Day 3: October 24th 2008 Friday
Tokyo, Akihabara and Shinjuku
Sleeping late, we finally headed out. It was raining pretty hard, so we went to buy umbrellas. There were big puddles of water all around, so having the travel bag wasn't really convenient. At the Shinjuku station, we stored our extra bags into a coin locker, and continued only with my camera bag. We took Yamanote-line from Shinjuku to Akihabara. The Yamanote-line is one of the most convenient ways to go around in Tokyo. For one, it's JR and with the JR pass you can ride free all you want. It loops around Tokyo, and stops at most important stations. Almost anywhere you want to go, you can take Yamanote. It also runs about every minute or so. Or at least it seems so. If you are just about to reach the platform, and you notice one is leaving. Don't bother running to catch it, the next one will be there about the time you reach the platform.
Everyone who knows anything about electronics, computers or such, knows Akihabara. It's THE place to go shopping in Tokyo. But as we walked around, I noticed that the prices were significantly higher than in Usa. I know the dollar was weak, but that didn't make all the difference.
Miki needed new cell phone, so we went to Yodobashi-Camera in Akihabara. There was quite huge selection of phones, as well all the carriers too. After some time, one model from Sony-Ericsson seemed most interesting, especially as the normal price was about $600, but just that day they had started campaign to sell that phone for 1 yen, that's 1 cent. I also got interested, as a phone would be funny souvenir. I asked if I could get also one for 1 yen, and they said yes. But of course, I would have to get the 2 year plan also. But! The sales guy told us that until end of month, which was for 7 days, I could cancel my plan without termination fee, and I'd still get to keep the phone. So we both got phones. That was really convenient, especially because now we were able contact each other with local prices. After spending few days in Tokyo, I was planning to head out on my own, so that might come handy.
We went around Akihabara for a while, stopped at an arcade to play some games. Occasionally it rained a bit while we were going around the small alleys at Akihabara, and it was already dark, so we started heading back to the Akihabara station. With Yamanote, we travelled to Shinjuku. In Shinjuku, we found nice kaitenzushi, the sushi place that has food going around in a conveyor belt.
The plan for the night was to stay at a capsule hotel. Never been to one, so that was an experience I wanted to try out. We walked around Shinjuku, and we saw nice looking hotel, and went in. But, they had very strict tattoo rule. No exceptions, so I was out. Yea, I know, I look like Yakuza mafioso. I was planning to plant a horse head to the adjacent capsule.
Short walk from there, we found another place which looked more down to earth, and in a moment, I was in the capsule. It was really interesting, basically about 1x1x2 meter tube with mattress and small TV. I think it was just a bit shorter than 2 meters, as even with my height, I had some trouble having my feet extended and trying not to hit my head to the opposite wall. But nice experience anyway.