After a full-on 12+ hours of sleep, I believe that I am sufficiently recovered enough to be able to eat yogurt, drink water and venture out to Tabata to meet Horizaru-san for our Tattoos.

We boarded the train once again, this time to Tabata – I sit on these trains and genuinely feel bad for the Japanese that visit NYC & I vow, here & now, to help any tourist that asks for it once I’m home. We are total frickin’ barbarians!

Anyhoo – Tabata was adorable and a totally new Tokyo area full of hills and small houses and apartment buildings. Horizaru’s map was amazingly easy to follow (maps are used instead of addresses here in Tokyo because buildings are addressed according to when they were built, NOT where they are in relation to one another making it unbelievably difficult to find things unless you know where the heck to go) and before we knew it, we found ourselves in front of his charming little Tattoo storefront. It’s just him in his studio and the design is super simple, clean and modern w/a distinctly Japanese feel. Brian wanted a traditional half-sleeve tattoo depicting a ninja from a Japanese folktale. We were both impressed with Horizaru-san’s idea and rough sketch and agreed on a 5 hour time frame for both Bri & my work the next day. Simple enough!

We were all types of excited and energized after the appointment so we took a detour to Akihabara on the way home! We spent about 6 hours roaming the side streets, alleys and neon-lit canyons perusing manga, porn, electronics and some of the dopest toys I have ever seen in my life. Ever. Each store had more exclusives, imports & never-before-seen items than any comic convention I’ve ever been to… combined. I think we spent about $50 on capsule toys alone! This city is obsessed with vending machines! There are beverage vending machines, restaurants composed only of food vending machines, they sell toys, clothing, phone cards, accessories and entertainment out of these huge machines that just pop up everywhere. Also, near the food and drink vending machines are the only locations you’ll find garbage cans and recycling bins. And Tokyo-ites are recycling obsessed. There are literally 5 different bins for 5 different types of refuse… takes a little bit of getting used to. Especially since my Japanese-reading is a bit off…

We went to a couple different arcades and Brian played through and almost beat the Japanese version of Street Fighter IV – all on one coin!!! So fun. We tried to stay late, past rush hour to avoid the crowd. Didn’t work. We experienced the squished-together-like-sardines-in-a-can ride home. Interesting time, don’t need to do that again. Craziest part was despite the unimaginable number of people in the subway car – it was still super quiet. And we actually witnessed someone giving up their seat in all of the crowded craziness for a pregnant woman. I love Tokyo.

And of course, we were home & in bed before 10pm. Ha!

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