two weeks in tokyo

13 05 2010

Finally I’m almost finished blogging about Lauren’s visit.  We really did fit a lot into 2 weeks!  So this post is devoted to miscellaneous things.

The first weekend that Lauren was here was all shopping.  I’m pretty lucky that I have the largest shopping center in Japan only 30 minutes from my house, so after meeting Lauren at the airport and forwarding her bag to my house, we went there.  We walked around for a few hours before deciding to head home and crash on the couch for the evening.  Wayne’s World 1 was watched, and then quoted numerous times over the next 2 weeks.

The next day was spent in Akihabara, and Lauren managed to get the majority of her souvenir shopping done.  She also bought a new video camera, and I bought a new compact digital camera.  My new camera, a Nikon Coolpix S570, isn’t the latest model, but I’m really happy with it.  It takes really great portraits, I think the automatic face detection software softens the face (always a plus).

Next was our trip to Hakone, followed by the Cat Cafe and Yokohama.  On the 27th of March, we actually attended the YouTube Hanami party in Yoyogi park, which accounted for our slight hangovers on our trip to the snow.  The Hanami party was lots of fun, but I got far too friendly, and the lines for the toilets were really really long.  In the evening the party moved from the park to the Hub in Shibuya, but we were only able to stay for a few hours since we had to be up early to catch the train the following day.

After we arrived back from the snow, we needed a bit of a sleep in and easy day, so we went to the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku for high tea.  The Park Hyatt has the hotel bar that is featured in Lost in Translation, but personally I went for the food (big surprise there…).  I’ll be doing a blog about that next (^-^)v

A full day at Dinsneyland was next on the agenda.  We spent 14 hours there that day, and it was lots of fun.  Of course being the school holiday it was really busy, but we got to ride most of the ‘big’ rides, and a few of the classics.  It was also interesting as, for the first time, they were holding Easter celebrations.  So the decorations were really nice.

Disney's Easter Wonderland

Disney's Easter Wonderland

By this time, the cherry blossoms were starting to bloom, so we went to Ueno to see the flowers (and the crowds!).  Ueno is one of the most popular places to have hanami, and it’s super crowded all the time.  However, you can understand why, as it’s very pretty.

Ueno park in bloom

Ueno park in bloom

Ueno park was actually just a stop on our way to Alkatraz ER in Shibuya, a medical dungeon themed Japanese bar.  I do love going to themed bars in Tokyo, but this place was a bit of a let down.  There were some cool and weird things, like drinks served out of severed heads, drinks with banana’s that looked like… well…  and then there was the vibrator drink…  Where the waitress (in short nurses uniform complete with g-string) mixed the drink with a vibrator while moaning (0_o)….  But overall it was over priced, as we had to order the all you can eat and drink menu, and they neglected to inform us that drinks from the special drink menu weren’t included in that deal.  Next time I would prefer to go to the Lockup.

Our last couple of days were spent wandering around Costco (Japan is all about shopping at American stores…), singing karaoke, and looking at the local cherry blossoms.

Check out my album on flickr for all my photos, and of course, check out Lauren’s YouTube channel for all of her videos!

Pink and White Sakura

Pink and White Sakura

Oh happy day…

21 11 2009

Yesterday a new Supermarket opened up at the end of my street.  I’m so happy because now it will only take me 1 minute to go shopping!

Here’s a photo to show you just how close it is-

tickled pink

25 10 2009

In a way, not much has been happening lately, but on the other hand, lots has.  We’ve just finished the mid semester exams and sports day at school, and during that time I had a number of days off.  Now its the 5 week hard slog until end of semester exams and winter break.

Because I’ve had extra time off, and because the weather has been great (well, barring that late typhoon on Oct 8th), I’ve had plenty of time to go hiking.  I’ve actually gone 3 times this month, which has me at a never before achieved physical fitness level (^-^)v

Firstly I hiked from Mt Takao to Mt Jimba.  It was probably the hardest hike (barring Mt Fuji) that I have done to date.  Mainly because it was 19km.  But I survived and had a great feeling of accomplishment afterwards.  It was actually really good timing, after the typhoon, because the sky was really clear and I could see Mt Fuji, Tokyo, and even all the way to Mt Tsukuba, which is pretty rare.

Last weekend I went to Hakone for 3 days 2 nights.  While I was there I did two hikes, the first from Gora to Hakone Yumoto, and secondly a walk around Lake Ashi.  The Gora hike was pretty hard, and I have to admit that I was kinda freaked out about the possibility of seeing a bear.  The hike around Lake Ashi was a lot easier, and I actually meet with a friend I had made at the summer camp I worked at, which made the hike really pleasant.  And of course I went to onsen and had a massage, so it was also a pretty relaxing weekend.

On Friday I decided to go to Nikko for the day and walk the Senjogahara marshes.  I was a little disappointed I was too late for most of the leaves changing, but despite that, it really was a beautiful walk.  I think I might try to go again in summer next year.

I worry a little that I’m somewhat of an addictive personality.  I really seem to have caught the hiking bug, but I also know I’ll probably only be able to go once a month from now, at least in the winter months.  But I’m totally excited about using my new thermal cup when I do go hiking –

Thermal cup/mug thingyopen thermal cup

Is it possible to have a thermal bottle/mug fetish?  because I swear I have about 6 things now….  Anyhow, this one is specifically designed for hot drinks, and is really easy to use.  Its kinda sad, but I’m particularly impressed with the pouring cap –


You just push down on the red button to open the spout, and to close you push the tab on the side in!  Very smart – I like that you don’t have to touch the spout.  I tried it out on Friday, and I was also surprised at how long the water inside stayed hot.  It’s supposed to keep it at 70deg for 7 hours or so, but it lasted longer!  So now I’ll be able to take tea with me when I go hiking.  How exciting!!Azuki Flavoured Pepsi

Apart from hiking not much has been happening, however there are a few things that have tickled my fancy.

At 7-11 the other day I spotted Azuki (sweet red bean) flavoured Pepsi.  Only in Japan…

It wasn’t flavoured cola, but more like flavoured sprite.  Actually, it wasn’t bad, however it really didn’t taste much like azuki to me.  But I’ll try anything once.

I also got a delivery of bulbs the other day, in the hopes that come spring I’ll have a lovely pot of lovely flowers.  I planted them up this morning, and here’s what it looks like now –

one day, I'll grow up into beautiful potted flowers....Let’s just hope I don’t manage to kill them…  I’ll post photos when they bloom…  If they bloom…  Really, I’m good at killing plants….