Friday, May 11, 2012

Tokyo Tour: Shibuya

So after our exploration of Zojoji Temple, we walked for a couple of minutes to the train station. While we were, well, walking, this vehicle caught my attention.

And another one..

Those above are Velo Taxis; they function just like the pedicabs we have in the Philippines, just with better facade and a lot pricier. Imagine,  a single ride worth 680 yen (or 340php)? Maybe that's the reason it is called a taxi, eh? 

On a lighter note, I found it quite refreshing walking the streets to the train station. The pavements? Really clean. I chanced upon this pub (or resto?) which makes use of empty beer cases as chairs and table stands. Brilliant. B-)

Japanese folks are really keen followers of traffic rules, I must say.

Getting off the train at Shibuya station, a big crowd welcomed me. And when I say big, I really meant it. If I wasn't holding a part of my brother's bag, I could have been lost in the crowd. Aira, my childhood friend, insisted that we visit Shibuya cos according to her, it's there that I can get to experience the "true Tokyo". True enough, walking along the streets of Shibuya literally made my eyes widen like O.O! Tokyo fashion is everywhere! Gaaaaa! The ladies are all dolled up as if they're going to some major events; truth is, it's their everyday get-up! Heels, stockings, dresses, false eyelashes, name it! Too bad I don't get to take a picture of them. Shibuya is said to be the shopping district and is one of the fashion centers of Japan. No wonder why those ladies looked like life-sized walking dolls. :)

Another thing I liked the most here (just like the rest of Tokyo) is that there is only a designated area with which smokers can light and puff their cigarettes. Aira needs some cigar time so my brother and I went to the nearby Hachiko Square. Remember Hachiko, the loyal dog in a tearjerker true-to-life movie entitled Hachiko: A Dog's Story? The original setting was here, hence a statue was built in his name. And of course, I need to have a picture! :))

A portion of the train was displayed nearby. It's the first ever Yamanote line train and people can go inside, sit and have a feel of it. Black and white pictures of Shibuya's early years were also on display inside. And yes, I  grabbed the chance and went in!

Aira got a call from her friend Shizuka that she would be meeting us at Shibuya shortly. While waiting for her, we roamed in and about the streets. The street on the picture below is called Basketball Street. Why? Read here.

Forever 21's escalator is kinda funny. Find out for yourself. HAHAHAHA. :)) F21's place here is vast. Six floors, if I am not mistaken. It's the biggest Forever 21 in Asia! How cool is thaaaat.

The view from the nth floor of F21.

Aira and I in ridiculously big ribbon headbands at Claire's Accessories. I've eyed some cute accessories in there but my thrifty side won over. I say, good job, dear self. :)

This is the first time I saw a crepe street stall. I'm beginning to think that almost all things in Japan are out in the open, from drinks, coffees, yakitori, ice cream, and cigarettes.

We spent the remaining minutes of waiting for Shizuka in an Italian cafe, Segafredo Caffe. Yes, caffe, double f. I ordered a cup of cappuccino. Sweet coffee art. <3

Goofed at Don Quijote donki, a multi-story discount store which sells practically everything. There is a portion for adult toys and we really laughed hard when a group of teenager boys rummaged in there. This was the funnest part of the trip, I must say! :)) I was able to buy myself a pair of mustard tights, a studded bonnet, and a Minnie Mouse headband. My brother bought handkerchiefs, a necktie and a disco ball. Totally random things. I should have bought even one of these cute head dresses, too. :|

I got ice cream on my heaaaaad! :)) Shizuka's the one at the center. She's half-Japanese, half-Canadian  and can understand and speak English that's why it wasn't that hard to communicate with her. She's actually the first new friend I got since I arrived in Japan.

Heading home, we came across Shibuya Crossing, known for its "scramble crossing" and where large TV screens mounted on buidlings can be seen. It's the busiest crossing there is, I think. The said crossing was also featued in some movies, two of which are Lost in Translation and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

I really will  need to go back here before I leave for the Philippines! :)