Monday, March 23, 2009

Impressions of Tokyo

A few words to describe Tokyo are “a cacophony of sounds”. We took a walk through Akihabara which is the “electronics” area of Tokyo. It is a continuous stream of electronics shops each specializing in certain items. Everything from cameras to cable to transistors are sold. All of the stores have garish banners plastered across them and many have young women in the company colors standing out front yelling into a microphone extolling the virtues of their products over those of their competitors.

For lunch we went to a vending machine restaurant. We walked in and there was what looked like a cigarette machine on the wall only instead of cigarettes there was pictures of food and drink items. You punched the items you wanted, inserted your money into the machine and receive a ticket in Japanese.  You wait for a seat at the counter and when you get there you place your ticket on the counter and a few minutes later your meal/drink is in front of you. It is very efficient you don't have to speak Japanese and the servers don't need to know English. Of course the pictures are about 1 inch by 1 inch so there is an element of risk involved as to what exactly you are getting but if we didn't want to take any risks we would have stayed home

We also browsed the world's largest electronics store, Yodobashi.  Picture your average Best Buy with 6 floors instead of 1, and 5x the merchandise packed onto each floor and that is Yodobashi. They have hundreds of laptops, hundreds of cellphones, hundreds of get the picture.  Even inside Yodobashi they have girls yelling into microphones trying get you to buy their products.

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