Saturday, June 26, 2010

JAPAN! Blog-on-the-Spot! Day 3: Shinjuku

I thought that we could cover Shinjuku, Harajuku and Shibuya in one day, but I guess it was really a joke to put that into plan. There is absolutely no way you can finish Shinjuku in 1 day!
That is a fact, coming from a none-shopaholic point-of-view (am I really one?)!
Shinjuku is practically packed with giant malls, correction, SUPER malls, biggest being larger than Vivocity and small ones smaller than Isetan Scotts. It is kinda like Causeway Bay in Hong Kong. Everywhere you turn, it is a mall. So could I ever complete Shinjuku in one day? Never!
Help! I am already getting lost in Shinjuku, even with a map!
A udon-only shop. I was utterly lost for words to describe how a cheap and plain bowl of udon with clear broth and diced spring onions can be super nice! No other udon in Singapore which I had, can everr compare to this simple bowl of udon! With never-ending stream of customers, I think I just found a gem in some narrow street.
Getting lost in Shinjuku is easy but you can just find your way around with big malls as landmarks. However, getting lost means discovering interesting small malls.
When my brother told me to visit Tokyu Hands, I was like "stop it already!". But after being in there, I totally understood what he meant! There is definitely something to get, because they have everything! Not just your regular departmental store, it is dedicated to "Creative" stuff. They have everything such as super-compact stylish umbrellas, Porter bags, USB sticks that do crunches and humping actions, stylish furnitures, tons of cute stationery, snazzy kitchen utensils, etc. No one was able to resist getting something. Everyone had to walk out with a bag or two! I was not spared! I could have spent all my budget at Tokyu Hands! I resisted!
The building on the left is one of the many OIOI malls. The one shown above was OIOI Current, a mall dedicated to young people fashion (yes! I'm old!). The one on the right is my haven, paradise! BIC CAMERA is one of the major electronics chain store, kind of like Harvey Norman. But as the name suggests, with major emphasis on cameras. Another major player is YODOBASHI. I went literally crazy inside these stores! How?
The latest cameras from major brands like Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, Ricoh, Yashica, Fujifilm, etc. They have the latest models of cameras to let you get trigger happy! I had so much fun on the fancy coloured Panasonic GF1, the lastest G2, Olympus PEN EP-2 in exclusive silver colour, the latest PEN Light EPL-1, Pentax Kx in many candy colours, the latest micro-SLR Sony NEX-3 and NEX-5 , Ricoh GX that never made its way to our shores, high-end Canon 7D and Nikon D700 SLRs. Not to mention the complete range of latest lenses for you to play without being hassled by the sales representative, something that you can never do in Singapore! No way you will see an expensive camera in such a worn out state!! Dedicated outlets also include dedicated Mooks level, film-processing equipment level, studio equipment level, basically a camera-otaku's heaven!
Apart from cameras, I get to play with the latest iPads to my heart's delight! Damn fun I must admit! I was evenn tempted to score a WIFI 16GB iPad at ~S$600+, too bad we do not have microSIM available at Singapore Telcos, if not, I would score the WIFI+3G 16GB at ~S$800+. It sure saddens me when I see people unravelling their spanking new iPads at the Apple dedicated service stations. Wait, Singapore don't even sell iPads officially! Haha! Maybe I should score one back just to show-off!
Wait! Show-off? I might as well bring back an iPhone 4! Yes, I had so much fun with iPhone 4. Japan is currently selling iPhone 4 only with contract with reservations. But the sales lady was kind to let me play to my heart's delight. A good 15mins play was nice, or was that longer? So no iPhone 4 for me to bring back to Singapore, what about the many eye-dazzling iPhone 4 accessories? Of course! I could get them here and use them when the slow Telcos in Singapore finally bring in the handset! But I might just get a Docomo special version RX-78 Gundam phone. Of course, it is not an RX-78 phone, but it is a white clamshell phone that sits on cradle which is a RX-78 Gundam in Ver.Ka finish.
So have I finished Shinjuku? Not really! I have not visited Sakuraya Toys Store, a rumoured floor dedicated to Gundam, and other floors of many other toys. I will try to make it back to Shinjuku. But let's see what happens tomorrow!
Japan is super fun!

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