It’s our fourth day in Tokyo, and so far the best way I can describe it is like an Easter Show taking place in a massive airport. Train stations and shopping centres are made up of long corridors filled with people. On the streets, cars are outnumbered by people, who are outnumbered by neon lights.
We’re slowly getting more comfortable with the city, though the first few days were rather overwhelming. Our closest train station is on the Yamanote Line (Tokyo’s equivalent of the City Circle, except it takes over an hour to do a loop instead of 15 minutes), so that’s made getting around pretty easy. So far we haven’t encountered any of Tokyo’s famous packed like sardines peak hour trains, and we’ll be doing our best to keep it that way.
Today I went exploring in Akihabara, the electronics and manga area. Started looking at some CD and DVD shops, but since everything was sorted by the Japanese alphabet I was having some trouble finding anything. Except for The Beatles – every store I went into had at least one display of the re-releases, and when venturing past the hi-fi section of stores it was often their music that was playing.
My greatest success in Akihabara was purchasing some tickets to the Sumo tournament that’s happening in Tokyo at the moment. Obviously buying tickets over the phone or internet was going to problematic (no English website just yet), however they also sell tickets in convenience stores through touch screen machines. I was hoping I could fumble my way through it, but I’d attempted it a few times yesterday without success. Thankfully today I found a store that was quiet enough for me to drag one of the staff members out from behind the counter and get him to show me how it was done. Even he didn’t quite know how to do it, so I don’t feel as bad about not understanding what was going on, but we got there in the end.
Will find out tomorrow if it was worth all the effort…