Friday, September 7, 2007

Shinjuku at night.

I was having such a shit day. Things were not going my way. Thankfully I turned it all around and now I'm feeling quite satisfied.

There was a typhoon last night. I've never been in a typhoon (which is the same thing as a hurricane, but in a different part of the world) and I was expecting something a bit bigger than what we got. I guess it was for the best, but I was looking forward to something exciting, not just some wind and rain.

Possibly because of the storm or possibly because I've just been having a hard time sleeping properly, I felt like crap when I woke up. I've been getting a decent quantity of sleep, but the quality has been pretty poor. I sent an Email to my first two classes and told them that I wasn't showing up. I didn't want to do it, but I felt my health was suffering and I wouldn't have been able to stay awake in class.

I went to my third and final class of the day and then I killed time at school because there was a pizza party/mixer at 6 and I finished class at 3. After killing 3 hours, I went down and there were a TON of people in the cafeteria. I didn't expect that many people to show up, but I felt good about it.

I'm noticing more than just language differences in making friends. First off, I'm never sure when someone is just being polite or if they have the honest desire to be friends and have a lengthy conversation. Besides that, I'm having trouble starting conversation with people. I mean, I normally have this, but it seems to be even more awkward with the Japanese people
I'm meeting who want to be agreeable, and not really say anything different than what I think or express any real opinions at first, it seems. Also, I was talking to a few people and I kept saying things like "I'm just gonna go to blablabla. I don't know what else to do." and I was kind of hoping and expecting someone would say "If you want, I have nothing to do either. How about we go somewhere together.", but even after some people told me they had nothing to do tonight and they wanted to do something fun, nobody would say that. I was getting pretty frustrated and I felt like I had been at school too long, so I left.

The train station I take to school every day is not the closest train to school. It's just the most convenient. I thought about going to Shibuya, as I went during the day and it was my first stop in Tokyo. I realized I'd have to change trains at Shinjuku and since it costs the same to change trains right away as it does to get off a train and get back on another one a while later, I decided to look around. I wasn't exactly excited about going BACK to Shinjuku, but since I was there, I might as well take a gander.

As the majority of my adventures have been, I just decided to wander and see what I could see. I left an exit that I'd never left before (which is now 3 down, 197 to go), and it turned out to be more interesting than I had anticipated.

First off, this place looked gorgeous. I am by no means a professional photographer, and I'm not exactly known for my steady hands. Combine that with the fact that most of the pictures I've posted are taken with a phone and night pictures are hard to do without a tripod anyways, these pictures do not do this area justice.

This place was spotlessly clean. There were a bunch of people sitting on a 2 foot or so concrete wall drinking, as it's perfectly legal and socially acceptable to do such things in public.

That building looked interesting and there was a big HMV sign, so why not check it out?

As I approached the building I saw this:

Oh there it is! I heard that there was ONE Krispy Kreme in Japna, and there it is. Now, for a while I got Krispy Kreme doughnuts for free, and before this, I had stopped being impressed with them, but after this, I really didn't like them. Even if I did like them, they're just doughnuts, and waiting an hour or more in line is ridiculous. Well, the line doesn't look that bad, does it? Maybe 15 minutes?


Wow. That's a long line. And a very orderly line too. This is on a bridge overlooking some trains.

Is this technically part of Shibuya station? There are loading platforms. How the fuck big is this station, I mean really?

On the other side of the bridge is the most "Batman" looking building I've seen in my life.

I'm really enjoying the bold designs of Japanese architecture, both old and new.

Anyways, on to that building.

This place is gorgeous! I took a few pictures, but they just can't quite show it.

The hallways were lined with all these really fancy and elaborate restaurants. By Japanese standards, they were a little pricey (2000-3000 yen a plate), but by American standards (Less than $30), that's not that bad for a restaurant in that fancy of a building.

I went to HMV Records, and what shirt did I see?

I really liked that shirt! If it wasn't 6000 yen (close to $55) I would have bought it.

While thumbing through the 50 yen CDs, I looked up and saw this:

That looks like a fun place. I should go there. I left the store and I tired to find that area.

This whole part of town is amazing. It looks like it was all built yesterday and spotlessly clean.

So, I'm off to that part of town I saw from above.

As I'm crossing the road from below, I see a sign stating that this area is Kabukicho. I've heard of this. While I had heard this was a good place to be for drinking and other nefarious things and I didn't really want to do that, I felt I was in the wrong place. Since the train station was that direction, I went there anyways.

They sure do like their neon lights.

This place seemed to be an interesting area. Next time I feel like having a good time at night, I might head this direction. It wasn't nearly as seedy and gross as I had imagined.

I did see this there:

What the hell was that doing here? Look at that, it can't even fit in the lane! Why is that monstrosity in this country? It's simply absurd.

Well, I felt it was time to go home, so I hopped on a train, and I had a great moment. I often get people who are either staring at me or staring off in the distance and I happen to be in their line of site. I most certainly can't blame anyone as I am guilty of both, but today I was getting off the train and this woman was staring in my direction. I think it was off in space, but I gave here a big goofy smile, and she returned with a seemingly similar smile of her own. While this wasn't such a rare occurrence when I visited Osaka, this was the first time someone outside of school responded with anything but a blank stare or averting their eyes. It made me feel really good.

Well, that was my evening, and even though the day started off poorly, my random trip to Shinjuku was a nice way to pleasantly finish the day.

No comments: