When it rains in Japan it really rains, and it looks like it’s quite common for the heavens to open because everyone, and I really mean everyone has an umbrella. That’s everyone except us of course, and it didn’t take long to get caught in a downpour! Getting off one of the tubes that was going out of service I noticed a guard running down the carriages picking up left items. I saw him pick up two umbrellas so dashed to the end of the train as he got off and approached him, pointed at an umbrella and pointed at the train and he gave it to me, sweet, we won’t have to buy one. My feeling of achievement soon diminished when I realised how cheap they were and people left them everywhere anyway!
First stop of the day was to get a pancake fix, we still have one from Vancouver, and boy did Japan deliver. Looking online we found a placed called ‘Eggs ’n’ Things’ that immediately drew my attention because one of the reviews said that the amount of whipped cream you get is hysterical. Is that a lot of cream or a little? Sounds like we need to find out so off we went. Both settling for the chocolate chip pancakes, Hayley decided to go for ice cream but I had to find out about the whipped cream. Wow you really get a lot of cream, so much so Hayley was very jealous, some would say it was too much cream. Its rude not to finish your plate in Japan and this caused some problems, I was struggling half way through and was surprised as the last bite went it. I was even more shocked when I saw Hayley finish, she can really put it away!
Deciding to try and see the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (that was closed yesterday) in the rain felt like a lost cause but it was today’s plan and we were sticking to it. Upon entering the park the sky let out a deafening roar of thunder that never seemed to end. Nothing like walking around a vast open space holding a metal pole in a thunder storm. Totally safe. As you can probably guess the park was mostly deserted and unfortunately not all that interesting. The park is split in to three sections, English, French and Japanese. The Japanese section was the most interesting and beautiful with a traditional Chinese (yup Chinese) building to explore, it was a memorial for a powerful leader. The French section is a rose garden, but with no roses, maybe they are not in season. The English section is just a big grass area and was very boring. The most interning place in the park was the very elaborate greenhouse that was home to some very exotic plants, trees and an artificial waterfall where we managed to take some great photos and get a break from the rain.
After a spruce up at the hotel it was off to see Ginza, one of the main shopping district in Tokyo, think Oxford Circus meets Oxford Street. For everyone not from London, its endless rows of shops with bright LED screens and lights everywhere. It’s not quite as impressive and intense as Times Square in New York, but probably because it’s a lot more spread out. It’s interesting going to see shopping districts on our travels because our budget won’t allow us to spend any money, we seem to eat away all the budget. Maybe this will change in Thailand where everything is cheap, new wardrobe here we come!
Speaking of food, there are many themed restaurants in Tokyo. The Vampire Cafe was local in Ginza and had great reviews so we gave it a shot for this evenings meal. I remember Hayley letting out a little whelp as we got of the elevator and was greeted by a very dark figure, our waiter. Being led to the table past decapitated limbs, roaming vampires and pumpkins was really scary. We got to our table and was handed over the wooden coffin menu and then shut in by red floor to ceiling curtains, weird. There was a bell on the table that we guessed was for service, or was it to signal to the vampires we are ready to be eaten? We risked it and our waiter returned to take our order. Normally we save money by just having tap water but the themed cocktails were to good to miss. I ended up drinking out of a pumpkin faced mug, complete with a chocolate and marshmallow hat. Amazing. Hayley predictably got a cocktail that looked like a cat. They didn’t taste all that great but we didn’t mind, they really added to the experience. The food was not great either but my chicken was brought to the table fully engulfed in flames! For the experience alone I would highly recommend it!