Japan day 2
Woke up at 4:30 and was completely unable to catch any more sleep. I was a bit surprised to find so many savory food items a the breakfast buffet such as steamed fish, rice, tofu, salad, miso soup, and salad. But it might be us westerners who are weird in the way that breakfast seems at time to mostly resemble dessert.
The Senso Ji Temple was first on the agenda, and it was a decent experience. It was strikingly colored in red and white and adorned with Japanese calligraphy. It wasn’t that big though and I was soon on my way once more.
I got by a couple of vending machines, as one does so often here in Japan. I was, however, quite surprised to see Tommy Lee Jones’ face on it next to some indecipherable text. How did he come to endorse soft drinks over here? I had something that turned out to be barley tea. There’s a ton of novel flavors here in Japan that you won’t get in the west. Some for a good reason. Barley tea is in said category.
Made it to Tokyo National Museum, which exhibited everything from stone age relics to samurai swords and paintings. There were some by Hokusai, the man who painted that famous wave painting.
Unfortunately, sleepiness got then got hold of me and I had to make an emergency stop back at my hotel.
A bit more rested I found a local restaurant. The problem with finding something authentic is that there’s bound to be no English menu. I tried to with google translate, which lets you point the camera at some text to have it translated. It is not always that reliable, though, as I didn’t want “surgery” or “butter butter” for dinner. I had some kind of pancake, which was decent.
Next I went to the Shinjuku area, where I strolled through the Golden Gai looking for a drink. It started raining so I quickly settled on one that had two caucasians four asians and just two empty seats. Like the other inns here they were minuscule in size in small old two-story buildings. The two caucasians were actually french expats, and music professionals. They all spoke Japanese, so I got somewhat left out. I had a whiskey from Suntory, partly because I recalled it from Lost in Translation. Oh, the irony. At least the whiskey was nice.
Next, I explored the surrounding Shinjuku area with its modern, tall, and brightly illuminated neon/LED high risers. The rain made for nice reflections of those on the pavement. I briefly visited a gaming arcade, which was every bit as ostentatiously loud and hectic as I had expected so I left again and went back home.