Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11: Shinjuku by foot

We had the breakfast buffet at the hotel (not included with our stay). We were shocked by all the foreigners, having just come out of the mountains where very few people spoke anything but Japanese. We were also surprised by some of the foods on offer at the buffet.  Clearly this hotel is geared more towards tourists of an international nature.

We walked from the hotel and wandered across an overpass, and then a second one, observing the railway that went right under us through the centre of town and how that would never happen in Canada. We marvelled at the skyscrapers and inventive architecture. We happened to land right in front of Takashimaya department store. It had the mysteriously named Tokya Hands department store. It was unclear what this store was and we were intrigued. It went up several levels and had everything from orthotics, umbrellas, makeup, models of dinosaurs, and knives. It seems like a Zellers or Bay type outfit. But on the other side of the building is the department store which has individual units like Chanel, Hermes, and Salvatore Ferragamo and then department store type clothes, children’s toys, three levels of restaurants and food fair type outfits, and wedding kimonos and a cloth section. It was 14 floors high with a basement level as well. So much to see and there was even an art gallery on the tenth floor which had an exhibit of photos of rainbow colour sea slugs magnified. There were even free postcards of one of the slugs in a beautiful magenta hue.  We had lunch on one of the floors at an excellent sushi restaurant. We also had gelato later in the food court area. We did not buy anything except for one sweet bean pastry. We went back to the hotel through the muggy afternoon air.

We did laundry as April blogged. We then went out for dinner. After dinner we went to Yodabashi Camera and looked at digital cameras and lenses. Bill was very excited. We then had a milkshake and wandered around through the stores around Shinjuku at night in wide-eyed wonderment, observing the comings and goings of thousands of people. We got a taste of Tokyo and it was exhaustingly exhilarating.

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