Monday, November 1, 2010

Tokyo, Day 3


Hard to believe this all happened so long ago. Well I guess it's only been three weeks, but it feels like 3 months.

We started the day intending to head out somewhere relatively close for a few hours, then regroup at the hostel and figure out a plan for the evening (not to mention find a place to stay in Kyoto, the next stop after Tokyo). We walked down to the train station and got coffees at mcdonalds while we did some more planning.

First up was lunch, and I was pumped to finally eat at a MOS Burger, a place I had heard about that sounds like the In-n-Out of Japan. We ate at the one we saw the day before in Akihabara. They were small burgers but they were good (not at good as in-n-out though), and I had another melon soda. Those things are genius.

Made a snap decision and decided to just metro over to the west instead of going back home. We visited Roppongi Hills, a mega-entertainment and luxury living complex in the heart of what used to be one of the seediest parts of town. The Mori Art Museum is at the top of the tallest building in Roppongi and we paid about $17 to ride to the top and check it out.

The views from the observation floor were rad. We could see all parts of the city, many of which we hadn't been to yet. It was just city all around, like a carpet of buildings. We found the best way to spend $5 and got a great picture from a photo booth. I noticed they were selling Holga cameras in the art museum store. Interesting.

The museum was pretty cool too, especially one installation where you walked 'underground' and then stuck your head up through holes to see trees and landscape 'above ground'. Everything was in white. It was cool, but later my camera somehow corrupted the pictures and video from the best exhibit. Thanks panasonic.

Walked around a bit after that but it was all malls and expensive shops. So we said screw it and went to Ebisu, a supposedly more hip and cool area. And most importantly - the Yebisu Beer Museum.

The museum is a poor excuse to have a bar, but the bar is pretty great. You can get snacks and try all four of Yebisu's brews - the regular lager, the BLACK, the amber ale and the stout. We ended up trying all four. The Black was hands down our favorite, followed by the amber. These were really standout beers that had been freshly brewed on the premises and the prices were totally reasonable. Wish I could use them in an upcoming beer tasting.

The sun had set and so we trained to Shibuya, the mega shopping and pedestrian area. 'The crossing', maybe the busiest intersection in the world, was pretty cool. So was the two story Starbucks. I think Jacquie was in heaven.

We checked out a Tower Records (they still have those?) in hopes of finding some band fliers so we could see a show. No dice. They don't really have places like Spaceland in Japan.

Jumped on the subway yet again and went to a district on the outskirts of town called Shimo-Kitazawa on the most packed subway care yet. We weren't sure how to get out. Jacquie had read that the town was a more bohemian place and we hoped it might be as cool as our little neighborhood in LA. It did not disappoint. After taking a wrong turn out of the station (a thrice-daily habit for us... I mean me), we found the really cool area stuffed with nice little boutiques and restaurants. Took a couple laps to pick out an appropriately 'cute' restaurant bedecked in Halloween decorations. Have I mentioned how nuts the Japanese are for Halloween? I think I did. They'll do anything if it makes money.

My Indonesian friend rice was solid and my peach (!) beer was surprisingly good too. There was real peach mashed at the bottom. And Jacquie's amaretto ginger ale was pue genius. The ginger ale is better than what we have in the US too, and you can even get it with wasabi if you want.

Had dessert at a place unfortunately named Moco. I finally got something I had been waiting to try - a melon float. Let me tell you something. Go eat a melon float. My god those things are pure candyland.

It was a long train ride home that night. We were dead tired but couldn't believe how much we had done, and couldn't believe it was only our third day in Japan.

I'd love to have photos along with these posts but I'm still behind the Great Ass of China and can only access blogger via a proxy I recently discovered. I'll try to pimp these out when I'm in the free world again.

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