Texans in Japan – Day 8

April 13th, 2010

Today’s adventure starts when we get off the subway at Tsukiji. We wanted to catch an act at a Kabuki theater. When we got up top from the subway, we heard loud drums banging. What is THAT?! We walked down the sidewalk a bit to find huge children’s festival. A tradition Japanese drum band was performing. It was AWESOME! There were adorable Japanese children dressed in formal wear enjoying the performance as well. After watching the performance (and taking lots of pictures), we watched a sampling of a traditional tea ceremony, petted baby farm animals (the baby chicks were my favorite), and had green tea ice cream in cones.

We headed towards the Kabuki theater while enjoying the sites. As Kabuki is an all-day performance (usually over $200/person for tickets), we thought we would just take in one act (approx. $30/person). Sadly, all tickets were sold out for the day. No Kabuki this trip.

We hopped back on the subway to Harajuku. Each Sunday, young adults dress in their craziest fashions and parade themselves down Takeshita-dori. I thought we had some unusual style in Austin with our cowboy boots, but that doesn’t hold a candle to these folks. We saw girls dressed as anime characters, Little Bo Peep, a goth Holly Hobby, a Rainbow Brite wanna-be, and what looked like an 80’s men’s Hair Band (including the PVC clothing and dyed/spiked long red hair). It was quite an experience to see these young people walk around. The more outrageous their clothing, the more looks they got (which is just what they wanted).

Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Brite

Cat Street Crowd

Cat Street Crowd

We jumped back on the subway to Asakusa and the Sensoji Temple for a little more window shopping. As the children of Japan go to school six days a week, Sunday is the only day that most people can get out to do shopping and enjoy their surroundings. Needless to say, the shopping districts were packed with shoppers. We found a few magnets to adorn our refrigerator, and headed back to Shinjuku.

One of the things that Tony wanted to try while in Japan was Fugu. You can really only get it in Tokyo or San Francisco. We walked around Shinjuku, and found two restaurants that served it. However, we found that the cheapest of the two places served TWO PIECES for $70! Tony couldn’t justify a bit of fresh puffer fish for $35, so we found something else for dinner.

This was a day full of color and unexpected surprises. I particularly loved the children’s festival. The children dressed in traditional Japanese formal wear were ADORABLE! Tomorrow will be our last day in Japan. Part of me is looking forward to my own bed. However, the other part of me is sad. I have thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The people of Japan are so different from those of the United States. I will miss it.

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