Japan 2024: Day 2

And yet another day of eating too much. I didn’t have any lunch but I’m still feeling like a pig.
Didn’t sleep all that well last night because that’s just what happens with jet lag. I tried to stay up until at least 9pm but I was lapsing in and out of sleep starting at 8pm. I finally took some melatonin at 9pm and really went to bed. The first time I woke up I saw flashing lights around my curtain and I peeked outside to see trains running. I wondered what time it was and it was only 11:30pm. I kept waking up and going to the bathroom and finally set the alarm for about 5am so I could walk over to the aikido dojo with Kevin and Bill. Well, they left early, so I just walked over by myself.

Aikido practice looked like a bit of a mess. There were around 100 people on the mat! There was a small wood-floored area where we could watch and we had to stay seated. Unfortunately the hard wood floors made it hard to sit for the whole hour. Kevin, who was the only one actually participating in the practice, was getting his ass handed to him as we expected. Bill and I had to leave early because the wood floor was taking its toll on us. My leg started cramping and that was it for me.
Kevin looked quite sweaty and had to rest at the hotel for a bit before breakfast. We ate at the buffet on the first floor which was a bit expensive at ¥2500, but it wasn’t bad. Probably the one and only time we’re going to eat down there.

Then it was off to walk around a bit. We bought Shinkansen tickets for our trip to Kyoto/Osaka and I suggested we go to Shibuya to see the famous crossing that I hate so much. I’m not sure why a crosswalk is so famous but I’m kind of annoyed at all of the foreigners who have to video their walk across the intersection. It’s busy enough without all the people staring at their phone and people stopping to take a picture. It’s a goddamn crosswalk. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We went to Hanazono Shrine, which is nice and kind of standard shrine in Shinjuku. To get there we walked through Golden Gai, which was very quiet in the morning. I may have the order wrong, but Kevin said he wanted to sit down and have a beer and that was our lunch. I stuck with a ginger ale and a Coke, but Kevin and Bill had beers.

Then it was off to Sekaido stationery store in Shinjuku which I found to be a bit underwhelming. After that we got on the subway to see Takeshita Street in Harajuku which was oddly less crowded than I expected. We walked down to see the Shibuya Scramble which was further than I remembered and it was, as I said, still just a crosswalk. We tried to see the view from Shibuya Scramble Square but the tickets were sold out for the day. We did go up to the 14th floor where we couldn’t get a seat at any restaurants with a window view, but there was an NHK exhibit and they were trying to get people to enter and told us one of the windows in the exhibit had a view. So here’s Shibuya Scramble in all its glory (but it’s still just a crosswalk).

I think at some point Bill and I went shopping and I asked Kevin if he wanted me to buy him a tarantula to eat, but he probably would’ve thrown it out.

By that time it was almost dinnertime but we went back to the hotel for a bit. I told them about the steak house I liked and I kind of hoped it would be full because I still wasn’t that hungry but we made it into Satou Kichijoji Steak House for dinner. It was great, they had Matsuzaka beef that they only get in a couple of times a year (my favorite), and one of the regulars even gave us some fried garlic rice as a gift.

And that’s about it for the day. We went to the only two fancy restaurants I know of and we’ve been here two days! Now what?

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