I knew I would be going back to Shibuya.
After a day of sightseeing and tracking down squashed penny machines, we made it back to Tower Records. It's much like the Tower Reocrds locations that used to be spread around the US.
Once we walked in the front doors, I wandered about and found an open listening station where you can sample various CDs. I tried a few disks at different stations. The GF did likewise and we picked out some music.
I grabbed "Rock 'n' Roll Circus" by Ayumi Hamasaki. I chose it because I liked the cross between pop and "big" music. It's hard to describe what I mean by big music. It's like Meat Loaf. Except Hamasaki doens't sound like Meat Loaf. But the arrangements are both big, complex, and powerful, and the singers seem to push out powerful passionate emotions. Of course for most of the album, I have no idea was Hamasaki is singing about, but I like the sound. Here's a random review I found later on.
The GF found music by Moumoon who has a more mellow sounds. It was another great choice.
Eventually it was time to leave. We paid, and the cashier said something to me. I was used to cashiers saying things to me as a I was leaving and had no idea what she was saying. I smiled and nodded and said thank you. I started to put my receipt in my wallet and she stopped me. She and I tried a few gestures and she knew a few words of English. It took a couple of tries, but I finally understand that there was a special contest and instore promotion associated with the Hamasaki album. She was telling me to go to the desk near the door and show the woman there my receipt.
I really appreciate how hard she worked to make sure I understood that, and how hard she continued to work on that after I understood it.
I headed over to the desk, showed the woman my receipt, and she pulled out a raffle box. I reached my hand in there a won a prize:
It's a dangly, puffy little thing designed to hang on my cell phone, I think. There were other prizes I could have won, so the whole promo wasn't focused on these little things, but I still think it's pretty cool. And definitely unexpected.
In short, we had a great visit to the Shibuya Tower Records.