This place is incredibly crowded and slightly annoying, especially to a guy who didn’t sleep real well because he was breathing smoke all evening. And the air here isn’t that great to begin with. Anyway, we spent the day shopping, as we like to do. I didn’t really buy all that much, but it was amusing nevertheless.
I dragged my sister to Akihabara, which used to be known for its electronics shops but is now anime central. There’s a girl band based here and all sorts of “maid bars” but I showed my sister all the geek stuff I usually go see. We even made it to Thanko, also known on Gizmodo as “we sell cheap Chinese electronics”. Anyway, the building right under the train station is mostly why I go to Akihabara. I didn’t want to ask people if I could take their pictures, so I just took a picture of the building. There must be a hundred tiny storefronts in this building. One guy just sells transformers, for example. Another just sells little bits of wire. There are larger stores that sell hand tools, etc, and there must be a dozen that sell communications radios. There are also multiple light shops, and multiple video surveillance shops. I wish we had this building in the states somewhere.
We came back to Shinjuku and had Mos Burger for lunch.
I pigged out on a Mos Burger, fries, and chili dog while my sister went vegetarian. Kimpira rice burger (rice and roots).
We wandered around Shinjuku for hours. I found new ways to support the Japanese economy (though not strongly, since I only spent a few hundred dollars) but we were tired after all the wandering around. We met two designer friends for dinner in a fancy restaurant atop the Takashimaya department store. My sister went to high school with Chico, and her friend Hiron is always amusing dinner company. They both have Facebook presences, if you look around enough.
Once again Hiron showed us his photographs of Tokyo and pointed out some interesting eateries he had photos of. He and Chico were trying to convince me that it would be OK to spend several months kicking around Tokyo next year.
And that’s about it for our trip. Our plane doesn’t leave until 3:30PM, but we’re getting on the 10:40AM train to get to Narita around 11:40AM. Then starts the long march to the terminal. We’ll have several hours at the terminal, but that’s better than not getting on the plane. The plane then arrives in Portland at 7AM-ish on the same day we leave Tokyo. It’s going to be a long day.