Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Japan - Day 2 - Tokyo

In my second day in Tokyo I tried to visit the most famous areas or districts of Tokyo. There is a very useful train line that goes around Tokyo in a loop called the Yamanote line, so you can get off at the main areas of Tokyo. Basically, I stopped in some of the most famous ones, I walked there for an hour and then I went to the next one. These are the areas I visited:
  • Akihabara: well known because of its electronic shops, this place was really interesting. I bought there a conversor of sockets so I could fill my camera's battery and I had a chocolat with some Donuts in a very popular coffee called Mister Donuts. It was right in front of the main buildings so I enjoyed watching the crowd from there. In Akihabara I entered into a lot of Manga&Anime related shops. There were two shops with several floors full of comics, anime, toys.. It was like the paradise for a Manga fan.
  • Ueno: this park is famous because of its cherry trees and the celebrations ("hanami"=see flowers) that japanese people make there when they blossom, typically in April. They go there in groups, drink sake and have a lot of fun. In the end, I found the park a bit disappointing.
  • Shibuya: this district had a lot of shops and restaurants and I saw the famous sculpture of the dog "Hachiko". You can find Hachiko story on the Internet for more details. In front of the station there was also one of those big pedestrian crosses. I had some Udon for lunch here in Shibuya. They were very tasty and cheap! One thing I liked very much in Japan is that you are not necesarily expected to ask for something to drink when you go to eat. Instead, you can have as much water or tea as you want for free! That reduces the price definitely.

  • Harajuku: this area is very popular among young people. There were lots of people and I saw several girls dressed up as maids and similar things. Here, I took a delicious CocaCola, after having tried and hated some japanese drinks (they make them of tea!).
  • Yoyogi: this is another park but it was also disappointing. I bought here an international phone card, which is the only way for doing international calls from (some) public phones. I used this card to give I-am-alive calls to my family without having to spend money on it. Basicaly, they work by writing some numbers, listening a presentation message, then writing the ID from the card and finally dialing the destination number including the international code (34 for spain).

When I went back to the hostel I was really tired, and after having a shower I talked with other guests that were in the hall of the hostel. John, from the UK (I think from Chester but had lived in London for a long time), who had quit his job and started to travel around the world trying to work as volunteer for food and bed, at the places hi visited. Chris, from Liverpool, who just got out alive from a tragic car accident (he show us a terrible picture of the car and I couldn't imagine how he survived that). An australian girl, an australian guy, some girls from Holland that were about to leave (they were studying business in Taiwan) and three Japanese girls I had the oportunity to chat with in Japanese. They were from several places in Japan, Hokkaido, Yamagata and Kyoto. They all were job hunting. Interesting. In the picture you can see the girl from Hokkaido (Hiromi Sakuragi) and John.

For dinner, I went with John to a nearby supermarket where we bought some rice and "yakitori". Very tasty!

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