Jordan Brock

Shibuya: People, Food and Lights

A day in the office, doing some of the stuff that I actually came up to Tokyo to do in the first place. The computer company delivered the server today, about 2 hours late, with four (!WTF?) guys coming along for the ride. They brought the box into the office, and then all stood around staring at each other and at me. I wasn’t sure if I was committing some serious social faux pas, but eventually Habu-san came along and saved us. Apparently they were just waiting for someone to take the initiative and probably would have waited for 20 minutes if someone didn’t tell them to set it up!

They had it set up within 5 minutes and then scarpered off to home base. I spent the rest of the day squashed up in the office, trying to setup the japanese version of Windows. I pretty much got there in the end, so it probably went better than I thought. Probably a couple of hours work over the next couple of days.

After work, I went into Harajuku and Shibuya with Imei-san and Habu-san to have a walk around, some dinner and drinks. Plenty of time gawking at all the buildings, and all the lights. Shibuya is extremely hard to describe: total chaos of people, buildings, cars and light is probably the best way. Times Square after a hard night on the tiles might be another.

It was quite an effort to find somewhere for dinner, but we eventually found an okonomiyaki restaurant. It’s a kind of pancake mixed with vegetables and meat and all sorts of stuff, which they cook on the hotplate that’s in the middle of the table. We had three different kinds, and they were all delicious.

A couple of beers with dinner on my ownsome, as neither of my companions drank! Which meant I was of course drinking for Australia. Don’t worry. I did us proud. Mostly.

Of course, the most interesting thing to do in Shibuya is to just walk around experiencing it. An astounding number of people, all going in seemingly random directions. It could take 1 minute to cross a 20 metre road because of the volume of people. I felt a little like a spawning salmon swimming upstream.

A fair bit of walking, and looking like a complete tourist snapping pictures of everything, and then we found a little bar that Habu-san had been to before. Of course, if you didn’t know it was there you’d have no chance because it was on the fourth floor of a building down a little alleyway up a hill. And then it only had about 8 seats. We walked in, and everyone in the bar had to rearrange themselves so that we could get in. But it was worth it because I had some of the best ginnantonix I’ve had in a long time (lime, not lemon), and a good translated conversation with the bar staff. Great feel to the place, and an astounding range of whiskey.

A great night out in chaos.