Shinjuku Again

With the evening still young after our aside trip to La Qua it was time to go sightseeing again. The nearest entertainment district was Shinjuku, so we decided to go there again. Shinjuku is split into two parts seperated by the main railway line. The Government buildings that we went to the previous night were in the Western half so we decided to go to the more lively Eastern part on this occasion.

Rather than get out of the Metro in the middle of the neon I thought it might be nicer to approach it on foot, and you can see the neon dominating the background here. This also meant that we wouldn't have to deal with the miles of tunnels that Shinjuku station has. If I was going to get lost (and at the station it's certain) I'd prefer to do it a street level.

This is in the centre of Shinjuku with plenty of hustle and bustle, just like Picadilly Circus back home. One of the many metro station can be seen on the right, the curly "m" logo is the clue. There are actually 2 companies that run the network the Metro line, and the Toei line, and it can be a bit confusing if you travel routes that involve changing from one network to another, but like anything you soon get the hang of it.

The complex directly ahead stands on the edge of the railway line and housed eating and shopping places so we chose to explore that for something to eat. The buildings looming behind are the Government ones we ascended previously.

A typical Tokyo street corner haha! The white writing at the top says "sa-ku-ti-y" and is written in the Hiragana character set. Unlike Katakana, which is used for borrowed words, Hiragana is for Japanese only words so as well as being able to read the characters, you also need to know what the Japanese word they spell means; which in this instance I don't. The store actually sold a load of different stuff depending on the floor you were on.

At one of the main public squares in Shinjuku I had the choice of taking a picture of Gap, or Green Peas. I went with the latter obviously. Quite an impressive lighting display I thought, you don't usually see green and red stores like this whereas you see Gaps everywhere. So what do they sell in an establishment with the name "Green Peas" you might be asking, well it's quite obvious really (if your brain is a bit warped and word association is not your strongest ability). Green Peas sells books!

The restaurants in Japan usually have wax models of the meals on display and not being able to read the menus, meant that this was the only way of knowing what each place sold. We eventually decided to do Tempura, which is popular in Japan but actually originated in Portugal. It was the sea-faring traders that introduced it to Japan. In short it's food, usually seafood, cooked in a light breadcrumb. In fact make that an extremely light batter, nothing like we're used to here. The food was superb but Talhat wasn't up for it and disappeared off for something else to eat; I think he ended up with ice cream.

The complex had glass all on the station side, which offered views of the trains coming and going, or in my example having already gone. The trains run less frequently late at night. I did have plans to try to ride trains during both the rush hour, when they get insanely busy (but still run like clockwork) and at the end of the night when the carriages are full of drunk businessmen heading home after a relaxing post-work. It was getting quite late now and it looked liked I'd be doing one of them tonight. Actually it ended up being a bit anti-climatic, when they get drunk Japanese people just fall asleep.

This is Japan's way of telling you to stand clear of closing doors. My reading skills go only as far as the first two characters, "do-a" which is door. But the rest of the message is quite clear from the picture. Curiously enough I didn't notice any pets in Japan at all though whether it be a cat on the train or a dog being taken for a walk in the park. I can only assume that with space being at a premium, it isn't ideal conditions or affordable to keep the animal there.

The final walk from the station to the hotel and I pop into the supermarket to buy something completely at random. Tonight's choice was ready to eat green tea flavoured ice cream. When you do this random russian roulette approach to eating, sometimes you get it right like with the tempura earlier in the evening, other times you get it wrong. On this occasion I got it very wrong and the taste of frozen tea remained with me til the morning.


Post a Comment

<< Home