Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hello Hachi, We Finally Meet

Ever since my professor in Transportation Engineering told us that Shibuya Crossing is the world's biggest pedestrian crossing, I've always wanted to see the place (I'm such a nerd).

Two Wednesdays ago, after my conference presentation, I went back to the hotel, prepped myself and loaded some maps to go to Shibuya. This time, I did not have anyone who can speak Japanese with me but I was ready to take on the world!

Upon exiting the Shibuya JR Station, I was seriously in awe. It's just like how I see it in movies and in pictures.

The world's largest pedestrian crossing

Shibuya JR Station

Of course I immediately went to find Hachiko.

We finally meet, Hachi!!

And then I went near the pedestrian crossing. The initial plan was to capture a photo of myself while everyone is crossing the street so that everything in the background would be blurred except for the buildings. Apparently, it was impossible to do with the amount of people crossing the street in a hurry. Surely, someone is bound to hit me if I just stay still in the world's busiest pedestrian crossing. And it's not just for Shibuya. Tokyo is such a busy place. It's difficult to take photos in the middle of places (without being hit by someone or without someone blocking your camera's view)!

Try to find the lady wearing sunglasses. Yes, some people in Tokyo wear sunglasses even at night. T_T

So I just went to find the so-called Spain Slope or Supeinzaka (a small alley filled with shops). I got myself a pair of gloves for JPY735 (because I lost one of my gloves, LOL). There was also an accessory shop which sells accessories for cheap but I did not find anything I liked so I went away with nothing.

Spain Slope. It was difficult to get this photo with all the people passing!

I was hungry so I looked for a place to eat. Eventually, I ended up in this small ramen shop at the basement of a building. There was a barker outside the shop and I asked him

"Ramen ga arimasu ka?" (Do you have ramen?)
"Hai, hai ramen!" (Yes, yes, ramen!)

 But then I could no longer hold the conversation in Japanese so I asked,

"Eego wa hanashimasu ka?" (Do you speak English?)
"Yes, yes, English!"

I think his English was pretty okay. I actually wonder now if he's a university student on a part-time job.

I had miso ramen for JPY800 (~PhP400). Indeed, expensive. To think that it's not really a big restaurant. But it's Tokyo, so it's just normal.

I also entered Forever21. Six floors of Forever 21. I know a lot of girls who would go on a rampage if they set their feet on such a store.

Six floors of Forever21.

I scoured the whole place trying to find something I'd like but I ended up with nothing. I liked a pair of shoes which costs less than JPY2000 but I have a student who has the exact pair of shoes so I dissed it. I also liked a royal blue satchel which costs a little above JPY2000 but when I scrutinized the item, I knew that it wasn't going to last long because of the not-so-great quality. Not worth the money. I also found a few clothes that I liked but I knew that they're also not worth the money because of the quality. Plus, the clothes in F21 are too common here in the Philippines and I don't exactly want to be a clone.

Oh, I actually wanted to buy a basic V-neck shirt which only costs JPY500 but I was too lazy to fit it! I was wearing a coat plus two more layers of clothes. I mean, it's not worth the hassle because I can easily find V-neck shirts here in the Philippines.

So I guess I'm not meant for Forever21? Haha.

I still wanted to go around Shibuya but I felt the need to go to the comfort room and silly me, why did I not try to find one inside the department stores (ugh)? So I ended up going inside the train station to find one and then had to go back to the hotel.

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