Thursday, December 31, 2009

Japan 2009: New Year's Eve in Tokyo

This morning three of us woke up around 8:30 and wandered around the main part of Shinjuku. Pretty much everything was closed, but we did eventually find an open restaurant where I had a Japanese style omelet with onions and beef, over a rice bowl. We met up with the rest of our group and visited a huge camera store in Shinjuku to pick up an adapter for one of our computers. (the outlets in our room are two-prong non-grounded, and their adapter is 3 pronged.)

The real adventure of the day was out to Odaiba, a large man-made island built out into Tokyo Bay, which houses some very modern buildings, a huge mall, and a large convention center. The convention center was our goal, as one of the largest manga conventions…I’m going to say in the world…was taking place there. It’s called Comicket, and the coolest feature is the people dressed as anime and manga characters, often called “cosplayers” by the kids. This being Japan, the whole affair was filled to capacity will convention-goers and there was a lot of venting of sexual frustration by way of costuming and hyper sexualized comic books.

Still, it was a unique experience. Afterwards, we went to the big fancy mall on the island, called the Venus center. Picture the Venetian in Las Vegas, minus the fake canals, plus more LED lights and overpriced shops. We did hit up a really delicious Korean barbeque on the top floor, wherein I indulged in a plateful of succulent meats which were promptly grilled and consumed with much relish. Not literally. There was no relish. A little lime juice and garlic perhaps.

We then returned to the hotel room. Tonight we’re going out to a club on the top floor of a mall in Roppongi for New Years. It threatens to be an evening of dance and drink and debauchery, but we’ll see if all those promises are fulfilled.

Tomorrow, as is the tradition in Japan, we are visiting temples. I’ll catch you up later.

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