Wednesday, 3 August 2016

日本二日目 - Japan Day 2

Day 2; Ikebukuro

Today we woke up at 4.30am,  chatted for a while and then got up around 5.30 and ate breakfast at 6ish.

Mine was small but tasted ok... His was plain disgusting imo. I tried a bit, too, before you assume I didn't. It was plain rice (good), some mustard and soy sauce (good) topped with fermented soya beans (awful!!!)

Really horrible.  He's had a jippy tummy today and if you ask me, it was eating that so soon after a long plane journey. Or at all!

The beans were really soft and moist and looked as though they'd been thrown up. They were held together by stringy glue-like stuff, which was probably the "specialised bacteria".

Yuck. Never again.

We wandered around for a long while and then we hopped on a train to Ikebukuro, home of the aimed-at-women shopping centres and otaku shops and arcades. So cool to feel as though someone was being aimed at me for a change!

It has many street stores - He managed to pick up cheap copies of books and games he wanted. We wasted a lot on a UFO claw game to win him a large plushy Slime, but it wasn't to be... We discovered a really cool music-based arcade game that is an advanced version of Audiosurf, for reference's sake.

The streets were busy and pretty much every shop blasted out either Western hits, J-Pop or game/anime music.  There is something really calming about the Pokecentre theme being played in the street...

We went into the Sunshine City apartment store which is bloody huge. Boasting at least 9 floors, it has a cinema, aquarium, planetarium, theatre, museum and hundreds of stores - two of which I pretty much want to pillage; the Moomin Stand and a shop with more Moomin and all the Ghibli stuff.

All the fan plushies, suitcases, cooking utensils, models... all of it is SUCH better quality than what we get over in Europe!  The Snorkmaiden and Little My plushies looked like the characters. They had the policeman! They had the primadonna's horse! Amazing!  There are beautiful stain-glass effect shiny jigsaws of art from Ghibli films which look beautiful framed, among many other things. I really want to ditch my suitcasejust to buy one of the Moomin ones, because it was so beautiful. Argh!

The Disney store had much nicer stuff in than the ones I've visited in England, too. Some really cute jewellery pieces that I was more than tempted to get!

We went to the Aquarium, which was good value at £14 each.  A) Much cheaper than in the UK and B) had loads of stuff I hadn't seen before.  Also I could actually photograph the otters! (They were sleeping as you can see below.)

The number of cicadas out and about is huge - at various points in the day there is a pleasant, if deafening, chorus of singing. I managed to photograph some of those too, and I filmed the midday chorus in a small park as well.

I am uploading stuff to Flickr because of space issues on the card and laptop. Also means I can upload and embed my best ones by album because technology!

Ikeburuko - 3/8/16

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