Tokyo Day 1: Shibuya, Ghibli, Dinner

July 29, 2009 § Leave a comment

Today I walked around Shibuya (downtown Tokyo) and saw a few interesting things.

IMG_3367Sorry the lighting is so bad in that picture.  If you couldn’t tell, it is a Korean star directory.  Inside it has the names, birth dates, filmography of various Korean actors and actresses.  I just thought that it was so interesting that a bookstore in Japan would have this.  I did not see this in any of the other countries I have been too.  It makes me proud to see how influential Korea is, even if it is only through their popular culture.

I also found this, which I found hilarious.  If you are easily offended, I advise that you not look too closely.  Sorry if it’s crude but it was too interesting not to share.

IMG_3369

Hehehe…

Anyway, after rambling around Shibuya, I visited the Ghibli Museum!  After watching Totoro and Spirited Away, I became enthralled with the mind blowing creations of Hiyao Miyazaki. My friend Anjul visited the Ghibli Museum last year and told me of all the wonders it held in such a way that it was one of the places I most wanted to visit in Tokyo.

The museum was amazing.  It is fairly small and geared towards kids but it had amazing displays and walls full of Miyazaki’s original sketches.  Visitors are not allowed to take pictures inside so I can’t show you but if you are interested in anime at all, I suggest you visit one day.  Outside I took a picture of this thing:

IMG_3397Look how dreary the sky is.  It started raining soon after and my jeans got drenched AGAIN. I was seriously considering buying another pair of pants before dinner but I couldn’t find any cheap pants in any of the malls.

After the museum I met up with my hosts, Takeshi and Midori, and some of their friends for dinner.  One of their swing friends was also hosting guests, so they brought us all together with some other friends to meet each other.  The guests were two girls from Korea, Joya unni and Yeoshin unni.  We also had Jason (a lawyer from Texas), Tetsuo (the other host), Youngsun oppa (a Korean exchange student), and Kean (an investment banker from the Phillipines).  This is the dinner I mentioned earlier where multiple languages were being spoken at every moment.  Although my language skills are not the greatest, I had the most overlap in terms of languages spoken so I did quite a bit of translating throughout the night.  It was fun though and I was so happy to meet more Koreans.  After speaking in broken Japanese and English the whole day it was so refreshing to be able to communicate smoothly in Korean.    After dinner we went to another place for drinks and to meet… Yumi chan!  I met Takeshi, Midori, and Yumi while I was in Seoul so it was nice to see Yumi again.  It’s weird to think that I only met them one month ago.  Yumi really seemed like a long lost friend and we greeted each other so enthusiastically.

Random

  • Taxis in Japan are SUPER expensive.  It can cost up to $100 USD going from one side of the town to the other, if not more.
  • Korean people are a lot noisier and outgoing than Japanese people.
  • Swing dancers are nice. =)
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