Day 2 – Shibuya (Tokyo)

With an early morning start, we began our departure from Osaka to make our way up to the Tokyo area, there’s a couple of photos below of the place we stayed and it really shows how small the room is. With all our luggage, there was seriously no room to move, understandable for ~$20 a night but also lucky we weren’t staying there for too long.

Tiny room for 4

Hotel Mikado

Our method of transportation to Tokyo would be the famous “Shinkansen” or a bullet train you all associate Japan with. The front of the train has a very peculiar look as it’s designed to go fast. It’s also very long and seated 16 carriages, and they weren’t small either.

Shinkansen

Unfortunately for this trip, most of the reserved seats were taken and we were stuck in a smoking carriage. Initially for us it wasn’t too bad as the carriage wasn’t very full, but as it filled up, people were smoking left right and centre. Left a terrible smell on my coat and the first breath of fresh air as we exit the train would be heavenly.

Rays of sun through the clouds

The trains themselves go rather quick, with my phone out and a GPS-based speedometer application, we saw speeds around 250 – 270 km/h but it didn’t appear to be going that fast, most likely because the trains themselves travel very smoothly.

260km/h!!

After arriving, we made our way to the Hotel we were to stay at, the Weekly Dormy Inn in Naka Megaro, getting a little confused with the transition from the JR line to the Metro lines, we ended up being about 50 minutes late, we were supposed to arrive at approximately 10am. When we arrived, we couldn’t check in til 3pm and the other boys had already left to head out for lunch. Luckily they were sweet enough to leave us a note at reception, signed off with a lovely ‘Love Louis and co.”

Weekly Dormy Inn
Little river near our hotel

We would then go out to lunch as well, no idea what the place was called but we had a little difficulty understanding the lady working there but we did manage to pick up one thing, “Karai” which meant spicy as Ed wasn’t keen on anything spicy. Not having the phrasebook with us either meant we didn’t know how to ask for a recommendation either, so we resorted to just randomly pointing to something on the menu. Fortunately for us the food turned out to be rather good but we’re still not sure what it was. If you know, let us know :).

Mmm.... delicious

We hit up a convenience store for some Japanese snacks and found this funky looking thing. It was a bun which was black and rippled, and with the packaging made a complete guy with an afro. Looked hilarious and tasted rather nice.

Afro man

After meeting up with the others, we explored the area of Shibuya, known primarily for it’s large crossing which is always filled with people. Personally, I didn’t feel impressed by it at all, sure it was a big crossing, but it wasn’t as big as I had expected. I had expected a sea of people, so many that when you cross it, you can’t even see in front of you because it’s all full of people. So yes, a bit disappointing.

Shibuya Crossing
The dog that waited for its owner

Shibuya itself was rather nice, quite busy with plenty of shops around. We went into ‘109’ which was 7 floors of mens clothing, unfortunately I found nothing that was nice, the style was rather weird, lot of Goth-like clothing and nothing rather stylish. Only thing I found really appealing was a pair of Hello Kitty undies and a Chuppa Chup pair. Not sure if we missed something, but overall, it wasn’t that great.

Hello Kitty!
Nice advertisements
Buildings in Shibuya

Next was brunch, we went to this little restaurant next to a KFC with an statue of Colonel Sanders in a Santa outfit, rather funny looking. Dumplings, beer, nuts and noodles for not too much over $10, rather good in my opinion. As it was getting rather bland and the same, we headed back to check into our hotel room and explored the local vicinity

Beer and Nuts
Dumplings
Noodles

We had a tiny “dinner” at the hotel room and a short walk away was a large store which sold all kind of things, from food and snacks to alcohol and hardware tools. Anything you needed really as well as some stuff you wouldn’t. More on that below.

"Dinner"
Don Quijote

We also had a little dress-up party using some cute hats of various animals and characters, don’t I look cute below? I’m sure Jap girls would dig it if I wore it on the street. The other thing that was rather funky about the store was the availability of some sex toys, we found a vibrator that would go off when you call it and another one shaped like an egg described as “Special feeling vibrator”. Nice.

Cute hats
Phone vibrator
Do you want a special feeling?

Booze was cheap and we bought a bottle of Sky Vodka and Chivas Regal as well as some green tea, all for about $50. So good, unfortunately for us, we didn’t realise that the green tea in Japan is unsweetened an had to get some sugar after dinner. Turning our room into a make-shift meth lab was a success and we had some nice Chivas and Green Tea.

Cheap!
Mmm... beer

Dinner was at a small Ramen joint called Paimen, we found it rather odd that the shop operates until 26:00, not sure if the shop sits in a time rift or something, but this wasn’t just written once, it was stuck onto the door with a proper sticker thing. Ordering from this shop was new to us as well, instead of someone taking your order, you hit up the vending machine and get a ticket which you hand over as your noodles are made.

Close at 26:00
Ordering from a vending machine
Ramen
Runny Yolk

The noodles weren’t too bad, but the Ramen was very very oily and salty. The boiled egg with the runny yolk was delicious, the rest wasn’t that great. After dinner was preparation for a night of clubbing at Club Asia, with an event called “Affection” on that Thursday night. We mixed the Chivas and the Green Tea and mashed down a couple of drinks before heading out. Being a bit happy and drunk, we decided to run, this lead to Gavin having a asthma attack and the two sober boys Edmond and Louis would take him back to the room without us knowing. We pressed on into the club.

Upon entering, we were greeted by a completely empty room, seriously about 6 people in there around the bar. WTF we thought, but  we decided whatever, we’ll have fun with our own company. We used up our free drink voucher and found out there were more rooms, and this wasn’t the main room. Thank God we thought, until we walked over there to a large room with a stage at the front, this was getting even worse. The room had about 5 people, all of which were guys. Still having no idea what was wrong with this place, we just kept drinking, and out of nowhere, people just started to come in and fill the club.

Soon after this girl comes onto stage and starts to sing, half the people in the place are sitting down watching while everyone else was standing. The singer was rather pretty and we got right into it, probably looking like a bunch of douches as we were the only ones waving our hands. Here I ended up dancing with some girl and then somehow managed to get lost and lose the group. Ended up just watching the performances with her in my arms 😉 unfortunately then, (still don’t know how and when) I lost her. Next thing I know, I’m being woken up by security and told to leave because the club was closing. How cool’s that? They were perfectly fine with me being knocked out, love it. Couple of videos of the kinda performances below:

Spent a couple of minutes waiting around to see if anyone else was coming out before deciding to walk back to the hotel room, confused and unsure as to where everyone went and what happened that night. The sun was already starting to rise and it was quite cold. Upon returning, Tang was nowhere to be seen, after about 20 minutes, just as Gavin and Ed decide to go look for him, he comes home with a similar confusion.

I did a little video blog of my adventure home, little warning, I swear a fair bit (yes, I was still drunk) and the camera work is very shoddy :).

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