Well, considering the fact that it’s been a very busy 3 days for me, I was planning to take it easier on the weekend, in preparation for my Nikko trip on monday.
It was also time to bid farewell to Aizuya Inn as I was switching to Khaosan Original in Asakusa due to it’s relative proximity to the Asakusa Tobu Station (my Nikko departure point).
Checking out of Aizuya, I was initially apprensive about Khaosan as one of the new Aizuya guests didn’t really sing praises about the place. But oh well.
As I reached the Asakusa area, the weather made it even more grim: I couldn’t even see the Tokyo Sky Tree as it was raining and clouds were covering everything up.
Hoping for the best, I slogged on to Khaosan and left my stuff to their care so I could walk around summore.
At first glance, it wasn’t all that bad, and one of the boarders there, an Aussie named Alex was cool enough to come with me up to Akihabara to show a corner thrift shop dedicated to cameras he’d found the day before.
The cam store was ooookay, but prices were slightly on the blood strangling side of things.
A plus though was the fact that a halal Pakistani restaurant was right beside the shop, so I ended up having my first chicken curry meal in Japan there.
After that, a little more Akiba window shopping (man it was packed, it was a weekend after all).
Next up, going to Nagano (again) to check out the Nagano Broadway, which I didn’t have time to see before. I did drop down Fujiya too and picked up a cheap used CPL for my 35mm/2.8.
The entrance to Nagano Broadway. If Akiba is to us Malaysians Low Yat Plaza, then Broadway would be a mix between Imbi and Sungei Wang.
It was geek central wayyy before Akiba started to be, and remnents of that legacy remains.
There’s also another Fujiya branch of interest here, but THIS one is called Fujiya AVIC, and it actually deals with Audiophile stuff. Man, now I REALLY like Nakano.
With that wrapped up, I got back to Khaosan Original.
And plopped down on the massively comfortable sofa in the common room for a while before going up to freshen up.
Later that evening, they even had a live Jazz gig featuring this guy. He was good IMHO.
As for dinner, I had Natto (heh) and kombini zaru-soba, which was good enough, and was only about 800 yen in total.
The next day was a much better day weather wise, and I saw the sun for the first time while in Tokyo lol.
The sky tree was clearly visible and you could also see the Phillipe Stark designed Asahi building in the right side, known to locals as the Big Turd.
Came Sunday and I didn’t plan to do much on that day, but I ended up stumbling onto a curious thread on the next the night before, which pointed me to this little shop down near the Yotsuya-sanchome station on the Marunouchi Metro line.
Oh and Khaosan turned out to be not bad, IMHO. But more on that later.
And it was a treat, maybe even up there on the same level as Fujiya Junk. But it had a nice selection of Minolta manual stuff, and also the rare gem or two – at Fujiya level prices.
I ended up coming home with one of those gems lol.
On the way back, a meal at a nearby Vegan place, a branch of the Lovely Hut international chain. I had mock beef curry. It was generally good (as far as Japanese curries go anyway) and reasonably priced.
They also had an interesting mock hot dog meal on offer, which I packed up for dinner later.
Back to the station. On the way I noticed that Japanese bikes also had automatic parking systems lol.
Back in Asakusa, I went to the Kaminari-mon area for a bit. Here’s a shot of the famous gate itself.
And the shops within.
I went back a bit later, tired. But not without the “little gem” I got at that curious camera shop so it was generally another great day.
Tomorrow, to Nikko!