Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Where The Streets Have No Name.. Literally

One of my little irritations about Japan is the confusion with finding how to get somewhere.

By that I mean that most streets in Japan don't have street names, and if you think that is bad, they are numbered when they were built, NOT consecutively or logically.

Now normally I don't have anywhere specific to go, or my route is pretty well mapped out, but today I had in mind to take a detour to Shibuya to get my old "un-repairable" Swiss Military watch to what may be regarded as the best swiss watch repairer in Japan.

I left the apartment about an hour earlier to account for any problems. Lucky that I did, because I was wandering up and down those streets in total bewilderment. I asked about five people for directions and while I was in the general vicinity, I wasn't having much luck.

Finally I found it. There wasn't any sign in romanji or english. There was a small foyer with some japanese for the floor I was after. After going up the elevator to the third level, the room didn't even have a sign! It looked like some temporary office space.

Thankfully the assistant knew enough english to tell me the watch would take two weeks to overhaul and cost 15,000 yen. Not too bad. I had thought I'd be prepared to pay up to 20,000 yen before giving up to buy a new one.

For anyone that happens to need a swiss watch repaired, this is who they are -

Taga Watch Service Centre, Mani Building 303, 37-10 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, TOKYO.

They are said to be the only watch repair technician in Japan approved by Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

I'll be happy to get my watch back home.

For now it's "Mickey Time", a watch that I've had for about twenty years only requiring the occasional battery change and strap replacement that I can do myself.

You'll notice that it's "old school" Mickey, not scary, modern "Michael Jackson" Mickey.

All I need now is time to get to work.