Jan 4, 2011

green tea, harajuku girls, sushi, sake and new years in tokyo...

japan. is. amazing. well, what we have seen so far - and that's a whole bunch. from arriving and navigating our way through tokyo's busiest subway station at peak hour with our backpacks to eating strawberry and whipped cream crepes next to lolita-styled harajuku girls on harajuku lane, we have certainly done our dash in this town.

painting the town red on new years eve, we started at a trditional japanese resturant amoungst shibuyas young and trendy crowd. with all you can drink (anything on the menu) for 500 yen per hour, we were lucky enough to have a couple of locals in our group, so we were able to sample different flavoured sakes, local brews and fizzy sweet drinks. we then tackled shibuya crossing, japans busiest, in a rush to get to tokyo tower for count down. unluckily for us the two trains and cab ride didn't get us there in time and we spent midnight in a taxi, in a traffic jam. not to worry though as our group of 10 solidered on and we ended up having an amazing night in roppongi hills tokyo drift style...

our big night was followed by a big day to the imperial palace gardens and senso-ji temple for new years day prayers and to make a wish. with the wonderful and bubbley jenna in toe, we spent the following day picnicing in harajuku park and ginza for a look around the sony building for the latest and greatest in electronics. yesterday we headed to akihabara, tokyo's electric town where geeks were out in force and bargins could be had. it was a fantastic mixture of stores and black markets. after quickly popping into a maid cafe, we opted for a vending maching lunch and headed to the hub, english pub for pizza and beers in the evening.

tokyo, a welcome change from the grey depression of china is full of colour, life and lights. beauty is everywhere you look and the balance between tradition and modernity is perfect. the japanese way seems so appropiate making them appear leaps and bounds in front of other countries. case in point, today we headed to the sporting goods district, an area where every single sporting good you could ever imagine lined the streets and store upon store. it's fantastic. if your looking for something in particular you chose your neighbourhood. fashion is harajuku, electronics are akihabara, luxury in ginza and the red light district is in shinjuku etc. and i wont even start on the food. but the sushi really is out of this world.

with one more day in tokyo, tomorrow will see us rise early to visit the tsukiji fish market (the worlds biggest seafood market), hit shinjuku for lunch and head to tokyo-bay for an evening view of the city. we will then be taking a detour to hakuba and snowboarding for a few unexpected days in the japanese alps with jenna and co. before heading south to kyoto and osaka, so stay posted.

pics. new years eve, the imperial palace, taking to the tokyo streets, make a wish, electronics, jenna on the comute and kurt enjoying a crepe in harajuku