Tokyo Day 4 and Beyond

Clearly, the siren call of this city has won out over sitting in front of my laptop banging out posts. Among other things, I visited the Edo Tokyo Museum, which provides an overview of the history of Tokyo; the Imperial Gardens, which are a lovely respite from the teeming masses of Shinjuku; wandered Shibuya, where I did a bit of clothes shopping (starting to get worried about packing everything); and trip down the insane-as-ever Takeshita Dori in Harajuku.

Oh, and yes, I’ve been to a bar or two… Marco and I chatted up a French fellow named Stefan, who we’ve bumped into most every evening and included in our bar crawls through Shinjuku Ni-chome. It’s very odd to be speaking French while I’m in Tokyo… Even odder was the Japanese guy we met who speaks better Spanish than English – so he and Marco were communicating in Spanish.

Of course, the nightly rounds have taken their toll. Both Marco and I were down for the count on separate days, i.e. spending lots of time napping to restore our energy. I’m reminded again that I am, in fact, no spring chicken.

And on that note, now I have to decide if tonight we’ll be spent in or out.

Tokyo Day 1

After a long but uneventful flight, we arrived at our hotel in Shinjuku on Sunday evening. Up early for our soon-to-be world famous televised tour of the food halls at Isetan. Then a quick trip back to to hotel to floss and have some beers, then headed to Takeshimaya, where I had my first craved-for tuna-mayo onigiri (rice ball). It was delicious. Then spent a couple of hours in Tokyu Hands, trying not to buy everything – and most of what we did buy we’re still not sure what they actually are, other than bizarrely fascinating. Dinner later at Katsukura on the 14th floor of Times Square Building – tonkatsu, which was delicious and shockingly reasonable. Dinner for two was under $50 including sake.

Wandered back home through the teeming streets of Shinjuku, stopping to play the prize claw – where Marco eventually won a cheap doll – and by “cheap,” I mean “cheaply-made.” I think it cost us $25 worth of tries to get the damn thing into the claw.

Then spent 2 hours trying to find the gay bars, with no success. I was completely lost. Went back to the hotel to find a map and Marco was able to trace our path there. This time we found where we were going with ease. Had a few drinks at Dragon Men – quiet on a Monday night, so we didn’t stay out too late. Back to my room for beer and then hit the hay.