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Friday, May 26, 2006 - Harajuku and Shibuya

Today we went to Harajuku and Shibuya pretty much just to take in the crowds although ended up doing a little bit of shopping. Stuck around for a little bit so we could catch the famous Shibuya station at night.

First stop was to Harajuku. On the way I found some notepads that got just because the paper feels kinda different, hard to explain. And finally had strawberry pocky. That stuff is like crack. The chocolate pocky is just ok, and now there’s no comparing them.

We get to Harajuku and the walkway is filled with people. Mainly teenagers and lower, still in their school uniforms. Don’t know if they’re off for lunch or skipping class. You just see all these school kids in the middle of the day shopping and you’d think they should be in school. Also saw a lot of kids sporting the latest fashion trend. It can only be described as a punk look from the 80’s. It’s really odd, and I’ve seen some strange outfits. Afterwards stopped at another book store but this time I got me a cheap dvd and PS2 game. So now all things I really wanted to get are done. Now it’s just gifts for the tons of people that wanted me to buy them something

After that we walked over to Shibuya and the big intersection in front of the station. My biggest dissapointment is they don’t have the little melodies playing when it’s safe to walk like you’ll always hear in anime. The most recent one I’ve really noticed this on was the animatrix. The shear volume of people crossing through that intersection is crazy. I litterally mean there were 100s of people crossing every time the walk sign lit up. Especially after dark the whole intersection just filled with people. Tried to get pictures of the lights and stuff but not sure how well the came out. Also got some pictures of the Hachiko shrine. The basic story that’s “supposedly” true (not sure how long ago this happened). A man would take his dog to the train station, leave the dog there and go to work. He would then return with the dog waiting for him and off they went. This repeated for a long time. One day the owner somehow died at work, like a heart attack or something, but the dog still waited. Every day for years the dog waited for its owner to return. People gave it food and water until it died. A statue was made for the dog and the story is always mentioned in schools as an example of loyalty. Cousin mentioned that the dog was either really loyal or really dumb. So I made the connection that being loyal is the same as being dumb.
You’re going to love the food places we ate at. First we ate at a “ticket machine” place where you buy the ticket and give the ticket to the person who then gets the order for you. Had beef bowl which is pretty much thinly sliced meat like you would get on a steak sandwich on top of rice. I’m really impressed with my chopstick skills for only using them for a week. I can eat rice now, which is probably one of the hardest things to pick up with chopsticks. After that we went to the Starbucks at the Shibuya intersection so we got a good view of the intersection to take pictures. And then had McDonald’s for Dinner. I got a “mr. terriyaki burger” or something to that extent. Was pretty good. I like how once I walk over to the cashier they flipped the menu around so it was in english.

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