While the boss took a bus tour, I decided to get an all-day pass for the subways and get some shopping done. After managing to navigate the busiest train station in the world (Shinjuku Station), I managed to get to the Kappabashi area.
This is a street devoted to wholesale restaurant supply shops. I was in foodie heaven! Bought a ton of stuff, most of which are gifts so I can't disclose them at the moment...
After dropping my loot off at the hotel, I got some lunch at a noodle place and headed to the Shibuya district to find the Tokyu Hands store there. I'd been in the Shinjiku store, but apparently the Shibuya store was a bit better.
I'd gotten pretty confident about navigating the subway, and was feeling a bit overconfident. I'd forgotten that once I got off the subway, Shibuya is a pretty big area, and I had no easy way to find the store. I'm realizing how much I use my phone to navigate. Not an option here, unless I want big data roaming charges on the company phone.
I got lost in Shibuya, and ended up wandering the alleyways of a red light district. I only got propositioned once, which was a little disappointing. :) Maybe it was siesta time or something.
After managing to find the Tokyu Hands store, I headed over to the Ginza area to see the Apple retail store. This was my first experience with commute-time subway riding. It got seriously crowded. Jessica would have hated it.
Ginza is truly a sight to behold, with ultra-snooty retail giants and well-dressed clientele. I met my boss at the Apple store, and we headed out to find some dinner. In the end, we called up our local contact, who said he'd meet us at one of his favorite sushi restaurants in the area.
So, we hopped a cab over to Tsujiki, which is home to the largest fish market in Japan (maybe the world?). We had the best sushi and sashimi made from fish that came in that morning. The restaurant was tiny, and I was really glad we had a guide who could interpret for us. It was one of those places where I wouldn't have been able to find on my own, or know what to do once I was inside.
Our last experience for the day was the subway ride back to the hotel. I thought commute time was crowded, but this last ride at 10pm took it to another level. Our stop was right after Shinjiku Station (the busy one), and we had about a dozen stops till we got there. At every stop, more people got on, and very few got off. I was standing right next to the door, off to the side, and after about 5 stops there were people crammed right up against the door. I thought there was no way to pack more people on, but at each stop after that, someone (or several someones) would see the full car, turn around backward, and back right on into the crowd. Everyone shuffled around and somehow made room. At one point, Jessica sent me a text, but there was no way for me to move my arms to get to my pocket.
We made it to the hotel without incident, and I FINALLY slept the whole night through. I feel human today, except for sore legs and feet from yesterday's walkathon. Today is more Tokyo wandering (in the rain), and then tomorrow we fly 12 hours to Greece. So much for getting over jet lag. I'll check back in with you all later!