Sunday, 27 September 2009

Eclectric Tokyo

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....


  1. What an intrepid traveller! Great photos. And I am completely fascinated by the spray toilets...home will seem so old-fashioned! Hold your breath for rush hour tomorrow...! Good luck for your first day of teaching!! kx

  2. What a fantastic day - well done for summoning titanium nether regions (newly cleansed, manicured and coiffured) and getting out there. It's a bit like being on another planet when you really can't make sense of most of the signs around you - scary fun. The photos are amazing - the shot of the girl is jaw-dropping; I can't ever imagine being that arsed and spending that amount of time getting ready to go out - she must start on Thursday. Wow - the energy of yoof (including the gyrating fella - incredible; I'd have stared until I was asked to leave.........)

    Really good luck for tomorrow - we've got everything crossed for you.

  3. Jacks your trip looks fantastic. The photos are fab you've captured the essence perfectly. You must be in your element.

    I hope your first teaching day goes well and that you manage to navigate the transport system.

    It sounds as if you are having an amazing trip , continue to enjoy yourself and have fun.


  4. Fabulous snippets into your Tokyo travels Jack, sounds and looks fascinating. I'm taking it you navigated your way back successfully after your Sunday exploits and found yourself in class today? Hope it is going well....can't wait to read all about it, it is bound to be sooooo very different to London classes! Enjoy and savour every moment... Huss x

  5. Spray toilets with different temperatures!!
    Now I have heard it all...what next??
    Sounds like you are having a fab time.
    It will be interesting to know what gadgets you will be bringing home.

    Great pics

    Love Maria