4/16/2012 - Travel Day
Boarded the JR Shinkansen from Nagoya to Tokyo and checked into the Keio Hotel near Shinjuku station. We changed dollars into yen and Peter helped Anne purchase 4 Misono knives at the Tokyu Hands Department Store. Keith visited the MAP camera store again, but felt he was coming down with a cold. We had a unique lunch at a coin op restaurant: Customers select lunch specials and pay for the meal using a machine, the machine disperses tickets, customers give the tickets to the chef and a few minutes later lunch is served!
Keith rested up at the Keio Hotel. We had large rooms for Tokyo, spacious with a nice view of Shinjuku district office buildings and the local parks. Pete and Anne went off for a walking tour of the Harajuku district famous for the anime characters who pose on the bridge near the metro station for tourists’ photos. Unfortunately they only pose on Sundays and today is Monday, so instead we walked around the Yoyogi Park and photographed some birds and the dog park.
Peter remembered a narrow street catering to prepubescent girls wearing mod outfits and advertising girl bands wearing the latest clothing rage, the tiny shops selling these outfits at reasonable prices. Around the corner, we walked down the streets of a much more upscale Harajuku shopping area starring Christian Dior, Tiffany, Saks, and designer boutiques. The press and celebrities partied around the grand opening of Tommy Hilfiger’s Tokyo boutique.
Peter wanted to try Kaiten-sushi, or “sushi at rock bottom prices,” where sushi is served on an assembly line belt, so we took the metro to the Shinagawa district notable for its massive high rise glass buildings and elevated walkways connecting the station to the high rises. Once Anne learned how to grab the sushi plates, the belt line brings and endless supply of delicious, fresh sushi and you pay the bill based on how many plates you return empty.