Tokyo, as seen through the lens of idols and shopping

15 Nov

It will be unfortunate if all of my posts begin this way, but I apologize for how infrequently I’ve posted recently.  My daily life is fairly boring, but I’ll try to find more interesting things to post about in the future!

Two weekends ago, I had a bit of excitement in my life when I showed a friend around Tokyo.  It was her first time, so S and I acted as tour guides in the lamest, most boyband and shopping-centric tour of Tokyo ever.  Naturally, after we picked her up in Shinjuku station (still the most confusing station in the world, but we figured out one of our problems– there are multiple exits that you can’t access if you go down, only if you go up from the platforms. D’oh!), we headed to Harajuku!  She was in a bit of a daze, since she’d been on a night bus from Mie for the past nine hours, but we woke her up with the Johnny’s Shop!  Annoyingly, there weren’t that many new photos for S and I, but it saved our wallets, and we got to show our friend CT the wonders of a room filled only with photos and pushy fangirls.  Hurrah!

After the Johnny’s shop, we rested for a while in McDonald’s; I find the Johnny’s shop exhausting, and besides, CT hadn’t experienced the wonders of Japanese McDonald’s yet!  She really liked their teriyaki burger, which was exciting, because I love sharing the wonders of a McDonald’s with more-than-edible options to Americans who have never experienced this glory before.  After McDonald’s, we hit Takeshita street, one of the dearths of Japanese society, but also a great place to buy cheap clothes and and accessories and overpriced tickets, paparazzi goods, and crepes!  I think CT might have been a little overwhelmed, but somehow, S and I managed to leave with even more idol goods.  We then showed CT to the other side of Harajuku, the ever-classy Omotesando, where she bought some makeup at Skin Food and we perused a few other small boutiques.  After that, it was on to Shibuya!

We didn’t really have any real reason to head to Shibuya, but we figured that Shibuya crossing was featured in enough movies and was breathtaking enough that its touristy draw outweighed our desire not to do anything touristy during the trip.  We showed her the Hachiko statue and took her to the Starbucks overlooking Shibuya crossing and nosed around a bit in the Tsutaya before chilling at Dotour for a while (because finding seats in that Starbucks is like finding buried treasure, or something).  Then, we headed to Takadanobaba!

Takadanobaba isn’t a particularly special place; it’s a neighborhood of Shinjuku and the home of Waseda University, so it’s characterized particularly by young people and students.  It was also the birthplace of Tezuka Osamu, the creator of Tetsuwan Atomu (Astro Boy to Western audiences), Janguru Taitei (or Kimba the White Lion to Western audiences), and Ribon no Kishi (or Princess Knight to Western audiences).  By the way, his grave is also located in Kiryu, I just learned.  You learn something new every day!  But because he was born in Takadanobaba, the train jingle is the melody of the theme song for Tetsuwan Atomu, and under the train tracks, there are various murals of Tezuka’s works.  I have a personal attachment to Takadanobaba, as well, because it’s where I lived when I studied abroad.  As a result, I know a few good places to eat around there, such as a kaitenzushi place that we hit after we did some karaoke!  CT is a bit of a picky eater, but she managed to down quite a few plates of eel sushi.  Yum!

After Takadanobaba, we headed back to our hotel in Otsuka!  We tried a new hotel this time because our regular hotel was already booked by the time we made reservations, and while it was a bit more expensive, it was actually quite nice.  Our room was clean and relatively recently renovated, which was a plus!

The next day, we headed out to Ikebukuro, for which we had set aside a whole day, because Ikebukuro is awesome.  We showed CT around Tokyu Hands before headed to Otome Road and checking out Mandarake as well as the brand spanking new KBooks Cast, especially for goods relating to actors and idols!  It was all very exciting, and after that, we hit Sunshine 60 where we got Thai food for lunch and then did some shopping.  Despite trying to save money, I ended up buying a new shirt and sweater… ah yes, my life is difficult.  We finished the day by heading back to Harajuku for crepes before going our separate ways.

CT, I hope you had a good time in Tokyo with us!  Come back and visit us again sometime!

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2 Responses to “Tokyo, as seen through the lens of idols and shopping”

  1. suzuki November 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    楽しんでいますね!三重から夜行バスで来たなんてすごいですね。

    • jetsetjoshu November 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      楽しかったです!夜行バスで来るのは本当に辛いですね…

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