Thursday, April 10, 2008

Indian Buffet In Shibuya

March 24, 2008
Here it goes.
It took me several times of consideration before I eventually decided to set off for a one-week trip during the spring break recently. I thought it would be a better option instead of keeping myself in my hostel throughout the six-week long holiday, despite I was very much aware that I will be splashing out a sum of money for the trip. I have always prefer travelling by backpacking, instead of joining a planned tour through tour agency as I will have more freedom to decide where I like to go and which place I would just skip it and also, it is entirely up to me how much time I want to spend in each of the places. Although it will take a little bit of hassle of planning everything by myself, travelling with backpack will always be my choice.
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This blue backpack has travelled with me to countless places.
I left for Tokyo after planning a simple itinerary a few days before that. It was during the time of waiting for the train at Nagaoka station that I came across a disturbing scene. I took a midnight train down Tokyo and it was still in the wee hours of the morning when I arrived there and greeted with chilling rain with gusty wind blowing. Not exactly the condition I had hope for.
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It was just past five in the morning and you still get this many people at Shinjuku station.
I thought of going to Harajuku first. However, I could hardly spot any human there or any shops opening yet and hence, I went to Shibuya first instead. Shibuya is one of the twenty-three city wards of Tokyo, but often refers to just the popular shopping and entertainment area around Shibuya Station. Shibuya is one of Tokyo's most colourful and busy districts and birthplace to many of Japan's fashion and entertainment trends.
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I heart this picture very much. Classic.
The green train above is one coach of the older train that was used years ago, that has been made a mini muzium located just in front of Shibuya station. I didn't get myself into that muzium as it only open at ten but I expect nothing more than old pictures and posters describing the history of the train service in Japan, of within the proximity of Tokyo at least. Certainly not my cup of tea.
It was never an easy thing for me to locate the places that I have planned of going to when it was still dark and I was just wondering around before the city wakes up. One steps led to the other that I suddenly begun to feel like I was in some red-light-district area.
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Low-cost version of Beverly Hills, minus the narrow street.
My earlier intuition proved to be almost correct because by then, I reliased that I was in the middle of Love Hill Hotel. It was not a real red-light-district, but the sign boards placed in front of each entrance of the hotel made it looked like one. This area of Shibuya has a high concentration of love hotels, which offer couples a private room for a two to three hours rest during the day or an overnight stay. The rates on offering didn't come cheap, as you can see from the example below.
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Shibuya Kurisutaru. Well, that is how they pronounce "crystal".
A half-an-hour rest is priced at 8,000yen (RM260) and the rates differs depending on what service you are looking for. Just that you think that is bloody expensive, what I could see from most of the signboards of the hotels were like this;
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That place didn't get much of my attention as I was not there looking for such service. Then, I head to some better places - like watching crows. I must be a crazy dude to go all the way to Shibuya just to watch crows gathering around the dustbins looking for any food.
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Well, let me be honest for once here. I never intend to come across these crows, but they were just everywhere in the city. On top of the trees, dustbins, steel poles, signboards and even on top of people's shoulder. I personally think that Shibuya is suffering for some serious problem of over-populated crows in the city, just like our very own Klang town back home.
One of the spot that I always wanted to get to is the large intersection in front of the station, which is heavily decorated by neon advertisements and giant video screens. This prominent landmark of Shibuya and gets crossed by amazingly large crowds of pedestrians each time the traffic light turns green. However, it was still drizzling when I was there that morning and what I saw was a rather different kind of view with everyone holding umbrellas while crossing that intersection.
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If you have watched the movie Tokyo Drift, then you would have notice that one of the scenes from the show was shot here. When I went down to Shibuya again a few days later, the number of pedestrians was double from what I saw earlier. It just seemed that the flow of the people using that intersection is just like a flow of a river - a never ending one.
Or should I put it in a simpler way. Imagine millions of sperms swimming inside a Fallopian tube. That should give a clearer picture of the number of people using this intersection daily.
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See if you can spot me in this giant video screen projected on one of the building. It is quite obvious actually.
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Another spot that almost everyone will come across is a statue of a dog. This loyal dog was named Hachiko. According to a famous story, the dog waited for his master every day in front of Shibuya Station, and continued to do so for years even after his master had passed away. It is one of Tokyo's most popular meeting points. Even one of the exits at Shibuya station is named after this dog.
They called it "Hachiko Exit".
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While spending the morning in Shibuya, I was walking around to locate the restaurant that serves Indian food as it is almost impossible for me to find any of those in my place. It took me some time to ask and walk around several streets before I finally found one. I thought of wondering around the town first before heading for my lunch, before I accidentally stumbled upon another Indian restaurant - a much better one than the one I saw at first.
Oh, I've finally found you, Calcutta.
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The name of this restaurant itself – "Oh Calcutta", made me not needing a second thought before entering the restaurant. Walking towards the down-staircase made me felt as if I was on a vacation in India.
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This restaurant is managed by a couple, with two assistant workers. The interior design wasn't the best I have seen but who cares, isn't it? What matters most is of course the food.

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I could not remember how many rounds I had, but it was a satisfying meal nevertheless. I love the tandoori chicken the most. It has been years I think since I last tasted a real, proper tandoori chicken. Among the rest in menu were nan breads, two types of rice - plain white rice and nasi beryiani, and three kinds of curry - chicken curry, vegetable curry and mutton curry with eggs and dal as well.
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When you think that is a lot, there were salad and deserts too.
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All come at a standard price of 1,050yen (RM33) and I don't think it is expensive at all when you consider the standard of living in Japan. I had a short chat with one of the guy at the cashier when I was leaving and he was born in Sri Lanka, but he migrated ever since and spent most of his childhood time in the southern city of Madras. Madras is now known as Chennai. It was a short but nice chat with him, who spoke relatively fluent English. This Indian buffet marked the beginning of my buffet feast, as I had various kinds of buffet daily for the remaining of my trip.
There goes my diet-regime =.=
~ to be continued ~


Innocent^^Guy said...

memang horny rat...have to use horny terms to desribe something..can't you use more appropriate examples...

mg said...

aiyo beat me to comment first.. yea the sperm wan got me lmao.. indian buffet looks nice.. *drools*

calvin said...

@ shi han:
i was just making an anology on that. nothing to do with me being horny. i'm quite sure my anology gave a clearer image to everyone ;)

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
never mind. there are still many travelogues to come for you to comment first.

see, i just said the anology was effective ^^

the indian buffet was not the best i have ever had, but nevertheless it was worth every yen i paid for it =D

février said...

beverly!!! i see my name !!! :p

hachiko so cute. T_T *files name away for later use for future pet*

I long time never see crows. london only got pigeons. -.-

février said...

forgot to mention also - shibuya !! i've been there before !! i think. looks familiar o.O

sperm -.-"

calvin said...

@ beve:
i thought pigeons are much cuter than crows, no?
and smarter too =)

in the first place, have you been to japan before?
maybe you saw them on the tv o.O

sperm. nice anology, ain't it?

mg said...

here also got alot of pigeons..

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
i think pigeons are generally more attracted to the westerners ;)