Our plan was to ask at the hotel desk, and go off on an adventure on our own. However, this plan also went out the window. The night before, I had tried to recharge some batteries for the camera, only to find that our battery charger did not fit into our power converter. The plug configuration was correct, but the pins in the charger were too long and it kept on falling out. The consequence of this was that I could not charge my batteries for my camera. This was a problem that need to be solved as we still had over a week and a half of travelling to go. The next part of our adventure still needed the same power plug.
Solution 1, buy new batteries already charged. How many batteries would I need to buy? The next section of our adventure was for seven days with limited shopping. I already had plenty of re-chargeables, I just needed to be able to recharge them.
Solution 2, buy a new battery charger. We were in Japan, and anything electrical would have Japanese power pins, unusable at home.
Whatever the solution, we needed to solve it today, so we ventured down to the foyer of the hotel to ask for help. The kind lady on the desk spoke enough English to understand our problem, and gave us a map to follow with a particular store circled in red.
The map was two sided, and we could follow the first side quite well. When we turned it over, the map became smaller and for some reason we got ourselves turned around.We were always keeping in our view the direction that we had come so we could find our way back. My solution to this was to ask someone for help, so I did. The window washer that we asked could not speak English, and we did not speak Japanese, but it is amazing what can be understood from the universal language of pointing. We were headed in the wrong direction, so off we went again. We still could not find the store the kind lady at the hotel had pointed us to, so we asked again, this time a young Japanese female on her way to work who spoke limited English. Pointing once again saved the day and we found the store.
We were early! The store did not open until 10.30am! We had an hour to wait and to fill in, so we went for a little walk, checking out the stores and what was around. As we walked, I could smell smoke, and anyone who knows me knows how much it affects my nose. It was also a little chilly and spitting with rain, so we were looking for somewhere to shelter from the weather. As we sheltered under a small awning, I spotted the above smoking area. Interesting, no wonder I could smell smoke, with all those smokers concentrated in one area. I guess the idea was for the smoke to rise up above the surrounding barrier and not worry the people walking past. Mmm....... not so.
By the time we finished our coffee, the Labi store was open. I likened it to a JB Hi-fi store here in Sydney. Five or six floors of electrical "stuff". They had a doorman who spoke English and led us straight to the 5th floor to help us out. Such a gentleman, he also showed us back to the ground floor.
Our problem solved, we headed back to our hotel and somewhere to have lunch. Tokyo sells Italian food!