Today’s post comes to you from an internet/comic café in Akihabara, because why the hell not.
I woke up extremely late today… well, at noon. Maybe to my teenage self that’s not so late, but when you’re only in Tokyo for a limited amount of time and you want to get a lot of stuff done during the day, then yeah, maybe so. But I reasoned that most of the stuff I wanted to do now resides within the context of the night life. Hmm.
I thought okay, let’s try exploring the notorious Kabuki-cho tonight. I may go into a host club. I may not. We’ll see.
But first, I walked from Kinshicho to Asakusa so I could go see Sensouji, which is a famous temple I think I passed on Christmas Day, but didn’t stop by to explore for long.
It look longer than I thought, getting to Asakusa. It’s one stop on the train, about 3 minutes, but because I was zig-zagging through the streets, heading mainly west (I had no smartphone with Google Maps to let me know I was heading in the right direction), it took quite a long time. It should have taken me half an hour to reach the temple, but I think it took more like an hour. I was looking to find the river to cross so I could get my bearings, because I know the train goes over a bridge. I did eventually find it. It was about 4 o’clock at this point, and the sun was low in the sky, so I think the photos I managed to take with my new camera were quite pretty. I will upload photos at the end of the week, or whenever I can be bothered to upload them onto my laptop. Obviously I can’t do it right now, as I’m not sitting at my laptop, but at a computer in an internet café, so I can’t plug my SD card in. And I don’t have the connecting cable with me.
I found the temple easily enough, and there was a long market line behind it. But I didn’t stop to buy anything. I went to Shibuya after that, wandered around, bought some leggings and a pair of socks. Even in Tokyo, with the biggest and widest variety of shopping centres in the country, it is really hard to find clothes in my size, which is depressing. I was walking past several Tokyo fashion clothes shops in the Shinjuku underground, and I felt a sudden urge to be able to dress like that. So, starting from when I get back (which coincidentally shall be New Year’s, haha), I am going to find a gym. It’s too cold to just do jogging, unless I opt to wear a face mask, which will then make my glasses steam up.
Saying that, I was weak, and I went into a KFC for dinner, convincing myself it was to uphold Japanese Christmas tradition. I’m glad I did in a way, because it satiated my craving. And it’s the only thing I ate all day. That’s not necessarily a good thing. But at least I won’t be packing extra calories. I had chicken and nothing else, which wasn’t my intention… they said “oh, this set is cheaper”, pointing to a chicken-only set, which I agreed to, mistaking it for being a set with chips and a drink. Nope, just four pieces of fried chicken. Such fattening. Much fry. So meat.
At that point I was in Shinjuku. I’d been aimlessly wandering around all day, not being that motivated to do anything particularly tourist-y as I hadn’t had much time to plan, and I’d woken up late. After I’ve published this post I’m going to make a detailed plan for tomorrow so I know exactly where to go and what to do. One of the places on my list is Tokyo tower. Tokyo Sky Tree is taller, and right up the road from my hotel, but it costs ￥2500 to go up, rather than ￥700 (Tokyo Tower). Mind you, the Sky Tree IS incredibly tall. at 634 metres, and Tokyo Tower is 333 metres. But then, Sky Tree’s observation deck is at only 350 metres. Still taller than where I went up in the Government Building, I think the observation deck was at 140 metres. Maybe I’ll go to both, haha. Or I’ll just take pictures of Tokyo Tower and then go up the Sky Tree. It’s more expensive, but it will be the tallest I’ve ever climbed.
I’ve just looked at observation views from both Tokyo Tower and Sky Tree, and neither look that impressive. I think the Government Building view outstrips both of them, AND it’s free to climb. So if you’ve never been to Tokyo and you’re looking for a tall building to climb, then make it the Government Building.
Actually, hold the phone, found more pictures from the Sky Tree. It does look pretty cool. I’m stuck for what to do now. I don’t usually look at pictures of the view from the tower before I go, I found them accidentally when I was checking the height of both towers just now. So now I’ve seen them, I don’t really have a reason to climb them, except perhaps to get photos of my own. If I went at sunset I could get both day pictures and night pictures, which would be cool. Or I could go up the Government Building for a second time. But because Tokyo Tower is one of the most famous landmarks, I guess I could go to take a picture and then not climb it? What am I even talking about. This doesn’t matter. I’m just rambling. I’ll get on with the rest of my day now.
So yeah, after that excessive amount of chicken (which I regret, because it was “a moment on the lips, but a lifetime on the hips” as my mum would put it), I went towards Kabuki-cho, which is famous for its nightlife. Namely, girlie bars, host clubs, pubs, peep shows, that sort of thing.
It was very pretty, so I took a lot of pictures. I wandered around a bit, just checking everything out, unable to find the host clubs at first, and was mainly faced with girlie bars, peep show clubs, that sort of thing.
Then I walked around a corner, then BAM, pictures of pretty-boys everywhere. Once I was in, I couldn’t escape.
They say there’s a club with EVERY type for every person available to you. I hear there are English-speaking ones, but I didn’t know from just looking at the outside. I thought at first it wouldn’t matter if they spoke English or not, but the idea of them looking estranged when they see a foreigner walking in feels too alienating. Hopefully they’d be more professional than that, haha.
But all of a sudden, I found myself REALLY not wanting to do it. I think I lost my nerve, particularly after seeing a load of pretty-boys walking up and down the street. I don’t know if they were hosts or not. Just fashionable Tokyo boys. But I’m not sure they’re really my type. Too girly. I didn’t used to mind androgynous guys but since I’ve only dated “boys” I’m kind of sick of guys my own age, and now my type is someone who looks like an actual man.
Also, I know there are several documentaries and articles out there about the emptiness of the host club industry. I don’t think they’re that well-paid. And I’m not sure I want to pay someone to fawn all over me anyway. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I can’t do this kind of thing anywhere else, and I can always just do it the one time, and then never again.
I think I might try again tomorrow. Or go to the butler’s café instead, which would probably be more tame. Or go to like a lesbian-friendly place. I might feel more comfortable there.
After that, I was approached by a Caribbean guy speaking to me in English, trying to persuade me to go into a “titty bar”. Which I assume means a bar with topless waitresses. I truthfully told him I was too embarrassed and I might come back tomorrow. I would probably feel less awkward if I was with a friend. As it is, I feel like a sad punter, rather than someone just trying to have an experience to laugh over. Mind you, if I was in a host club, I’d probably prefer one-on-one time anyway.
Either way, Kabuki-cho was attempted and failed. I’ll try tomorrow instead.
So now I’m in Akihabara, sitting at one of the computers, with all-you-can-drink available. It’s pretty nice. There are rows and rows of comic books to my right, and a vending machine where you can order anything from yakisoba to hot dogs to fried rice balls. So far I’ve only had a small paper cup of Coke as I’ve been typing a lot. I’ve been in here a good couple of hours, chatting to friends on Facebook and typing up this blogpost.
I’ll stop here so I can plan what I’m doing tomorrow, and write it all down. Tomorrow’s my last full day, but actually that’s not true. The 30th will also be a full day, but I have to check out of my hotel and put my luggage somewhere (I’ll ask when I get back whether they can keep my suitcase behind the desk for the day so I don’t have to find a coin locker), and then catch the night bus to Kyoto at 22:30. On which I probably will not sleep again. Impossiburu.