Friday, May 22, 2009


So I have this book in my lounge room 'A Guide to Japan' by William Duncan. I like it because it is old and the cover is pretty. Tonight was the first time I read any of the text.

'Shinjuku and Shibuya Districts
These are two of Tokyo's sub-cities which have grown up around the railway stations. In the morning an evening Shinjuku is black with people. Walking is often reduced to shuffling along the street in a crowd. '

Shibuya is not quite so raucous and crowded. It is regarded as Tokyo's middle class quarter for nightlife and shopping'.

I thought it would be interesting to see what I wrote in my travel diary about Shibuya, because the Shibuya I know is different to the observations of this circa 1970 travel guide. I remember Shibuya as a bustle of people, a wave of colour and this sub-city had a gritty, honest character that you often don't see in other parts of Tokyo.

So I checked my travel diaries, to share my wonderful observations and see how they compared with the quote above.

My first trip to Japan, was at the end of some travels to San Francisco and Europe so by the time we got to Tokyo the diary entries were pretty light on. The page relating to Shibuya mentions the big video screens, and neon signs - but the bulk of it talks about the gyoza and soup we ate at lunch...

I wrote a lot more in my diary the second time around in Tokyo. The entry about Shibuya is longer, as it talks about the lunch we bought in more detail this time. The lunch we bought from the department store consisted of:
  • Hotdog cooked inside breadroll (Japanese style)
  • Gyoza (some things never change)
  • Pork bun
  • Tempura
Apparently it was very good. I did then write about Love Hotel Hill and its kitsch maze of hotels, so I covered off some of the sights... only to move along to documenting the fight my travelling companion and I had over sticker film. I remember at the time declaring sticker film to be 'my thing!' (so don't you go wrecking it). The diary just politely notes 'a slight disagreement over how many stars should appear in the sticker film'

At least I took lots of real photos to remember the trip by.


     Love Hill Hotel

    Too many stars

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