(Me cleansing myself in the smoke, a Japanese ritual)
(Fortunes! I finally got the best one but it was a little late.)
I forget the name of the place we went to next but it was the electronic area. There were a lot of electronic stores, many, if not all of them were duty free. I think it's a ploy to get a lot of foreigners to go there but I'm not sure how they pull off the duty free scheme. Needless to say, that was not the purpose of our journey. We were headed to a maid cafe. From what I have read online, maid and other similar cafes have been sprouting up in Japan as a way to fill a fantansy. I know that many of you are thinking it is geared towards the men, however, when I was there, there were just as many women. I believe it has turned in to more of a tourist attraction but there are probably some back alley places. It was 500 yen to sit down and another 700 yen for a drink. No pictures were allowed and customers are only supposed to stay for an hour. If you wanted a picture it cost an additional 500 yen. Needless to say, it was quite pricey and did not fill any of my fantasies. However, it was an experience and if I ever visit Tokyo again with a friend, I am sure I will take him or her there as well.
I wish I remembered the names of each place but I have no forgotten. I do recall some of the names themselves but cannot accurately associate them with any place. So, after the electronic area and maid cafe we were off to the "Sumo Dome" and sumo area. Fortunately, while we were walking around I passed a sumo and took a photo with him. While he was a lot larger than myself, I have a feeling he was still rather small in the sumo world. I wish I would have known what rank he was. We stopped at a place for lunch and got some rice bowls. There really wasn't too much to see since it was a national holiday and a lot of the attractions were closed. One place I did want to go was the Imperial Palace in Tokyo since I already saw the one in Kyoto however that was closed as well.
We ended our stay in Ueno Park and the surrounding area. We walked along one street which had a ton of shops and the "chocolate man." He was pretty interesting. You pay 1000 yen and whatever he feels like giving you he throws it into a bag, it's all at his discretion. I'm not sure if some people get two or three bags or if some get a piece of chocolate but he was definitely an entertainer. We had Mexican for dinner, go figure and I think we ended up getting four bottles of wine - yes, the bus trip back was a bit rough! Oh well. My stay was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the city. I picked up a bit of Tokyo bend and by a bit, I mean one word - jian. As in "Watashiwa Justin jian."
(A final group photo before we got on the bus. I'm not exactly sure what Decky was looking at, maybe a nice looking lady passing by...)
Well, I hope everyone is doing well. I had a phone interview on Monday - not my best performance. So, now I have wait until the 7th of March to see if I made it on to the next phase for Teach for America. Pepe, remember, you are a penguin now. Good luck with your confession - I am rooting for ya buddy!!! Take care everybody and keep smiling!