Walking around Minato is sort of a business/residential working-class area, but definitely a bit nicer and more sterile than some other areas. Everything is new, and walking north toward Ebisu gives only a little more character. Popping out into Ebisu Gardens by the Westin and the JR Rail and subway stations reveals a business-like, very nice, broad open space that is probably packed during commute hours. Had to pass on the photography museum as there just wasn't time.
Shibuya Crossing off-hours only hints at how crazy it is during the commute. The Starbucks overlooking it does offer a great vantage point, and the huge shopping areas are very evident. Heading north to Harajuku for perhaps the best tonkotsu around at Maisen. I am sad to say that I am not enough of a tonkotsu afficiando to know the difference with the super premium kubota pork loin, but it was very good. Tokyu Plaza and the line for Eggs 'n Things were both unexpectedly crazy sights; the mirrored entrance and huge rooftop Starbucks (!) for the former, the absolutely monster line for the latter.
After multiple treks throughout the world to shrines, palaces, and temples of every sort, the Meiji Jingu shrine was on the reserved side, as befits a Shinto shrine. Still, it was worth a quick walk-through on the way north to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building's 45th floor (202 meters/663 ft) observation deck, which offered a lasting impression of just how big Tokyo is, and how much high-density sprawl is involved. The surrounding shops on the way to Shinjuku were a nice touch of accessible street areas, before heading even further east past Shinjuku Station and into the higher-energy shopping and dining present.
Ichiran Ramen was as good as promised, with Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen in the dedicated booths and the ticket machine for payment. Wandering as all the office workers got out revealed impressive crowds (too bad I wasn't back in Shibuya!), and the massive tower holding Uniqlo and Bic Electronics was seven stores (if not more!) of goods. Some very high-end electronics were on display, compared to American stores which rarely have true high-end models around. Definitely an experience, especially if oen is a fan of Uniqlo clothes, B&W speakers, or Marantz amps.
The trek back was surprisingly straightforward, a testament to how orderly and organized things are here.