Anyway, as I mentioned before, I spent the weekend traipsing about Tokyo. Took the highway bus down on Friday afternoon and got to Tokyo around 7:30 pm on Friday night. The verdict on the highway bus? It was really nice – charter-style, generously reclining seats and a lot of leg room – but it wasn’t the shinkansen (duh). I managed to located Star at Ikebukuro, the second busiest station in Tokyo, and we belatedly celebrated her arrival in Japan over yakiniku. It’s been a crazy six months since graduation for both of us, so we had a lot of catching up to do! We were both pretty tired from a long week of work though, so we headed back to her apartment in Asagaya to finish chatting under the warmth of her kotatsu table.
On Saturday, we met up with Star’s friend Daisuke (who was an exchange student in Seattle) for Indian food in Shinjuku (yum). Then, the three of us went to Odaiba to check out some of the exhibits that had migrated there from last year’s Aichi Expo. It was so cold! The wind was really kicking up near the sea. On the train ride there, I got a chance to see a few of the Tokyo sights that had previously slipped through the cracks, such as the Rainbow Bridge and the mini Statue of Liberty. We saw the Mammoth Museum, which centered around a huge (and fairly freaky-looking) mammoth skull – pretty cool. On our way to VenusFort to check out the crazy variable-lighting, sky-like ceiling, we ran into a Toyota car show and frollicked accordingly. Odaiba is known as a place for couples, and there were quite a lot out and about, despite the chilly weather. Quite a romantic atmosphere overall.
After Odaiba, we met up with Tina, Chan, and a couple of Tina’s friends for sushi in Shimokitazawa. Shibuya was next on the list, with its usual Saturday night insanity. And of course, we had to make a purikura stop to commemorate the occasion – Tina is going back to Seattle in a couple of weeks, so it was the last time the four of us would be in the same place for a long while. The night finished out with some late night ramen in Shinjuku before catching the train back to the suburbs. Oddly enough, Tina, Chan and Star all live on the same line, west of Shinjuku – and Tina and Star are actually only one stop away from each other. What a small world.
Sunday morning demanded some sleeping in before venturing out to Harajuku for some people-watching. I cannot express how much I adore Harajuku on Sundays. Tina and a friend of hers dressed up, so we had an extra treat – and we even ran into Drew, who I guess is quite the Harajuku regular. Btw, when/if you look at those Harajuku pics, you’ve gotta keep in mind that [despite the lack of Niigata-like perma-snow] it was *cold* – these people are dedicated to their cause. If I lived in Tokyo, I think I’d totally become one of the hobby photographers who hang around – what better material for practicing your photography? Anyway, much picture-taking and people-watching ensued before snacks at Harvest and some random shopping in the area. And then I took the [wonderful wonderful] shinkansen home to find that [wonderful wonderful wonderful] email from Berkeley.
But yeah, it was a good time. And I’m still tired. :) Time for bed!!!