Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vol 6.2

On Saturday I was suppose to meet up with Lena again, because she was going to show me how to get my cell phone.
I left out of my hotel around 10am, but when I called her she never answered.
So I walked around Ikebukuro a little more before I called her back.
Still no answer, so I pulled out my handy dandy trusty rusty train map to see what trains I need to catch to get to Harajuku.
Because I was a novice at that time, it took about 30 minutes to get to Harajuku.
Not because I got lost, which I didn’t, but because I took the long way.
I caught the M line down to the C line, and caught the C line to Harajuku.
Now if I knew more about the trains I could have just got the Yamanote line and got off 3 stops later, and I would have been in Harajuku in….10 minutes.

Harajuku is really really really crowded, and that’s saying something. It’s almost impossible to get anywhere because there are so many people.
I walked around looking at all the different just similar shops.
This place kind of reminds me of Chinatown in New York.
You can find anything.
After walking for about 10 minutes I saw this group of black guys.
Yep, black guys.
And not just one.
6 of them.
They own a show store there, and they stand outside trying to get people to come in.
When they saw me they called out “Hey Black girl!” -_-
That was funny, but they told me how to get the Softbank.

Softbank is a cell phone provided in Japan.
Like America has AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon, Japan has Softbank, DoCoMo, and ADDI.
I got a prepaid phone and it cost about 10,000 yen, which is $100.
I get free incoming calls, but I have to pay for outgoing, and for 3 dollars a month I can get unlimited messaging.
It’s a cool phone but would be better if it was a flip phone.
I bought a Yoochun cell phone strap for it.
And I saw NEWS ride down the street on a truck.

The thing about Harajuku is, it’s a place for females.
They have shops strictly for men, but more shops for girls.
Not to mention those idol shops that all the Japanese girls go to waste their money on pictures of their favorite idols.

I walked from Harajuku to Meiji shrine which is about a block away.
Meiji shrine is not for the weak.
You have to walk miles.
You can walk for an hour and still only cover a small portion of it.
The temple was nice and there were about 3 weddings going on.
I decided to leave but I stopped at the café and ate first.
I had Chinese noodles.
Man, Yat Ga Mien, or however you spell it, was also put to shame.
I though Japanese eat small portions.
Well, that’s a lie.
I’m getting fat and I’ve only been here for a week.
So after eating I decided to leave, but I saw another path you could walk.
I walked up that path and it felt like forever before I came to an exit.
But that wasn’t the same exit I came in, and I REFUSED to walk back to the other exit.
That would take about an hour.
Since the train system in Japan is the best, or second best after Seoul, I knew I would come to a subway if I just walked straight, so I did.

Trains are not the only way to get around in Japan.
Bikes are popular here.
Too popular if you ask me.
They can ride bikes on the side walk, so I can’t even count how many times I almost got hit by a bike.
EVERYONE rides a bike.
Young, old, fat, skinny, tall, short, mothers with children on the back, mothers with children on the front, mothers with children on the back and front.
I don’t even know how that last one is allowed.
That’s not safe.

Anyway, I walked for about 30 minutes before I saw a sign that said “Shinjuku ward”.
That’s when I realized I was entering a different city.
A good city because it has the largest train station, which I will talk about later.
Lena cracked up when she heard that I walked from Shibuya ward to Shinjuku ward.
But it was okay with me, because now I could walk around Shinjuku, but I didn’t feel like it.
So I just walked around the area that I was in until I saw the train station.
I decided to go back to the hotel, but I wanted dinner.

Once I got back into Ikebukuro, I walked around trying to find what I wanted to eat.
Then saw this rotating Sushi bar across from the hotel, and I went there.
I didn’t sit down, but ordered out.
When I got back to the hotel I ate that, but I think something was in it that I shouldn’t have ate, because my head started itching like crazy.
Or I just needed to oil it.
Lena called the hotel and that’s how I got in contact with her, but it was 8pm by that time.
She wanted me to go with her somewhere, but I didn’t feel like it since I was walking for the last 12 hours.
So I sat back and watched the drama ROOKIES.
That’s the most boring Japanese drama I ever looked at
I would not recommend that to anyone.
I fell asleep watching it, but I woke up in time to watch The King of Room, which stars Mizushima Hiro and Anne Suzuki.
That was pretty much my Saturday.
Again, you can see pictures if you look at the link in the post below.
All of my pictures are not uploaded but i'll get there one day.