|ANA 777 to Haneda|
My trip to Tokyo was way too short unfortunately. But it was a rather fun filled weekend. I just wish I had had at least one more day to spend in the city. I missed the opportunity to see Asakusa and the Sensouji temple there, which is one of the older parts of Tokyo and worth a trip. Because it's on the Eastern side of the city, I couldn't get out to that area because I was based in the Western part, with my hotel in Shinjuku 3-chome (near the Keio Plaza Hotel, which is the hotel I stayed in when I first arrived in Japan 2.5 years ago). Shinjuku is an interesting area because it has a ton of avant-garde theater/performance art, a large Korean town with delicious food, as well as a lively queer scene in 2-chome. In addition to these areas, it is also the ward that houses Kabuki-cho, which is an adult entertainment area in the evenings. In comparison to places like Thailand, this red light district is rather tame. I didn't spend any time there, but I wished I had gone to Golden Gai, which is a small area very close to Kabuki-cho that has very tiny bars. It was once a yakuza watering hole, I believe, and off limits to 外人. But that has changed in recent years and it's become rather welcoming to anyone who is interested in having a few drinks, chatting with locals or other Japanese staying in the area. I've heard great things about these little bars, so I wanted to go, but I wasn't brave enough to venture there by myself the first night I got into Tokyo. I had tried to get a friend I know who is staying in Tokyo for a semester study abroad course to meet up with me, but he didn't respond. But that was probably for the best.
|Four Views of Tokyo from the Tokyo Metropolitan Govt. Building|
|A massive, sprawling city that was once a small fishing village|
|View towards 富士山 (he was hiding that day though)|
|Typical street in Shinjuku|
|Entering Meiji Shrie|
|Instructions in English on how to offer prayers|
|A Japanese wedding (it was a lucky day)|
|Barrels of Sake (the brewers give offerings for a prosperous fiscal year)|
|Cute food stand park in Omotesando|
|Another food stand (don't you agree with the sign?)|
|Two views from Skyview on the 52nd Floor of Roppongi Hills|
After that I was ready to head to Superdeluxe for a night of performance art and experiemental music, but I ended up getting summoned to a 二次会 for my friend's after-performance party. So I went off to a restaurant in Omotesando and then later on to a bar in Shinjuku's 2-chome, which is the premier gay bar area of Tokyo. All in all the evening was actually chill. I think I might have enjoyed Superdeluxe more, but it was nice to hang out with people as well.
On Sunday I had to get ready to go home, but I had a little bit of time left so I headed down to Harajuku again because Sunday is the big preening day for all the Harajuku girls who dress up in cosplay. I wanted to see it, though I'm not really a big cosplay fan. I don't know if it was because it was cold or if I was just there too early, but I only saw one cosplay girl walking around. That being said, the area was really fun to shop around in. It's like the super sweet icing on a strawberry shortcake. It's almost too feminine and too precious with its hot pink, crepes and frilly designs everywhere. But it's also hip enough to pull it off.
|One of the many crepe shops|
|Harajuku Cosplay stores|
|The only Harajuku girl I saw in Harajuku|
|Takeshita Street in Harajuku|