.
After aisle browsing i took myself off in search of greenery, but got lost and seemed to be trapped in the neon streets of shops for ages. East has met west. Universal shops everywhere!
I finally returned to a familiar place and plucked up the guts to try a train/metro trip to a place. Now that sounds easy but it's the biggest station in Japan! It has more exits and lines/platforms than clapham does by a long way. Plus the volume of people, confusing signs and oh the Japanese script. To get to my destination was an achievement. Now, I feel i can tackle almost any trip.
My afternoon transformed me into a typical tourist and i went to a shrine, a walk in the park and took photos of the famous teddy boys and harajuku girls. (Photos attached of them and the dog!)
By the time i returned worn out it seemed Shinjku had even got busier.
Now to prepare for tomorrow's teaching and an early start. Meeting Yoshiro (which means i have to navigate a different line at rush hour) at a station and then we need to catch a bus to Musashino. What will the day hold....