So, wow. We’re in Tokyo. How lucky can we be?
We knew as soon as we got our airplane food, we knew we were going to be in love. I mean, look at this cute little bento!
Kevin holding his first Japanese yen
Too bad for him, bills are NOT common here, so he needed to get himself the world’s cutest change purse to keep himself organized 🙂On a budget, we’ve been frequenting the grocery store regularly…these were SAMPLES…I mean, right?! TOKYO.
We did the whole Halloween thing! Turns out, Halloween hasn’t really been celebrated except during the last 10 years or so…This is our (soon to be!) new Japanese teacher 🙂
P.S. Lamest costume ever award goes to BOTH of us – 2 hours before the party I purchased saran wrap and balloons to be (as seen below) the world’s most awkward Jelly Belly, and Kevin literally put on my pants and called that his costume. Yup. My husband fits in my pants. No I’m not happy about it.
P.P.S. Turns out Kevin isn’t in any of the photos before my camera died – but I can assure you, he was there, drinking and eating as much of the “all you can eat/drink party” part as humanely possible and having a merry time talking with his Japanese brethren…
Kevin has found his new life’s passion: Pokemon! Gotta catch ’em all (or so he tells me :))
We’ve done a LOT of walking. The metro/subway lines are pretty darn expensive (about $3-7 one way), so between the two of us, that adds up. So walking it is!
But, while walking – we often happen across places like this:
Or see super futuristic water taxi things, like this!
Or cute mini bonsais of every shape and size, like this!
Ridiculously cute ads like these are everywhere.
We visited the Sensoji Temple, which was pretty awesome…
And got our fortune!
WHICH WAS BAD! Hilariously bad. Try to read it, if you can. Turns out (to sum it up) Our wishes will not come true, our marriage is not good, and we should NOT be traveling…WELP! Sorry fortune gods!
We’ve learned to love maccha tea (or at least I have – Kev’s been a die hard maccha fan forever or so he tells me)
We managed to get tickets to the Studio Ghibly museum (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and loads of other Miyazaki films) using an all Japanese prompted touch screen to print tickets. After 15+ minutes, here is Kevin: VICTORIOUS.
We tried some traditional Japanese sweets (ice cold noodles to be dipped in sugary sweet sauce), If texture issues present yourself while eating, this is probably not for you.
And went to our first Japanese tea house!
And met new friends (picture shown: on the way to the Ninja Temple – Ninjadera Temple)
Thousands of Japanese paper cranes for eternal good luck inside temple cave
We visited some traditional Japanese Gardens (Kiyosumi Gardens)
We’ve tried lots of new food and drink and brushed up on our Japanese (aka: learned a few mini phrases to make us not seem like total jerks :))
Went to a (few now!) conveyor belt sushi place!
Walked around the crazy Shibuya streets
Used a bidet (too much info?) and learned that they even come equip with music as you pee! What will they think of next?!
At night, many neighborhood restaurants are illuminated like this…On a cool night, the warm glow and ramen scents swirling the air, it feels just like a movie. I feel pretty confident life doesn’t get much better.
We’ve started to really have a taste of fall (and oh, how we’ve missed it!)
Shinjuku Gyoen (another Japanese garden)
We picniked here for a few hours and Kev read while I did some Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) that I learned from a meet up group I attended earlier in the week – it was a pretty awesome day.
There have been awesome (and very, very funny) street performers all over the place – below you’ll see a group of about 15 Rock n’ Rollers in their fancy leather jackets (complete with slicked back hair and combs in their back pockets) who frequent the park and dance literally ALL DAY to old school Rock and Roll. Pretty entertaining to say the least.
I got flair.
And there are VERY weird shops all over the place – like this “make your own doll” shop (see those eyes?!) where grown men in business suits and cute lovey couples alike shop “Build a Bear” style, but for dolls…
Kevin plays videogames in Akihabara
More weirdness on the streets
We even went to the Cup Noodles museum (which turned out to be awesome!) and even got to make our own Cup Noodles! (Kyle, get ready! Christmas is coming!)
Last week, I met up with these fine folks to go run around the Palace. After our run, we went to an onsen/sento (public bath house, complete with saunas, hot tubs and the works) and then went out to dinner. A perfect night.
Kevin imagines he’s making a Suntory commercial for Lost in Translation
And yesterday, we went mushroom hunting (although we only found poisonous mushrooms). It was beyond great to get out of the city, but we couldn’t help but wish we were back in Portland with Alicia and Justin having our (what has come to be) annual fall mushroom hunting experience.
On our hike we saw rice being dried, which I had never seen in the “wild” before, and thought was pretty cool 🙂
I’m sure there are things I’ve missed, but that’s a pretty solid take on the last week. One down, 3 more to go, Tokyo – we’re ready for you!