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Tokyo Day 4 (Saturday)


Doraemon
Originally uploaded by Katherine Donaldson
Woke up around 5 a.m., hung out in the hotel room eating rice balls and reading picture books until we made it out the door around 8 a.m.. We had breakfast at the Excelsior Cafe down on the corner. I thought I had communicated that I wanted their cibatta-egg-cheese-and-ham breakfast sandwich without the ham, but in the end they didn't get the message, so I just pulled it out. Rebecca enjoyed climbing around on their chairs, but their pastries were pretty mediocre. At least Rebecca was convinced to eat one bite out of each end before demanding milk, which we went next door to Lawson for.

Then we walked a block south to Kudanshita station, and attempted to find elevators down to the 'S' (Shibuya) line, which we took two stops towards Akihabara, and then again tried to figure out how to get up to ground level with the least amount of carrying the stroller up stairs. At least Jesse was doing the carrying this time. Well, I was carrying the baby, who weighs about the same as the stroller+stuff, but she's less awkward to carry, when she's cooperating.

We walked the rest of the way to Akihabara, noting on the way that the Transportation Museum was closed, and then discovered that nothing in Akihabara is open at 9:30 a.m., which should have been obvious. Things were opening by 10 on the weekend though, so it wasn't too bad. And it was interesting to walk through the deserted and closed up alleys of Akihabara, especially at a time that felt quite late in the day to us. The alleys were quite spacious compared to how crowded they get when they are filled with display stands and people.

I don't know how, but we ended up spending the entire day wandering back and forth across Akihabara. The first shop we went in was the best, (Craftsmanship) Kotobukiya, right next to the JR Akihabara station. It was full of stuffed animals and all kinds of character goods, and I got a groovy little animated Totoro music box, although I think I'm going to tweak the cams and driver gears, some plastic Rement minis that were un-boxed pick what you want, and Jesse got... well, I wouldn't want to steal his shock value. One thing they had that I thought was especially cute were square/block plush dogs or bears or something. Rebecca had to hug everything, and then push the baskets around the store.

We went in AsoBitCity, which is totally lame now, and then under the tracks to Yodobashi, an enormous electronics+toys+books department store. It was overwhelming, but there wasn't anything except some cell phone stickers that I wanted until we got up to the books on the 7th floor, where I quickly (luckily) found the craft section, and stayed there for the rest of Rebecca's nap, and a little extra. I was quite restrained and only bought 4 books. I'll have to find another store with a better craft section. ;-) Oh, yah, I need to go to happy fabric land around Nishi Nippori station. Mmmmmm. The craft books made me want to become a couture doll clothes designer/fabricator. I think the imagined glamor is already starting to wear off that profession though.

We had a pretty nice lunch at the top of Yodobashi, which has 20+ restaurants I think, and then wandered over to the Tokyo Anime Center, which turned out to be rather underwhelming, although Rebecca was impressed with the 3' Doraemon, and they did have some excellent Totoro keychain-ornament things, although they were overpriced. They have the exuberantly yelling Totoro, which seems rare, and Mei with that great "I'm going to get you" closed mouth wild eyed grin. They also had some rather nice subtle silk ties, but they were a quite steep $80+. More wandering around.

In closing, I actually managed to sniff out the doll shop we found last year, it was still there surprisingly enough. And now I know that it is called Azone Labelshop, and has a web site at http://www.azone-int.com. Which, uh, doesn't seem to work. D'oh. Anyway, I got a head and body, and I'm going to add clothing it to my large project pile.

Then we walked and trained home, doing better with the elevators this time. We had dinner about a block away from our hotel, at a very friendly little tempura place, with one of the fun "pay the machine and get a ticket and give that to the waitress" systems. The proprietress was incredibly friendly, and told us in signs that if we pointed to the plastic food in the window, she would show us which button on the machine it was, because the machine didn't have pictures, just Japanese. The tempura there was awesome, they must have changed their oil recently, because it wasn't at all stale, and I seem to be kinda oversensitive to that. Double thumbs up.

Then Lawson for milk and pastries for first breakfast tomorrow, loot sorting, and bed.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
shoebox_bird
Oct. 6th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Great photos, Kat! Rebecca is adorable, per usual. ;-).

Glad to hear you all are having fun.
katharos
Oct. 9th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :-)
sooperspryte
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
I thought I had communicated that I wanted their cibatta-egg-cheese-and-ham breakfast sandwich without the ham

Yeah, that almost never works. One of my Japanese friends communicated in Japanese to a waiter that there was to be no ham in the Pasta Carbonara, because a British friend there was vegetarian. It still came out with ham.

Japan is *really* not vegetarian friendly. There are reasons, which have to do with not having the mechanism to choose things "your way".

But it always struck me as odd, since Zen buddhism is from Japan. Then again, zen buddhists don't go out to restaurants.

Btw, I think it's awesome that you're just hangin in Tokyo. Have you been to Kappabashi yet? That's one of my favorite places to wander.
katharos
Oct. 9th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, but you know that already. :-) It takes me days sometimes to go back and look at these comments, because I can't read my LJ email from Japan.

Since I'm eating fish being a 'vegitarian' is not so hard here, and now I finally know how to say "hamu o nuki de onegaishimasu", which helped a lot when I went back to that cafe. Of course it probably helped as much that I got a female barista rather than a male...

Anywhere else we need to go?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )