November 5, 2010, Tokyo Part I
Today was going to be a rather relaxed day. He had some work to do which needed the Internet, but we decided against staying in the hotel room, so we went to a Wired Cafe nearby at Mitsukoshi Alcott. Honestly speaking, I wasn’t very impressed at the menu, but they had affordable and healthy set lunches, and free wifi.
After the late breakfast, he stayed in the cafe to work while I went to shop nearby. Shinjuku is serious shoppers galore. For about two hours, I rushed from H&M to Forever 21 to Muji, all within five minutes of one another. I used the word “rush” because they were having mega sales and there were too many things to browse. Especially since I’m a budget shopper in Tokyo, the five-step process of spotting something nice, looking at the price, converting it to Singapore dollars, deciding if it’s worth buying, and considering if I should try it on, takes up too much time. And then there’s the size problem.
I ended up buying two pairs of boots, immediately replacing the old one I was wearing as the outer layer was peeling off in a rather unsightly manner. It felt so normal to be wearing a pair of black, knee-high, suede boots with four-inch heels in Tokyo because everyone else was wearing the same thing! I gave it as much mileage as I could, knowing it’ll be stashed deep in the shoe cabinet once I get home.
With work and shopping done, and almost half the day gone, we decided to stick around the Shinjuku area, knowing we have got lots to see. We trawled cafes, visited every single Yodobashi branch in Shinjuku, and descended upon the UFO Catchers. There was a really sweet staff who, seeing that I was eyeing a cat plushie for the longest time, charmingly unlocked the transparent case and adjusted the plushie so that just a little push would tip it over.
On our last trip together, he had tried the UFO Catcher for the very first time and was delighted to have caught me something, so when he came around the corner and saw me with the plushie in my hand, he got all excited. He pointed enthusiastically at a huge cat plushie almost half his size in another case, and asked me to go seduce the staff again. I caught the guy’s eye and smiled as sweetly as I could, poked at the case, and whispered, “お願い?” He grinned, then adjusted the hook that held the plushie at the very tip of the pole, then ran off to make some other girl’s day. Just as we were about to insert a 100-yen coin into the slot, the plushie that was swaying precariously at the end of the pole dropped into the exit hole right in front of our eyes. We looked at each other for a a brief second, before he deftly pulled the plushie out through the flap and ran out of the arcade. WIN! (Watch: How to win at UFO Catchers)
Exhilarated from the loot, we walked around the streets and chanced upon a kaiten sushi shop. There was a short queue, but it was moving fast. We were so glad we decided to try it. The sashimi was so fresh, which is usual in Japan, and the chefs were affable. The one serving us tried speaking to us in Mandarin (“這個好吃!”), and made the tourists and locals around us giggle. And look at the size of the sushi.
It was still early when we left the sushi shop, but most of the shops were beginning to close. Having not done much today, we weren’t tired and were wondering if there was anything else we could do. Where could we go to rest our feet, take shelter from the cold, and ogle at some eye candy?