Saturday, May 21, 2011

5-19-11 猫喫茶店

I was sick with the flu or something the entire week after Golden Week and wasn't really able to get out and do anything until this past week.

This past Thursday, I went with some friends to a cafe where they have a bunch of cats running about the place to play with and some pretty good drinks.

Cue up the "d'awww"s.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pictures: Tokyo

Golden Week: Tokyo

The Golden Week break started last Friday, and three of the other exchange students and I went to Tokyo on Saturday. We left on bus at about noon and arrived in Tokyo at around 7pm, it was a long trip and it would have been far too disorientating to try to sleep, as the bus made stops about every ten or fifteen minutes. It wasn't entirely unenjoyable, though; I'm fairly used to long trips car rides and the scenery was fairly nice.

We were all really tired when we got there and it was a long subway ride from the Tokyo station to 浅草 where we were staying, and a good thirty minute meandering through the dark streets of Tokyo to find our hostel. We shared a single room with two sets of bunk beds and was really nice, especially for about 4千円 for two nights. After we checked in, we met up with one of the other international student's friends in 新橋.

At about 2 a.m., I felt what I thought was the person in the lower bunk shaking the bed, but would later find out to be an earthquake (3.0 振動), the first I've ever encountered.

The next morning we went to Denny's for breakfast and, after stopping off in 六本木, I went to 新宿 to re-unite with Akihito with a Swedish-Iraqi exchange student, but of course being the same 方向音痴 that I always have been, we got really lost and he had to come find us in front of 吉野家. It was good to see him again and we went to the famous Tokyo municipal building, 都庁, and took some photos of the area.

We then went to 池袋 for a bit and then headed to a small shop that I really wanted to visit, おりがみはうす. They had a small, yet really amazing and awe aspiring, at least to me, gallery of masterpieces from some of the world's greatest origami enthusiasts, such as Kamiya Satoshi and Eric Joisel. This was probably the highlight of the trip for me and I wound up dropping over a hundred bucks on books and paper.

From their we went to 渋谷 and sought refuge from the rain in a 焼肉 restaurant, another first for me. It was delicious, although we did almost set the place on fire due to some over enthusiasm on the part of some of the others. Akihito and I then went off from the others who went clubbing and went to play darts; we were both pretty lousy, especially me, but we still had a great time.

On the way back to the hostel, I got really lost again; at first on purpose, as I wandered through a temple in the dead of night and it was really peaceful and practically magical, with almost no-one else around. But, eventually I got really lost and wound up in the next district over, but eventually, through sheer stubbornness and will-power, found the hostel again.

The next morning, Monday, we were all exhausted from our respective adventures, but had several hours to kill until the bus departed. So, we went to 東京タワー and went up to the first observation deck. The bus back seemed so much longer and more arduous and I think that everyone agrees that the bus is 二度とだめ.

It was a great, but exhaustive trip. I was actually surprised at how seemingly few people there were, given the vast amount of build-up that Tokyo is given as one of the world's most densely populated cities, but that may have been due to the rain and the vacation period.