Once again Harajuku was a bit of a disappointment. In a later post (I'm jumping around) I already commented on how cosplayers were a dying breed and there's nothing new to add. We chilled around the bridge waiting for Andy and his crew to show up. When they finally arrived we did the customary walk down Takeshita Street to Marion Crepes where everyone purchased a crepe to consume while walking through the second half of the street.
To temporarily appease Amy's Hello Kitty addiction we walked over to Kiddyland where she discovered Rilakkuma (relax bear) and Korilakkuma (mischievous little bear). I've never heard of these two characters until Amy found them, but a week later I saw a Toyota commercial at the Harajuku Gold's Gym featuring Rilakkuma. It's amazing how well the Japanese can market to their young teens. They are able to create these characters without that much depth but with fanatic followings. Yet the Japanese can't seem to do the same for their automotive industry. Toyota or Honda don't generate anywhere near the amount of emotional brand loyalty as the Germans.
With bears in tow, we split from Andy's group and met up with some of Kevin's classmates, dragging them with us to Shinjuku (one of my least favorite neighborhoods in Tokyo) to hunt down the Sanrio flagship store. Not surprisingly we were disoriented and walked in circles for a while until we finally found the wimpy flagship store. It never fails, I'd say 80% of the time, I'm unable to find my destination on the first try, no matter how well you prepare for it ahead of time. Maps in Tokyo are always oriented differently from each other, the scale is always a bit misleading and I absolutely hate the address system here. Anyway, the Sanrio flagship store was embarrassing. So bad that I had to strangle Amy for dragging us around Shinjuku for it.
Afterwards we ended up going to a random restaurant in the area. The most interesting aspect of the dinner was the layout of the tables. I don't even remember what type of food we ate. The tables though were pieced together in such a way that you could eat in private or, if you are in a large group like ours, you could take down the partitions and end up facing each other. I guess they could have just done it in a rectangular or square grid, but they chose to use triangles which made for interesting seating arrangements.
On the way back to Kevin's place I totally assed out. When I woke up at the Roppongi stop what did I see? Kevin and Amy sneaking off the train trying to leave me behind. Freaking bastards. Luckily my Spider-sense, perfected from the years of commuting from Brooklyn to midtown, was tingling so they weren't able to get away with it. Spiderman, Spiderman, Does whatever a spider can... Early the next morning we took her to the Tsukiji fish market before she left for the states. We had an interesting unagidon meal since Amy wasn't too down with fresh fish at 7am. The owner of the restaurant was very flamboyant and in mid sentence would keep switching from one language to another. Didn't help that he rambled on the entire time we were eating breakfast. Guess it's nice to have a show with the meal. Apparently many famous celebrities have dined there including Jay Chow.
Farewell Amy, Hello BBQ set, and Amy finally gets to Hello Kitty; buys Rilakkuma instead set by Kevin Boon. Additional photos on Amy's Facebook here.