Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tokyo: Day 1

I am in Tokyo for work, but managed to get a little sight seeing in ... today especially was eventful: After a Japanese buffet breakfast at the hotel, Jose (another Adesker) and I went and traveled around to 3 different Tokyo districts: Omotesando road that borders Shibuya, Shibuya itself, and Ginza. In between Ometosando and Shibuya we went to the Harajuku where we saw a shrine.

Each of the three areas was very distinct from each other. Ometosando was filled with many young people each expressing themselves, mostly through their clothing, in a variety of different ways. Some of the attire and looks here would most closely resemble what you see on Haight-Ashbury. After circling this block a few times and pretty much people watching for an hour, we decided to move on. On the way to Shibuya we stopped and wound our way through Yoyogi Park where we eventually came to the shrine. The temple itself was pretty impressive. A picture is attached. The most interesting aspect of it all is that plopped in the middle of this sprawling, loud area of the city with so much youth and vibrance, is this peaceful temple surrounded by huge trees -- the foliage is so dense in fact that you can barely here the subway system that borders it.

Shibuya was much different -- although omotesando had many ritzy, upscale shops, Shibuya had many upscale, shops and malls that just loomed over your head. Huge malls, one after the other. Everything was just big. And the hordes of people were neverending. Whether they were walking with you or against you, there was always a mass of people. The most interesting thing here was seeing the food market. It was lots of fun to be in - there is nothing really like it stateside and its definitely not the Marina safeway ;). After getting some free samples of food and almost purchasing what would have been dirt cheap yet high grade maguro tuna we left to go to Ginza, which Jose told me was one of the places we would want to see at night.

Now, I have never been to New York, but you always hear about how large it is and Times Square and yada yada yada. The main area of the Ginza district is simply huge. It was in a word awesome to see-I still want to go to NY someday, but I cannot imagine anything being more impressive and large (although Jose told me that the Shinjuku district is comparable). So many people, a huge boulevard that was open to walk on, and building after building, all with their own colorful signage. Every shop imaginable was there, including an Abercrombie and Fitch (why!!). Anyhow, the people here looked like they could have fit in in California; definitely not nearly as expressive as the hipper teen crowd over at Omotesando. Jose and I walked up and down the large road a few times and some of the many sidestreets. The stores on these sidestreets are uber-expensive. My only purchase thus far was a waffle from a corner store (it was good).

Anyhow, now time to hit up some sushi for dinner.

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