So as many of you probably know already, I was in Tokyo for two weeks in early July to visit my in-laws. Hub and Lil Tot went two weeks ahead of me while I stayed behind to look for our runaway cat; sadly, I didn’t find her so went to join my family for the last little bit of our vacation.
So here are some of the photos we took while there… (this is super-long, just to warn you! And totally ignore the commentary if my dry sense of humor grates on ya.)
How I communicated with my family while I was still in Oregon: by iSight. Living in 2010 is cool!
It was Tanabata (July 7) soon after I arrived, and so we decorated a bamboo sprig with handmade paper decorations to celebrate.
In Japan everyone has their last name emblazoned on a plaque outside their house. When I lived there as a kid my dad had to get one specially made with our foreign names all written out on it, which caused quite a stir in the neighborhood, and revealed to all passersby that a bunch of foreigners lived in that little blue house on the hill. As a result we had many kids ringing our doorbell just for the fun of it, but at least most of the solicitors stayed far away. Except for the Jehovah’s Witnesses for some reason.
(Now that you know where Mr. Abe lives above, please don’t go bother him, thanks.)
This is what the inside of a Tokyo subway train is like, thank goodness not during rush hour. If it was rush hour I wouldn’t have even been able to hold my camera up. That old guy is looking at me weird.
Question: How many people are using their cell phones in this picture? *smirks*
The kids’ meal on the airplane going to Japan was crap, apparently, but the one coming from? Awesome. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want ham cut in the shape of an airplane, potato salad, pudding, koala-shaped cookies, and fried chicken contained in a little cat’s head? (I’m being facetious – I would have loved that if I were I kid. Okay, I still loved it;-)
One shop was selling these mop slippers with animal faces on them. If I had hardwood floors I would get a pair of these, and spend a
ll my time shuffling around in room corners (because, after all, that’s where the most dust collects) attempting to make them useful.
I love his shirt. “Self Taught Rock” indeed. Plus so many of the young guys here have long hair – which can take some getting used to. I think next to “metrosexual” in the dictionary there should be a photo of the entire Japanese male population between 16 – 30 y.o.
The newly-opened Opening Ceremony store in Shibuya, which unfortunately took over the space where One Minute Happiness used to be [the most awesome store with everything – clothes, gifts, makeup – under $19]. Boo Opening Ceremony.
I felt pretty bad taking her picture when she covered her face and ran away. I’m not sure what she was promoting, but it was probably a maid cafe.
Thong socks for your geta sandals! I have to admit, I didn’t see anyone actually wearing these. But the bow anklets (upper left) I thought were pretty cute.
Of course we had to hit up Mr. Donuts – Hub asked me to pick up some on my way home, and then he just assumed I wouldn’t remember and so HE went there and bought 1.5 dozen himself first. And he’s only known me for 10 YEARS???!! So in addition to the 10 I bought, we had 28 donuts which had to be consumed within 3 days before they went bad.
We went to the Sazae-san Museum [think: the Japanese equivalent of “Peanuts”] and helped add tiny houses to the map they had laid out.
Random graffiti. Crisp.
The menu from some Honey Toast cafe in Shibuya. An entire loaf of bread, lightly toasted on the outside, with the inside cut into cubes, drizzled with warm honey, and topped with vanilla ice cream. The only time I’ve had any was at Shokudo in Honolulu, of all places. Really quite yummy if you are a bread person!
Every child’s dream: going to Kiddy Land in Harajuku! 8 floors crammed with so many toys it makes your head spin. The crowds are pretty typical for a Saturday.
We went to the aquarium and Lil Tot loved the Sea Lion show. I have no idea what this fish is.
We also went to Tokyo Disneyland. It just so happened that after we arrived a typhoon came, and we spent the rest of the afternoon riding the rides in rain slickers, while sheets of rain poured down and the wind whipped through the park. The fireworks and the Electrical Parade – specifically what we had come to see, were all canceled.
On the plus side, the lines for the rides got progressively shorter. Lil Tot decided he was in love with “It’s a Small World” and we went on it three times. The song one time through is enough to make you nuts.
My mother-in-law lent me her PASMO while I was there. It’s like a Metrocard, but the money you’ve loaded onto it can be used other places, like at the convenience store.
A typical drink machine in Japan.
More truants flocking around the First Kitchen in Shibuya Center-Gai. Best. French. Fries. EVER!!!They make non-flavored fries and give you a flavor powder that you shake up inside the bag. You can get black sesame, Cheddar cheese, garlic, cayenne pepper, buttered potato, oregano herb, sour cream and onion, black pepper, barbecue, buttered salmon roe, consomme soup flavor…the list goes on and I really can’t remember everything. Plus they have a variety of dipping sauces. Man, I can’t BELIEVE I forgot to have some while I was there! Now I’ll be kicking myself until next year.
There must have been a festival going on that evening since there were groups of people dressed like this hanging out. (Note: this is NOT normal everyday attire in Japan – before I went to live there, I thought it was!!)
Especially in Shibuya Center-gai in the afternoons you will see these jailbait girls lining the sides of the street, just sitting down, playing on their cell phones and doing their makeup, chatting or getting picked up by guys.
Posters that also happen to be promoting the movie Inception. No, they don’t mean that Inception is “FUN PLACE TO GO!” it’s just another one of those unfortunate misused Engrish and bad design mockups that are so uniquely Japanese.
Every time we go to the departures area at the Narita airport Lil Tot insists on having lunch at the Fujiya restaurant. I love how the mascot Peko-chan is hiding behind the parfait in this photo. Someone’s been a naughty girl!!
Hub had the Fruits Anmitsu. Anmitsu is a dish which has cubes of kanten [unflavored gelatin], sweet red beans, and canned apricots – and you pour red bean molasses over it all. It’s very sweet, and this version has fruit and whipped cream as well.
My father-in-law bought one of those brand-new Sony 3D TVs – and this is my MIL and Lil Tot watching it. You have to wear these fashionable goggles while watching it – and you can’t sit at an angle since it throws off the view; you have to be situated smack in front of the TV. Lil Tot got disillusioned pretty quickly, but MIL soldiers on.
Eating ice creams clustered around Baskin Robbins. Of course, if you said “Baskin Robbins” to any Japanese person they would have no clue what you’re talking about. The official name of the store in Japan (and what it says in Japanese on the sign) is “Thirty-One” for the 31 flavors of ice cream served there.