our second day in tokyo found us a bit more rested than the day before. with this new found energy came the thought "hey! we can handle the crowds in shibuya! let's go!"
i think we might have been a bit over optimistic (as you will see) as we were shattered by the end of the day but i would not have changed our plans.
so it was GO GO GO TO HACHIKO it is true that a lot of people meet there. a lot of people also have their photo taken there as well.
i put luther between hachiko's paws but the picture didn't work. it still made a lot of people smile though. (i have gotten a lot of mileage out of that little deer.)
while we were hangin' with hachiko we were approached by a reporter from nhk. of course we were. TOKYO MEDIA GIVE US A BREAK WE ARE ON VACATION AND NOT DOING INTERVIEWS AT THE MOMENT i especially don't want to talk about tokyo wireless hot spots right now LET ME GET TO THE CROSSING IN PEACE
needless to say, we declined. ha.
but onward! to shibuya crossing!
it was not super crowded as we were there earlier in the day. it was still fun to cross the scramble.
no, i didn't take video of the crossing while it was happening. you have seen that video. many times. google it if you haven't, it's everywhere. i just took a quick atmospheric video mainly so you could hear the songs that were playing. it's a very cheerful place, is shibuya crossing!
speaking of cheerful, a brief aside here: on two separate occasions in tokyo i heard the music to disneyland's electrical light parade. i was totally beside myself with sheer happiness. (i love that song and for some weird reason no one my age in the states really knows about it? even though we were the target audience at the time? w/e. apparently me and japan have an understanding. heh.)
our next destination was karaoke kan aka the karaoke place in "lost in translation". we took our time finding it since there was a lot to look at. i, too, hate nuclear rain.
and i also heart tokyo!
kawaiikute! (fuji safari parku!)
on our way to karaoke kan i spotted a first kitchen. FIRST KITCHEN THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE KIT KAT SANDWICHES!!
ah, no dice. they were sold out. but i was able to ask with a minimal amount of trouble in pidgin japanese so, hey! that's something! and there was a ghost on the corner. YUUUREIII!!
once we had finished wandering around a bit, it was time for 160 yen worth of singing.
we went big on the lady gaga. ("bad romance" is my karaoke standby as i consistently knock that one outa the park.)
you gonna' ask me if i wore a pink wig and sang "brass in pocket", aren't you? well, yes to both. of course i did.
the movie was filmed on the sixth floor. we were on the second. if you *really* need to recreate that one scene, i suppose you could request a booth on that floor.
pumped from karaoke, we decided to go window shopping. for us, it is not hermes or prada. no, we browse the 100 yen store. specifically, the huge two floor daiso.
and also tokyu hands which does not sell hands, stop being silly. it's a diy store that's pretty damn great! if i lived in tokyo i am sure i would spend a lot of time here.
but we could not window shop forever as we had one store in mind that we had both been wanting to go to for years. no, it was not that tower records.
nope, we were in it for kiddy land! we just had to do a bit of walking to get there first. on the way we passed my favorite logo of this trip!
and some really nice tags like this bunny.
some people will tell you that tokyo is an ugly city but incredibly beautiful in small ways. i disagree. i think that tokyo is gorgeous in its practicality. also the use of color and the light are amazing.
i am particularly fond of the tiny back streets on the way to harajuku. believe it or not, cars actually drive on these roads. (albeit very slowly)
it took us about an hour and four aching feet to reach kiddy land but it was worth it. just seeing the store front gave me a boost.
leff really wanted one of these large rilakkumas.
i wanted one of these neko rilakkumas but they weren't for sale.
quick aside since we are talking about relax bear, i saw the best logo on a kid's shirt. it read "you are amazing take it easy" and had a stylized lion face wearing a pair of black frame glasses. :D
but back to kiddy land. leff got the first gachapon of the trip there. it was an ojipan! (i'm sure he will post a photo of the little old panda soon.)
kiddy land has everything. pose skeletons
and MANY MANY MANY TOTORO!!! which was the main reason we were here!
you see, the ghibli museum was closed for maintenance while we were in tokyo so we had to get our totoro and kiki fixes elsewhere. but, here's the thing I GOT A JIJI MUG!!! LIKE THE ONE IN THE MOVIE!!! *SCREAMING*
oh yes, miffy was also well represented but since i have one plush miffy, i didn't feel like i should get another. still, this wall is adorable, isn't it?
i think we plunked down around 5000 yen at kiddy land. I KNOW but, honestly, it was one of our more extravagant purchases. (and, really, 5000 yen is around $40 at the time of writing. it just seems super expensive and frightening when you're using a bill with the number 5000 on it.)
but onward! we limped through the rest of harajuku to meji-jingu! this torii is HUGE and i didn't walk through the middle of it like i thought i was a god.
to be honest with you, we spent most of our time at meji-jingu at the small cafe since we were worn to nubs and my feet were swelling. this was not entirely a bad thing, however, as there was a nice breeze and they had takoyaki
and matcha ice cream.
still, we did press on for a bit. past the straw wrapped sake barrels
and through the second torii
before stopping outside of the shrine proper. we would have gone inside except that i didn't think i would be able to get my shoes back on after i had taken them off.
still, it was relaxing in spite of intense foot pain. i would like to go back to visit it properly in the future.
TOMORROW ON RAKKA AND LEFF GO TO TOKYO: we take a river cruise to asakusa on the sumida river and somehow manage to not go to the senso-ji temple. (probably for the best all feet considered.) we see the golden poo building AND THEN TAKE THE METRO TO KAPPABASHI DORI MOS BURGER AND SAMPURU THE GOLDEN KAPPA STATUE and then PON DE LION PARK AND SKYTREE IT IS ALMOST TOO MUCH TO TAKE IN ONE DAY check back tomorrow!