Tokyo

Day 5 – Ikebururo and Shinjuku

It’s forecast to bucket with rain all day, and it isn’t wrong, so we head to the gigantic (ironically-named) Sunshine City mall in Ikebukuro. The mall itself is a bit of a letdown, not my kind of shops (with a few exceptions – a Ghibli souvenir shop and Hello Kitty goodies) but we have a decent Naples-style pizza for lunch – the Japanese seem to like their Italian food and do it pretty well.

Need cheering up after getting so wet in the rain, so head straight to the cat cafe at the top of Tokyu Hands. We pay Y1000 for both of us to get in, and coo over all the sweetie cats for a while. It’s kind of more fun as a photo op than a cat-tastic experience though, as the kitties weren’t particularly cuddly or playful and just made me miss my kitty back home.

After we go to the Sega arcade over the road to have another go on the Guitar Hero-style drumming game we played the other day, and find a new fun game where you have to build with real lego-type bricks in front of the screen to make the characters move. Find a nice washi paper shop on the way back and buy a few gifts, then pop into yet another branch of Loft (in the Seibu mall above the station) for more cute stickers and stationery.

Back in Shinjuku the rain has let up a little so we go to find the fabric store Okadaya, behind the train station. It has a great selection of cute fabrics for reasonable prices; I get 3 metres of various patterned fabrics for about 15 quid. Go back to the hotel briefly to dry off, but it’s raining hard again when we set out for dinner. Try but fail to find a gyoza (dumpling) place recommended online so settle for an average but overpriced Chinese place in the Isetan mall. Console myself with Pocky from the 7-11 on the way back and spend the evening planning the next few days – halfway through our time in Tokyo now.