With everything crossed I booted my laptop, in the vain hope that it had had a little chat to itself overnight and got its act together. Unfortunately the flashing and beeping that issued from the grey screen suggested otherwise, so our first stop of the day was the Apple Store in Shibuya. With an appointment with a genius booked for later in the day we picked up breakfast at a cute 'French' Patisserie where the coffee and croissants were excellent. Feeling much better the highlight was the warm banana brioche cube which found its way onto my tray and followed the bitter coffee perfectly.
Comfortably full we had a few hours before a verdict could be passed on the fate of my faithful MacBook, so we headed across town towards the Imperial Palace. The highlight of the journey was the appearance of a small wet nose from the handbag next to us. The covert s***zu was being smuggled in a bright orange leather bag, with it's hair in a topknot to complete the image. To join the list of odd experiences we were winked at by a bus, warned repeatedly to watch out for upskirting and weirded out by the delicate girls wearing contact lenses which made their eyes look like dolls.
As we stepped out of the main station building we felt like elves on the floor of a huge concrete forest with the towering skyscrapers of Tokyo's banking district reaching vertically away from us on every side. We wandered through the sunshine, along smart, tree lined avenues, littered with very sparkly shops, heading down to the river. Our meanderings continued through the collection of dumpy pine trees, twisted by age, which made up the palace's Eastern gardens.
The palace itself was invisible, surrounded by a very wide green moat of algae behind an inclined wall of huge boulders on top of which a ring of trees hid the old buildings from sight. The arches of an ancient stone bridge crossed the moat to the mighty pagoda style gatehouse but the guards carrying assault rifles left us in no doubt that we had seen as much as we were allowed to. We wandered back through the trees and into the shade of the high rise buildings and caught the train back to Shibuya where my laptop was diagnosed with a knackered hard drive. Fortunately for under £100 they could fit a new one, today! It was frustrating to lose all of all data but much better than forking out for a new laptop!
Feeling oddly tired, an icecream stop rejuvenated us and we avoided the hot food vending machines and headed for supper in the mall, still a concept I am struggling with. We made it back to our shoe box of a room and prepared for our day trip to Mount Fuji early the next morning.