First up today was am/pm to grab breakfast (yoghurt, a can of suntory boss black coffee and some pancake type thing). It was a lot less humid and hot today and was also clear blue skies which was a nice change. We walked over to Shinjuku Park and paid our ¥200 ticket, mine was spat out of the machine and the middle section was a magnetic area where the filings inside stick to where the machine has magnetised it, i.e. Today's date. The picture below might make more sense. They really have shit worked out, I'm figuring the magnetic ticket means they just reuse the tickets instead of disposing of printed ones.
Anyway, the park was really nice and the tree canopy cut about 6-7 degrees off the temperature when walking the pathways. Dave took the opportunity to be an enviro nerd and was looking at leaves and ants etc and I was just taking photos.
It's been good having a fresh set of eyes on Japanese culture and also a different perspective on what you can see in a city. I'm usually one for noticing cultural things and behaviors but Dave noticed a lot of historical and infrastructure type things. We both agreed that if Australians had half the amount of respect for each other as the Japanese do, we would be a lot better off. We haven't seen one 'tough guy' or 'hero' on the streets, there just seems to be a lot more humility.
From Shinjuku park to Yoyogi station and then the train to Harajuku. We checked out the Meiji shrine which is in the middle of another big park and is a nice walk. They have wooden prayer cards that people can write on that are then hung outside the shrine before being offered to the gods. Couldn't help but notice how self indulgent some of the English written ones were. Not saying the others weren't either, just an observation. Wandered through Harajuku, the girls get twice as pretty here. Everyone is a bit more extreme clothing wise here too.
Got the train down to Shibuya from Harajuku and had lunch at wired cafe which is above Starbucks from Lost in Translation, had an awesome taco rice salad and was a nice break from the heat. After that just cruised around and took in all the video screens, music, sound and packs of people. Headed over to Akihibara to check out all the computer and camera gear etc. Didn't buy anything but kept an eye out for Sailor Moon figurines and stuff like that.
Our trip back to Shinjuku was in peak hour and the trains were pretty packed, but we had a seat. Whilst walking through the busiest train station in Japan (2 million people per day), in peak hour, got a glimpse of japan at it's best. A girl with heaps of makeup, 2 inch fingernails, high heels, watching a movie on her iPhone in her left hand, texting away on her docomo mobile in her right hand and the traffic just went around her.
Went back to the same area as the previous night for beers and dinner. Had raw scallop, edamame & some veggies and some prawns & calimari for dinner all cooked by a guy who had lived in Sydney for a year. Went to another bar and a local young 'salary man' started talking to us. His name was Akira and we might catch up with next week for a night out. I asked him how it was working in Tokyo and he said "it's been good but now I've been in this career for 5 years and now...I think it's boring". Blew my mind, Gen Y knows no boundaries it seems, he's 29. He was trying to talk us into starting a niche business in japan, I might not need much convincing!