Last Saturday was a blast. I was hanging out with a friend that I met a few weeks ago in Yokohama. As it was a convenient location, we met in Shibuya. I arrived before she did, so I got a chance to walk around and observe the locals.
Here was an interesting trio.
The girl in the Donald Duck outfit and the frog suit fit together, but the punk girl? They were all talking together.
My friend suggested that we should head off to Ikebukuro. Since I'd never been there before, I was happy to go. One thing that I noticed getting off the train was this neighborhood had a bit of a cruel streak...
They put cute puppies and kittens in a cage and force them to fight to the death!?! This place is terrible.
Well, despite the combination of cuteness and cruelty, Ikebukuro was a really enjoyable place. A bit crowded on a Saturday night, but what can you expect.
All over Tokyo, there are these giant TV screens all over the place. For the first time, there was one that was right on the ground.
After we wandered, we went to an arcade. They had all sorts of claw games and metal games. It was a lot of fun.
The money changer caught me as odd, though.
Surprise? I hope a money exchanger isn't surprising. I actually hope that's the least surprising part of an arcade.
So, we went off to Sunshine City.
Sunshine City is a big mall and entertainment complex in Ikebukuro. It was built in 1978, and it didn't really have a tacky late 70's, early 80's feel. It was quite delightful.
After a while of walking around and hanging out by Cold Stone hoping to hear them sing, we went up to the observatory. While it wasn't free like the one in the Tokyo Metropolitan building, it was really nice, and still less than $7.
It was quite an incredible view.
The amazing thing is here you could go out on the roof. It was really nice out there, despite the giant metal fence.
For a Saturday night, it was really peaceful up there. It wasn't empty, but it was not at all what I would consider to be crowded.
As we were leaving, there was a whole bunch of schoolgirls going up. They were all giggling and laughing in my direction, and I'm not sure it's because I'm a foreigner or because I was shocked to see them. Either way, it was quite humorous for everyone, and we left at the perfect time.
We did a little more walking around Ikebukuro before we left. Here's a fine lady in front of a pachinko parlor.
After a while, we headed to Shinjuku for some drinks. Shinjuku wasn't so interesting, but the company was quite fun, so that made it a great experience.
It looks like I need to add Ikebukuro to the list of places around Tokyo that I really enjoy.