Friday, 21 September 2012

Cats causing a commotion in Ginza

I spend an inordinately long amount of time in Ginza, whenever I go to Tokyo. I think it has something to do with my favourite Western shops being there, but the night before, I had seen a bag I wanted to buy, and I went back into Forever 21 but the line was quite big, so I went back to get some things. I popped into the store, and then after, I spotted a huge, huge, crowd gathered in the middle of the street. I assumed it was a street performer or something, but no, they were all crowded around these two little cats sitting on the top of a street sign. They were both wearing bows, which made them even more adorable. Turns out, their owner dresses them up, and then puts them on street signs, and then a million people come and take photo of them. I guess I'm not quite sure of the purpose...but they were pretty cute! I love Ginza in the afternoon, they block off all the main street, and put little benches and tables with umbrellas....its such a lovely place to sit and spend an afternoon!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Back to sky tree

Saturday night ended quite early, and I was so shattered from walking around all day. Sunday morning, I headed into town to Akihabara again, and had breakfast again, for a perfect cream cheese muffin! The weather was starting to clear up, and I had been waiting all weekend for the weather to be good enough to go up the Sky Tree. I got there, and there was a ticketing system in place. Japan had a really good idea...I got there about noon...and they were handing out tickets which said I could come back at 5-5.30 to stand in line for was a really smart plan!

Ginza at night

After my haircut, a stop at a crepe place for a yummy crepe, and then a little walk around, I headed back over to Ginza. I had intentions to get a bag that I had seen, but then I walked around a few places, and went to Abercrombie. It was really fun to see what Abercrombie was like in Japan. In Ginza, it's about 9 stories high, and full of super loud music. It looks a lot different than the ones at home, but still sells the same stuff at higher prices (almost double!) But as much as it was pretty late, and there wasn't any places I could eat in for cheap, so I wandered around, taking some photos and just taking in the lights. I love the feel of Ginza. It's nice and busy, but not too busy, and so nice and lit up...lit up in a different kind of way to Akihabara. I just love it.

A haircut from Home

One of my successful things that I did do on Saturday, was get a haircut at the Tony and Guy in Harajuku....It was literally amazing! I had a nice person who spoke English, English magazines, and it was actually pretty cheap too! It was so nice, and my hair was finally fixed, and it looks nice now!

A bunny cafe!

My morning on Saturday didn't really go as planned, so I did a little bit of shopping, heading into Topshop and American Eagle...and buying nothing, so in the afternoon I really needed a little pick me up! Now that Alain has moved back to France, I dont have many friends in Tokyo, but now, Nils has arrived in Tokyo. Nils and Alain and I all met at the same time, studying at the Space Campus in Kiruna Sweden. Nils is more into nano stuff and biology and cancer cells and just took a kinda research project at a University in Tokyo. He has been joined by his lovely girlfriend (lucky him to have company!) We found a little bunny cafe that I had read about on the internet, and it was adorable, and super cheap! To start with, there were two cute black bunnies, and then there was a GIANT fat bunny! They were all adorable and great!

Akihabara in the morning

Friday night, I headed out of Yamaguchi (feeling) and headed up north to the great city of Tokyo. I really had needed to get away from home for a little while. In the morning of Saturday, I got up relatively late, and headed into Akihabara. I ate breakfast in Starbucks, people watching for a long time, and then I headed to look for a new lens for my camera. I went to lots of different store, and picked out a ton of things before putting it all back. While I was wandering around, I took some photos of the cool billboards and signs. I have done this many times, but Akihabara is still where I always hang out, so it feels a bit like coming home!

Tokiwa Park, Ube

We went down to Ube again the following weekend, staying at Franic's with Rachel and having a really good time. The next day, we met up with everyone and went to a really weird BBQ that was set up by an International organisation. Needless to say, afterwards, we needed some fun so we went to Tokiwa Park. It has a bunch of art sculptures and such, but also a cute playground complete with this cute Pikachu!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A giant slide

We headed back into the car, to go up the side of the mountain. Up near the top, there was this giant playground which was shaped like a giant dragon, with nets, and climbing frames and super cool slides! The biggest one was coming out of the dragons mouth and was made of lots of little rollers, that you slid down on a tobogan! It was immense! I was a little frightened, completely different than when I was a kid! We also played football and got yummy pineapple soft cream, and then hopped back in the car to watch the sunset over Kyushu from the top of the mountain! A great ending to our day, but then we headed back to Sunpark for Sukiyaki and some shopping! An even better ending!

I love Onoda

Right down from the beach was an ILOVEONODA bench. I at first thought that it was a sign, facing the ocean, but it was actually a bench. It was facing an awkward angle, but I guess it was so that you could sit and look over the ocean. It would have been a pretty place to sit and watch the sunset, in my opinion! Cynthia took this great photo of me because I thought it was just too cool!

Playing on the beach

After playing around on the pier, we headed down to the beach,and walked along the sand. There were some teenage boys playing in the sea, enjoying themselves and we spent some time chatting with them. They were Derek's students and quite keen to talk to us! I would hope that my students might also be that talkative, but I think that might be pushing it! Corbin and Cynthia decided to go swimming in the sea, while the rest of us got our feet wet and played in the shallow water. It was kind of a bit of a strange muddy sand, so it felt a bit strange! After they came back in, and got redressed, we went back to the sand and I started taking pictures! I love photos with writing in the sand, so Brad wrote Ube for me, and he also wrote one with Onoda too! I love this picture of everyone in the sand. Someone said, that from that angle, it looks like we are in the middle of the desert, and it does! After that, we worked on crazy jump shots. I love jump shots, and I think we got some hillarious ones, and some perfect ones too. Francis did a great job getting us all in the air, and we all look like we are jumping really high! To finish it off, we emulated our kids and made a pyramid! It was great! I am not usually a beach person, but with the right people, it was just so much fun!

I love Palm Trees

After our shopping, we picked up Francis and Corbin, and met up with Brad, Nobyl and Rachel and headed to the beach. We walked along the pier, which was so lovely. I thought it looked just like Florida. I loved how tall they were, and how it looked like Florida, or as Francis said, the Sahara. I'm pretty sure they dont have palm trees in the Sahara though!We played on the weird art structure at the end of the pier, with Nobyl climbing up to the top! I was inspired, and I tried to climb a palm tree, but failed. And so I settled on a picture with one instead!

Baby racing!

In the morning, we said our goodbyes to people who were headed home, and Cynthia and I drove down to SunPark, which is the shopping mall in Ube. I love SunPark, and we went to Jupiter, the foreign foods store and my favourite earring store. While we were in Claire's, I happened to lean over a balcony and saw people racing babies! Their mothers waved things in front of them to make the babies crawl towards the finish line! It was insane! But Japan is pretty crazy!

Hohoku Fireworks

I had to work on Saturday at my sports festival, but afterwards, Cynthia picked me up, we packed up the car, and we headed all the way to Hohoku, where Darlo lives. The festival was really great, with lots of yummy stalls - I got a nice crepe! I watched Brad try and fish for a little goldfish, but sadly he failed. The lady took pity and gave him two little fishes as a consolodation! There were some bamboo lanterns, and then some amazing fireworks! Once they were finished, we headed back to Darlos huge house to sleep!