I had a really weird dream last night. I saw my high school classmate. We're co-workers (in the dream only) but he's being laid off. I asked him if he's found a new job. He said he's going to retire because a few years ago, he bought an apartment in Hong Kong and now has steady income!
I should seriously consider something similar :)
This morning's breakfast was the same as 2 days ago, ham, scrambled eggs, potato, garlic bread etc.
The owner was so kind that she offered to drop me off at the train station. If you're looking for a homey and quiet place to stay in Nikko, I would highly recommend Logettel St. Bois. The owner came from Kobe (神戸) 15 years ago and has been operating this hotel with her daughter since.
I bought a bento at the Nikko train station. So, this is my lunch.
I'm staying in the Apa Hotel in Azabu (麻布). The closest subway station is Hiroo (広尾). Azabu is home to a lot of foreign embassies, including the Chinese. It's a pretty quiet area. This is the hotel building.
Across from the hotel, there's a Lamborghini showroom. The price tag says 14.8 million yen, which is around US$200,000!
Every time I travelled in Tokyo, I almost always used the subway. There're only 2 times that I was on a bus, and both times were of the same route. This afternoon, as I was walking around the hotel, I saw a bus stop indicating that there's a bus to Shinjuku station. It only costs 200 yen, regardless of how far you travel. I think it's much cheaper than subway to Shinjuku, albeit slower. So, I boarded the bus and went to Shinjuku for shopping. Traveling by bus has the advantage of seeing the streets, and helps me develop a sense of direction and orientation.
I then went to Shibuya because I wanted to see a Japanese Apple Store. But first, dinner. (My friend already told me that I sounded like a plump, because I have been talking about food all the time. But I am not a plump! Plus, food is a BIG part of traveling in Japan.) I saw a restaurant called Gyu-kaku (牛角). I think I saw it being mentioned in a travel guide somewhere before. In fact, I think there's one in New York that I've been to. Gyu-kaku is a chain store and it specializes in charcoal grill. And then I saw the sign 食べ放題, which translates to "all you can eat." And so I entered :)
The waitress said there'd be a lot of people during dinner time, and I had to leave in 70 minutes. So, it came down to "all you can eat in 70 minutes." Here's how some of the food looked like. It was cheese on the left hand side in the first picture, and I was supposed to dip the grilled beef into it. So I guess it's like Fondue!?
Here's the desert, Annintofu (杏仁豆腐), or literally almond tofu in English. I think it is a Chinese desert because I have had the same thing back in Hong Kong. Anway, don't be fooled by the word tofu. It's not made of tofu, or so I was told. But the texture tastes very much like one.
I was so full getting out that I'm not going to another "all you can eat" restaurant again for the rest of the trip.
The Apple Store located in Shibuya is no different than the stores in US. Moreover, the accessories portion of the store were selling the same brands like Griffon, Belkins etc. And it's much cheaper in US given the strength of the yen. I was not surprised. My 2nd purpose of my visit was to see if the Japanese store, like the US ones, offered free WiFi. And they did! I was able to sync my iPhone with iCloud. In Japan, unlike US, coffee shops usually don't offer WiFi, let alone a free one. WiFi services in Japan are offered by local mobile carriers like Docomo (I think it's similar to the model in Hong Kong as well).
Tomorrow, I think I'll just relax, walk around Azabu, and maybe go to Roppongi (六本木) and Akasaka (赤坂).