30,000 Steps

Japanese Uniforms, Scrambles, Shrines and Fashion

Friday after hitting the fish market (mentioned in our Welcome to Tokyo Japan post) we wandered around what seemed to be a business district as we were surrounded by mostly men headed to work. It was so odd to us that they seem to dress the same like they were required to all wear a uniform, a white button-up shirt and dark slacks. That was what every single man was wearing! The women were a little more unique but still sticking mostly to black and white or very muted, dull tones. How boring, it makes the odd styles we see in other parts of town make more sense.

In the afternoon we headed to the Shibuya district where we walked across the famous Shibuya Pedestrian Scramble, 7 crossroads come together in the same place and all the lights turn red at the same time. Seeing the throngs of people making their way in every direction is entertaining.

From the scramble we headed towards the Meiji Jingu shrine.  We happened to stumble upon what looked like a traditional Japanese wedding. Sadly I enjoyed the wedding more than the shrine but the trees and landscape surrounding everything were really amazing.

Shrine bride Shrine Shrine2 Shrine3 Shrine4

Takeshita Streen in Harajuku was for sure interesting but not the fashion shock I was hoping for. I did read somewhere Sundays were the day to go or maybe it is just to touristy now. That said I still really enjoyed the area, silly clothes, candy and people lining the streets.

Takeshita Street Takeshita Street2 Takeshita Street3

And almost 30,000 steps later our 1st full day in Tokyo finally ended.


Meat lunch2Saturday we walked to the grocery store to pick up a few things and explored our surroundings. Seeing where real local people live is fascinating, everything so compact and clean. For lunch we sought out some much needed protein, we can find noodles and dumplings everywhere but meat we were having trouble locating. We had great success and also found another protein filled dinner. A big surprise for us is the lack of variation in the food here. Yes you can seek out McDonald’s or other touristy food but all the local food seems to be extremely similar. Not going to lie, in the first 48 hours here I wasn’t sure I would make it after exploring our food options.

Grocery goodies

Meat lunch3
Meat lunch4

Girl’s Bar and Love Hotel

Trying to keep ourselves awake to combat the jet lag Eric and I decided to try and find a place to grab a drink. We walked and walked looking for a place and I accidentally pointed us down a peculiar alley. We noticed a hotel that had “rest” rates as well as nightly rates. We thought it odd but kept going. Next door to that hotel was another and another all with “rest” rates posted but no normal hotel entrance. We made a few guesses and assumptions but honestly the people in the area were all couples that didn’t look any different than Eric and I. We looked it up later and of course those were “love hotels” and were for exactly what you are thinking 😉

Girls Bar

After that interesting experience we finally stumbled upon a bar which said it was a “girls bar” on the sign.  Knowing what area we were in should have tipped us off but sadly my naivety thought, oh this must be a bar mainly for women. It was not. Eric and I walked in and the two women inside quickly gave us the big X.  They literally made an X with their arms telling us to leave. LOL I was honestly a little shocked, a little confused not knowing if it was myself or Eric they didn’t want inside and also embarrassed for making what they acted like was a fairly large mistake.  Shaken a tad, Eric led me to the nearest normal restaurant where we finally grabbed a drink, it was like a Denny’s is the way we described it.

Still confused a bit and frustrated with the language and cultural barrier, we made it back to the hostel I had to look up what we had encountered that night. Yes a “love hotel” is for sex and prostitution & yes a “girls bar” is a place where men go to be flirted with and give attention. Lessons learned!


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  77. Just sitting here eating my lunch at my desk in AZ and laughing at the thought of you and Eric getting kicked out of a brothel. I can totally see you (Ashley) trying to appologize and explain what you thought the place was and the Japanese women shooing you away, lol. Hope y’all are having fun and finding your way around better now 🙂

    • We got the big X with the arms and an extremely stern/concerned looks as well as some words that we’ll never know. LOL

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