2 | Tokyo
After a 10 hour flight yesterday and a late night spent exploring the streets outside our hotel, we were expecting to be all tuckered out and in need of a sleep in. It seems our body clocks have better ideas and had us wide awake at 6.30am Tokyo time. It was grey and drizzly all morning but we hoped it wouldn't get worse - almost as soon as we stepped outside at 7.30am it started bucketing down. A ¥550 umbrella purchase from the Family Mart and we headed to the train station, but the sideways rain had our fronts soaked through in record timing. Hell hath no fury like a woman with a ruined blow dry. Rain and intense humidity are not my friend, and I spent most if the morning wondering how the women kept their hair so pristine all day long. I'm yet to find out their secret!
We jumped on a train into Shibuya, assuming it would be up and at them at all hours of the day, like New York's Times Square. It was more like a ghost town, taking a couple of checks to make sure it was actually Shibuya Crossing we'd just run across and not a random pedestrian crossing elsewhere. We sat up in Starbucks that looks out over the square and had a banana and a latte (the first time in our lives the coffee at Starbucks has hit the spot!) and watched umbrella covered people make their way across the roads.
A wander around the streets made it pretty clear things weren't waking up until 10am so we jumped on a train over to Harajuku for some more exploring. Being an early bird isn't always an advantage, so we spent most of the morning looking at still-closed shops! Takeshita Street was as colourful as I'd hoped, and we spent the morning exploring the area. We witnessed the Japanese queueing like they love to, for over 500 meters along a main street. We're still not sure what the queue was for, but we found ourselves in the area again at 7pm and there were still people in line!!
A frustrating afternoon of walking around Ueno and and trying to find an ATM had us back in our hotel room in the afternoon for a rest and a phone call to our bank. We sorted out our hiccups and hopped on the Metro back into Shibuya for a second time. Shibuya Crossing was a lot more 'like it should be' at 6pm, a great surge of people washing over the roads when the lights changed.
We ticked off our 'ridiculous' list today! A great success! We saw a couple of Shiba Inus in Harajuku (including one in a red racing jacket), I picked up some cute stationery bits from Daiso, and we found a cat cafe! Almost by accident, so we figured we may as well go and check it out! After agreeing to all sorts of rules (no touching the cats with pink or white collars) we were inside a small room with 8 or 9 cats with a few low tables and sofas around the space. It was weird, but also pretty great - it will definitely be one of those 'remember that time in Tokyo?' stories.