North America, Asia · 17 Days · 169 Moments · April 2018

6 May 2018

Soon to be on our way back to the kitties

5 May 2018

There’s a few interesting foods available at the local 7-11.
This morning we visited Dominique Ansel Bakery for breakfast. I finally got one of their frozen s’mores and it was amazing.
The last Golden Week holiday is Children’s Day! This is the holiday for which koinobori are displayed.

4 May 2018

I found a small bottle of amazake to try! It turns out I don’t like it much, but I’m glad I got the opportunity to try it.
Meiji Jingu also has a beautiful garden on its grounds.
We had the great luck to see two wedding ceremonies moving through Meiji Jingu in beautiful weather.
Meiji Shrine has its own little fire station right at its Yoyogi entrance.
This taxi driver attempted to run a red light and instead ended up stuck in the middle of a pedestrian crossing.
We went back to Uobei Sushi one more time before we go!
We’ve walked down this street multiple times a day for the past two weeks on our way to Takadanobaba Station. There are always bikes parked along the side of the road, despite it being disallowed, and more than a few always have parking tickets attached.
Today is Greenery Day! It was previously April 29th, before that day became Showa Day. Greenery Day is a day for appreciating plants and nature.

3 May 2018

Late evening is a great time to visit Kiddyland, there were way less people around. We got a ton of presents!
This little cafe is super popular in the afternoons, with a line winding through their entire dining room and down the block.
We finally tried Ice Monster! It was surprisingly dry and powdery, but so delicious. We might even go back again before we leave...if we can find it without a line down the street again.
Our trip is winding down, so we’re eating as much of our favorite ramen as possible. :)
Today is the second holiday of Golden Week, Constitution Memorial Day. It memorializes the day in 1947 when Japan’s current constitution took effect.

2 May 2018

Four days to leaving and I’ve discovered the greatest ice cream ever.

1 May 2018

Cocoa and milk Koalas March are the absolute best Koalas March.
Last time we were here, this part of Tokyo Station was under construction. We were lost on our way to our hotel and ended up wandering into this very entrance.
We had lunch at a tempura restaurant in the Shin-Marunouchi Building. It was my first time having sashimi, and Nic tried conger eel and a shellfish-miso soup and liked them both!
We’ve seen a ton of scooter delivery vehicles but this was my first time seeing a motorcycle one.
Tomioka Hachimangu has a monthly flea market/festival that we attended. There was a ton of incense burning; it smelled amazing.

30 April 2018

We got these grape and peach frappes from Family Mart. They were frozen with a hole in the middle, and we squeezed the cups a bit to break it up and then added milk from the cappuccino machine. I wasn’t expecting the milk portion but it was really good anyways.
These little hand towels are called tenugui and are very popular as gifts. They come in a ton of beautiful colors and patterns.
GAP is a major sponsor in this year’s Tokyo Rainbow Pride.
I guess the Tokyo millennials didn’t get the message.

29 April 2018

For some reason, the whole main road in Akihabara was closed to vehicles halfway through the day. We saw tons of people taking photos or even just sitting down relaxing in the street.
We attended another art show where one of Nic’s favorite artists had a display. It seems spring is a great time to see these kinds of events.
Yes, sure, all of these things sound enjoyable and definitely go together.
Today is the first of the Golden Week holidays, Showa Day! It honors the birthday of Emperor Shōwa.

28 April 2018

We accidentally went to the wrong station leaving Tokyo Skytree, but I got a stamp out of it so it wasn’t a total loss.
Today we go to see some koinobori on display at Tokyo Skytree!
Lunch high above Tokyo.
These little seedlings were for sale at the shrine.
We didn’t actually plan to go to Yasukuni Shrine today, so I left my purple goshuinchou at home. I was able to get this special 150th anniversary one from Yasukuni though, so it worked out really well.
The Yasukuni museum didn’t allow photos in most of their exhibits, but they did have stamps to collect in each of them.
The secondary gun of the battleship Mutsu, with a husband for scale.
This Suisei plane was used in WW2 and was recovered and restored for the museum. Interestingly, the museum didn’t reference World War 2, considering it part of The Great East Asian War instead.
Yasukuni Shrine has a museum on the grounds dedicated to the military history of Japan.
We got a few things from the shrine, including cherry blossoms preserved in acrylic, a traffic safety omamori, and an omamori for granting wishes.
Yasukuni Shrine enshrines soldiers who have died in wars fighting for Japan. It has generated controversy by enshrining war criminals.

27 April 2018

Went to a place called Henry's Burger for lunch in Akiba. It was pretty good definitely more Western style burgers.
I always make sure to get something from places where we’ve really enjoyed ourselves or made good memories, so this guy came home with me from Kawaii Monster Cafe.

26 April 2018

We visited Kawaii Monster Cafe for their Thursday burlesque night. We even danced atop the giant cake!
Sometimes the train advertisements are...odd. Like 50% of them.

25 April 2018

It seems this pickled garlic is so good even vampires can’t resist!
We went back to Oreryu for lunch today. This time I got their Ume ramen, which came with the best umeboshi I’ve ever had. Been got Gabachi which is a shortening of garlic, butter (bataa), and cheese.
A new special Karaage-kun flavor appeared! This one is locomoco.

24 April 2018

On the way home from the station we noticed this huge rainbow waterfall down the side of a building. It seems a bit over the top for a pawn shop, but they must know what they’re doing.
A magician went around Ninja Akasaka briefly entertaining each table, for this trick, she took my photo with a little instant camera and put the photo face down on the table. She had Nic choose a card and put it back in the deck....but rather than produce the card again, she flipped over the photo and the card he’d chosen was printed there.
Dessert for the Jyubei course was a little cheesecake frog, a scoop of strawberry sorbet, and a bowl of various fruits. I got to try fresh yuzu for the first time from the fruit bowl.
Steak course from Ninja Akasaka. Started with shuriken crackers with pork pate, then a white fish and tomato ceviche, then a salad wrapped in a toasted bread with a soy sauce foam on top that was white. Followed that up with a creamy chicken soup. Main course was 200 gram wagyu steak, it was so delicious and melted in the mouth, couldn't eat it all because it was super fatty sadly and I can't eat super fatty steak 😧. Sushi course was alright tried to eat all of it but the tuna wasn't my thing. Desert was a strawberry and kiwi panna Cotta probably my favorite part of the meal, stole some of Sarah's cheesecake frog too.
The Jyubei course included Ninja Star grossing with a pork pate, a salad with a savory jelly egg, a nutty and salty turban shell, snow crab and grapefruit, vegetable soup with soy milk base, lobster, steak, and sushi. We got the opportunity to try real wasabi along with it!
We had dinner at a fancy themed restaurant named Ninja Akasaka.
We found some beautiful old pencil boards in good condition today at Nakano Broadway.
It was a very surreal experience to see my favorite childhood toys for sale at Nakano Broadway as vintage American toy collectibles.
More new drinks! This one was good, but very sweet.

23 April 2018

A pint of perfect strawberries.
Tonight we got ramen from Oreryu. Rather than being slowly cooked for a long time, this ramen broth is pressure-cooked. It was very good, and we plan to go back to try other flavors too! This one is their basic pressure-cooked shio ramen, but they have yuzu and ume ramen that I’m very interested in too.
I bought my goshuinchou for this trip from Kameido Tenjin, along with my first goshuin! I thought it would be nice to have a wisteria pattern to match the Sakura pattern on my last one, and the goshuin itself has an extra Wisteria Matsuri bit on it.
Some more pictures from the festival. A very nice man offered to take a picture of Sarah and me. It was so nice of him!
We found some charcoal-roasted mitarashi dango. They’re even better than the small grilled ones that were previously my favorite.
We visited he wisteria festival at Kameido Tenjin.

22 April 2018

Another new flavor - lemon and vitamin cola! The lemon flavor is very prominent.
7-11 was selling little cups of ice, which seemed really weird until I realized they’re for iced coffees and lattes. You take your cup to the counter and they’ll fill it with the appropriate fresh beverage.
Today’s melonpan flavors: strawberry and milk tea.
We had some ramen at a pretty popular place down the street, but their broth was a little more fishy than we prefer.
We visited Mega Don Quijote in Shibuya and got a variety of flavored drinks and umeboshi, along with Hachi Curry!
Genki Sushi Uobei was as delicious and cheap as ever! We didn’t try them, but they had some surprising specials going on, like horse meat nigiri, shark tempura, and a corn and mayo gunkan.
We met the Hachiko kitties! I was initially excited, but actually got upset after noticing one of the kitties was panting.
This morning’s breakfast: Mister Donut!

21 April 2018

Karaage-kun on Karaage-kun?
Christ Church Cafe! Is it a church or is it a Cafe, who knows!
We made a short visit to Harajuku to try and pick up a cronut, but we were too late in the day and they were already sold out.
Got some amazing smelling melon bread. They had so many different flavors and it was super cheap!
We continued the favorite foods tour with a yakiniku place we really loved last time.
We were lucky to be in town for the last two days of an exhibit of Range Murata’s works. Nic has been a fan of his since before we met.
On this morning’s breakfast run, I tried the umekatsuo karaage-kun. They’re really good!
The area we’re staying in is absolutely beautiful.

20 April 2018

Favorite quick food in Japan, Karaage-kun! This is the red version that has a nice spiciness to it.
We had planned to go out for yakiniku and arcade runs when we got in, but we were tired and decided to pick up some old favorites instead.
Our very sweet AirBnB host wrote a cute note and left us snacks!
There’s a Keikyu x Rilakkuma promotion going on, so the Skyliner is super adorable!
Drink machines and suica are some of my favorite things about Japan. I picked up a tiny can of coffee for the ride in to Tokyo.
One never goes hungry on an ANA flight!
The ground crew bowed and waved as we taxied off to the runway.
Goodbye Seattle!
There were little plane slippers at our seats!