Then we decided that the day was just getting the better of us so we jumped back on the train and intended to head back to La Hotel and perhaps catch a movie or do something meant for a rainy day. But as luck has it, we jumped on a train and then saw that we were going past an area that neither of us had visited in Tokyo, Akihabara, which is the electronics district. Where shops can offer you anything electrical that you could imagine. Well we parleyed amongst cameras and videocams and so forth for a while but started to get a little bit desperate for interest. So wouldn’t you know it, we happened upon a very tacky souvenir shop which actually held much more interest for us! Checking out all the terribly ugly Japan paintings and black lacquered scene paintings reminded me very much of getting gifts from parent’s work colleagues who thought that such a hideous monstrosity of art would make a beautiful gift for a teenager! Such was our giggles and laughter in the back of the shop when we found bad japanese t-shirts, that had they been in a 70’s retro yellow colour would actually be worth a purchase!
We arrive back into Shibuya later in the afternoon with still the intention of finding a movie to catch. So we wander about looking at the cinemas only to find that most of the films are bad hollywood numbers that neither of us were really interested in seeing. So, with the rain still pelting and the shops open, what is left for a couple of girls to do but go shopping!!!!! The funny thing was that Tammy and I both headed towards the same shop that we had both found independently that has the most fabulous t-shirts in Tokyo. We spent a good hour in there choosing various t-shirts for each other and deciding what the other should wear! This trend seemed to continue as we went looking in shops and I actually felt like I was playing ‘queer eye for the straight chick’ as we piled through racks of frocks and impossibly thin summery clothes in Zara and I was telling Tammy what she should go and try on. It was actually kind of fun, and a great way to sort of spend some time with a friend and really do some silly things together. Think I understand what shopping is about between girls now! Lots of coffees, and basically dressing up! Trying on ridiculously outrageous looks or simply guessing at exactly what you would look like dressed up in that scarf about the chest. It is kind of fun and giggly. Hey, I can dig it!
We retreated to the motel room for a while and just hung out with each other for a short time and then decided to go and enjoy dinner at a local company hang called CHRISTON’S. This rather wonderful find of western style food and wine has been a bit of a fix of home style comfort but it is pretty amazing in it’s own right. You descend the wrought iron lined stairs to a basement level where the light immediately lowers to a very atmospheric deep glow. Huge doors open to a bar area and you are greeted by the host(ess). As you walk into the restaurant you are struck with the most amazing gothic memorabilia launching out at you from every possible angle! Images of the Madonna (no not the pop princess Mitchell) and Jesus and angels abound positively everywhere. It is as if they auctioned off a church and crammed it into this space. So dense are the images that the occupy perhaps every nook and cranny of this very ornate space. On the sides are private booths that have lush red curtains that can be pulled across to create a private space; and they are usually reserved for the local Japanese couples who seem to frequent the place. Although who needs private booths when you have amazing mahogany tables and luscious armchairs in every possible place of the space. This is one of those restaurants that just seems to have had someone go to an antique store and thrown all the contents haphazardly into a room. But it works! There are large wingbacks, huge french leather armchairs, massively thick french polished tables and each table has it’s own unique appeal and style. You are clapped in as you enter which is a little unsettling the first time you enter as you feel as if everyone turns around to look at you as you are walked to your table. But really, it is more your first impressions playing mind games with you as you try to take it all in! My favourite table is the low set coffee table with french leather chez lounges, and right underneath a surreptitiously placed black demon hovering over you from above. He is the only one I have found in the restaurant but he is amazing; all bare chested and horns and huge death inducing eyes, so very out of place and yet it so works with all the other statues.
Now as with most wonderfully decorated restaurants or places by the sea, (excepting the mecca that was H.O.S Bodo’s) the service is positively crap! HOWEVER, being the service nazi that I am, they get away with it because they just smile so much at you and funnily enough attend to your every need. It seems such a paradox but they spend so much time in ensuring you are comfortable you forget that the food and drinks seem to take forever before they arrive. And yet the constant looking and smiling makes you feel like you are actually being served! Maybe I should try that if I ever get back into hospitality!!!?? We actually went with a couple of guys from the company so it was a nice group of 5 or so, and I think that Tammy was rather happy when I insisted that we get a couple of photos, and there is tam, surrounded by swanning men, of handsome character (Indeed one of the lead swans), in an atmospheric restaurant and being fussed over. Think I scored brownie points for that one!