Fashion show, sashimi + sake and hittin' the bars

Trip Start Aug 30, 2006
Trip End Jul 16, 2007

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Yay! Electricity in the apartment. But still no water.

Spent the day at Ikebukuro, around our apartment. Mel and I lunched at the massive Sunshine City shopping centre (240m from the ground with hundreds of shops and restaurants and an indoor theme park). Took us half an hour to finally decide on Chinese food - so much options to choose from.

Did a little shopping in the huge Tokyo Hands department store next door.

IMPRESSION:Everything here is either HUGE (buildings and shopping centres) or TINY (apartments, toilets). Everything is also sensored (toilets, doors) or automated (taxi doors, traffic lights, taps). They even have a automated car park, where cars go into a doorway and the door shuts. The car goes somewhere and when the door opens its gone! Tokyo is very modern, very bustling, polite and friendly and clean! (BUT so hard to get money out from an ATM!!)

IMPRESSION: Food is to die for in Tokyo. Sushi, Soba noodles, crepes, soft fluffy rice, miso soup, curries .... all so mouth-watering and delicious. And then there are the sweets!! Scrumptious! Crepes, icecream, cakes, chocolate, fresh puff pastries with cream. All so cutely displayed. My fave is Black Sesame icecream. I will always remember Tokyo for the Black Sesame icecream. But coffee is BAD. The only good coffee I can get is at Starbucks.

ILIAD Fashion Show
Called Lubo (Brad's friend) and at the last minute organised to go see a fashion show. My very first fashion show - so may as well be in Tokyo!

Mel and I rushed to find a Citibank to take out cash. One thing bad about Tokyo is that we can only take money out from ONE type of ATM - even though there is literally an ATM on every corner. Quickly got changed in the apartment. Wiped ourselves with bottled water (still no water for a shower).

Met Lubo, his girlfriend Yoko and So, his work friend in Harajuku. In Harajuki, people are known to be a bit more "out there" in their fashion sense, and at the station you can see why. People had green hair, thick makeup and wild clothes!

Lubo, Yoko, Bev and Mel - front row at the fashion show

Had front row seats to the show. It was a menswear fashion parade. The clothes were "interesting" - very cool and stylish.

Lubo and So had to go to work, so Mel and I went to Shibuya for dinner.

Sashimi and Sake
Following Lubo's instructions, we found a Japanese Sushi Bar. Met a dirty horny Japanese man called Mitsuki who claimed to be a pilot for Japan airlines. He offered to translate and order for us. We ate deliciously fresh sashimi and crab miso soup and drank potent Sake! Kam pai! (Cheers!)

Mitsuki offered to pay for our dinner and then offered to "drive us anywhere we want". thanks Mitsuki. Thus Mel and I paid for our own dinner and we parted ways with Mitsuki as we "had to meet a friend".

While searching for some crepes for dessert we bumped into Tim (from Sydney living in Japan), Richard's friend. He lives in Shibuya and offered to show us the local pub.

Cheap beer and new friends
Cheap beer at the local pub. Only 200 yen - about AUS$2.50 compared to the 600 yen we have been paying.

Met Sean (from USA living in Japan), Tim's flatmate, and Kazumi, a Japanese Korean girl. Had a couple of drinks and then headed off to The Ruby Room - a tiny funky bar where it was open mike night. Anything from a band to some guy singing to his laptop.

On the way to The Ruby Room, we grabbed some free popcorn at one of the love hotels. People pay for the rooms here by the hour. You can rent kinky "love outfits". My fave is the french maid outfit.

Had some more drinks and lots of laughs. Met Tim's friend Malik (from UK living in Japan). And Megan (from a New Zealand travelling to London - we exchanged emails and agreed to meet up in London)

Even met Carlos, a DJ who lives in Japan but DJs at The Saint in St Kilda, around the corner from where I live in Australia. What a coincidece!!

Mel and I caught the last train home at 12:52am. It was jam packed with people.

IMPRESSION: Japanese people are extremely polite and helpful. At 1am we got lost near our apartment. Went into a Karaoke place and asked the guy at the desk. He didn't speak much English but drew a map for us and went to get a girl to translate for us. They were both so polite and went out of their way to help us.
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