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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 12: Trip to Japan (15 April 2010)

My PhD supervisor have always told me that Tokyo is a good place to buy good second hand books at affordable prices. The well-known place for this purpose is Kanda. However, after doing some searching in the Internet, I found that the shop that has a good collection is located in another area called Ebisu. The shop is called "Good Day Books" and is owned by an American man from California. He gets his supply mainly from the United States, and brings the books to Japan to be sold at his second hand shop.

The bookshop is just a stone's throw away from Ebisu eki. It was at first quite a task to find the kind of books that I was looking for. But when I found what I liked, I felt like I didn't want to leave. If it was up to me, I had wanted to pick up a lot of the books. I had to refrain myself though, limiting myself only to those titles particularly relevant to my doctorate research. In the end, I bought five books: Modern Science & Human Values, The Philosophies of Science, The Ethical Brain, The Turn to Ethics and Science, Faith and Religion.

From Ebisu, we went to Akihabara which is famous for its electrical and electronic goods. Akihabara is also known to many as the "Electric Town". Akihabara is heaven for those who are into electrical and electronic goods, including cameras.
Later, we left Akihabara for Shinjuku, and from Shinjuku we took the Odakyu line which heads to Tokaidaigaku-mae eki to meet up with the students studying at the Shonan campus of Tokai University. It was quite an experience getting on a train during rush hour. The train was packed to the brim, in a manner of speaking.
Without realising it initially, we actually got on the wrong train. We were supposed to take the one heading towards Odawara (the Odakyu Odawara line), instead we boarded the one heading for Fujisawa (the Odakyu Enoshima line). Fortunately, Zaki realised the mistake not long after the intersection at Sagami-Ono eki that separates the Odakyu Enoshima line from the Odakyu Odawara line. We got off the train at Chuo Rinken eki, boarded another train going back to Sagami-Ono eki, alighted there and boarded the right train heading to Tokaidaigaku-mae eki.
We finally arrived at Tokaidaigaku-mae eki around a quarter past eight in the evening. After meeting and having dinner with the students (picture above), we boarded the last train back to Shinjuku which was the 23:29 train. By the time we arrived at Shinjuku eki, it was already half past midnight. What was interesting to me was the number of people still waiting to board the train at this late hour.

Outside the eki, Shinjuku (and I believe, most part of Tokyo) is very much alive. There are a lot of people outside despite the peculiarly cold temperature. It felt very much like winter, and not spring. Zaki and I walked back to the hotel from the station. For me, I was able to see the night life in the vicinity of Shinjuku, and it is colourful and vibrant to say the least.

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