After I gathered some information including Tokyo brochure and maps from the lady at information centre at Haneda airport, I started to plan my next step. I tried to avoid the rush hours that usually started at 7 in the weekday mornings. So I had my early breakfast at Cafe Pista, which according to my small research, had some halal food on the menu. They did. It was vegetable udon (noodle) and chicken rice bowl. I chose the latter.
After I bought my Suica card (for trains, busses, even for shopping at some shops), I was ready to go. I was heading to Jimbocho area where I was going to stay in the first 2 days. It was not even 7 o’clock yet when I arrived. Since I could just check-in at 13, I was thinking just to leave my luggage and sit there for a while planning what exactly what I was going to do first. If you like animation stuff or games, Akihabara can actually be reached by walking from Jimbocho. But I had another plan. I was thinking about Harajuku.
After figuring out how it basically worked with the trains in Tokyo, I was ready for the next train trips. However I got distracted on the way, so I stopped and got off at Shibuya. Come on, it’s Shibuya. Yes, I walked the Shibuya crossing. No, I didn’t take either picture or video. Yes, I went to some shops there (Shibuya 109, Uniqlo and Loft, to name a few). No, I didn’t start my shopping spree yet. 😛
After walking for a while in Shibuya area, I decided to take train again for another adventure and I thought I knew what I was doing when suddenly I just tapped my Suica card on the machine and voila, I was outside and I thought, what I just did? I certainly walked the wrong way so I exited. Well, adventure? Here we go. So, from this point, according to the big road sign I saw, Harajuku was about 3 km. I was in Shinjuku area where I could see lots of tall buildings, hotels, some office workers walking to presumably their destination for lunch. I walked and walked. It was boiling hot. But I kept walking. I felt that my feet melting but nothing really made me stop. I saw shopping centre and more shopping centres. I passed Docomo headquarter, a very tall building. Finally at one point I decided to stop by at a convenient store to buy some drink. Forget about Harajuku, I thought. I felt hungry and was then heading to train station planning to go to one Halal chinese restaurant in Kinsicho. Apparently the mission was not accomplished. On the way while I was sitting in the train I was a bit sleepy so I decided to get up and get off at the next stop which might take me to Jimbocho. Apparently I got off at the station which was not necessarily close to my hotel so yeah, right, I had still to walk again for a while.
After a lot of things happen from early morning until afternoon, no wonder my body screamed for a rest. I had appointment with my Japanese friend Maiko later in the evening. That would be enough time to take a nap, and that I needed it, I thought. I combined it with washing some clothes. So after all the washing done, I could sleep a bit longer, until…7pm. I got up immediately and read the message Maiko sent me: Are you okay? Oh noooo, I was supposed to be there with her at 7pm. I apologized to her and saying that I was getting ready. In order to avoid to make some mistake with the train, I had idea right away to take taxi. It should be faster! It was not that far to go to Okubo. The only problem was how to explain where I’d like exactly to go to the taxi driver. Maiko was kind of guiding me, but we just talked on messenger, so I tried to call her and she tried to call me but we didn’t meet. 😦 Uff. I then decided just to ask the taxi driver to stop at Okubo station then I got off.
After getting the message that the restaurant was near the south exit, I had to find where the south exit was. I found one exit but I had no clue which exit it was 😦 I walked one direction then walked back, another direction and became unsure. Then I took the initial way I took but again, not completely sure. I was walking slowly when a foreign looking (I mean not Japanese looking) guy stopped with his bike and asked me: Are you Nelda? Ooo wait a minute…I was in this unfamiliar place, and suddenly somebody stopped me and he knew my name? This is kinda creepy, eh? I thought it must be something to do with my google apps, where you find out your current location. And others might too? Boo! 😀 That was the guy from the Turkish restaurant Maiko sent since I hadn’t turned up yet. Relieved? Yeah. 😀
This exhausting day eventually ended pretty well. We had our nice Turkish dinner. After that Maiko asked me to walk with her in Okubo and Shinjuku area. It was the only time when in Japan I had my nice pink shoes on me. Unfortunately I had no pics of them. 😛 It was not the end of the evening yet, but I guess I’ll stop here for now. It’s pretty exhausting for me and it might be for you who read this. I save the rest of story for later. 😀