55 Days in Tokyo

February 6th, 2007

Woke up at 10:30am, still feeling tired. Now the problem doesn't seem to be sleeping, it's falling asleep. Fun. Talked with my girlfriend online and went back to sleep for another two hours. When I finally woke up I cooked my steak, got dressed and headed out for Asakusa. Getting there is somewhat of a pain since I have to either switch from JR to the subway lines at Ueno or I can take the subway near my house and switch to like 3 different lines in order to get there. Took the former.

When I finally got to Asakusa I found it was a decent place. There is one long path with stores on each side that leads to the temple. Some people were dressed up in older clothes for people to take pictures of or to have them take photos of groups. Most of the stalls sold the usual tourist gimmicks like shirts that say things like "Nippoin Ichiban!" or other things in Japanese that no Japanese person would wear but foreigners will happily pay $30 for them. This isn't that uncommon though since I see people over here wearing shirts with English sayings on them that no one who knew the language would wear. Other stores sold various snacks. One was offering small cups of sweet sake for 100 yen so I got a cup. Can't say that I was too pleased with the sake; the flavor was slightly off, it was too sweet and the overall texture of it wasn't that great.

Finally got to the temple and got my fortune from the little sticks in a box thing. Actually managed to make it seem like I had broken it. When I first shoot it upside down nothing came out. I wasn't being gentle or anything. Violent shaking didn't work. Maybe I wasn't supposed to get a fortune and should have left well enough alone, but damnit I had paid my 100 yen and I was going to get it. Finally, a stick completely out along with another one. Two for one? Nah. I got the fortune for the first one that came out and tried to fix the damage that I'd done by putting the sticks back into the case. Took me a little while to get them back in. People were starting to look at me at this time, probably thinking "damned guy broke the fortune box!"

My fortune was, suprisingly, not that bad. It was like "You've been patient. Keeping being so and you'll get what you want" or something along those lines.

COntinued to wander through the little side gardens and temples and saw some neat little setups they had like a koi pond where all the fish waited at the bridge. As soon as anyone leaned over they started to get agitated in anticipation of being fed. I kept leaning over just to frustrate them until I got tired of doing it. Walked back up the main path until I found a side street with all kinds of stores so I headed that way to wander this part of the city. Eventually found an arcade that hadthe Gundam card game so I played a little before heading back out. Most of the city, like most cities, becomes very dull once you get off the main shopping avenue. Eventually I found myself at the river and walked up that for a while before coming to the big bridge that people sometimes meantion although I don't know why. I walked for a good half hour on the other side and found nothing really interesting. Continued walking until I found the last station on the Asakusa line and took it, bound for Asakusa-bashi, a station not too far from Akihabara.

By this time I'd been walking for several hours and my legs and feet were angry. Unfortunately, I did a bunch of extra walking when I finally got to the station because I followed the tracks in the wrong direction and got completely off course. I accidently found the headquarters for Lego Japan but it was just their business center and didn't look like it had anything cool in it. Finally found the station again and went off in the right direction this time. When I finally got to Akihabara I went to the giant store complex (Yodobashi I think) to walk through their resturant store to see if anything was worthwhile and economical. Some were decent but way too expensive for what I was going to get. Started walking towards the other side of the tracks (Akihabara has train lines running through it) to the section I was familiar with and found a curry place selling a plate with Rice, Curry and a hamburger patty. It wasn't bad and was the first curry I'd had in a few weeks.

After that I wandered through a few arcades but also visited some random stores and bought a small mousepad. Wandered by Don Quixote and got something to drink before going to my final arcade of the night. My feet and legs were really sore at this time so I didn't want to risk causing an injury. Took the train home shortly after, opting to actually take the Yamanote all the way to Ikebukuro to get onto the Saikyo for Itabashi. When I tried to get on the Saikyo I saw how full the trains were and people were just flat out pushing and shoving to get on. I decided to wait for the next train instead of pushing as hard as I could to get on. Finally got home around 10:30pm and took my shower, trying to get back onto my usual routine of bathing at night so as to not lose time the next day. Didn't go to bed until close to 2am.

Photos for February 6th, 2007