Sleep is not happening. Not a wink all night before I had to get up to meet the tour guide. Somehow I stumbled through the day without collapsing. The sun rises at 4am, and along with it comes the screaming ravens. The ambulances go all night, the sirens sound like an air raid signal. Also, the cars don't move out of the way so the driver is constantly on the loudspeaker politely asking them to move. (This is the explanation provided by Min, my airbnb host.)
I spent the day with Mr Watanabe, the volunteer tour guide. He was very sweet but maybe should consider volunteering his time for something different. His written English is excellent but he understood about one in ten words. Being ever polite, he pretended to understand my jokes and laughed in most of the right places.
The plan was to see the places where Japanese youth culture congregates and buy some manga. We did some of that, but I found out later that we missed a huge swath, including a building with 8 floors of manga and anime related crap.
We started at a shopping mall where it was too early so most of the stores were closed. It is possible that there were manga stores there, but who would know. So I hustled him out of there and we went to Hajakuru which has a street that is 100% teen fashion. That was pretty cool.
In his defense, I got distracted when I spotted the Meiji Shrine and we went in. This display celebrates Japan's saki industry. Across from it was another display of wine kegs celebrating Japan's importing of French wine, a symbol of their westernization and modernization under some former emperor in the 1980s.
Luckily we stumbled across a traditional wedding. Their procession led them to a garden spot where the wedding party sat for a group photo.
Back to youth culture we visited the Pokeman center, filled with toddlers screaming.
And a book store that had manga in English, among other interesting things. In Tokyo, book stores have not gone the way of the dinosaur, and they are filled with an incredible assortment, and packed with people browsing.
On my way home I passed the tourist trap Robot Restaurant, with giant animatronics dancing to music. The smaller, pink figure is the human controlling the machine. Very odd. Advertised price is $60 per person not including meals. I heard later that discount tickets are available for half price, and the meal is a bad bento box you eat in your lap.