18 February 2007

Day 8, 22 Dec 06 - Last night in Tokyo

Would be returning home the next day, had to seize every opportunity to shop and eat our fill. We made our way to Takashimaya Times Square which housed Takashimaya Department Store, Tokyu Hands and Kinokuniya.
First stop was Tokyu Hands, a mega creative living space cum DIY ware store that sells practically everything a home and office need like home electronics, stationery, party supplies, tools, lighting & bathroom fixtures, camping gear, bicycles & bike goods, car & motorcycle stuff, home improvement & kitchen ware, gardening equipment, toys, games, office & art craft supplies, storage solutions etc etc etc. There is every material possible at Tokyu Hands, creating a conductive environment for DIY.
We spent a whole morning shopping at Tokyu Hands only breaking for lunch at Takashimaya Food Hall. Had a tonkatsu rice set over at a counter stall, even a simple meal like this was oishii, especially the miso soup!
Similar to Tokyu Food Show, Takashimaya Food Hall also woos customers with a huge selection of food and confectionery items. I spent some time feasting with my eyes and camera, and wishing that I could stay here long enough to savour all the different types of food. I kind of envy the people staying in Japan. Oh well, Singapore is not bad either, just that I'm quite a sucker for packaging and pretty looking stuff. Shallow huh? But hey, these are not only good lookers, they are big on quality too. I know because I went around sampling some of the food :p

Thereafter, popped into Kinokuniya to get some zakka magazines and books which are not readily available in Singapore. As we had too many shopping bags and didn't want to pay for lockers, we went back to the hotel to unload our barang barang and freshen up first.
Decided then to make a trip to Omotesandō 表参道, an upscale shopping area featuring several international brand outlets like Gucci, Chanel, Burberry etc etc etc. Heard that it is the hippest place in town at the moment and SMAP just opened a shop there. Omotesando also links to Aoyama 青山, another hip and trendy area. I supposed we could only afford window shopping but it was a good place to soak in the atmosphere and people watch.
We strolled along the streets of Omotesando and chanced upon the SMAP shop! Almost walked past the shop without realising it, was wondering what the commotion was about as there was a queue forming outside a shop. And there it is, the SMAP Shop. You mean people actually have to queue to get in? I guess because the shop is really tiny. Was quite interested to find out what sort of merchandise the shop offers and I'm quite fond of Kimura Takuya, yep so I queued too. Was rather disappointed though coz there were limited items on sale, only concert DVDs which cost a bomb. Apparently there was even SMAP chocolate but they were sold out. There wasn't even any life size posters. *Disappointed* To think that people (including myself :p) would queue for it, you can guess the cult status of SMAP in Japan and the extent to which people worship the band.
In the end, didn't manage to go to Aoyama as it was getting late although I very much wanted to. Next time perhaps. As for our last dinner at Tokyo, decided to eat sushi since we have not had any for this trip. Went into one conveyor belt sushi bar which looked rather presentable and was pleasantly surprised that seafood and fish offered was fresh and price reasonable too. It shouldn't go wrong eating sushi in Japan. Well, this more or less summed up my last night in Tokyo... couldn't help feeling a tinge of sadness that I have to leave the next day.
Day 8 thoughts: Last night in Tokyo, wished that time could stop there and then.

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