Saturday – April 15, 2017
I started the day by doing laundry. This was becoming necessary as I was on my second to last day of clean clothes. Luckily I planned it so that I would only have to do one load the entire time. Additionally, there was a laundromat 5 minutes away from our Air BnB. Lastly, I was able to figure our how to use the washer and dryer despite the directions being in Kanji.
Once I was done with what I needed to do, I wrangled up the troops and we made our way to Harajuku for breakfast. I had found a place on Google Maps while doing research for the trip called Eggs and Things, apparently a Hawaiian joint. Clearly I had picked a good spot because when we arrived there was a small line out front.
Eggs Benedict with spam at Eggs ‘n Things
The three of us checked out the menu while in line and knew what we wanted before we were seated. Dan and I had eggs Benedict and Pete got chocolate chip pancakes. The place was a little pricey and felt like something you’d find at a Disney Resort but it was very good.
After eating, we explored a few of the shops in Harajuku. There were a lot of street-ware brands represented there; I went into Stüssy for a bit. But one of the main places I wanted to visit was Deus Ex Machina.
Deus Ex Machine – Harajuku
Ever since going to the one in Sydney I’ve wanted to go back to one. So once I found out that there is one in Tokyo, I immediately added it to the itinerary. I’d love to grab breakfast or dinner there one of these days/nights, but, if I don’t, I’m glad we at least went.
Next we split up. Pete left to go to a drift event that was happening in town and Dan and I went to check out the Ghibli Museum. For those who don’t know, Studio Ghibli has produced some of the most famous Anime such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke.
Dan and I took the subway to the JR, then hopped on the bus from the JR station to the museum. We go in the line to enter the museum -yes, there was a line to enter the museum- and waited a few minutes only to find out that tickets need to be purchased in advance. What kind of museum does that?
We tried to grab same day tickets at a kiosk in a Lawson connivence store across the street. (Apparently a location where you can get tickets… go figure). But they were sold out. I felt so bad for letting Dan down.
Temari no Ouchi
After that we made our way to Temari no Ouchi, a cat cafe (as in there are literally cats there just chillin’ while you eat… because Japan) I had seen featured on the show Girls on HBO. We went in the lobby and took our shoes off (because we had to) then entered the cafe. Weirdly, no one greeted us or directed us where to sit.
Temari no Ouchi – the cat cafe from the HBO show Girls
There were a bunch of groups of people sitting around petting cats. Some may have had food, I don’t remember. Dan immediately noticed that it was super hot and humid in there. The vibe was also really awkward, so we decided to bail.
After failing at two things in a row, we decided to split up. Dan decided to go back to the room to take a nap. I, after looking at the itinerary, decided to check out a bookstore which I had been told stocks a magazine I’m unable to get in the states.
Tsutaya Daikanyama T-site
After a bit of a train ride and a short walk, I found myself at Tsutaya Daikanyama T-site. Tsutaya is apparently a chain. However, this one is not only their largest location (spanning three buildings with two levels in each one) but also has crazy long hours; 7am to 2am!
Tsutaya Daikanyama T-site
To start, the architecture. These buildings are architecturally beautiful. All minimalist rectangles, they incorporate intricate and ornate concrete design with glass. This design flows to the inside where the motif continues as well as adding wood to the mix.
The books are extremely well organized and there is a plethora of them. The secion I stopped in first was the car section as I was looking for Motorhead Magazine. What I found was a section that spanned books, magazines, videos, new, used, makes, models, maintenance; literally everything on the subject.
This theme continued through out the various sections and topics they covered. On top of that they had a floor dedicated to music, another dedicated to movies, one floor was a restaurant (naturally they had a Starbucks too), there was even a Family Mart. In addition to books, the store also sold writing paraphernalia such as pens, pencils and notebooks.
There was even a small museum style exhibit of Belstaff jackets which had been featured in movies. I could go on about all the things that the place had, but I won’t. All I’ll say is that if you needed it, this place probably sold it. There were so many books I wanted to buy but I ended up leaving with just the magazine.
After spending at least two hours walking around the book store, I made my way to Shibuya station so that I could get my first glimpse of Shibuya Crossing. Think of it like Times Square only even more insane. I only went at 17:00 (shit gets apparently gets poppin’ at around 19:00) but it was still fairly busy.
I took a few pictures of the famous crosswalk and the surrounding buildings before playing a game of human Frogger. When the cross sign goes green, hundreds of locals and tourists (let’s face it, mostly tourists) cross and criss-cross diagonally through the massive intersection.
I ended up on the other side at Shibuya 109 Men, a mens clothing mall. I went through a few of the floors before getting back on the subway and heading back to the apartment.
Park Hayett Hotel
I was only back for maybe half an hour before I left again. Dan was still sleeping and Pete wasn’t back yet. I had a feeling we weren’t going it make it to the Robot Restaurant again, so I decided I’d selfishly try and hit another bar on my list.
My plan was to visit the New York Bar at the Park Hayett Hotel as it is the one featured in the movie Lost in Translation. However, to spare you the details of this pathetic attempt at a trip. I ended up going to the absolute wrong subway station and ended up way out of my way.
I had been rushing too because they start charging a cover after 20:00 so now my legs and feet were unnecessarily tired. It was a total bummer. Tail between my legs, I made my way back to the Air BnB where I met up with the boys and after checking in on our respective days, we all went out to eat.