Went to Ginza 銀座 today. I’m always awed and inspired by upscale mass consumerism. While plenty of beauty exists in ‘traditional’ nature like old forests and mountains, like when I visited Mt Takao; there is something to be said for modern architecture and society. Call it fancy, snobbish, おしゃれ or whatever you want. But the fact remains that it’s quite pretty:
To top it all off on this lovely Saturday, they closed the main streets to traffic, so people could walk freely and take pictures of the amazing sunset colors that were happening (it really looked like something from a fake Hollywood backdrop):
But no Hollywood scene is complete without its reluctant main character 😉
Interesting cultural note: While the Japanese are actually still very accepting of cigarette smoking, and still have separate smoking sections in most bars and restaurants, if you are in an open area with lots of people (such as Ginza or Shibuya) you may only smoke in designated smoking spots, like here:
Those people huddling around an ashtray keep the second-hand smoke away from the masses and also keeps them from burning the droves of people with their lit cigarettes while attempting to navigate through the crowds.
I finally got a snap of that Samurai Guy I’ve been chasing since Shinjuku 新宿 🙂
Strangely enough, he was the only person standing still in this picture. Or it was part of the crazy monk-voodoo-magic he was using on my camera. I’ll get you one day Samurai Guy!
There was this restaurant/bakery called the Bus Stop which was modeled after a pink, uh.. bus stop… thing:
I went in out of curiosity and immediately lost man points. Everything (even the cheese) was pink.
Went to dinner at some fancy French(ish) restaurant.
If your Japanese is a bit rusty, that’s okay as you can always fall back on the French 😛
I love the obligatory, ridiculously expensive Bistecca for $180
The head chef was actually the chef for the ambassador of Japan in Hungary, so there was some sort of connection there.
It was the type of restaurant where you have a full-course of stuff and you have to order a few dishes for the entire table (not per person). But honestly, I pretty much just ate the appetizers:
That pâté on the left side looked and tasted eerily similar to Hungarian parizsi… 怪しい
The little round things were actually baked balls of cabbage and were shockingly tasty.
The rest of the courses consisted of typically heavy French food which my stomach really couldn’t hold much of, since I’ve never considered eating a real sport. Luckily, there was a bowl of peanuts nearby to make it look like I was chewing on something 😉
But the total cost for the fancy dinner in Ginza actually only amounted to about $35 a person. This may have been because we knew the chef, I’m not sure. I still like 居酒屋 food more 🙂
On the way home, I snapped a picture of one of the smaller line maps:
This only includes most of the metro lines and smaller trains like the 京王 and 京急. The JR lines would be another map altogether. Quite a change from Budapest, where there were 3 total metro lines, all which intersected at Deak Ter and nowhere else. 😉
If you zoom in, you’ll also see that all of the major stops are also listed in English. So, if any of you travelers out there are worried about not being able to read, stop worrying and just come. Besides, everyone speaks English here (as long as you’re not one of those stuck-up/ignorant Americans who can’t understand even the slightest accent which deviates from your limited capacity of language recognition 😉 )
超疲れちゃった、お休みなさい！See you tomorrow for the Final Day in this series!
Arvale: Treasure of Memory Update, Almost Done