On Monday Mat and I decided to explore more of Tokyo by bike, so we decided to ride to Imperial Palace and have a little walk around. The palace wasn’t open this time of the year, nor is the gardens. But we walked around a little bit outside and we were impressed by all the bonzai pine trees, very lovely.
We then rode through the city and headed for Tokyo tower, after that we decided to head towards Shibuya again to check out some shops. Along the way I spotted a pet store and I forced Mat to stop and go in with me. I knew that I would be upset by seeing all the little puppies and kittens in their little plastic boxes, but I had to go in. And by god did I nearly die about 10 times because of all the cute fluffy little things in there. There was a Shiba Inu pup fast asleep on his back with his belly up. There were all sorts of puppies and kittens. There was one in particular, a little white and black boll of fluff, it was scratching the glass, whining and looking at me. And it broke my heart! A guy in the shop asked if I wanted to hold it and I couldn’t say no. But first I had to clean my hands, so that makes me think that even though they sit in these little boxes they must be well looked after. The little puppy was so tiny and fluffy and had Japan been our last stop of the trip, I may well have wacked out my credit card and bought the little fluff ball! It was so darn cute I nearly died!
Eventually we ended up in Shibuya, we locked our bikes up and went for a wander. We found a great tiny little place for lunch, a noodle bar that had space for maybe 15 people along a little bar, it was packed with locals and we thought this place must be good. And it really was!
After lunch we wandered around the streets and checked out some shops and there were tons of great shops around. Tokyu Hands for instance, which is a shop that sells pretty much anything and everything. They had a great bike shop on the ground floor and then everything from door handles to bed linen! We found this little gem of a place, a tiny shop called Function Junction, it didn’t look like much from the outside, but it stocked great hiking gear and accessories, like a tiny pocket stove, complete with a little tin cup – awesome! One of the best shops I’ve ever been into, Beams, a shop where I wanted to buy just about every single item – if only I had the money and a space to take it all with me! There are a lot of great street wear shops in Shibuya. I think it can be hard to find nice women’s street wear, but I think the buyers for these shops have got it absolutely right. And then there was Grimoire, a vintage shop that was like stepping into a fairy tale.
After having walked around Shibuya for a while it was time to cycle all the way back to the hotel – which took just over one hour! Cycling in Tokyo gives you a great understanding of how vast the city is! Back at the hotel we packed our bikes up, took them on the train to meet Atsuko, who kindly offered us to store them at her office whilst we’re on our ‘Japan tour’. I was dead tiered at this point, having cycled around the whole day and then carrying the bike on the train, it kinda takes it out of you.