Sunday, December 04, 2005

Japan: Tokyo 17 - Shibuya and the Imperial Palace

"Every teen in Japan knows Shibuya, the center of youth culture...the distraction of five giant screens playing J-pop videos...Japan's busiest pedestrian crossing, with cheap stores, restaurants, and bars, shopping is pursued with the passion of an Olympic event" from Tokyo Guide.

This is all completely true. Lance and I went there Saturday night and it is the most hopping place I'd ever been to. We got off the train station at Shibuya and just the volume of people at this station will shock you. When we got out into the street I was like "Where the did all these people come from?" It is insane...and apparantly completely normal for Shibuya. Tons of trendy people. We had dinner at a delicious Chinese restaurant and spent time at the HMV music store. You can listen to all the CDs on headphones and we ended buying 2 Japanese CDs.

Sidenote 1: Check out the blowfish sushi restaurant in the pic
Sidenote 2: There was also the largest 2-floor Coach store I've ever seen in Shibuya. I visited and paid homage.

That evening we went to Harajuku but it was dead. It's supposed to be good on Sundays, but were not able to go since we left Saturday morning.

Imperial Palace:
The Palace grounds are huge. If you visit, bring really good walking shoes. I walked 20 miles just to get to the inner gate. Free admission gets you in to see the gardens. However, if you want a tour of the Palace, you have to submit an application at least a day in advance.