This post combines Day 7 and Day 8 in Japan.
Day 7: Shinjuku and Shibuya
Day 7 was also a working day for Kenix. I decided to spend this day in Shinjuku and Shibuya. I wanted to experience the busy Japanese city life and also check out some shopping spots It was a relaxing and uneventful day except the fact that I bought a gorgeous winter coat in Forever 21, Shinjuku which I wore the very next day.
My next stop was Shibuya 109 to window shop. This is a narrow building with 8 packed floors of fashion boutiques. I was just amazed at the variety of items in Japanese shops. Franchise shops aside, there were no two shops selling items of any similarity! And may I say all the shops were insanely attractive. Salesgirls greeting you every time you pass by their shop, kowtow-ing and thanking you for your purchase repeatedly until you disappear from their sight! The girls were very attractive themselves. Beautiful brown or blonde hair (yup, never black), wavy or stylishly tied, trendy fashion and shoes plus doll-like make up. And I observed that leopard prints are very in in Japan. I saw this girl with a leopard print top, leopard print shorts, leopard print boots and a leopard print bag. All I could think was “Rrrrraaawwwwrrrr….!!!”
Although Harajuku was in the vicinity, I chose not to go there. I was told that Harajuku girls only make appearances in weekends so I was saving my visit until then.
That night, back in Tokyo, Kenix brought me to have authentic Japanese barbecue dinner, called Yakiniku. Ryan and Danny joined us too. Every table was set with a little barbecue stove where you grill strips of marinated beef, chicken, scallops and mushrooms. Very expensive but so good!
Day 8: Okutama and Machida
On my eighth day, Kenix, Sue, Ryan and I took a train to meet Danny and he drove us up to Okutama dam. We had a nice day out enjoying the sights of the dam, more red leaves and surprised by the sight of winter Sakura! Not as impressive of the full bloom in spring, but I was happy enough to catch a glimpse so unexpectedly.
Danny was nice enough to prepare everything for a Sukiyaki meal at the dam. Sukiyaki is the Japanese equivalent of a steamboat, but with the special Sukiyaki soup. Sukiyaki was perfect during the chilly weather at Okutama dam which was slightly elevated from sea level.
After a satisfying meal and warm chats by the lake, we visited the local museum just across the road. It has all the information you need about the damn – how it works, its capacity, history and everything. Everything in Japanese however.
Then, we moved on to Machida for some shopping and dinner. The supposedly 20-minute drive stretched to almost 3 hours due to heavy traffic! By the time we arrive, it was already 8.00pm; which means only one hour shopping time before the shops close! The girls – Kenix, Sue and me managed to look around UNIQLO, Japan’s most popular budget clothing outlet and a 100yen shop. I bought a wool dress and 2 packets of Japanese curry seasoning
Dinner was sushi…..we were starving! Believe it or not, this was my first sushi meal in Japan since I arrived.
Next up, the final post: Harajuku