We woke up @ 7am to Japanese children’s programming and the funniest 7 Eleven experience. Ever. Apparently, Hello Kitty and 7 Eleven are celebrating some partnership because the store was covered in pink and everything was Kitty themed. Love it! Our breakfast consisted of the strongest Japanese coffee, a fish & rice wrap (Salaryman sushi) & a weirdo flan-like yogurt stuff that Brian loved. We took our time in the room, fully enjoying the hotel. I’m thoroughly pleased that we went for the upgrade. This will be our ‘home base’ and it just offers so many amenities and is truly comfortable. I think we’re both still suffering through some jet lag, so we took our sweet time moving around and getting ready. When we finally left we wandered around a different corner and stumbled into an enormous Manga shop. It was huge, aisle after aisle filled with every conceivable book type and title, accompanying toys, gadgets and capsule gifts, art supplies, videos and music. Made us realize Brian truly was born in the wrong country! Not to mention that the Cerulean (our dope-as-hell hotel) is located right in the heart of Shibuya’s fabulous music district. There are no less than a dozen music stores ranging from the more modest mom & pop type guitar shop to the super high end, multi floor instrument superstore. There are Japanese kids running around with guitar cases strapped to their backs – its really cool. It’s strangely quiet in the stores though, very unlike Sam Ash & Guitar Center at home, no one is trying out any of the instruments. Seems so Japanese.

Our next little adventure had us wander up an alley street tightly packed with countertop food places. We looked into a super crowded one and plunked down next to a table of teenaged girls mid-shop and an older, suited salary man. The owner of the soup shop, an outgoing middle aged woman tried her English on me while I tried my Japanese. It was easy! I ordered noodles and pork (tashume) & asked her what she’d recommend for Brian (nani ga osusume desu ka). Lunch was a brilliant $15 for my soup and Bri’s onion, pork, cabbage, mayo dish. So much mayo everywhere!

We made it to the Famous Shibuya 109 which is like a mecca for uber-trendy teens and has more than 7 floors of the latest and greatest in Japanese fashion for the under 30 set. Of course, I found plenty to love! I got an enormous pair of green plastic sunglasses, a funky hooded t-shirt with some insanity written on it that makes no English sense, a fabulous girlie robot necklace and the dopest sneakers ever. They are bright magenta patent leather and black and white hightops by some Japanese shoe company. They are comfortable and I am in love. It was an entire day of shopping for me. My sweetie spoils me.

It was such an exhausting experience and my bags were so heavy that we had to head back to the Cerulean. We stopped and picked up 2L of water, a big biru and some rice snacks. I made myself a bubble bath and soaked until I was all pruney. Bri sat w/me in the bathroom, enjoying his huge biru and the crazy view from the bathtub window. Invigorated and re-energized, we headed back out! This time we walked in a different direction from the Hotel and made it what is a super, super touristy area. There were more higher end chain stores (Japanese & Western) and the food spots looked more pricey. This was also where we found McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC & a few others. Tokyu Hands, one of the department stores our Hotel’s company owns, turned out to be a one-stop-shop for everything Japanese. There were Tokyo-ites there buying their kitchie supplies and raincoats and a ton of foreigners picking up some crazy doodads that are certainly unattainable anywhere outside of this country except for maybe an import website for quadruple the price. We got a cool little samurai kit to display in the living room. He’s pretty awesome.

6pm hit us like a ton of bricks. Bri started getting dizzy and hot and I was super nauseas. We had to start the long trip back to Cerulean just in case one of use fainted or vomited. On our way back we passed a soup place and decided to check it out since it was more than 5 hours since we’d eaten. Very weird place! You pick your dish from a list (in Japanese) from an enormous vending machine and pay for it there. Thankfully there were tons of pictures and plastic models of food. We crossed our fingers, pushed our buttons and with our $11 deposited hoped for the best. We were the only non-Japanese in the place (you know that means it was awesome) and it was great. I got an udon bowl with a side of pork and onions over rice in a Japanese barbeque sauce. Brian’s was a pork and egg ramen with a side of a rice and curry dish. I do not know how we will ever be able to eat this once we leave. And the crazy part is, this is our 6th meal here and we still haven’t tried sushi! The other stuff just keeps looking soooo damn good! Its all good, good, good.

The night ended with us crawling into bed and passing out. By 8pm…

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