There's a fair amount of those 'only in Japan' moments to be had but I didn't spend too much time in those areas packed with freaky crumpet. I'm crap with remembering the names of places but I'm pretty sure this was in Shibuya, as close as it gets to freakshow central and surely home to one of the most incredible pedestrian crossings in the world (See ACL video here). This girl was happy as larry, just a joy to behold. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I saw my wife/sister/mother/daughter dressed like this but she gets both thumbs up from me for not sparing the horses in the pursuit of cute. love it.
Snapped on my camera phone on the subway system (bit of a misnomer there because most of it, like all those cables and freeways, is dangling precariously overhead). This sums up the 'only in Japan' thing as much as any amount of neon etc. Hong Kong has neon, China has chopsticks but only Japan knows how to rock the tabi sock look.
What can I say? Toys for the boys! It is car lovers heaven over there.
I'm not even remotely ashamed to say that one of the highlights of being there was seeing several of the new model Skylines (yes, I'm that shallow - bragging rights, baby, bragging rights). My very patient tour guide was, I think, slightly perplexed by my sudden squeals of delight as yet another high performance vehicle came within line of sight/earshot. She soldiered on bravely, trying her best to (literally) drag my mind out of the gutter and show me some of the many lovely temples etc that are dotted around all over Tokyo. but, er, I forgot to take any shots of those so you'll have to take my word for it...
The 'legend' says that this was modelled on the Eiffeltower .. if I was that interested I'd look it up on wikipedia or something. This was New Year's Eve when we were walking around. We got to the tower just as it hit midnight... only to find out the info we'd got had been wrong and the celebration (balloon release etc) was around 1km away *sigh*. Needless to say, there were more than enough drunk 18-20 y/o Americans around to remind everyone that the party was indeed 'on'. Understandable. They do the same anywhere alcohol is freely available to under 21's without ID. The concept of alcohol also being available in plentiful supply on cornershop vending machines must have been truly mindblowing for these bright young things. Bless.
Shows how the screens in these places give punters some privacy in what otherwise is a huge open plan space. Also means the space is endlessly flexible if seating areas for large parties are needed. These guys have got it sussed.
Part 3 and 4 to come.