while alex spent some time in his office catching up on some work, i slowly prepared for another visit to harajuku. the weather was cold and i didn't know if those harajuku girls would be out, but the thrill of attention was too great a draw for them and they were back out there, braving the elements. i wasn't shy about taking photos this time around, now that i know these girls seem to thrive in the limelight. there was a heavy representation of gothic lolitas this time around, and none of the kids i saw from last sunday were here this sunday. afterwards i strolled down takeshita dori, then back out to a main street. feeling hungry, i stopped to buy a kabob (500 yen) from a hole in the wall middle eastern place. the guy spoke to me in english, so i answered back in english as well, "i'll take a kabob." "where are you from?" one of them asked me, both of them sporting red cowboy hats for some odd reason. "boston, but originally from taipei," i answered. "oh, taipei!" the younger one became excited, "xie xie, xiajian!" he tested his chinese. "very good!" i asked. "where are you guys from?" i asked. "turkey," they said, then i told them i visited istanbul before. i paid for my kabob, the younger turkish man did some sort of coin magic with my change, then said "xie xie, xiajian!" as i left. the kabob sandwich was pretty good, and i ate it by the side of the street, sitting along a barricade for a mall plaza. after eating the sandwich, i walked back to the station and went to shinjuku.


outside the new southern exit at shinjuku, a local band had set up an impromptu concert, perhaps to garner some free exposure from the crowd of onlookers exiting the station. they performed a few songs before they gathered up their stuff and left before the police could arrive. a gaijin asked me in english to take his photo with his camera. "oh sure," as i looked into the LCD screen. "where are you from?" i asked. "new york city," he said, "but originally from turkey. i'm here on a business trip." "funny, you're the second turkish person i met today!" i said.

alex was to meet me here at 5:00. i got there a bit early, and wandered around, discovering a tokyu hands store inside one of the malls. the place was crowded and made for some tight shopping conditions, so i left soon afterwards, waiting for alex outside, who soon showed up. he added more money to his train card and we left shinjuku station bound for yokohama, where i'd be going to chinatown for the third time.

yokohama chinatown (third visit)

shiao long bao

dough sculptor

lantern alley

90 minute conveyer belt dim sum buffet

2000 yen/person buffet and i single-handedly ate 14000 yen worth of dim sum!