Sunday, February 3, 2013

2/3/13: Nakamise and Ueno Zoo

Ohayogozaimasu!  I crashed out last night and got a good 10 hours of sleep, so we are all good to go for Tokyo Disneyland today!  Woo Hoo!

But first... wondering what we ended up doing yesterday?  Here's the recap....

Started off with some hotel breakfast.  This time, they keep changing the food, so its a different story every morning.  Instead of musubi's, they had sushi rice.  They also had potato salad, toast, miso soup, teri meatballs and coffee.

Paul headed to his taiko lesson, so Akemi and I hung out at the room for a bit until the stores opened.  We actually left the room walked about 2 blocks, then turned around because it was so cold!  We had to add more layers.  I think we thought it would be warm like yesterday- we were actually sweating in Harajuku.  Here's Akemi with all her gear..

First stop was Mr. Donut!!!  Yay!  Mr. Donut was happy to see us!  See? We found the Pon De Ring!  Yay!  I think this is the lion donut Joy Shimabukuro was telling me about last year.  Thanks Joy!  Akemi is now a big Mr. Donut fan.  OMG tastes just like mochi!!

After some donut goodness, we headed towards Nakamise.  Before the main area, we took a detour to find an "arcade", which turned out to be a pachinko arcade and we were quickly hustled out.   Totally thought we would find more gachapon machines, but I guess I was wrong!!

We picked up some toys for Sister Stamps displays and then headed towards the washi paper store.  I found my favorite mobile kiosk and picked up a few gifts.

I was happy to see the washi store I got my paper from last time still there and well stocked.  I used my panoramic feature on my iPhone... cool yah?  I need to back and pick some up... I was just spocking it out today... Saw some cute panda and snowman washi papers that I need to have for my collection.

After we left the washi store, we started heading towards the temple, only to get a text from Paul that he was done.. so headed back to meet him at the Kaminarimon.  While he and Akemi went to find a geocash, I found another Totoro store!!  Score!  Bought something for my sis and for me... Very cool to know that there's one right down the street from our hotel!

After that, we decided that we weren't quite ready for lunch yet, so we decided to get an age manju.... Mmmmmm...  Akemi tried her first age manju- custard flavor.  I don't think she liked it as much as we did.... What?  What's wrong with her?

Then we headed to the temple to show Akemi the smoke, fountain and fortune stuff to do... Here's Akemi getting her fortune.  Can you tell what kind of fortune she got?

As you can see from that monku-tare face, the first one was a bad fortune, so she ditched that one and got another one that was a regular fortune. Sounded pretty good so she held onto it.

Here's the one she got...

Then she did the wash hands in the fountain...  I guess I didn't get a photo of the smoke.  I was too busy trying to "heal" my foot.

 We discovered there was a festival near the temple, so we checked out their food booths...  Got some heart shaped yakisoba loco and karaage chicken!

This was the tako yaki stand.  They even put the baby octopus inside- whole!

We thought this was pretty neat... it was ice on the bottom then the girl added fruit and then added the mizu-ame to it.  What? We had to try it...

Look how messy it is!  Akemi said "not my favorite".  It think we'll pass on this if we see it again...

We decided it was time to so somewhere else, but just before we left, we heard everyone running to the temple... We THINK it was the Setsubun Festival... trowing of the soybeans?  Not sure though... There was a big mosh pit right under these guys and they were throwing something at the moshers.  Soon after they were done, everyone left.

We decided we would chance going to the Ueno Zoo.  Last time we came, they didn't have a panda, so we decided not to go.  Now they had 2 pandas, so we were excited to take Akemi...

I forgot what this panda's name is!?  I better go check.  Anyway, he kept walking around in a circle the whole time we were there.  So kawaii!!

I decided to take some photos for my sis in case she needed some references.  I thought this bird was pretty.

I know these little guys are all over the mainland, but us Hawaii folk never see them, so we thought they were so cute...

Akemi and Paul went under the Polar Bear area to watch him swim.  Very cool.

And look, we met Hedwig!  He opened his beady eyes to give me stink eye while I took his picture..

I thought this was cool.. See this guy?  He's a Wattled Crane and I thought he was pretty ugly at first.  I guess I still do.. But he positioned himself at the front of the cage the ENTIRE time I was there.  He checked out every person that came to the cage and did not budge from his post. At first I thought he wanted attention, but then I realized something...

He was actually standing guard...  His mate was watching over her egg.

And I finally got to see a Tsuru!

Look at all the funny animals in the zoo!

I don't know who this guy is but he looks like a Charlie Brown menehune!  BTW, Akemi is really getting the hang of the japanese peace sign.

We finally left the zoo just before they closed and saw these cute panda anpan.

They were still warm, so we gobbled them up.  I even like the bag!

Before we left the park I found the cutest panda mailbox!  The back even had a tail!

 Can you tell I have panda-mania!?  I totally loved the zoo.  It was much better than I anticipated!  I highly recommend it if you have the time.  Akemi was very happy.. I guess since it was something other than shopping.

 We crashed out early and missed dinner, so we're hungry for breakfast.  Need to get an earlier start today to get to Tokyo Disneyland!  Yay!  Akemi is soooo excited.  Can't wait to get some popcorn!


Joy said...

sounds like you are all having lots of fun! I guess it's even more fun since this time Akemi is there, too!
Love the pandas!

eva said...

wow, sounds like a busy day! and so much yummy looking food!

Linda said...

What a fun day ... I'm exhausted reading your post. Can't wait for Disneyland!

Leanne said...

I'm with Linda! Totally exhausted but I smiled through out the whole day's happenings. Looking fwd to day 3.