Monday, September 05, 2005

Sony Building to Shinkansen

Another day in Tokyo started. Today Terence and I decided to hit the Tokyo building before heading to Chiryu, the small city where we were planning to stay for the Expo. We decided to take the JR to the Tokyo station and drop off our bags. We figured that this would be the most efficient use of our time. I think that wasn't the best idea. We spent more time trying to find the lockers and then making our way to the next station to go to the Sony Building than we would have saved. Oh well, live and learn I say.


Terence dropping our stuff off. :)

After snaking our way back to the Tokyo subway we take the train to Ginza, where the Sony Building is located. Terence is in seventh heaven here. All sorts of techno gadgets to see and play with. Even $2600 headphones!


And Play Station Portable.


And silver plated Mini Disc players.


And Play Stations


And mp3 players

And even AIBO!


Aibo is the CUTEST little robot dog that reacts just like a real dog. We've got a video of the dog in action, and if I can figure out how to post it here, I will! I've I ever win the lottery, or have $2000 burning a hole in my pocket, I'm getting this dog here! (When Terence and I walked away from it, it followed us! The dog even wags it's tail! This robot is so popular, it's right there in the lobby of the Sony Building.


After exploring the Sony Building, Terence and I decided to have lunch in the food area that was attached to the subway station. By this time, we are heavily in lunch hour, and every restaurant is busy. We decide on a noodle shop, and are quickly seated. Terence and I have develped a routine where we sit down and he says, "what would you like for lunch/dinner?" and I answer by saying "Surprise me!" Since I can't read the menus, I figure Terence knows me well enough by now that he can order me food fairly well, and on this trip, he hasn't gone wrong. The waitress comes up, and he orders our food. A few minutes later, potstickers are delivered. YUM!, then Terence's noodles are delivered.... and then we wait, and wait and wait. And business men arrive....and order....and get their food. And I'm still waiting. Terence finally ends up calling over the waitress and re-orders my meal. He can't figure out why there was a mistake, since he ordered MY meal first, and ended up getting his. Oh well. The food is decent, and we decide as soon as we're done there, we'll go and catch the Shinkansen.

Here's Terence getting our tickets


The actual ticket


Going through the turnstiles


On the platform:




The train




And boarding the Sinkansen



Now, I've been on the train that goes through the Chunnel tunnel to Paris. That train went fast. But MAN! We were zipping along! How fast you ask? Check this out:


How about 166 miles per hour??


So fast the stuff in the window is blurry!


So fast we go through train stations in mere SECONDS!

So fast we make this trip in 2 hours!



And now, Terence is saying we'll be taking the FASTER one home!

We arrived in Chyru and checked into our hotel room, where Terence started to play with his binoculars



And I took a nap. After a bit of rest, we then decided to go get some dinner. After consulting with the desk clerks, Terence got the locations of a Ramen shop and a Soba shop. He gave me the choice. Since I hoped that the Soba shop had Udon (I love udon) I chose the Soba. I made a very good choice, it turns out.


We got one of those tables where you get to sit on the floor and eat. The staff let us look at the menus for a bit, and when we were ready to order, or if we needed anything to push this button.

A wireless button that dings like a doorbell to let the staff know you need to order, etc. How cool is that??!! We started with Agedashi tofu (fried tofu in dashi) and Terence had Kastu-don (fried pork over rice with veggies and an egg) and I had curry udon. We then decided to have dessert, and Terence got the green tea ice cream and I got something we couldn't identify on the menu. It had ice cream on top, and turned out to be mochi underneath. Whatever it was, it was goooood. :)



On the way out, we saw this contraption, that grinds the flour the restaurant needs to make the noodles everyday.

That rectangular part in the middle had these balls in it that bounced around and hit the insides, making chiming sounds. It was really cool. :)

Time for bed now, Expo tomorrow.

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