Despite having spent most of the previous day on a coach we were both very tired today.
Japanese sandwich. No crusts and sealed all the way around. And tiny. Next to it on the left is some melon pan which is delicious sweet bread and unavailable in the UK except as vastly inflated prices. It's also very time consuming to make so we haven't experimented with baking it at home. Like currywurst, which I discovered on my first trip to Germany a few years ago, it's probably best in its own habitat.
We had a late start and a fairly peaceful day. (Despite being lost in a station for about an hour, no I’m not even joking, you could fit my home town in some of these stations).
I had wanted to go to Tower Records to purchase the new SKE48 single on release day and collect the Jurina bonus photo (She’s my favourite member).
Tower Records was pretty cool, (there was an elevator) they had a huge kpop section too which I browsed though didn’t buy anything (They had sold out of Hyuna CDs OnO) and the way I had to go to another desk to get my bonus photo was fun too. When we exited though there was a small crowd seemingly waiting for something.
We hung around to see what it was and found there was a member of an idol group (though I have no idea which, sorry ;;) making an appearance. We left not wanting to take up a place for a fan to watch her from as she posed with a cardboard cut out of herself.
Next we walked down to Tsutaya to get another version of the CD (another elevator) and another bonus photo (This time Rena, wmatsui of course).
After a quick break at the Starbucks within Tsutaya we decided to find a bus to get to Ikebukuro (not wanting to get lost in the maze of stations again).
My first visit to a Starbucks and my first decent(ish) coffee in Japan. The coffee in the Excelsior Cafes is alright but I needed to order lattes to dull the pain. Starbucks' coffee is quite far down my list of preferred coffees but passed muster given the circumstances. They drew nice cat faces on the mugs too so bonus points for that.
Luckily we managed to find one no problem, despite the lack of signs indicating which buses stop at which bus stops.
Look! Actual graffiti at Shibuya bus station! Jet Set Radio made real!
Like almost everything else in Japan the bus had a face. I'm all for faces on things.
The bus was really enjoyable. There was a lot of space, air con (Arriva take note!!) and the seats, instead of having some trippy pattern like our buses had a cute mascot on them! The ride was about 30 minutes and gave us a nice tour of the city on the way.
And still only cost about £2.20 thanks to the Japanese bus fare system.
Once we arrived at Ikebukuro we went back to the cat park where we were greeted not just by cats but by some kittens too! We said hello to a few and then sat and watched the rest play with the children and the old men that clearly fed them often as they were so familiar with them.
We had a quick look around the center again, mainly for Dad to buy his own PEN (Proper Evil Neko.
Here's my 'squished PEN' as we named him safely relocated to my living room.
I also bought some Sumikko Gurashi pencil cases that see daily use at school and a really wonderful bento box bag featuring a cat from a Nintendo game and a manga (whose name I don't know because there's no English version yet) which is now my dice bag.
Had I known the prices Sumikko Gurashi merchandise commands on eBay I'd have filled my suitcase and recouped the cost of our trip with the proceeds. Ahh hindsight, you torment me so.
We had Coco Curry for dinner. Warning Lv2 (out of 10) is actually pretty spicy! It was really tasty though so we bought some packet sauces to take home.
Coco Curry was great. I like Chinese curry and Japanese curry is similar in taste. The types of curry available are many and strange and the presentation is unique. I chose shrimp which is my default oriental curry choice but I could have gone for sausage and had a Japanese currywurst. I wish I'd thought of it at the time.
We then returned to the cat park with some food for them, though only one cat seemed to like it. He had a likeness to Sylvester in that sense as well as colour.
We got a taxi back which once again gave us a great view of side streets and all the neon.
These are photos of a street corner in Ikebukuro just outside Sunshine City. They show the multi-leveled world of Tokyo with roadways sweeping over the ground level streets. Beneath our feet is a sprawling underground station comprised of yet more levels.
Later, on our monorail trip, we saw even more levels as elevated train tracks rise above the road network.
This is the cyberpunk inspiring city I came to see and I wasn't disappointed.