Day 5 - 31st July 2001
Palette Town

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I set my alarm for 9am, and was very tired when I woke up. I went down for breakfast, then asked at reception to book a further four nights. They said that they didn't have one room free for all four nights, but if I was prepared to move around a bit they could fit me in. I have to move rooms nearly every day, but it's not too much of a hassle, as they're all on the same floor anyway.

After I'd arranged all this, I then went back to my room to sleep for a bit longer. At 12, the cleaner phoned and asked when he could get in to clean the room, so I got up and braved the train system to go to Palette Town, which is a shopping area with a mini theme park on the side. The shopping was mainly clothes, and didn't interest me much, but the theme park was pretty good.

They had a huge ferris wheel, which gave a breathtaking view of the harbour, and a driving simulator in which you sit in a full scale car mounted on hydraulic rams, surrounded by video screens and drive through varying terrain. It was pretty realistic. I also went on a 3D roller coaster, the only one I've ever seen. It was like a traditional roller-coaster, but you wear polaroid 3D glasses and the track is surrounded by screens showing 3D scenes. You can even vote for the theme of the ride in the first section using touch screens mounted into the car. Most of the rides were sponsored by Toyota, and this was very evident. The rides were mostly car themed, and there was a car museum full of classic cars, along with a collection of Toyotas which you could sit in.

After that I took the train back to Shimbashi and took a stroll round the streets. By this time it was rush hour, and I was struggling against the huge influx of commuters all making their way home. I came across a shop selling all kinds of electronic gadgetry, and the mobile phones were way in advance of the things we're using in the UK.

I came back to my hotel and rested for a while, then went to a nearby restaurant for some spaghetti, which seems to be a favourite meal around here. I initially wanted to try some sushi, but all the menus are in Japanese, and I haven't a clue what I'm ordering! After the meal I went back to the hotel and watched some strange Japanese quiz show on TV.

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