Tokyo day 1 and 2

First night in town Max, Anais and I went out for dinner at Ropongi. We picked a random place and had some great skewers. The subway system here is incredible and easy to use. Taxis are outrageously expensive. The cab ride from the airport is around USD 240!! I took the bus that still cost around USD 30. Fortunately the place where Max is staying is only a 5 minute walk from one of the drop off points (Shinjuku Station).
The following day I did some house work, i.e., laundry! Had no more clean clothes. Then assembled my bike and went for a reconnaissance/getting lost bike ride. Lost completely my sense of direction – on purpose. Wounded up in some very quaint residential areas. After about 2 hours biking around I finally asked for directions back home. The hardest part though was once I got to Shinjuku Station. I could not find the street to Max’s place. I found the South Entrance – had to go to the West Entrance – but there is no real visible building from the streets – it’s almost all underground! It took me about 45 minutes to finally find his street. Ok – it did not help that I forgot to bring a map, did not know the name of his street, and was too stubborn to stop and buy a map. In any case, after a while I finally recognized the street where the bus had dropped me off the previous day.
At night we went to a huge night club in the outskirts of Tokyo called Ageha. A friend of a friend of Anais just moved back to Tokyo and was celebrating with some of his friends. The place is huge with about 5 different areas, including an outdoor pool area. Hero’s friends were very cool – they all did their MBA in Columbia and were now traveling as well.
Today if decided not to take the bike to take some pictures and experience walking the city. It was very easy moving around in the subways. You pay depending on which is your exit point. LCD screens show you where the train is, which is the next station, how long it’s going to take to each subsequent station, and even which side the doors will open.
I first walked through a park close by to see some Japanese gardens – had to pay to get into the park – about USD 2.
I then went to Akihabara – the tech shopping area. Cell phones are like chewing gum lined up in racks – all colors, shapes and sizes. They even have a Pantone color scheme line… GPS, cameras, security equipment and obviously some entire buildings with video games.
Ate some Tomkatsu at a street restaurant and went to Harajuku where the young punk/gothic/exhibitionist hang out. At first I felt funny about taking their pictures but then I realized that they were there for exactly that – they want the attention.
Here are the pictures:

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