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Day 4: More Tokyo Exploring

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Up later this morning after our big day and late night, thankfully the weather must have had the same idea as our first three days of bright sunshine have turned to grey drizzle. Head across to Shimbuya for a late breakfast and to check out the famously busy pedestrian crossing. Sadly the crowds weren't quite playing along so the view was a bit uninspiring so instead we turned our attention to all things shopping.

Everyone on the streets of Tokyo is incredibly fashionably turned out so hopes were very high of acquiring a small bit of Tokyo chic. Sadly we were all to be disappointed as it quickly became clear that everyone takes things very seriously so the stores don't tend to be the kind of places you can just drop by and pick up one or two things without having to invest in a whole new wardrobe and invest is the correct verb. I did manage to pick up the only bargain I could find which were a couple of cool t-shirts from a very interesting design store.

Had an interesting lunch encounter in a sushi restaurant over the famous 109 shopping complex. The Indian waiter found it quite funny that we should come into a sushi restaurant and for two diners to ask for the vegetarian option. He was also quite concerned when the ladies started trying to pick items that were not from the set menu. He managed to make matters much worse for himself by asking Sanj 'sister' where she came from. I don't think an icy reply of "London" was what he was hoping for.

After lunch we made our way across to the Imperial Palace which has to rank as the most underwhelming tourist attraction going as everything of interest appears to reside at some distance behind a pair of heavily guarded gates. Finally we crossed to the Akuhabra electronic city to have a look at all the shiny new cameras, phones and laptops. Very hard to tell just how advanced the stuff on display was but the prices certainly weren't anything to get excited about. The girls decided to take tea at the @ home cafe complete with full on maid service which seemed like a pretty kitsch experience. I passed the time checking out some pretty weird manga stores and yet more el
ectronics, ro botics etc.

Sarah's friend from New York, Miyumi, took us to a great little restaurant close to Asakusa shrine which specialises in old school Japanese food - you order a set of batter mixtures of veg and meat which you then mix and cook on a hot plate in the centre of the table. Not the most outlandish of flavours but definitely a nice experience of a traditional cooking style to end the day.


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