Today the weather was so beautiful that I decided to go and check out the National Gardens in Shinjuku. Whilst admission cost ¥200 (about £1.50), it was well worth it as the artistically landscaped gardens combined with the surrounding Urban Sprawl in a quite breath-taking fashion. I settled on a spot in one of the traditional Japanese gardens, and was just getting down to reading my book when what should fly past me, but a crow carrying a shopping bag full of food! Those things are massive over here, and seemed to be out in full force, terrorising sunbathers and generally just looking like the embodiment of evil. I was made aware that the park was closing by someone playing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ over the park’s PA system, and as I got up to go one of those black blaggards almost took my head clean off! I smiled politely at the people who were pointing and staring at my near miss, before setting off home; just happy that my face had not been mistake for somebody’s shopping.
This evening a friend and I went for dinner in Shinjuku. Upon entering our chosen Izakaya, we were told by the waiter to come back in 30 minutes, and after doing so were told that there would be at least another 30 minute wait for a table; this despite the fact that he had quite clearly told the Japanese couple in front of us to come back in 10. When we pointed this out to him he got a little shirty, and so out custom was taken elsewhere. Let it not be said that I didn’t at least try to get along with Shinjuku, but after being almost eaten alive and then not being allowed to eat, it will be a while before I return.