Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh yes there's more. But only the first one's free.


Day 9: Tuesday
We got up and took the train out to Odiba. Tokyo is right on the water and one of the interesting things is that they have built man-made islands in Tokyo Bay. One of those islands is Odiba and there are a couple of others. We went to the one that has the Sea Life Aquarium.

The entrance to the aquarium.

This was so cool! We walked up and thought that there was just this nice reflecting pool and some sails for decoration. Then as we started to walk by, all these fountains started spraying water, so that it looked like a wave slowly starting and then coming straight toward us.

Heather and I really like aquariums. So we were pretty excited about this place. In the brochure they gave us, they said that they would have a penguin presentation. So we walked quick and got out to the penguins just in time for the show.

We felt really bad for all these penguins because they were in an outdoor area, and it was so hot. We waited for a few minutes for the penguin show to start.

And then we realized that the presentation was all in Japanese.


So we turned and walked back, because the signs inside were in English and Japanese.

We saw giant tuna, our bet was 75 pounds for the biggest one. We saw tons of other fish, jellyfish, and creepy crawlies.

They also had two petting areas. In the first one I touched a sea-urchin type spiny thing. In the second they had sharks and sting rays. I walked over, and stood with a ton of little Japanese kids to touch the shark. A little shark swam by and I got to touch it. It was surprisingly rough, like sandpaper. Then I kept trying to touch the sting ray. But every time I reached for it, a little kid jumped in the way and scared the sting ray, so it swam out of my reach.

Of course Heather stood to the side with a look on her face like oh no I am not touching that!

This was the first day Heather and I tried out our bentos. She made a good stir fry, so we loaded veggies and shrimp in the top section and rice in the bottom. The aquarium had a nice big lunch room so we sat there and ate our lunch. It was really interesting to see what all the Japanese families packed for their picnics.

Then we went home. I wasn't feeling good I had a really bad headache that just wouldn't go away. So even though I felt bad, we just skipped the rest of our Odiba plans and went home and watched Bones.

Day 10: Wednesday
I was feeling better, but Heather and I decided to just stay home and have a fun "sick" day. We watched Bones all day, and Heather taught me how to knit. She started me on a little hat because Liz says knitting in the round is easiest.

Day 11: Thursday
We took an easy start to the day, just hanging out at the apartment. Then we decided to go to Fabric Town. This was a district just like the Kitchen district that we went to back on the first day. But everything was fabric. It was really cool. There were just streets after streets of stores full of fabric.

Heather was looking for fabric to make a kimono quilt out of, and I was just looking.

We went into one store and Heather found some cool little pieces of fabric. And then we really liked some of the buttons they had. In this store they had huge long tables with boxes of buttons the whole way down. Unfortunately, the buttons Heather really liked were $11 each. So she decided not to get them.

Then we went to another store and found little rolls of fabric that had Japanese style patterns on them. Heather liked those for her kimono quilt, so we spent a while finding coordinating patterns and shades.

We kept walking down the street and came to some shops that sold the fabric already cut. I found a really cool pattern, so I bought a couple yards of it. I think I will make a skirt out of it.

After we finished fabric shopping, we went to the Sumida River and got on the Sumida River Cruise. It was a little bit drizzly that day, but the boat was covered, so we got to sit inside and just watch the river.

There are tons of bridges the whole way down the river. Each is a different style and a different color. They were pretty cool to see, but hard to really get good pictures of.

The boat dropped us at the dock at Odiba. So we looked over and could see the Statue of Liberty. Yup, its a replica of the one in New York. And smaller.

We decided to take the train home. We met up with Tim and went to the neighborhood sushi place again. It was much busier this evening than the first time we went. But the food was still delicious.

We went home and watched the latest episode of Top Chef.

Day 12: Friday
Heather had gotten a little worried about getting everything packed and ready to go. We spent so much time running all over Tokyo that she was feeling like she ran out of time to really get ready to go. So we decided to keep it easy on Friday. She worked on packing in the morning.

Then we went out to the Meiji Shrine. This is a really big area, it has a park with a path and then you walk up to the actual temple. They had signs and explanations along the way. While reading one of the signs, I learned that Meiji was actually an emperor. And that made me finally realize that the emperors became deities. Maybe people would trash talk less if we went with something like that here.

There were these huge gates throughout the park.

The washing area before you walk into the temple.

Heather at the entrance.

The main temple. Heather explained that this is not a Buddhist temple, and that's why it's not red and gold.

After we finished wandering around the Meiji shrine, we walked across the street to some of the shopping. There are a lot of the popular stores in this part of town, so we walked into Gap, Forever 21, etc. And then there is a street like the one beside Ueno Park with all the vendors. This one didn't have the displays of fish though. But they did have tons of crepe stands.

This is the entrance to the shopping street. It was crazy busy and crowded.

After shopping for a while, we went home. When Tim got back from work, we watched the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. Heather had already caught me up on some of the best dances. But with the finale, we got to see some repeated. They wanted to redo one of the best dances, but one of the dancers had gotten injured. So they did it with Ellen. It was awesome and so cool.

Then we went out to Roppongi Hills and had dinner at a restaurant called Xen.

Day 13: Saturday
This was the bummer day. Time to fly home.

The amazing part of this day was how long it took to get to the Narita airport. It took for-ev-er! When you travel that long with large suitcases, it is easy to hurt yourself. So I rolled over my toe, and bashed my knee, and Heather told me she hurt herself pretty bad getting off the train.

The other amazing thing was the airport itself. I wandered around and they have stores like Coach and Luis Vuitton in the airport, along with other super fancy stores.

I didn't get a row to myself on the return flight, but I didn't have a little kid kicking my chair the whole way, so it was fine.

It was a great vacation and an amazing experience. A huge thanks again to Heather and Tim for inviting me and taking care of me for two weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment