There were a few things about Japanese subways I was expecting.
One was that it would be so crowded that there were special workers whose job it is to shove everyone on the subway. So far we haven’t come across this, and while it is crowded, it’s not ant more than a very busy day on a Montreal metro.
The other was the barriers that keep people from jumping on the tracks, since suicide has been on the rise in the last many years. This we have seen, though surprisingly only at a handful of stations and only about halfway up so you could easily jump over.
After seeing Seoul’s floor-to-ceiling barricades, I found this a little risky, a halfhearted attempt to ameliorate the situation. Then again, they chime relaxing bird songs from the stations’s speakers at regular intervals, so maybe they’ve found that to be more effective.
Anyhow, the reason we were on the subway at all was to go to harajuku, the fancy fashion district. And what did we, (ex) booksellers, do in said high fashion district?
We went to a bookstore.
Incredibly, I managed not to buy anything, my tiny apartment brimming already with more books than I have shelves for, but it was so wonderful to be able to browse through English books again. Korea does have English books to be fair, but not like this: an entire floor dedicated to foreign books and organized into sections instead of haphazardly shelved.
After that, we went to go get dinner and our noses led us up a giant mahogany staircase to an awesome burger joint.
Ate til completely stuffed and then headed out for more shopping (we might have found ourselves at another stationary shop and then an absurdly large toy store that could rival any in NYC).
On the way back, and much to Leslie’s distaste, I found a massive insect clinging to the wall in the subway station home. I’d seen a bid dead moth on our way there and taken a picture with another camera (which hasn’t been uploaded, thus the absence of its picture), but this one took the proverbial cake.
EDIT: Photo of dead moth uploaded – see below.
So there you have it – subways, burgers, and bugs. Today we’re heading off to mount Mt. Fuji, so I won’t be able to update until back. Hoping I’ll get more of my travel journal done too.