"skyscraper district"

Jenn had to work on Saturday, so I was on my own for much of the day. She left me wonderfully detailed directions on how to get to the city from her apartment, which ended up coming in handy as the Tokyo Subway is quite a bit more complicated than the Seoul Subway. Despite her directions and the detailed video screens in the trains, I still found myself wondering if I was on the right train.

I ended up back in Shibuya, so I decided to go to the Starbucks that overlooks the crossing for some coffee and breakfast. I managed to score one of the prime window seats, so I sat and drank my coffee of the day and ate my pastrami sandwich (they sell pastrami sandwiches at Starbucks in Tokyo) while I watched thousands of people cross the intersection below. I took some pictures, too, which I later found out is prohibited in Starbucks.


After I had sufficiently fed my hunger and caffeine addiction, I took the subway up to the central Tokyo “skyscraper district” in Shinjuku. Shinjuku is the land of futuristic looking office buildings and precisely planned out streets, walking around the area feels like walking around in some strange version of “Tomorrowland” except without the Goofies and the Mickey Mice.

I looked for and found the Park Hyatt, the hotel where Lost in Translation was filmed. I wanted to go up into the bar that was featured in the film and have a drink, but when I got up to the floor it was on I was told that it was closed, and was promptly seated in another (different) bar that was open in the early afternoon. It was a nice bar with an amazing view of the city, but the menu indicated that drinks were about 2,000 Yen each (about $20), so I snuck out all secret-like.

After that I stopped by the NS Building, which had a cool enclosed courtyard covered by a glass atrium, and also featured the largest clock of some sort as well as the world’s largest stairwell. Then some aimless wandering took me to the Tokyo Municipal Government buildings, which look kinda like giant computers turned inside out and shadow an equally post-post-post-modernish courtyard. I took the (free) elevator up to the 45th floor observatory, where I took some pictures and almost bought a stuffed monkey to add to my collection.

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