tokyo 4ever

Everyone told me that I would need more than a week to explore Tokyo and they were right.  My measly four day weekend barely scratched the surface.  I left wanting to return not as a tourist but as an expat.  

Day 1 Arrival- Hop off Narita with one of my best friends in Seoul, Anatasia, take the subways to our hostel in Asukasa near the Sensoji temple.  It is a quiet area where most of the hostels and expats live.  It looks very traditional because of the temples, the area is next to rows of stands selling souvenirs.  I even saw some girls dressed as geishas walking around at night.  There is even a small amusement park near our hostel.  At odd hours you can hear the screams people make as their roller coasters crescendo down a big slope.  We settle in and go to Roponggi, the night life scene was lackluster, but we were there very early.  We went to a fried chicken joint karraje (?), peeked into a pachinko parlor, and went to a tequila bar.  The pachinko parlor is a pinball gambling den.  When you enter you hear a constant roar of the different machines playing a variety of metal music.  Each machine has a different theme like the slots machine in Vegas but a lot play fight scenes from anime shows.  Anyways we ended up at an expat bar and then went home.

Day 2 Harajuku - Went shopping, bought beautiful things.  I've always been a big time hater of white people in America dressing up as anime characters IRL, even Gwen Stefani was into it.  But I kind of understand them now, even though its still kind of wack.  Harajuku is a shopper's paradise.  Went home later, got dinner at a soup place nearby then went to Womb a nightclub in Shibuya.  Womb is in that movie Babel where the Japanese girl takes E and then realizes her best friend is making out with the guy she was supposed to be with.  Overall would not recommend Womb.  But I did witness something incredible, during a DJ set two guys with samisens went on stage and started playing.  The DJ played typical house sounds/drops to the traditional samisen music it was really cool.

Day 3 Shinjuku - We kept seeing Andy Warhol's Marilyn everywhere in the city so we went to the museum.  I was pleasantly surprised the Warhol retrospective was very comprehensive.  The exhibit itself was huge and housed a lot of his work, it was a hour and half walk through that took you through his early work with advertising.  They even had built a replica of his silver factory.  My favorite part was a room with silver "clouds" or aluminum puffs that floated around the room.  You could even touch them (not sure if this was actually allowed but when I touched them the docent didn't say anything).  The silver clouds were in a room with all windows on one side that overlooked all of Tokyo (we were on the 52nd floor).  After that we went to the Robot Restaurant for one of the most incredible entertainment experiences of my life.  Half naked girls dancing on robots, in costumes, on motorcycles battling giant robots, and climaxing in a synchronized dance with the robots to top 40s hits.  It was my favorite Tokyo memory.  Later we ended the night going to a hip hop club called Harlem and had early morning/late night ramens.

Day 4 Departure - Went to Harajuku again, hoarded green tea kitkats, boarded the plane back to Seoul T_T

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