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Hachiyama-cho

I got in ok on Saturday evening, and made my way into Shibuya for the night.  From the 23rd floor, the view out over Tokyo was a bit darker and foreboding than usual – when I woke up the next morning, it was raining, and didn’t stop all day. Yodobashi Camera had the goods, so my laptop is now plugged in to the power point and I can connect to the outside world again.

From my hotel room, I could pick out the building which my new apartment is in.  In the dark, it’s somewhere in the bottom right of this photo.

View from Shibuya hotel

The last two days have just been setting up the apartment.  I’ve had to remind myself how to navigate a Japanese grocery store (or more importantly, remember which items I remember how to cook!).  I’ve started exploring the local area, and made a trip to Akihabara to visit what I think must be the world’s largest electronics department store.  I’ve also been taken to and from work so that I know where to go tomorrow.

My suburb is called Hachiyama-cho.  “Hachi” means a bowl or pot, and “yama” means hill.  It’s halfway between Daikanyama and Shibuya – they’re both about 15 mins walk in opposite directions.

Daikanyama is an uber-chic urban village with small boutiques and cafes.  There are quite a few other gaijin around, and it sometimes doesn’t feel like being in Japan.  It’s very leafy, perhaps a bit preppy, but altogether a very pleasant little place.

On the other hand, Shibuya is a major Tokyo metropolis district, on the main Yamanote train line.  I’ve discovered that the back street that leads towards Shibuya has some very important venues – a 24 hour dry cleaners, a great little grocery store, a micro takeaway/delivery pizza store, a post office, and a Lawson convenience store.  What more could I need to survive?

Exploring all of this in Sunday’s rain had me quite drenched.  The headlines on TV last night were reports of flash flooding in other parts of the country. However, it cleared up a bit today, and is meant to be 26 and sunny tomorrow.

This is the view from my balcony, back towards Shibuya.  The skyscraper is the Cerulean Tower Hotel, where I stayed on Saturday night.

From my balcony

This is another shot from my balcony, of the sunset over Shibuya.  (I’ll have to wait for another occasion to take a sunset photo of which Mark Reed would be proud.)

Shibuya at sundown

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