© 2012 Elys. All rights reserved. Nippon

Day 314: Nippon!

Jakarta, Indonesia – Narita – Tokyo, Japan

Being one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, I wouldn’t have expected to encounter any difficulties with cellular network and free public wifi in Tokyo. I was dead wrong. During my last conversation with my dad, he had warned me that the cellular system in Japan is different from elsewhere in the world. I found it hard to believe that the international SIM card that had served me well so far in my trip didn’t pick up any signal here.

My plan in Tokyo was to meet up and stay with a CS friend of mine, Akie (Back in 2010, Akie was traveling around the world and stayed at my studio in NYC .) Usually, having no cellphone doesn’t matter much during my travel. However, it is rather necessary when it comes to couchsurfing since it’s the easiest way to get in touch with the CS hosts.

Hence, with no phone, I was on a constant hunt of free wifi. It was frustrating. I was in Harajuku, the trendiest area of Tokyo, and I had trouble locating a cafe that offers wifi. Even the Starbucks here do not have it.

When I finally managed to get online a couple of times in two different cafes throughout the day, I sent Akie messages and emails regarding a place and time to meet up. Unfortunately, Akie was busy with work and was unable to get in touch with me until 10 in the evening. By 9pm, I was so tired and rather worried that I finally checked into a hostel.

Sorry folks, I had to rant. On a happier note, I spent the day today visiting Shinjuku and Harajuku. In Shinjuku, I headed to the Tokyo Government Building, where there’s a free admission to the 45th floor’s observatory.

This free visit led me to Harajuku’s Lafotel Museum where there’s a short film festivals going on. I learnt this from a poster in Shinjuku. I got to Lafotel in time for a free showing of a collection of shorts on the issue of global warming.

The rest of the afternoon was spent meandering around the avenues and alleyways of Harajuku where the otakus were out and about dressed in the freshest and weirdest fashion styles of Japan. This scene in Harajuku is interestingly juxtaposed by the quiet area of the Meiji Jingu shrine next to it.

One Comment

  1. Stephen
    Posted 20 Jun at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Nice Pics El …. :)
    Will you be going to the Ghibli’s Studio / Museum ?
    Please upload some pics… :)

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