After freshening up in the room we took a taxi to the area of Shibuya, this is the very famous area of the Tokyo that you usually see on the news or films that is basically the area around what is a huge road junction with several 40ft wide crosswalks going from side to side and corner to corner. The masses of people that cross the street when the lights go to red is amazing, i don’t think I’ve seen as many people cross the street at one time in my life!
Its also surrounded by huge tall buildings that have large TV’s and huge advertising signs on their outside (kind of similar to Times Square in New York but a lot cleaner and a lot less seedy! Cleanliness is something i haven't mentioned yet but its evident the 2nd you arrive in Japan, everywhere is spotlessly clean yet you don't see a lot of people cleaning the streets or areas at all. The people are ever so polite too, when we checked in the hotel the staff nearly outnumbered the actual guests in the lobby and everyone was full of “pleases” and “thanks yous” and couldn’t have been nicer, (something i think a lot of western places could learn from!)
Kami and Mark had been to the restaurant we were heading to a few years previous and whilst we knew what area it was in within a couple of streets, Kami had to ask in a convenience store as to which actual building it was. Something very VERY amazing happened next!!
Have a look at the pictures above and you’ll see the street where the taxi driver dropped us for the restaurant,see how busy it is ? its packed with people, not many cars but just masses of people. As i said above, Kami walked into a convenience store to get directions as she speaks Japanese fluently and has the edge above Mark or I asking. Mark and i waited on the street, i took a few pictures (as seen above) whilst we waited for Kami to come out which she did probably 90 seconds later with a women from the store who was pointing towards what i now know was the restaurant we were looking for. As Mark and i watched the women go back into the store and Kami turn around to head back over to us there was some sort of “issue” and Kami started talking to a girl that had literally bumped into her. This girl turned out to be a friend whom Kami had gone to school with while she was living here in 2006 ago and was also a friend on Facebook!!! Mark and i just looked at each other in disbelief as a huge smile apeared on Kami’s face and the two of them chatted and realised what an amazing coincidence had just occurred.
Kami and her old school friend.
Still in disbelief at what had just happened the three of us headed up to the restaurant and waited 10 minutes for a table. The style of the restaurant was called “Shabu, Shabu” You were given a pot of “soup” on the table, this was placed on top of an electric burning in the middle of the table. You were then brought plates of uncooked pork and beef and also asked to help yourself to a buffet type display of vegetables, you then proceed to cook the meet and veg in the boiling broth in front of you and eat as much as you like within an allowed time of 90 minutes.
The food was amazing and probably cooked the most healthy was i can imagine, it took probably 6 seconds at most to cook the pieces of thinly sliced meet once you dipped it in the broth with your chopsticks.Im not the biggest loves of vegetables, i tried a little but i was more than happy to keep eating the slices of pork and beef along with some of the angel hair type noodles that we soon referred to as “slime”
We stayed our allotted 90 minutes and whilst we did eat what must have been 20 trays of meet it wasn't actually a “greedy” amount as the meet was sliced very thinly and we all took our time and had a great first meal out together in Tokyo.
We walked back towards the mass of people and the crosswalks and crossed the street a few times just for the experience!
Were geeks, i know. We looked for Dave K, there's space:) Kami and i with Hachiko the famous dog.
The three of us headed down to Tower Records for half an hour and walked our food off before grabbing a taxi back to the hotel and arriving back around 11:30pm. If tomorrow and the subsequent days are even half as good as the last 5 hours then i’ll be more than happy, we had a fantastic 1st night here and i couldn't be happier and with better company.
Day 1 picture album:
Day 2 picture album: