So this is what happened on Thursday two weeks ago when I was in Japan . . .
Our Hotel in Ginza was nice and all, but not so nice as to have vacancies for one more night, so we had to say adios and find new lodging.
The outside of the hotel, the neighborhood around the hotel, and finally, the inside of the hotel.
Can any of you people that know all about Japan tell me what the fixture over from the toilet is. Is it a urinal? Or a sink? Or something that my Western mind can't even imagine?
We had a final wander through Ginza and then ate dumplings at a Chinese place with the nicest lady working there (please remember this for later)
Our new Hotel (which I'll tell you all about in Brig in Japan VI) was over in a 'hood called Ueno. There was this big park right by it. It was infested with shrines and cats.
Japanese Raoul Duke?
Right there at the park there was a zoo so, hey, why not visit the zoo, right? First off: The Reptile House.
Do you know what this is? It's a Komodo Dragon, that's what it is!! Raaarrrr!
I will now show you some beasts that are clearly not reptiles:
Did you know porcupines lived in trees? Why'd I have to fly all the way to Japan to learn that porcupines lived in trees?
What you thinking about, monkey?
This big attraction at the Ueno Zoo? Ling Ling the Panda.
Ling Ling was a total rock star, he'd just hang out at the back of his enclosure . . .
And every now and then walk to the front and chew on some bamboo or whatever
Which always drove the crowd nuts.
The Red Panda is awesome. It's like the Scotty Pippen of the Panda world.
Cheryl and I posed with the Pandas before leaving the zoo
But the children of Japan made our posing look foolish
I took this photo innocent of my future.
Walking through the park, looking at stuff . . .
Then we walked through Ueno and hopped on a JR train bound for Harajuku.
First we enjoyed famous Meiji shrine and it's futuristic visitor center
Then we revisited Harajuku (the first time we were there it was Tuesday night and it was rainy and I took next to no pictures)
Goggled dog in shirt? Sure, why not.
Man in full Nazi uniform smoking (which is bad for you) in front of McDonalds? Sure, why not.
Love at first sight.
This is the Tokyo APC. It appears in Lost in Translation, but as the opposite of a clothing store.
What's that up there? Why, a Japanese taco stand! It was quite good and they fried up the shells fresh with each order.
Cheryl ordered "chicken" and this is what she got.
I ordered the "deluxe" and this is what I got.
These are the girls that worked at the taco shop. In others words, these are my beautiful Japanese girlfriends
A few more Harajuku sights
Then we walked over to Shibuya one last time.
This is the entrance to the staircase that leads you down many floors to Mandarake, a comicbook store roughly the size of the Strand bookstore in New York. No pictures allowed down there, but trust me, it was some underworld.
Cameron Diaz starring in a Japanese commercial. I guess the Japanese loved Midnight Velocity afterall.
People say the Tokyo subway system is complicated. I wouldn't say that. All you have to do is understand all this . . .
Arriving back at Ueno station that night who did Cheryl and I run into but the lady from the Chinese place where we had lunch that day!! And Ueno isn't anywhere near Ginza! Crazy!!
Friday we would be leaving Japan and what better way to celebrate your time in Japan then with a plate of nachos at the Hard Rock Cafe?