Friday, June 26, 2015

Japan Day 4: Cousins, Ginza, & Akihabara

Breakfast at Gontran Cherrier again

Our daily Tokyo breakfast of French pastries! 

John really liked the little yogurt drinks and had one every morning.

My favorites were the pain au chocolat (not pictured) because it had a perfectly flaky crisp texture and the curry tart which I know sounds strange but it was good! 

Lunch with Sam and Chris

As we were planning this trip it dawned on us that we knew more people in Japan than we realized. I have two cousins living in and working in Tokyo and John's cousin Sam and her husband are stationed there with the navy. We met up with Sam and Chris for lunch at a rotating sushi bar and enjoyed hearing about their life abroad. 

Ginza & Akihabara

We stopped by Ginza after lunch to walk the streets. Ginza is like the 5th Avenue of Tokyo and is filled with high end shops. Everyone was very sharply dressed there and it was interesting to people watch and window shop.

Next it was off to Akihabara, known for being the Otaku (or obsessive manga and anime nerd) section of the city. It's filled with colorful, flashy buildings and signs, arcades with 7+ floors, and electronic shops.  I think middle school me would have been into this. Current me though? Let's just say we mainly walked around and observed. 

Dinner & Kobukicho

One food goal for the trip was to eat at a shabu-shabu restaurant. My dad often talks about the days he did business in Japan and raves about a place called Serynas. I may slightly regret not going there. Instead we chose a place called Momo Paradise. It was all you can eat!

I really liked the structure of the booths. They created nice separation and a more intimate atmosphere for your group.
At the time, we didn't realize that the restaurant was located in Kabukicho, the red light district (and supposedly the #1 most dangerous neighborhood in Japan).  When we started seeing a lot of girls dressed in frilly dresses and skinny long haired boys in tuxedos and punk rocker outfits, we could tell something was strange. It wasn't super apparent to us that it was a red light district at first because the costumes of the entertainers weren't outrightly scandalous and the area looked like a kiddy pop version of Vegas with colorful lights and anime characters. There were probably some sketchy signals that it was a bad area, but we didn't take notice because we started getting weird-ed out and walked faster to find our way back to the hotel. Apparently the dangerous part of Kabukicho is when you go into the clubs and drink, which I read about after we got home that night to figure out what the heck we had stumbled into. A lot of the clubs are owned by the Yakuza.

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