Slept in. Been getting back to the hotel late everyday, after 10pm. Kids usually lights out in their room next door by 11pm or midnight. BTW, rooms are small as expected. The width of a double bed plus some walking space, about 7 feet wide. Maybe 20 ft long. This includes the bathroom. Our apartment is obviously larger, but the adjustment from our place was pretty easy.
The hotel room is smaller than one for a cruise ship! There are no closets or dressers for storage so everything comes out of and back into the suitcase every day.
Had sushi at some shop in Shinjuku. Old guy behind the counter. Old woman sat us. Empty when we went in (the reason we went in), but filled up with business men quickly. No English. Just pointing at pictures in the menu, and of course, sushi names are the same.
It was nice to try some sushi. The kids don't really eat much sushi - they don't do California rolls here. At least they have been quite good about trying everything.
Most restaurants serve one type of food - you can either go for ramen, yakitori or sushi but not a combination of them. Plus the fact that a lot of yakitori and sushi places are stand up or single seating. That has limited us to mostly ramen places. No real complaints from the kids though. The only complaint might be from Kyle as he's not as comfortable using chopsticks and not all the ramen shops have forks.
BTW - the sushi was really good! It melted in your mouth. Wish we could have gone for sushi a few more times.
The other food we didn't get to have much of was curry. Kirk had it once at the Maid Cafe and Kali once for lunch.
Walked around Shinjuku a bit and made a reservation for the Robot Restaurant for the next day.
Rode the train to Shimokitazawa. Popped in and out of stores as we walked back to Harajuku, just taking our time. It was about a 5 km walk. It was a nice change of pace from the busy neighbourhoods we’ve been visiting. I took random pictures on the way.
We've been walking a lot. In Vancouver, we leave our place in the morning and come back at night. Same thing here. So, when we buy stuff, we're lugging it around all day. Plus, I've got three cameras on me, including the big one, plus my iPhone and battery chargers. It's harder to take a break here because cafes are often full, and you can't walk with drinks or food.
It's such a natural thing to grab a latte and muffin and walk around eating it. But, here that's bad etiquette, so we do what everyone else is doing and stand around the crepe/bake/coffee/food shop, that said, I've somehow still been managing to drink a lot of $7 coffees.
I should mention that Kali has been our etiquette police. If we point with our finger instead of gesture with our whole hand, or talk too loud, or walk on the right side instead of the left, she’ll be on us. We’re trying our best not to offend anyone. We pack all our garbage away in our own plastic bags and take it with us. For some reason, Japanese people don’t wear sunglasses. I can’t figure it out. I bought Oakleys from the Oakley store, yet NOBODY wears sunglasses. It’s been really sunny. I don’t get it, and I don’t want to offend anyone. So, I’m saving them for home -- if the sun ever comes out in Vancouver again :(
Walked through Yoyogi Park. This is the park where all the cool, hip kids hang out, but we were there late on a weekday.
Carrying stuff! Because the temperature ranges so much throughout the day/night we have to pack coats and stuff. We do this in Vancouver too but here there is such a range that we end up carrying our coats for a large portion of the day.
Most coffee and snack places are kiosk or take out counters. Real estate is a premium, so there are not many paces that offer sitting areas. And because we aren't supposed to walk and drink/eat I think we end up quite dehydrated by the end of he day. Small problem, easily solved by loading up on water during sit down meals :)
For all the people here, the city is very quiet. Kyle has mentioned it a few times - on the trains and just walking around. This has been hard on both Kali and Kyle who are used to talking whenever they want and pretty much as loudly as they want. In lieu of talking loudly They both find ways to make noise either by jumping on metal ramps or grates, etc.
While Kali has been our etiquette police, Kyle has been our interpreter. We only picked a few sayings to try and remember, but only Kyle can remember them. Sayings like: "do you speak English", "excuse me", and "sorry"
Had dinner at a yakitori place. Kids loved it.
We ordered at least one of every type of skewer and tried them all. Kids tried them all but they definitely had their favourites.
Walked around Harajuku a bit.
Grabbed a couple of beers at PDX Taproom again since it was nearby.
Did some more strolling around. And, grabbed some crepes for dessert.
Everything is so cute! The paper art is incredibly detailed! I would have loved to have a few, but the fact that you have to assemble it yourself made me say no - I have limited artistic talent.