*blurry eyes grab the bedside clock* Wow! We slept until 8:30? Woohoo! We are finally over our jet lag. It only took us a week to get our bodies acclimated. After waking up the guys, we headed to the hotel lounge for breakfast. Sadly, so did the rest of the hotel, so we skipped breakfast, and went wandering around Shinjuku.
After walking around the other side of this huge station, we decided to grab a quick pastry in a station grocer/bakery. Dakota wanted to call his friend back home, so we ran in to buy goodies. Besides a bagel for Tony, I had a green tea muffin, and Dakota had a waffle wrap filled with strawberries and cream. After munching breakfast outside, we walked down to the Tokyo National Garden.
This garden is quite large, and divided into three sections: English, French, and tradional Japanese (my favorite). Everywhere you look, there are well manicured lawns, flowers, ponds filled with koi & turtles, and a plethora of gorgeous trees (cypress, japanese maple, redwood, bamboo, and yupon to name a few). We strolled around the gardens for an hour or so, taking photos along the way. One of the highlights for me, was to see large orb weaver spiders in their intricate web strung between trees. They are a bit different here compared to the US. These have bright red tummies, and don’t seem quite as large.
After the park, we took the train over to Harajuku. Sunday is the day that the Tokyo teens come out to ‘show their stuff’. You will see crazy outfits like french maids, goth wear, wanna-be hair band looks in pleather, men in drag, people dressed up in furry costumes, etc. I guess it was a slow Sunday for outrageous, because we saw very few that were dressed up. The street was jam packed with teens, but not much was going on.
We decided to head to Yoyogi Park. Tony had read that folks get dressed up, and show off to the crowds (and each other) by dancing to loud 50’s music. Honestly, I couldn’t stop giggling when I saw these folks. There were three distinct circles of people (mostly 30+yr old guys) dressed in denim, leather, and sporting some SERIOUS Happy Days hair. Fonzy would’ve been proud. These folks blared 50’s type music (in Japanese) and were rockin’ out like there was no tomorrow. They were twisting, swinging, and even doing the splits. Where’s Dick Clark and American Bandstand when you need them? I know these folks were serious about their display of dancing genius. I just marvelled at it all and giggled.
We watched the performance for about 20min, and walked through the park. As we crossed over a bridge, we noticed a HUGE flea market/garage sale. Hello Christmas in October! Tony gave me about $100, and told me to have fun. He wasn’t feeling well, so Dakota and I walked around the market while Tony headed back to the hotel. I may not speak Japanese, but sign language is a universal tool. As it was getting close to sunset, everyone was starting to pack up. When we got through the place, I had spent $9 and gotten a skirt, jacket, dress, and two shirts. Call me Thrift Girl!
Dakota and I headed back to the station. We got a bit confused about which subway line to take, but we finally figured it out, and got back to our hotel. Tony was feeling much better, so we headed out for dinner.
My guys have been so nice this trip, and found restaurants that offer COOKED food. I’m not a fan of sushi or sashimi. We walked around West Shinjuku for a bit, until my guys found a sushi place for dinner. I decided to sit outside to write this blog, as I wasn’t hungry. The restaurant they chose consists of a circular bar in the middle of the building, where the patrons eat. Inside this bar are the sushi chefs. Between the chefs and the patrons is a carousel filled with different colored plates. On these plates are different types of sushi. Patrons see what they like when a plate comes around, grabs it, eats it, and stacks the plate next to them. When they’ve had their fill, they take their colored plates to the register. The plate color tells the cashier how much to charge for each item. Pretty ingenious, huh? My guys got their dinner, I got typing done, and everyone was happy.
We wrapped up the evening by finding a junk food market for goodies. We grabbed: Lime & Green onion Pretz pretzel sticks, cola and lemonade flavored gummy candy, banana/strawberry chocolate, and the Japanese equivalent of a Crunch bar (Meiji). One thing people don’t know about me is that I find product packaging interesting. One thing I collect are candy/soda/chip packages from other countries. I have a pretty good collection going for Japan between last and this trip. When we get home, I’ll find some large frames to display them.
We are taking an easier day tomorrow. I know my feet will appreciate it.