Thursday 18th October
Our first wet day. This is the first time the weather has stopped us from doing all we had planned. We bought two day metro passes from the hotel (980 yen) cheaper than what you could buy them from the metro itself (710 yen for one day) - how often does that ever happen. We headed off for Ginza, which required going back one stop to Mitsukoshimae and then changing to the Ginza line. Chris was looking for a shop that one of his customers goes to when in Tokyo that sells second hand Louis Vuitton. Crassly called 'Blow Job Shops' after the young women who find themselves a sugar daddy who showers them with expensive gifts in return for services, unfortunately most don't like what is bought for them so they sells the off for something they do like. Not just limited to Louis Vuitton, these shops sells all manner of second hand designer items. We did not have any luck finding the store in Ginza as the shop Chris was looking for 'Wako', and where the metro conveniently brought us out in front of, was not the right store we needed. We could not hook up to the free wi-fi in the area so could not search for the right store.
Instead we wandered around Ginza, a very upmarket shopping area and one of the most expensive real estate areas in Japan. Apparently you can pay upwards of ten dollars for a cup of coffee but thankfully we didn't feel like any coffee this morning. We walked down Harumi-Dori Ave towards a moat that used to surround the Imperial Palace but is now in sections as roads have been put through to accommodate busy Tokyo.
We passed the Statue of Masashige Kusunoki, a 14th century samurai remembered as the ideal of samurai loyalty - he died fighting for his emperor. He was sent into a basically suicidal fight with his men but he did so without question.
Then we stumbled on Hibiya Park which had a replica peace bell gifted to the city from America and a huge garden display.
Called Tokyo Green 2012, there was a Lifestyle Garden Contest where people had created a small version of their idea of a lifestyle garden, small business selling there garden ideas and supplies and then we came across these masses of pink tinged dry looking bushes.
A Japanese woman came rushing over asking where we were from and signalling for us to follow her, she told us the name of the plant but I had no idea what it was but from her actions gathered it is the plant they use for making their brooms. She then gave me a heart shaped paper and asked me to write name of my country and my name and a message. Not sure what the message was meant to be, something encouraging I think she was saying so wrote Go Go Go. Then I had to take it into the mass of these bushes and she pointed to these groupings saying Japan and then Australia. She wanted to know where in Australia we were from and once I said Brisbane and she popped down an unadorned bush, it made sense. This was a map of Australia and these groups of bushes were the shapes of different countries and the people for these countries who had added their messages. Found out later it was called the Garden of 10,000 messages. She then took our photo and we got her to pose to.
Weather behaved for most of the morning but started to set in around lunch time. Had a quick look at Tokyo Station from the outside, very old style building. We went to see about going on the monorail. Apparently the JRPasses were meant to gives us free access but according to the woman in the information centre, the monorail is run by a private company and there is a fee. The monorail was back passed Ginza where we had just come from and didn't seem worth rushing around in this weather for.
We had a burger at this little place by a food hall before giving up on the day and heading back to the hotel. Funny how even a burger had to come with some form of fish, squid rings in this case? One thing with the metro is its all underground so no need to go out into the weather to get back to our hotel. Finally skyped the girls which I think is the first time since we've been in Japan.