We carried out an uncontrolled experiment last night. One of us read somewhere (probably in the New Scientist, so not too unlikely to be true) that you can reset your body clock through basically starvation. If you stop eating about 16 hours before breakfast, then restart at breakfast, your body is fooled (no matter what time of day it thinks it is) into believing that it is breakfast time. We ate dinner last night at 4pm, then nothing more until 9am this morning. It seems to be working, it's 8:30 pm and I'm awake and typing! Anyway, this is important for you to know only so that you understand that breakfast this morning was key to my survival (and by default, Mike's...)
I REALLY needed a second coffee – but not a second egg or indeed TOSTU, and frankly 600 yen for a coffee is a bit steep even by Swiss prices. So, we went to our favourite shop, Mister Donut. We did toy with the idea of joining the Mister Donut loyalty club (the Misdo club) but rationalised that (a) hopefully we would never earn enough points to gain anything and (b) even if we did, we don't really need a mister donut scouring pad, I mean, really?
Once we reached Ueno, we wandered through a covered market underneath the railway lines. Normal place, normal stalls... well, that is, except the gun shop. I was alarmed to find that for the princely sum of 26,000 yen (about 260CHF) Mike could have been the proud owner of a gun. Now, I know that they give guns out like confetti in Switzerland, and for those of you from across the Atlantic, you get them as kindergarten graduation presents or something. But for me, standing in a market with a stall sellling dog dungarees (no joke, check out the photo) to the left, and another selling bloody big guns to the right, I was a bit alarmed. Mike ventured into the gun stall; they were also selling vintage guns, which they displayed in front of an imperial Japanese flag. Nice.
Mike didn't discover much in the way of electronics shops, but he did find capsule hotels, and pachincko parlours. Pachincko is a game based on the same principles as the “push penny” game in most seaside amusement arcades, but in pachincko they play for ball-bearings. The noise in one of these places is unreal. If I can bear it, I will try to record you a bit of video before we leave so that you can experience it, and never need to do so again.
We headed by accident towards Akibahara after the zoo. Akibahara is the famous electronics part of Tokyo. Mike loves it. I found a iPhone with a word game on it to amuse me whilst Mike wandered round the shop and bought a sim card which might be mostly useless, as you have to activate it from a Japanese mobile... Duh?
Back in Asakusa, we realised it was close enough to dinner time for us to eat. We broke a rule. We returned to a place we had already been to. We went back to the soba restaurant. This time, we intended to order soba!
Also, I'm quite inept, so cannot link them - but these photos are in better quality here at Flickr