Shibuya, Tokyo

Rob & I finally had a full two day weekend together after he worked nineteen 10 hour days straight. I’ve spent a lot of time along the last couple of weeks. Anyway, as unexciting as spending a Saturday in the hotel sounds, that’s what Rob wanted & needed so that’s we did & it was very nice. We got up, went on base to buy a few things, then came straight home and watched Suits for the rest of the day & relaxed.

Sunday was fun day & we went back to Tokyo. This trip was a little different than our previous trip, because Shinjuku was more about the nightlife but we did Shibuya as more of a day trip. Something we’ve figured out over our little bit of time in Tokyo is that day time Tokyo can be a lot different than night time Tokyo. Day time has been fun but night time was super fun.

Shibuya is pretty much the busiest place I’ve ever been in my life. Real talk. Here, Rob got a really good shot of Takeshita Street and the crowd!

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I took about a 30 second video walking through the crowd, but as we continued down the street, the number of people increased.

We went to an eight story Tower Records. Each floor had a different genre of music & naturally, we spend our time on the rock floor. Some of the floors were devoted to J-Pop & things along those lines, & that’s not really our style. They had some cool memorabilia but we didn’t buy anything.

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Good ol’ J-Pop. It was funny walking around the area, seeing promotional advertisements for Japanese pop & rock bands. There was one band, Sexy Zone, who is obviously very popular because we saw tons of stuff for their new album all over Shibuya.

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Rob’s a big fan of this picture.

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Nostalgia… Kevin Richardson has really long hair these days!

Scorpions whiskey – they had some cool stuff but it was pricey. This cost about 7400 Yen.

Unfortunately, his battery was dead.

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At Tower Records, you can totally buy cassette tapes still.

They’re actually kind’ve expensive, costing 2350 Yen. I imagine they’re more a novelty item at this point.

They also have a section devoted entirely to vinyl but vinyl’s made a comback so that doesn’t surprise me.

Tower Records elevator is made of clear plastic, allowing people to see outside. As we took the elevator & I looked outside, I noticed a big Rolling Stones logo so after we were done at Tower Records, we went to check it out. It turned out to be a pop up truck promoting their new album, Happy Socks. Rob was given a free pick with our sock purchase.

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It was St. Patrick’s Day & people don’t care about that at all. We did stop in a little British pub called the Hub & had a couple of green Jameson hiballs but that was it for our celebrations. It really just isn’t a thing over here.

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Takeshita Street & Harajuku

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Takeshita Street is where we spent most of our time on this trip into Tokyo. It’s an incredibly crowded, quirky, brightly colored street with all kinds of fun & strange stores, along with restaurants & souvenir shops. It seems to be the place the kids hang out, the tourists check out & all seems to be pretty modern. It’s all about shopping & it was a pretty good time.

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Everything from this food stand comes in rainbow.

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It’s pretty much all about the color & sugar out here.

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The brighter, the better.

Rainbow food – if you prefer yo have the mozzarella in your cheese stick dyed like a rainbow, that it totally an option.

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Pink really seems to be where it’s at.

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Above: Candy A Go Go

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Pretty much everywhere we go, we see crepes. We see crepes in the mall, we see restautarants devoted them, food carts, food trucks, etc., and we’ve seen them everywhere we’ve gone except Kamakura. They’re never in breakfast form. They’re always in dessert form, covered in fruits, whipped cream, chocolate and who knows what else.

Rainbow cotton candy in massive portions.

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They call these Korean cheese sticks. I don’t know what makes them Korean because they are literally like giant mozzarella sticks but they’re extremely popular.

In wandering the streets, we came across this little gem of a bar. We had quite the Rolling Stones theme for the day.

Nonbei Yokocho

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Nonbei Yokocho, aka “Drunkards Alley,” is a much smaller version of Shinjuku’s Omoide Yokocho. Nonboi Yokocho only has about twenty izakaya shops comared to Omoide Yokocho’s seventy or so. Unfortunately, we didn’t stop at any of the shops here The plan was to have a similar experience to the one we had in Shinjuku but beside the fact that there are significantly fewer options, all the shops are a lot smaller (hard to believe, I know) and most of them were full because they only had about 4-6 seats each. It was a disappointment but what can ya do sometimes? Maybe another time.

It was interesting getting here because it’s well off the beaten path. We had to turn off the main roads, walk through this tunnel with bikes parked, covered in graffiti, go around the corner and come across a little tiny alley.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any exciting food stories from our trip to Shibuya. Had we know that Nonbei Yokocho wouldn’t have provided us the experience we were looking for, we might have tried to find something else when we were still over on Takeshita Street.

Scramble Crossing

Shibuya Crossing is the busiest crosswalk in the world, with sometimes up to 3000 people crossing at one time and we crossed it! I don’t think there were 3000 people crossing with us but it was definitely busy.

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Hachiko

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Hachiko is a Japanese Akita who was owned by Hidesaburō Ueno in the 1920’s. The owner was professor who took the train home from work and wass greeted by Hachiko every day at the station. Hidesaburō Ueno died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1925, but the dog spent the rest of his life going to the train station every day to wait for his owner. Hachiko died in 1935 at the age of 11.

He is seen as a symbol of loyalty.

(I borrowed that pic –> from Wikipedia.)

Shibuya was a good time and we would like to go again, if there’s time.