Soooooo....after the short harbor cruise, I decided we should head out to Shinjuku. I really wanted to see the Meiji Shrine, which is a huge shrine (duh) dedicated to Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. It's set in the middle of a deep, dark forest actually. It's so peaceful and quiet that you don't even want to sneeze. It's reminiscent of Central Park, except way bigger. In the middle of such a hustle-bustle part of town lies this haven. And mosquitos. Gotta have mosquitos.
When you first enter, there's an area to do a hand-washing ritual. It was kinda neat. You pick up the spoon with one hand and pour some water into your other hand and...I don't really know. What I do know is that this crackhead decided to just sip from the cup which it CLEARLY told you not to do! Who comes into a sacred shrine just violating all the rules?? Luckily, no one was around to witness it but me. *slap*
This is really my only regret about visiting Tokyo - that I didn't get to see more of Shinjuku and Harajuku. We were in the area but didn't explore it at all because we were really tired. Jar caught some wicked jetlag and I was just beat in general. Next time, maybe I can afford to stay in the neighborhood. So we headed back to the hotel for some R&R. Not surprisingly, once we got back, I wasn't especially sleepy but Old Yeller was snoring away. So I watched some TV and dozed in and out. Later that night, we got ready to hit the town again! I rarely wear heels now but I busted them out Friday night. I don't mind being tall anymore, but when I put these heels on, I'm about 6 feet. It's a little unnerving because I'm not all that stable wearing flats so heels are a challenge. I lasted about 2 solid hours trekking through downtown Shibuya in these puppies. Once we started walking uphill on cobblestones though, I had to throw in the towel. I dunno how these Asian women do it everyday!
After wandering aimlessly, semi-enraptured by the sheer frenzy of Shibuya, we finally picked a random restaurant called Christon Cafe. Had no idea what to expect, but this turned out to be one of the COOLEST (ok, and creepiest) restaurants I've ever seen. It was a sacrilegious, church-themed place, very gothic and well, Christian. All rolled up into one! A mingling of cherubs and gargoyles, a cavernous celebration of Mary and Mephistopheles. I didn't know whether to pray or party but it was definitely cool. We also had a three or four-course meal for about $75, including drinks! And my favorite part of course, the HOT waiter! Wow...he was almost too pretty, a little shy, and totally adorable. I kept ordering random stuff just so I could say "Sumi masen!" and watch him scamper over. Oh well, that's how I get my kicks!
I pretty much swallowed that strawberry cake whole. Jar barely got any and I nearly ordered ANOTHER one!! Partly because I'm a piglet but also because of Hot Waiter Guy. So anyway, after that we walked around Shibuya but the nightlife seemed to just die after a certain hour. Everyone was getting in taxis and heading other places and since we had no idea what was happening there, we went back to Roppongi. It was jumping there! Unfortunately, no free champagne for me but we did end up rocking out at Club 99 again, until about 730am!! My goodness, it's been a long time since I've done but oh what fun I had. Let me recount the randomness:
1) First, I had the unfortunate problem of wearing FLIP FLOPS in a nasty @$$, dirty @$$ club!! Why did I do that?! I think I had every kind of liquor spilled on my feet. People stepping on my toes and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE, using the ONE grungy, unisex bathroom. What a freakin' nightmare for a germophobe like me. I'm holding onto my bag, my pants, squatting while my toes are gripping the edges of my shoes so not one iota of flesh meets that cesspool of a floor. I morph into Cirque du Soleil when faced with a mangy club bathroom. Lesson learned.
2) Some drunk guy kept hanging onto me. All...night...long. He was like the damn repo man...everytime I turned around, he'd be behind me blowing his hot breath on my neck. Jar had wandered off at this point, but he would've been real handy as a fake stand-in boyfriend. That's one good thing about having him around - he is a repellent for disgusting men that may try to hit on me. So, I was basically dancing on the floor by myself which I didn't mind actually. But oh if I could've gotten rid of that fool...
3) I got hit on...I think...by a chick. This ghetto fabulous black and Japanese girl rolled up on me and said, "What's your name? Who's dat? Your boyfriend?" And I said no, that's my brother! She was cool and we were chatting. She wanted to know about my braids, said she did hair. Then she hit me with, "I'm not a lesbian or anything but you're a very pretty girl. I don't understand why you don't have a boyfriend!" **blink**stare**blink** Uh huh...check please!!
4) A bright spot though was meeting a cool guy. He was a server there and I noticed him earlier from his crazy hair (black & Japanese maybe?) but I kinda glossed over him. He came up to me once before asking if I wanted to buy a drink and I looked at him like he had snakes growing from his head. He probably thought I was a jerk. But later, after my Lady Lover disappeared, he commented about how "crazy" my friend was and I quickly responded, "Oh no, I don't know her!! I met her tonight!" So we just started chatting and it turned out he was from Harlem! He said he really missed NYC and was trying to get back there by the summer. So he gave me his email and told me to hit him up. I like how he wrote his information down though - as an addendum to my Friday itinerary. Cute points!
5) The extreme public drunkenness!! Breathtaking. Jar got some priceless shots, but this guy was definitely my favorite. He was literally unconscious with nary a friend in sight. I wish my friends would try to drop me off abandoned baby style in front of a coffee shop!! We'd have some problems...Seriously, how the hell does that happen!? He was passed out in front of the Starbucks which meant that ALL those people inside had to step over him just to get through the door. High class all the way. Jar decided to lay down next to him, head resting on him and everything just to get a better shot. I'll be posting that nonsense when he emails it to me.
Whew!! I'm tired. I'm still trying to recoup from all of May really. But Tokyo was definitely worth all the money I shelled out. I really could appreciate the diversity of Japan compared to Korea. Everyone really looked different and had unique style. Not to say that all Koreans look alike but there is definitely a mold when it comes to how to dress and behave. Truthfully, I love both places. So, I'll be back to Japan someday. And I'll be sure not to miss my flight. :)