Monday, January 14, 2008

Orientation Day 2- Shibuya

The second day of orientation wasn't as grueling or boring as the first. We had an optional outing to Shibuya, a major shopping district nearish our dorm. You can buy anything in Tokyo, if you have enough money. Shibuya is also near Harajuku and the Meiji Shrine.

For lunch we stopped at another ramen shop, except this one had a vending machine outside that sold tickets that you bought, and then gave to the people behind the counter inside, and that's when they give you your food. I had Oshii noodle, which literally translates to "delicious" noodle. And it was, it was delicious.

The day was wet, cold, and miserable by the time we got back, but it wasn't awful on the whole.

Shibuya is a large mid-range shopping area with several theaters, department stores, arcades, an anime museum, and many internet cafes where you can stay overnight if you miss the last train that runs around midnight.

Many "serious" American actors do advertisements in Japan because 1) they pay well, and 2) they aren't displayed in America so they don't hurt their reputation. 

The Apple store in Tokyo! It's all in English too. I might stop by sometime.

I loved seeing a Mario Kart arcade game. I didn't play it, but it looked fun!

The top of Harajuku train station viewed against the haze and a tower of the business district.

This is a main street of Shibuya that is near Harajuku, I'm not sure if it's actually Shibuya or Harajuku, but it was definitely pretty cold and wet.

Everyone had their umbrellas for the cold day. I broke mine and got very wet and cold.

This is the entrance to Meiji Shrine, which is near Shibuya and Harajuku. It was built during the reign of the Meiji Emperor. The Meiji period was 1868-1912 and it's an important period because it follows the first long-term contact between the United States and Japan.

Before entering the Shrine you must cleanse your hands with water from here.

The first big entrance to Meiji Shrine. It goes to the outer courtyard.

These are the doors to the inner courtyard of the Meiji Shrine. The box with slats is the box where you throw a coin before praying. The inner courtyard was closed because of a wedding. I missed the wedding though, didn't get any pictures.

Since it is close to the new year the shrine is selling new year things, I bought a small mouse bell because it is the year of the mouse here in Japan, which loosely follows the Chinese year calendar, but not really.

Every day in the grocery near my dorms they sell some variety of fresh fish. And Saturday it was fresh squid.

Koala snacks! I loved these when I was a kid, and now they're here, a part of my life again. I'll have to resist the temptation to eat only these for all my meals.

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