I stopped at a European-style restaurant cafe for some food and an utterly gratuitous sweet (mont blanc over vanilla ice, with chilled coffee jelly, topped with whipped cream and actual pieces of sweet chestnut). If I wanted to flirt with bored, married, 30-something middle-class Japanese women that would seem to be the right kind of place too, but I wasnt't so this is irrelevant. Outside, there was a man with a D1 on a tripod, pointed at the pavement, where they had carefully set up a bamboo mat and a lacuered tray, on which they photographed various items for the menu. So now you know how it's done.
I stopped also at Akihabara to buy Japanese versions of NT and XP, as requested by work. They were a bargain, at 66000 yen, so i'd better not lose that receipt. Bill's localized bits now take up about 8 &*%&*#* litres of space in my bag! Akihabara is mainly full of men buying useless devices, and so there are lots of women distributing leaflets who look like Shisheido commercials dressed in (very upmarket) 60's space-vehicle crew outfits. More like 2001 than Buck Rogers this time, but sad nonetheless.
I decided to walk from there to Ueno (about 2km) and look at the incredible amount and diversity of people on the busy street. Tokyo is full of people. Very full! You know this, of course, but being there, surrounded by all these people actively going about their separate business, thinking there separate thoughts, is incredibly different than being in a quiet town or on a small island, even if you don't actually interact with anyone. If you sort of flattened everyones neurons onto one continuous fabric ... No, bad metaphor. If you somehow netwoked everyone's mind into some connected entity, well, it would be doing a lot of thinking about all manner of things.
I marvelled at the antique sword shop at Ueno market, where beautiful Katanas and Wakizashis are again a bargain at 900k-3M yen, looked at the bizzarre T-shirts stating "YOU'LL BE HEARING OUR NAME BUT WON'T BE SEEING IT" in huge letters, played the somewhat boring virtual swordfighting videogame (you hold a sord-handle with a position sensor) drank more espresso, tried to get an antique book of obscene drawings but discovered it was censored (!) and looked at the West-Side_Story lookalike busking dance troupe in the park, next to the lunar lander-shaped Koban. And with all that I arrived too late and missed the Marc Chagall exhibition. Duh!
I had more great plans to get the overpriced monorail that goes over the Rainbow Bridge in the evening, and see what is there to do at the new district of Odaiba at the other end. Didn't managed to do that either, as I slept solidly until 6am. Common problem with travelling to Japan. Well' if anything that day had a lot of small joys and charming images to offer.
Oh, and just I was wondering why I wasn't experiencing many earthquakes in Japan, a nice little lateral one came to greet me in the morning.
It is now 7:20 AM and I must really pack the laptop and head for Narita if I want to catch the attractively colored, enviromentally destructive, and foul-food-serving plane. Hope to be awake enough to see some of you on Sunday evening.