Day 6 - 1st August 2001
Sony Building & Akihabara Electric City

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I got up and packed my things, ready to move rooms. My new room wasn't quite ready for me yet, so I went out and cashed some travellers cheques into more Yen, which seems to disappear all to quickly! I came back, dumped all my stuff in the new room (a double this time, which was quite a bit bigger than the last one) and went out.

Today I decided to visit the Sony Building, so I headed to Ginza, one of the more touristy areas of Tokyo. I got on the wrong train in Shinagawa and ended up in Tokyo station, which wasn't quite where I thought I was going. Still, it wasn't too out of my way, and I took the subway to Ginza, and went into the Sony Building, which is a showcase of all Sony's latest gadgets for you to have a play with. There was plenty of Walkmans based on Sony's proprietary Memory Stick, and they were also showing several of their Palm OS handhelds. The PlayStation 2 was also in full swing, with trailers for the Final Fantasy film, as well as the Final Fantasy X game. Everyone seemed to be playing some wierd golf game, but it looked pretty dull to me. They also had a home cinema section, where you could see their video projectors, portable DVD players, plasma screens, and some conventional CRT screens too. I plan of buying a nice projector when I have the money, and the one they were showing gave a nice picture. There were no prices on anything though! It was all quite impressive. I had lunch in one of their restaurants.

After finishing there, I headed for Akihabara Electric City, a part of town renown for discount electronic equipment. It reminded me of Tottenham Court Road in London, but this was much, much larger. There was row upon row of shops, all with stalls outside in the street. The usual stuff was there, laptops, palmtops, game shops (including one or two trading in second hand games), etc. I did see one or two bargains but for the most part things were just as expensive as in the UK. What a shame, I had plenty of yen at the ready in case I saw something I couldn't afford to miss! I spent several hours walking around and when I had finished my feet were killing me, so I came back to the hotel.

At around 9pm I went out looking for somewhere to have a meal. I found a nice place quite near to the hotel which served me a mean bowl of soup noodles with chicken, a dish I've become quite addicted to. When I sat down, who should sit next to me but another westerner, an Australian in fact, one of the few westerners I've seen since I arrived. here. It was quite nice to have a conversation in English, practically the first one I've had since I started my journey. It turned out that he worked for Microsoft (boo!) running their corporate network, and was here on a business trip. We talked for a while and he suggested some places I could visit while I'm here. After the meal, I came back to the hotel, had a shower, and watched some more weird Japanese TV before going to bed.

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