Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tokyo [day 1]

Breakfast at hotel rather good. Fully labelled, a la Japanese gentleman on the plane.

Around 10am, met Moto, one of visitors to Ottawa karate camp the week before. With group, followed around Tokyo for most of day. Had funny ideas of what was necessary to see. Spent morning in Shibuya, fashion district. Toured mall full of highly fashionable women's clothing, all in size zero. Wandered streets for a while before found basement restaurant for lunch. Had lunch deal, pick three of twelve options for 700円 ($7). Ordered tempura, cold tofu, and "egg on potato" which ended up being raw quail egg on shredded potato... couldn't bring myself to eat it. Other two were great, and aquiring taste for constant rice. Conversed with Japanese man who came in halfway through, mostly in mangled Japanese. Very neat.

In afternoon, visited Akihabara. Not as exciting on the streets as expected, but Moto took us to a Maid Cafe. Most people felt was interesting experience once, but otherwise creepy. Also expensive, $3 just to walk in the door, and $5 for a coffee. Moto annoyed waitress by asking real age, "ruining atmosphere". Claimed to be 4 years old, spoke in cute voice, crouched down to take orders, constantly fumbled pen onto floor. Most interesting thing on menu was "original cocktail" which seemed different every time ordered. Looked like juice or milk colourful drinks, but had alcohol.. and one had bear-shaped pastry on rim. Also noticed cafe offered massages, but no takers in our group.

Next stop was 6-storey porn shop with costumes in every window. Mostly had costume selection, but also electronics and "real dolls". Also had pics on walls from women who went for deal "30% off purchase if agree to be photographed wearing it".

Last stop was electronics mall with everything imaginable, and then some. Purchases by group ended up being things like specialized batteries and charger, 1000-piece puzzles, and toy trucks.


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