Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gah... ok, I'm having some trouble adjusting back to our time. I accidently stayed up until 4:30am last night reading, fell asleep during this afternoon and now am super awake. brian went to bed immediately after coming home from work today and is still sleeping. Gargh.

Anyhow! Day 3!
We took many photos in our little hotel forest-garden-park, as it was very pretty. There was a koi pond, a waterfall, several creeks running through it, a tea house a shrine and a giant bell. Very cool. Also, the steps of doom, which we had to descend to leave and ascend to get back. You know those type of old steps which are slightly uneven and just a bit to wide to just take one step? Those were the steps of doom.

We went out to Ueno Park, which contains several restaurants, a zoo, many shrines, a temple, 4-5 museums and a large 5-7 story pagoda. It also has a temple/shrine in the middle of a lake which was filled UP with lotus flowers and ducks, turtles and carp. Very pretty. It was also very hot.

We walked around the park, saw the temples and stopped at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art. The art museum seemed like a good bet, but alas... it was not. They had a traveling egyptian exhibit, which we skipped, and a local oil and watercolor exhibit, which was terrible. I'm pretty sure it was student art. It was fairly trite and uninspiring... but did have A/C, which was very much required at that point. We also had a snack at the museum cafe. Brian & I ate icecream (black sesame ice cream! neat!) and Andrea had a sandwich.

We made our way out of the park and went in search of the Ueno market, which we found eventually. It was mostly under the train tracks, crammed into these tiny streets and corners. It was pretty rad. They were selling all kinds of crazy things. Andrea said last time she was there, people were selling all sorts of crazy embroidered clothing, with giant designs of craziness. This time, the specialty was used or faux military surplus stuff. Very odd. Brian purchased some dried things and some crackers. I bought some tea and some socks (men's size, of course). At one point we were about to turn a corner, and I totally smelled melon but didn't see any anywhere. It was crazy making! but, we found a guy around the corner selling pineapple and melon on steeeeek! It was delish. The market was awesome. I liked it a lot.

We went back to the hotel, cleaned up and then met Nikola at the dog statue at Shibuya. I guess it's a real meeting place for Tokyo-ites, as there was a kajillion people waiting around to meet other people. We went up to the 2nd floor of a starbucks and did some people watching as the lights changed in this giant pedestrian crossing station. Amazing.

We went out to eat at a place in Shibuya that Nikola knew about. It was on the 14th floor of a high rise. Very cool little place. Seemed like you were on the ground floor of a traditional place, but was fairly filled with westerners. I guess it's pretty popular with the english speaking crowds. Food was fantastic. I really like how the japanese organize dinner. You order a couple wee dishes (they'll have 2-5 pieces of your item), some drinks, and eat for a bit. Then rinse and repeat. Very fun and very leisurely. We were there for a couple hours, and the two japanese gents at the table next to us were there well before us and didn't look ready to go at all when we left. We went up one floor and had some japanese whisky (yum!) and beers at a bar with a view of Tokyo. So beautiful.

Nikola got a call a little later from her husband, Philippe, who was with some of his coworkers at a kareoke bar. We decided to meet up with them at Smash Hits, a westerner kareoke bar. It was the tiniest kareoke place I'd ever seen. Nikola spoke spanish with the bartender. It had stadium style seating, maybe four or five rows that could fit about 4-5 people each... so if you really crammed, you could maybe 30 people in there. So small. The kareoke book was incredible. It had all kinds of music (devo, tmbg, liz phair, arctic monkeys, rammestein, the smiths, etc.). My favorite to sing was the smiths, "bigmouth strikes again." Andrea and I sang a few bon jovi and gnr songs. Philippe and Brian hit it off and sang rammestein, which was awesome. We stayed there until about 2am, and closed the place down. Philippe and Nikola were troopers, staying up that late on a school night.

so much fun.



1 comment:

El Chupacabra said...

Wow I'm so stoked for you guys! It sounds like you had an awesome trip. I can't wait to hear more.