x every day: Japan day 12

18 April 2008

All-you-can-eat toast for breakfast this morning, and then we headed out to Harajuku. It had rained all night, and continued with gusty rain so that our tiny Tokyo-style umbrellas were mostly unusable. We were soaked by the time we got to the first train station.

In Harajuku, we went straight to Kiddyland, five floors of toys. I think we were there for two and a half hours. The tough part was that you had to pay for purchases on each floor, so we had to check out everything first, then go back and buy. Ugh. I got another rad pair of tabi socks, a Totoro bento box, and some other great stuff. We were all exhausted from the sensory overload, so we tried to sit down for a coffee across the street. Unfortunately Erik and I were nearly out of money, and they required us to buy a beverage-- not just food-- to sit down. We wanted to buy food with our last few yen, so we refused. We ended up buying another convenience store lunch on the credit card, and we ate standing up just outside the cafe. Jerks.

Next we went to UT, Uniqlo's fancy tshirt store. Erik got some good ones.

We split up, with Tiffany and I going to fabric town (three stores of Tomato, hours of fabric browsing, and an annoying one meter minimum) and the guys going to Akihabara. Tiffany and I had a coffee and a sit-down after the fabric experience, during which we decided that we were just too tired to go back to check out other stores in the fabric street. We went back to Harajuku, each to buy something we had forgotten on the earlier visit. I bought more vibrant fake hair streaks and tried to walk through Meiji-juban (but walked towards the shrine, which happened to be away from the entrace), and Tiffany went off to this Northern Eurpean-ish store. We split up to try to make it back to the hostel at 6pm.

Back together again at the hostel, we started the herculean task of packing, and then went out for an Indian dinner. Tiffany treated.

I'm still hoping to go out for karaoke, but chances look slim. On the walk back to the hostel from the restaurant, everyone went to a video game arcade except for me-- I went back to the hostel, grabbed some things and went to an onsen listed by the front desk. It was an amazing experience that I'll like to further elaborate upon soon, but a lovely little old woman-- who I first thought was kicking me out for my tattoos-- showed me what to do. I left the onsen feeling refreshed and recharged. Now, though, it's starting to catch up with me. The plan is to get up, have breakfast, and leave at check-out time for the airport. We should be home in Portland around the same time we leave Tokyo-- 3pm Saturday. I can't wait to play Bejeweled on the plane.