Saturday, February 2, 2013

2/2/13: Asakusa, Harajuku, and Tokyo Station

Ohayogozaimasu!  It's about 6:00am here in Tokyo and we heard about the earthquake in Hokkaido.  Now everyone is saying we are the cause. We aren't even there yet!  Keeping my fingers crossed on that.

We started yesterday off early since we were still half on Hawaii time, half jet lagged.  Paul took Akemi  exploring in Asakusa in the morning before everything opened, so they got a nice shot of Kaminarimon.  I think its pretty awesome that a lantern has it's own name!  Paul says it is a big gate dedicated to the god of thunder.  I think they went geocashing but came back empty handed.  Junk!

After they came back from their walk we had the awesome hotel breakfast!  I wasn't sure if Akemi would like it, but she pounded 5 pieces of toast and 4 bowls of miso soup!  OMG... I guess she's growing again. I took a photo w/my instax but not with my phone, so I will try to get a new shot today.

Then we headed out on our first adventure.  Since Paul had a taiko lesson at noon, he dropped us off in Harajuku.  On our way to the train station, we found the Ban Dai headquarters again.  Akemi wanted to take photos with all of the statues in the front.  This guy is the mascot for Tamagochi.

I liked this one too of Paul, Akemi and Ultra Man.  It looks like the one he took last time but now Akemi is added.

And Akemi is doing Gangnam Style with Kamen Rider!

First stop in Harajuku was Kiddy Land!!!!  Woo Hoo!  The last time we came, they were in the temporary store since this one was being renovated.  It's so much better now!  There was 6 floors of toys and kawaii heaven!!  I think Akemi and I spent over 2 hours in there...

Here's Akemi's favorite floor....  Its in the basement...

I thought these socks were awesome...

And Akemi found a new passion... Gashapon!  She loves the vending machines back home, but those are so junk compared to these!  In Snoopy town, we found these in the back.  We bought so much stuff, I might do a haul post to show you all the goods.  After she found the gashapon machines she was on a mission to get one on every floor and wherever we saw them in Harajuku.

Aaaaahhhh, Rilakkuma.... Linda's favorite bear.  There was 1/2 a floor dedicated to him in Kiddy Land.  Linda would've been in heaven.  Don't worry girl, I got your b-day present (and then some) from here...

After Kiddy Land, we were tired but I still wanted to go to Oriental Bazaar, so I dragged Akemi there and forced her to go shopping with me.  She complained a lot in there, but I managed to get a few items  from the first floor.  Didn't get to go to any other floor there though...

OK don't judge me.. but YES, we did end up eating at Shakey's Pizza.  Funny yah? We have all of the best Japanese cuisine and we end up eating here.  I gave in since Akemi was tired and I thought this might make her happy- we still had more shopping to do at the 100 yen store.

We both got the buffet which included salad bar, curry, pizza, pasta and fried potato.  Their fried potato reminded me of those huge steak fries back at Marriott at UH.  They weren't that good.  We also had pizza, which was good and pasta. I can't vouche for the pasta since Akemi ate all of mine.  When she went back for more, they changed it up, so I had the mushroom one and it was good.  Their pizza was interesting.  The "white" pizza on my plate was sausage and pepper, but the weird thing was that it had a mayo like sauce.  It was good, but I think you won't like it if you don't eat mayo.

The other pizza on the right is a chocolate marshmallow pizza.  I got that for Akemi and she liked it.  She even got a 2nd piece.  She also had some jello from the salad bar, which she ate but I didn't get much feedback on.  I thought the best thing was the curry. 

After lunch we headed for Takeshita Street for more shopping.  I am pretty amazed that I remembered how to get there from Kiddy Land.  We  found the Tamagochi store and Akemi got more gashapon.  I got some cool flat umbrellas for 525 yen.   Then we hit Daiso or 100 yen shop!  Found a lot of omiyage there, but someone was getting cranky, so we cut the trip short to try to find somewhere to sit.

 After taking a short break, we went back to the Tamagochi store to get more gashapon for Akemi's friends.  Then headed back to meet Paul who was running late from his lesson.  I noticed some weird activity in that area, so I made sure Akemi held on tight to me.  No one bothered us though... I noticed guys who were standing on the sides of the street were targeting Japanese men... they would hold there hand and pull them to the side and show them something.  Paul thinks it was a store or maybe strip club?  Whatever it was, I didn't want to stick around that area.

After we met Paul back at the Daiso, we decided to get a snack...   Harajuku Creeps baby!  Bwahahahaha!  The reason I call it that is because my iPhone kept autocorrecting crepes to be creeps!   They were yummy.  I liked the ones with the ice cream better.

After we said goodbye to Harajuku, we headed for Tokyo Station where I read on the Asking for Trouble blog about Character Street.  What?  I've never heard of this before, but I was intrigued.... We got lost and had to ask for directions and even consult the internet, but we eventually found it.  There's a small "street" full of character shops.  We found a Totoro shop, Rilakkuma, Hello Kitty, Ultra Man, NHK, Miffy, and many more that I've never heard of.  Paul thought this was cute at the Totoro shop.  I got some stuff for my sis who's a huge Totoro fan.

I don't know who this is or what his name is, but doesn't he look like someone?

After Character shops, we were exhausted and hungry.  We roamed the station for a place to eat since we heard many of the shops are good.  We found one where we could sit down and have some udon.  I guess the beer was calling me, so we had some Asahi with our meal.

The waitress brought us the burner, chopsticks and spoons, so we figured out we were cooking our own!  It was good but kinda spicy.  And I mean stealth spicy.  Akemi and I didn't even notice until about 1/2 way through the meal.  Akemi couldn't even finish it, so Paul scored.  I was quite delish I must say...

I gotta say, Tokyo station is pretty neat for a station.  It's SUPER DUPER crowded though, but you can get some cool stuff including omiyage!  How convenient!  Remember this post from last time?  Well, we found the same cake at the Tokyo station!  I was in heaven!!!

After dinner, we got some cake.  I let Akemi choose and she chose this one.. It comes all packed nicely but we opened it up to eat as dessert.  She chose the sakura one, which I wanted to try last time.  Inside the package, there was a brochure.  This cake is called Baumkuchen, and their slogan is "We made this baumkuchen with all our hearts."  So cute!  Love that!  And then the taste... mmmmmmm.... so good.  Not too sweet but there's a layer of chunky sugar around the edge.  I'm in heaven.  This was a must do on our trip to Ginza, but now I know I can also get it from Tokyo Station!!!

Wow, that was a really long post.. took me almost an hour!  We are heading to Nakamise Dori today, so we're hoping to hit Mr. Donut, age manju, fresh arare, and the washi paper store!  See ya tomorrow!


Have A Scrap Happy Day said...

Wow, what a FUN trip. All the food and goodies you're grinding sounds/looks so yummy. Ohhh, I remember the age manju you told me about. Those were AWESOME!!! I can taste 'em now.

Linda said...

Dang Jenny, you should be a travel writer. Can't wait to read what's next ...