After the marathon time spent awake yesterday we slept pretty well, and did not finally wake up till 09:30. We have decided that we will skip breakfast at the hotel as it is 2,300 yen each. We stopped of at the lobby of the seven eleven next door for Helen’s first fag of the day,then headed down to the nearest station to try out our Tokyo Oyster cards. The station was confusing until we spotted the English signs. From Suodobashi station we caught a train to Shinjuku where we found a nearby Starbucks some breakfast, then we got back on the trains to go to Harajuku station. Shinjuku station is the one famous for employing people to squash commuters onto the trains during rush hours, it was quite crowded and it was only a Sunday, I wonder what it is like on a week day?
The train was an over ground so we had the opportunity to see the world go by. We passed lots of water one area seemed to have boats for hire, we passed a fishing place where there were lots of fishermen on methods jetties with fishing rods, apparently quite popular I remember seeing it on a documentary about cap once on TV. We guessed correctly which station to get off at, and soon found the park entrance, there were lots of people walking down the wide tree lined avenues we followed the crowds and eventually came to the main shrine area. People come to the shrine to get married so there are as lot of people in traditional dress especially ladies and children. There seemed to be a harvest festival gong on as there were many displays of produce some on the form of large boats worth sails made off leeks. I didn’t know where to point my camera there was too many things to photograph.
We did a leisurely loop around the rest of the park, we were on the look out for the rockers that the park is also famous for. We spotted for a coffee then headed out to find them. We had a stroke of luck my Kindle is a 3G version and can access data worldwide, so we found a picture of the rockers and showed it to an official, who pointed us in the right direction. The rockers were strutting those stuff at the entrance to the park, which is separate to the shrine park. We walked round the park and did some people watching. It seems the Tokyians know how to make use of the green spaces, there was not just lounging around, the rule was that you had to be doing something either cultural or physical. We saw people with Frisbees, hula hoops, shuttle cocks, basketballs, soccer balls, tambourines, then there was the was the cultural ones singing, dancing, reciting, playing etc. There were also some street performers, one on a cylinder and board was very good as he flicked bowls on tithe head of the girl balancing on his head. There was an fenced off area that seemed to be full of dogs and their owners I thing the area was where you are allowed to let your dog off its lead.
Next stop was to be a the oriental bazaar near by which Helen had spotted in the guide book. Lots of Japanese ware in a nice shop that was well spaced out, unlike the western shops which are squeeze in as much as you can. Helen bought some gifts. Then we headed back to the hotel because we needed a east before going out for something to eat. The trims were quite busy people were on the move, the Japanese queue on the platform nears marks then was politely for the disembark before getting on themselves.
After a rest and freshen up, we ventured out again to find something to eat. We could not make our minds up where to eat. Many restaurants have photo’s or plastic models of the food they sell but neither are very appetising, add to that neither of us eat meat and Helen does not eat fish either it makes the whole thing a bit of a challenge. We ended up at the Tokyo dome we we found a Spanish restaurant, I managed to stay slightly Japanese with the Japanese crab pasta, and Helen got another tick on the list of countries where she has eaten a Margarita pizza. Before going back to the hotel we had a look round the attractions at the dome, and stumbled across another unusual Japanese tradition, there was an area with posts of fairy lights including a long tunnel, and all around were late teenagers, mainly girls all dressed up in Anime style clothing, photo graphing each other. Some of the camera and kit was very serious I saw a 50mm f1.2 canon lens they retail at £1,200 many of them had flashes and reflectors.
Back toward the hotel we tried to go to a Belgium beer establishment we had spotted yesterday, but alas the place was shut, so we went back and had a beer at the hotel. We managed to stay up until 21:00 the jet lag is wearing off.