Sports, Books and Guitars oh my


Yesterday I was introduced to Ochannomizu, a city in Tokyo that I've been going to 3 times a week since last November.

I had never really ventured around much until yesterday. A friend had told me there were alot of bookstores nearby. I had looked once but I mis−remembered the directions and didn't notice.

I'm not sure what the big deal is with this place. Ie, why all this stuff? One explaination is there is a large university here, Meiji University, and so with all the students come shops that cater to them.

That may explain the 30+ musical instrument stores within about 3 blocks of each other. The majority seem to be mostly guitars.

Following that street one comes to a large 5 way intersection. Down one of those streets is bookstore row or a street of about 20 bookstores. Most of them appear to be used bookstores, small but several stories high. There are also a couple of giant multi−story bookstores too.

Following another street there are probably somewhere around 35 sporting goods stores. Many of them are also several stories.

I decided to look at inline skates today. There's somebody at school I'd like to rollerblade with. I can't believe how many models and makers there are. I was thinking of getting some of those Hypno ones where the bottom detaches so you can use them as shoes. I'm not sure I should buy them or not. Any opinions? They are not cheap. Getting blades and pads will probably cost me at least $220. I think if I went down to Venice beach I could get the same thing for under $100. Of course going to Venice beach at this point in time would take 3 days and $800 ;−p

One rationalization I had today was that the sports club here in Japan costs about $120 a month so comparitively it's not that much but on the other hand I already have a pair in America and I've used them approximately 1 time a year in the last 10 years. I could ask my sister to send them for probably about $50 but they would probably take about 1 month to get here.

It's funny to me though. Even outside this area there are quite a few sporting goods stores selling especially, snowboards, ski equipment, golf equipment and skateboards. I get the golf, I mostly get the ski stuff but the skateboards and snowboards I don't get. Where the heck does anybody skateboard in Japan. I've not once in my entire stay here seen somebody skateboard (except my American friend Scott) so who's keeping all these stores in business buying skateboards?

I suppose it could be like I once read about tennis in Japan. Supposedly, this is un−verified, girls carry a tennis racket strapped to their back in the summer because it's cute. Not because they have any intention of playing. Maybe buying a skateboard is kind of the same thing though I guess you must just hang it in your room to claim you're cool because I've never seen anybody carrying one either.

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