By Tim Wu on May 15, 2007 in Blog


Alright, I’ll admit, it seems Apple Computers isn’t entirely useless after all. At this very moment, I’m standing across the street from the Apple Store in Ginza, with my laptop perched atop a subway stop, and pilfering Apple’s wireless connection. Turns out the house I’m staying in Denenchofu doesn’t have wireless, or at least, a network that isn’t password protected. People are kinda staring at me as they walk by… I wonder if this is illegal.

Oh well.

There’s my laptop, and there’s good ‘ol Apple computers~

I’m staying in a house in a small town called Denenchofu. It’s where my grandmother lives, and where my aunt used to live. My parents had bought it several years ago and have been renting it out to random people. Nobody’s staying there right now, so we figured we’d stay there instead of forking over the money for a hotel. Hopefully, it’ll still be free come this winter so I can use it again~

Apparently bidets are standard when it comes to Japanese houses. How awesome is that?

Ugh, someone just started smoking right next to me, and the downwind is blowing death in my face. Fucker.

I haven’t gotten the chance to visit much in regard to music, but there are a couple music venues (the Japanese call them-

UGH, now another guy just joined him and the downwind is blowing double-death in face.

Anyway, the Japanese like to call music venues (like Webster or Bowery) “live houses,” I guess for obvious reasons. It seems a majority of these are in a city called Shibuya, which is a lot like the best of Times Square plus the best of Soho. There’s great shopping and great entertainment. I’m going to be heading down there later tonight; not sure if I’ll be able to pilfer any internet when I’m there. There’s one live house called “Shibuya O-East” which is supposed to very electronica heavy with “all sorts of wacky extras, such as bubbles, shadow puppets, and video embellishments.” Woot woot.

Ok, this guy just scooched even closer. what the fuck.

I spent the majority of today in Hakuhinkan Toy Park, which is supposedly the biggest toy store in all of Tokyo. There are 4 floors of toys, 2 floors of restaurants, and a theatre on their uppermost level.

What’s great about this place is that it’s not that big size-wise (I would say it’s no bigger than Wal-mart when it comes to measuring by the square-foot). But rather, their selection is absolutely ridiculous. Rather than put out their entire stock of an item on their shelves, they only put one or two. And if you want one, they’ll go to the back and get one for you. It’s all very space-efficient and what you end up with is
an amazing collection of what seems like every toy ever made. Definitely a must-see if you’re ever in the Ginza area.

I got some Studio Ghibli stuff, woot woot.

^cutest stuffed cat I’ve ever seen… ever.

Here’s one of their displays for those automated stuffed animals. It makes me giddy.

More photos of Hakuhinkan can be found on my Facebook~


Ginza itself is comparable to Fifth Avenue when it comes to shopping. All the uber expensive brands have set up shop along the streets of this city. Prada, Fendi, Chaumet, Furla, etc. etc. Ginza is also home to the original Matsuya, one of the first department stores to open in the Tokyo region.

The Apple Store here absolutely beats the living shit out of any Apple store I’ve been to in America, even the flagship one in New York. It’s 5 stories and has a small auditorium that hosts tech classes ever hour. They have an internet cafe too, but I figured it’d be odd if I went it in with my PC.

So far, Japan’s been great. I’m glad I got I’m staying in a small town this time around as opposed to a hotel. At this point, I could really see myself living here in the future if the opportunity presented itself. There’s practically as much English as there is is Japanese, and the cost of living isn’t that much greater than New York.

Alrighty, I’m heading off towards Shibuya now. Hopefully I’ll be able to find some sort of pilferable wireless connection there too. Oh, and posting picture through blogspot I’ve found is a bitch. So… I’ll probably stick with Facebook albums.

AIGHT. check back often…-ish.

// tim


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