Sunday, June 29, 2008
Thoughts on Tokyo on a Rainy Day
According to my passport, I've been eight times in Japan (which basically means Tokyo) in the last five years. I've done the sigh seeing stuff, so today, the only day I'm off on this trip, I decided to do some shopping. And, shopping I did *grin*
But first a picture (which, really, is a sight seeing shot after all)
The emperor's palace (the reason I got there actually was that close to the palace is one of the few ATM's in Tokyo where I know I can get money from my charge card)
Maybe not so visible in the pic is the fact that is was raining - ney, pouring - for most of the day. I don't think I've ever seen so many umbrellas in one place.
Speaking of umbrellas, in Tokyo, whenever you end up inside a shop or a department store somebody will press a plastic sleeve on you to pack your umbrella in, so you won't be dropping water on their floors. Maybe a sensible precaution, but not exactly environmently friendly.
Actually, plastic bags are all over the place here. In the grocery store, in the department stores, whenever you buy anything (be it a bottle of water or a rice ball)
Not really happy about all that plastic trash.
Only time I got a paper bag today was when I bought a new zoom lens in Yodobashi (electronics store) and even then they pulled some plastic cover over it - it might get wet after all ....
Yodobashi got quite a bit of my money, as I not only got the lens, but also, finally, I've joined the world of the iPod users. I nice, nifty, iPod classic with 80GB. I, naturally, wanted to hook it up to iTunes, I only got the Japanese instructions - and even with my many visits here, I've never managed to master that language.
Before going to Yodobashi, I've been in Ginza. Not very likely I buy much there, as Ginza is known mostly for beautiful and *very* expensive things. Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, you name it. Definitely outside of my normal price range. A hand bag for a measely 1000 Euro, yeah, right, sure.
One thing, though that's affordable in Ginza is the food. Think of it sort of a cross of any food court you've ever been and the one in Harrods in London. Good, sometime sheer unbelievable food, all to take out.
Yakitori ... hmmmmm.
(only one example ...)
So, usually, when I end up in Ginza, I grap a few different things, and eat it in the roof garden basically all deparment stores have. Only, I think I mentioned it before, it was raining, and the roof garden had no dry spot. So I found a barely used staircase and ate my fried dumplings there.
There was one stop I had to make in Tokyo, though, and that was the yarn store I've discovered the last time I was here: Okadaya. I love that place, so much really nice yarn and the prices are reasonable. I've got more of the same 2ply yarn I've grabbed up last time (and made into the Branching Out Scarve and the Snowdrop Shawl) I've got the perfect pattern for it in Victorian Lace Today and it should be plenty enough for it.
I also got some bright yellow yarn on sale (half price) and also some green yarn for a shawl I've had in my mind for quite some time. Or maybe for the Juno Regina Stole from last year's Knitty ( I wanted to make it for the knitting olympics this year, using Wollmeise lace yarn, but there's none to be had at the moment and it might be a few months, before she dyes new one *sob*)
Well, after a lot of shopping and getting wet, I've got my bags (not everything fitted into the backpack as I've hoped it would) and headed back to the hotel.
Two more days and then home on Wednesday.