So much walking

Woke up today so much more comfortable than I have been over the last few nights. This is because I now have a proper bed, not the fold out sofa. I hit up McDonalds again for breakfast as I have figured why change a good thing when it works. I finally solved the mystery today of why I had trouble asking for a bacon and egg muffin; they don’t have one. You can get a bacon and egg sandwich, which from the blog a few day ago is bacon and egg between pancakes, but a muffin actually comes as a ham and egg muffin. I did notice the first time I had one what I believed was bacon was a bit perfectly round shaped, however still tasted good. My first stop today was Odaiba, which is actually across the water on the bay, and has both shopping and indoor amusement/theme parks. The train over was quite interesting, it doesn’t have rails but guides itself along short side walls, and its wheels are actually normal rubber wheels you would find on a truck/bus. This is very similar to the bus system in South Australia, however the trains are obviously much longer. The other interesting part is there are no drivers on board; the system is completely automated. Lets hope it doesn’t get confused and keep going when it comes to the end of the line. Getting off the train at 10am I found the shops here didn’t open until 11am, however the Sega Joypolis indoor theme park was just opening. I was more curious than anything, and with time to spare I headed on in. My options were to pay a general admission and then pay separate for the rides, or to pay a single fee for admission and unlimited rides for the day. I worked out if I was going to go on 4-6 things then the unlimited option was better value for money. The first thing I found was a roller coaster, however was curious how it worked in such a small area. With nobody else lined up I jumped straight on, then found out the hard way. The first few minutes were sedate, moving slowly between multiple large screens where you had to use a controller on the shoulder harness to shoot the monsters. When it did decide to speed up and be a roller coaster, it turned out the car continually spins 360 degrees as it moves around the track. I guess its the only way that can add the thrill perspective in such a small area to operate. Getting off quite dizzy, I decided I didn’t need any more of that one. Moving on to the next ride I found a hand gliding simulator, and after being strapped in and grabbing the control bar (like a normal hand glider) we were off. Well it turns out they basically took an 80’s arcade computer game and mixed it with movement. The graphics were terrible on a big screen and was giving me a headache. What made matters worse is I was terrible at flying the hand glider which made it shake around quite a bit, and it kept yelling at me in Japanese. After a few minutes it was over, and I decided I was calling it quits. Turned out to be a waste of money, but at least I didn’t lose too much. I thought they were going to be rides rather than interactive video games. I started wandering through the shops which were now opening, however nothing really caught my attention with most shops all the US and European retailers we have at home anyway. Within the shopping centre was also a massive Lego theme park, and Madame Tausadds wax museum but gave these a miss. Outside was a replica of the statue of liberty which you can also see in the photos below with the rainbow bridge in the background. I was a bit over shopping centres by now, however had to continue to the ones up the street as they were a little different. The first had a huge robot out the front, so took some photos but didn’t go in. The second however called Venus Fort was more interesting, not because of the retailers, but because of the shopping centre interior. It has been designed to resemble a 18th century south European town, including water features (with light shows that are not really 18th century) and a church. I took a few photos which you can see below. With shopping centres now done, I continued up the street again to a place called Toyota Mega Web which is basically a massive Toyota showroom with new and concept cars where you also have the ability to take cars on test drives along their purpose built road around and through the facility. Taking a few happy snaps and not being able to read any info about the cars as it was all in Japanese, I continued on again and found a place called Leisureland. It is basically an entertainment complex featuring game arcades, bowling alleys, slot machines, batting cages, karaoke, darts, table tennis, sports games, and much more. After a quick lap through I decided I was getting bored, so decided to move on completely. Back on the train I headed back into Tokyo in search of the Oriental Bazaar I could not find yesterday. My research before I came to Japan had said it was at Tokyo Central Station, however after verifying last night this was incorrect and was quite a few stations away on the other side of Tokyo. I did end up finding it, and turning out to be different to what I was expecting, but not so much for the worse. Expecting lots of markets selling cheap crap, its actually an upmarket souvenir and antiques store ranging from cheap to very expensive pricing. They did get some money from me, including the purchase of some traditional japanese clothing called a Yukata and and a Happi (basically they are gowns). With Tokyo commuter peak hour getting very close, and also not wanting to carry all my purchases with me all night I headed back to the hotel and had an hour of downtime. By this time my feet were killing me, however with a few places and things to do still on my list I couldn’t give up now or I was going to run out of time. Back on the train I headed to Shibuya again, this time to check it out of a night. There were so many more people compared to when I went earlier in the week, so the photos I took of the busy pedestrian intersection are amazing. After having a wander around the streets and a few of the shops, mainly checking out the people, I hit the downstairs food market again for some dinner. Along with some dumplings, I also got a spoonful of a cold prawn curry. I am glad I only asked for a spoonful, as 5 prawns turned out to be 700 yen (about $8). I figured while I was out I might as well cross something else off my list, so decided to head back to Akihabara to pick up a few more of those keyboards (see yesterday’s blog). Arriving just before 9pm, I was sure they closed at 10pm, but it turns out I was wrong as all the doors to the retailers were being closed. This was a bit of a pain considering I had to travel to the other side of Tokyo, so may or may not make it back again now. Now also having an aching back as well as sore legs, it was time to call it a night and I went back to the hotel.