Japan Day 57

Sorry, I’ve been back for over a week and I’ve been ignoring my blog.

Last day in Japan, and it’s only a partial day. The plane from Narita to Portland leaves about 2PM (I never remember exactly when) but that means it’s easy to get breakfast, do some last-minute shopping, take a late-morning train to Narita, and then some quick shopping at Narita. I even got to see the beer machine.

We started out the day by heading to the Paul Bassett coffee shop to get a breakfast set. Paul Bassett is an award-winning barista from Australia and he has a coffee shop in Shinjuku. They tend to be a bit less customer-oriented than most Japanese stores, but the coffee is great.

On our way out of Shinjuku station.

For lunch we went to the Fujiya “family restaurant” in Narita airport. My sister and I always seem to go there on our way out of Japan and we like it. It’s Japan’s take on a Denny’s-like restaurant and tasty. I got their anniversary set (this also came with coffee jelly). Hamburger steak with beef stew sauce.

My sister got a ladies’ set.

I pay a lot of money to American Express every year for a Platinum card and the only real reason is so I can go to the Narita Delta lounge and see the beer robot.

Yeah, two pictures and both fuzzy.

It was a long day (I think I calculated that I was up for 32 hours?) and I had dinner at the Industrial Cafe. I think that’s the end of food pictures for a while.

Japan Day 56

My last full day in Japan. I’m heading back home tomorrow and I haven’t been back home since September. I’m feeling anxious and apprehensive and I remember the last time I went back to the US after a long stay (five years that time) I had complete reverse-culture shock. I’m sure that’s not what it is this time, but I am feeling apprehensive. It may just be that my dinner isn’t agreeing with me.

In any case, we spent most of the morning wandering around near the hotel, buying some last-minute things for my cousin. Then we went to the Shinkansen station in Shinosaka and saw my mom off.

So first off, WHAT THE HELL IS MY IPHONE FOCUSING ON? I need to get progressive lenses so I can SEE WHAT THE HELL MY CAMERA IS FOCUSING ON. It certainly isn’t my sister’s bento.

It did a slightly better job of focusing on MY bento. Basically, I’m nearsighted and I can see things close up (like my camera’s display) IF I TAKE MY GLASSES OFF. With them on, I’m just looking at a fuzzy screen. Yes, I’m getting old enough for bifocals and I think I need them. How do people hold a camera steady with one hand and their glasses off?

My sister went to Jins and had some glasses made in an hour today for ¥3,990 (they were a copy of the prescription of her older glasses). I think you can also get an eye exam as well. I’m not sure if they do progressives and I didn’t need a second pair of glasses with the exact same prescription.

We ate dinner while we waited. I had a double-soup plate, which turned out to have THREE soups (the two on each side of the rice and one in the cup).

Lim had a soup with a puff pastry on top and I’M JUST GOING TO PRETEND EVERYTHING WAS FUZZY.

LIKE MY SISTER’S G*DD*MN BREAD BOWL. Notice how the wood in the background is so well focused.

After we picked up the glasses, we had some ice cream.

After the ice cream, my sister and Lim tortured me by going to a makeup shop and some sort of clothing boutique. They didn’t take all that long (20 minutes?) but the boutique was PLAYING THE G*DD*MN CHIPMUNKS XMAS ALBUM.

So let me end this by saying this time my room in the Nishishinjuku Hotel has a non-slamming lid like EVERY OTHER HOTEL in Japan and I’m not slamming the lid. I have the room right by the elevator but it’s my last night in Japan and I’ll be sleeping in my own bed soon!

Japan Day 55

So today’s trip to the Instant Ramen museum was cancelled because I actually checked their web site and they said they were closed today. She also had another place she wanted to go and we had nowhere better to go. Also, it was supposed to rain today (and boy did it rain).

But first, we went to Hep Five and rode the ferris wheel. It was only ¥500 for the 15 minute trip so it was a great deal for getting up above the city.

Osaka Station City!

I’m not sure if I ever knew that there’s a parking lot on the roof of the Hankyu Department store!

Or on top of the Toho Cinema.

Here we are towards the top, the only place where I thought would be nervous, but there’s nothing really scary about this ferris wheel. Nice and slow and a great view. There’s even a “map” on the window to tell you what things are where.

At the top!

It’s a great view from the top. I’d point out Osaka Castle out the right window, but it’s tiny and I had to search for it to find it.

Then it was time to find Lim’s store, “The Center for Cosmic Wonder”. The first non-hurdle was that I ran off to get in a different subway car than the one my mom & sister & Lim went in. The car was pink and all I could read was something in kanji that said women only during the week. Usually you’ll also see some time restrictions to the women-only cars (like during commute times) but I didn’t see anything, so I didn’t get on the same car.

One of the things we saw on the way was Lim+Lim!

And a pachinko parlor with a huge Roy Lichtenstein image.

But we found Lim’s store. The whole place looks like an empty warehouse space with an odd art installation (fake rocks? I can’t remember) until you look behind some baffles and see the clothes for sale. There’s not a lot of clothing, but there’s lots of small stores with just a little fancy product so it isn’t weird if you’re brave enough to actually step inside. And, since there isn’t that much product, there isn’t a long time for me to have to wait and that was a huge bonus. 🙂

A block away there was a place called the “fun space” I think. It was a spot that only had women eating there, but it was tasty. My mom had the karaage lunch (and I think I’m having fried chicken soon after I get back).

My sister and I had taco rice.

Lim had a teriyaki chicken sandwich.

The hot sauce wasn’t that hot.

After that it was back to Shinsaibashi and Namba so Lim could buy a Mizuno rain cape. On the way we saw a KitKat store, which turned out to just be a candy store with lots of KitKat signs.


It’s a walk all the way through Shinsaibashi to Namba, but it’s an interesting walk. The Mizuno store is very close to the Namba Kabukiza Theatre.

We headed back to Umeda (on another subway train where I had to avoid the women only car) and did some last-minute shopping (I bought some replacement toothbrush heads for my little battery-powered toothbrush) and then went through the thunder and lightning and driving rain to get to the hotel. After a rest, we went to an okonomiyaki restaurant in the basement of the Ritz-Carlton. I twas tasty, but there was a lot of food.

And that’s it for the last full day in Osaka!

Japan Day 54

I forgot to show the picture from my expensive room during the day. Here it is.

Today my sister wanted to go to a store called “Saro” so I decided to make my sister and Lim do some old-school Osaka sightseeing. A trip to Osaka Castle on the way to their store north of Shinsaibashi. The park was pretty and the day was quite nice.

On the way in, we found that the castle had lots of volunteer guides and one told us why the largest stone in the wall, the “octopus” stone, has that name. The discoloration is from the iron in the stone and has been there since the beginning.

I wanted a tourist picture with me and my mom.

And one of my mom and sister.

I wanted to see the spot where Hideyori Toyotomi committed suicide since it was on the all the maps. I asked one of the volunteer guides but he just wanted me to see the sandcastle that showed the previous incarnation of the castle.

But I found someone else who would show me the spot and it turns out it’s just a monument in the area where they think it might have happened.

We couldn’t find it earlier because it’s in the woods behind the castle where the wall would have been impregnable historically.

Now there’s trees growing through the wall and a staircase and ramp at the back.

In fact, there’s even an elevator for those with mobility devices.

Then it was off to find my sister’s store. This is what my maps look like sometimes.

On the way we got some lunch at a place that was only semi-open. They must have been having trouble cooking. My mom got the daily plate.

Lim got baked curry.

My sister and I got hamburgers which were really tasty.

The girl at the restaurant gave us directions to “Saro” and on the way we saw a boat going down what I thought was just a canal for wastewater but was an actual river.

Here’s the road down the street. The big blocky building is the highway and there were stores underneath.

It was the wholesale fabric district, but there was a poodle store with teacup poodles.

I’m not sure if the store was a bust or not, but my sister and Lim didn’t buy anything. I’m not sure what shopping is all about, but I’m a dude.

Sometime on our way back, my mom wanted to go to the matcha sweets shop and I said I’d meet them there after getting her a calendar from the National Bunraku (traditional puppet) Theatre. My sister insisted I didn’t have to since my mom didn’t want it and I knew she did. Well, made it there and to the sweets shop in half-an-hour and everyone else didn’t get there until 20 minutes later.

Here’s a picture of what I got after I ate half of it already.

This is what it’s supposed to look like.

My mom got a parfait.

And Lim got something huge made of shaved ice.

We went to the bookstore where my mom somehow ditched us but we all made it back to the hotel after a while. Dinner was a a place that had “Udon Daining”. Here’s mine.

ANd here’s what everyone else got.

We finished up with shopping at the Tokyu Hands where we ACTUALLY BOUGHT STUFF and Lim bought some soup at Daimaru. Twice we found these weird escalators (there’s several in Osaka station) that have a flat part in the middle. I dunno, there must be some reason for the design.

Tomorrow’s supposed to be rainy but everyone seems to want to go to the Instant Ramen Museum. It’s interesting enough that I’d go back.

Japan Day 53

Today was another travel day, but the travel from Kyoto Station to Umeda Station in Osaka is only 29 minutes and ¥540 on the Special Rapid Train.

My mom and I had an expensive breakfast in the expensive hotel in Kyoto. The view was impressive.

The normal restaurant in the lobby was full, so we went to the “special” restaurant upstairs. The juice was a mix of some sort of fruit and bell peppers and other things I don’t remember. The slice of cheese on the salad was one of tastiest bits of sharp cheese that I’ve had. The yogurt was tasty as well.

They asked what kinds of bread I’d like and I said I’d try one of each.

And here’s the rest. Some scrambled eggs plus some vegetables and sausage.

We met my sister and Lim in the lobby downstairs and took the train to Umeda. After we dropped off our bags, I took them on a circuitous tour of the underground of Osaka. We ended up at Yodobashi Camera where we did some shopping and had lunch at an omurice place. My mom had gratin.

I had the “small” omurice with cheese and hayashi rice sauce. The small has three eggs.

We were still full at dinnertime and so we went to the bakery I suggested in the basement of the Ritz-Carlton. We bought way too much.

And that’s it for today. I packed up most of my clothes in the ¥990 duffel bag I bought in Tokyo and my suitcase has lots of space for my mom’s weird stuff. We’ll see what that ends up being.

I think I also found out a problem with my communication with my sister. She may be hard of hearing. I remember hearing about people’s parents getting into arguments because of this. Examine this exchange from earlier today:

Me: have you ever heard of Milagro’s baby carriers?

Sister: Why would I give a shit about that? What for?

Me: Friend’s baby shower.

Sister: Fran’s baby shower?

Me: (exaggerating the pronunciation) FRIEND’S… BABY… SHOWER…

Sister: Fran’s what?

Me: (shouting) FRIEND’S BABY SHOWER!

Sister: Why are you mad? I’m hard of hearing.

I’m not sure how this works out, but usually it requires someone getting their hearing tested and I’m not sure what my sister’s health insurance thinks about hearing tests or $6000 hearing aids like the ones my co-workers are getting.

Japan Day 52

The youth hostel/ryokan my sister picked out was making me sad every time I thought about only having one coat hanger, not having any soap, being so loud, and my sister told me just to go find my own place, so I left. I was tired of following her around to her stores anyway and needed to get away for a while. It was good for me, since I got to walk around a lot like I usually like to do. But early in the day, Kyoto was feeling like a large pain in my ass. It’s like a giant Japan-Disneyland for dumpy foreigners. I thought Americans were dumpy but the Europeans walking around Kyoto were just as bad.

My first stop was to the Kyoto Tourist Bureau where they told me the town was full and there was only one place they knew of. But the opening was for two people and they wouldn’t let me stay as a single even if I paid double. So I just bought a day bus pass and put my stuff in a rental locker and headed towards Fushimi Inari. The buses were packed and I couldn’t get on the first one (which turned out to be the wrong bus anyway), so I just walked to the shrine.

On the way, at 9:45AM, I saw a line in front of a ramen shop. I figured it was people lining up early but there were people already inside and the place was full. The place must be tasty.

So it was off down the roads of Kyoto to Fushimi Inari Jinja Shrine.

I knew I was getting close when I saw tacky looking stores and people who looked like ferners.

I must have found my way in the back way.

Then it was off up the mountain. According to an old song, there’s 3,333 shrines up there.

And there’s a bazillion gates up there too.

Early on, in a break in the gates was a sign.

Up a weird looking trail.

There was a normal looking shrine.

But next to the shrine was this statue. You can check out the instructions. You make a wish and ask for the statue to become heavy. If that happens you get your wish. Then you make another wish and ask the statue to become light and if it does you get your wish. I can tell you it got heavy both times, though it felt heavier the first time.

I’m not sure what this is.

Then it was back to the bazillion shrines and gates.


After all that I saw this map. I’m not even halfway to the top yet.

About the time I thought I as at the top and saw this great view, it was tie for another loop.

Downhill meant the last part would be downhill as well.

If you can see this map of a small section of the mountain, there’s 190 shrines in this area.

Of course, I took an AWFUL picture of them.


There’s also places with running water that make you want to go to the bathroom.


I thought this sign said I was at the top.

You can guess what was around the next corner.

This, I think was at the top.

Downhill wasn’t much easier.

And I knew I was almost done when things got more garish.

I went back to the station on the train and went to JTB to ask about hotels. They said they had one cancellation for ¥44,000 or something. Then they said if I just paid twice a single person rate it would be less. Then they checked around some more and found nothing else in Kyoto or Osaka. So I decided since I’ve seen the poor end of things, I’d also see the richer end of things. This is a $600 hotel room. I also got the ¥2,000 breakfast thrown in (times two). It took all afternoon to get ahold of my mom, but we’re in the room (more about it later). I gave them my bags and it was off to see Kiyomizu Temple.

Why is there so much climbing? My mom said this just about killed her.

The main gate of Kiyomizudera Temple.

Another view of the pagoda.

Dear camera, thanks for focusing on the leaves. With my glasses on, I can only tell what’s in the frame, not how well it’s focused.

The temple bell.

This, by the way, is the reason all the hotels are full.

And on into the temple.

Lots of women in kimonos walking around. There’s places you can rent kimonos to wear around Kyoto.

Here’s the famous water of Kiyomizudera Temple.

This is Jishu shrine behind Kiyomizudera Temple with all of its gimmickry. It’s a shrine to ensure you get married.

The statue you pour water on.

The statues you rub to get your wishes.

The view of Kiyomizudera Temple is nice from a short distance away. You can see the balcony and the shrine behind the temple.

Once you make it to the pagoda on the edge of the grounds, you can gaze upon the temple.

This is with your back to the pagoda.

On the way down the hill I had some green tea and some sweets.

Then I went to Sanjyusangendō to see the Thousand Armed Kannon which you can’t take pictures of. It’s a huge long hall and it was one of my favorite parts of my Kyoto trip.

I went back to the hotel and waited for my mom and then my sister and Lim. We also ran into my dentist! We knew he’d be in Japan about the same time, but not in the same fancy hotel.

Then it was off to dinner. Here’s what Lim had.

My mom’s pasta and fluffy eggs.

My sister’s mushroom pasta in cream sauce.

I had seafood pasta and pizza. The duck and leek pizza was eaten before I could take a picture.

 So, about the hotel. First, here’s the view.

It’s the Granvia Hotel, which is usually located INSIDE the train station. Turns out my room is on the TOP floor, behind a security door (there’s restaurants up there too) and down a LONG hallway. There’s complimentary soft drinks in a lounge with a view in a different direction. I wish my pictures from earlier in the evening turned out better. You can see the lights of Kiyomizudera Temple.

Other than that, the room is big and quiet and has a tub/shower with a rain head and body shower that I’ve always wanted to try. There’s free toothbrushes and soap and hangers and I don’t know why that all makes me so darn happy, but it does.

Tomorrow we’re all staying at the Hearton Nishiumeda, which is OK, but you can see the difference between ¥8,000 and ¥45,000. I’ll probably never stay at a place this expensive again, so let me have my fun for now.

Japan Day 51

Today was a travel day from Busan, Korea to the Kansai International Airport, through Osaka and on to Kyoto.

We got to Kyoto in time to see the ryokan my sister picked and then it was on to meet my mom at Kyoto Station. My mom forgot the paper that told her where we were going so I had to meet her on the platform. While I was out there, my sister and Lim had some ice cream.

My mom and I got ours afterwards.

The place my sister picked was more of a youth hostel than a ryokan. Check out the sign for the Dolphins.

I should have said Sparkling Dolphins Inn. It did have towels but didn’t have any soap and was pretty darn loud.

After that we went off to see some bits of Kyoto near Shijo towards Gion.

We found Nishiki Market but on the way we saw a shrine in the shopping street.

After Nishiki Market we went to find some dinner but my sister and Lim found another shop they wanted to check out.

Dinner was at a tonkatsu shop which had the same name as the place I went to in Umeda. It appears to be a chain and it’s really tasty.

The croquettes were spectacular.

Then we went off to see Gion. Here’s the Kabukiza.

At the end of the street was Yasaka shrine.

In the entrance gate was this guy.

I think the shrines are all lit up this month.

So it was back through Gion.

We stopped at the Lipton Tea House to have some tea and then it was back to the Sparkling Dolphin. My mom had a matcha latte.

“Japan” Day 50

Today Sally took us to the fabric market. Actually, it’s pretty late (the dryer worked less well than we’d hoped) and I forgot to upload my pictures. So I’ll have to change the comments later and put up some short ones today. Also, we’re going to Kyoto and the only place my sister could find was a ryokan and I bet I won’t have any connectivity for a few days. Lots of non-problems here.

On the way to the fabric market there were lots of street vendors and we got some goodies on the way. Of course my phone is focused on the back of Lim’s head.

Traffic from the pedestrian overpass. They drive like they do in Boston here.

The huge fabric market. Piles of fabric and people feel claustrophobic in there. I’m used to lots of fabric (my mom and my sister sew and I even moved a fabric store once) so it was kind of comforting to me. Lots of individual stalls being run in this rather large building. I didn’t take any pictures inside.

Lunch at the mall. I can’t believe how good they can make a simple bibimbap when some places make it so poorly.

Across from the Toyoko-Inn Haeundae Beach is this entrance to a club that looks obscene. The hairy bits are fiber optics and they glow at night. That building also has a shooting range and a hot spring. I dunno; I’m not Korean.

Dinner was in the neighborhood and pretty tasty pork cutlets for me. But before that appetizers.

Sally and her younger son had fried rice and beans.

I had the pork cutlet stuffed with sweet potato and cheese.

Stupid phone can’t take pictures at night?

I guess not.

Less smoking here than in Osaka, surprisingly.

More crab pix from the night market.

And, of course, the night ends with dessert.

That’s it for tonight!

“Japan” Day 49

First, I have to admit something. I did not vote for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for the schools. I didn’t vote for the library. I didn’t vote for whatever other liberal cause that would have raised my taxes like I usually do. I DIDN’T VOTE. Months ago I signed up to vote from Japan but I never got the ballot delivered to me. So thank goodness a lot of stuff went the way I wanted it to without my vote.

Today’s update starts with my minimal selection from the Haeundae Toyoko-Inn’s free breakfast. My stomach wasn’t feeling bad, but it wasn’t feeling great either. I’m sure I could get used to eating all the Korean food, but at the moment I’m wolfing down the garlic and kimchee and hoping for the best as this isn’t what my stomach is used to.

So I’m completely turned around here and my sister and Lim took me to Starbucks in the direction I thought was away from the beach but was directly towards Haeundae Beach. A block away from the Toyoko Inn is the most popular beach in Korea according to one of my tourist pamphlets and I can see why. The water and the beach are beautiful. I’m still reeling from the size of the high-rises here.

We sat around in the morning watching three surfers. It was a beautiful morning.

We also watched a fluffy white dog chase the seagulls.

We met Sally and her friend Sayoko for a traditional Korean lunch (of a bunch of courses) at Sayoko’s in-law’s restaurant. Sayoko is from Yokohama and married a Korean guy from Busan. This is the pre-meal starter.

There’s Sally, Lim (looking tiny due to perspective issues) and Sayoko.

When the food started coming out there seemed to be no end to it.


Several new dishes were brought out a couple of times. This time it was crab and the pancakes.

There was an interesting meat dish and soup next.

We talked and told weird stories for hours and I hope Sayoko wasn’t scandalized by the weird American tales.

I was stuffed, but my sister and Lim were able to walk to a bakery (I waddled) and we had more to eat. Then they started in on the shopping, but it wasn’t too bad. First was a market with beauty products. I’m looking for lip balm that actually works but they were no help. They were too busy looking for whatever eyeliner or face wash that they needed.

Then it we got in a taxi and it was off to Shinsegae, THE WORLD’S LARGEST DEPARTMENT STORE. Or, in other words, suck it Minnesota.

We wandered around a bit but I think it looked like any other mall in the US (but bigger). It wasn’t like a Japanese mall where everything was just different enough that you really wanted to see what was going on.

We ended up at the food court because I wanted some coffee. We sat next to the ice skating rink and watched the kids skating.

Dinner was blowfish soup with Sally and her kids.

Once again, I was stuffed but everyone else was activating their dessert stomachs. No one could explain (at least not in English) what the drink I got was called, but I think they have it at I Love Crepes on 23rd Avenue as “Job’s Tears”. But oddly enough, I don’t think this was called yulmucha. Maybe it has a different name in Busan.

I wish I had something to scale the honey bread. It was giant. Fortunately, we all shared it (including the two boys who also had ice cream).

After that we took a quick trip to the night market.

Fish to eat!

I think this might be those slimy eels that they used to make eelskin wallets out of.

There’s no end to the fresh fish. OK, there is an end, and it was just past these four sets of tanks.

I was going to go take pictures of the pig’s head and barbecued ribs, but we went back by a different route. I can understand why so many Koreans look so much better fed than the Japanese people do.

Japan Day 48

So this must be how people who don’t speak Japanese feel like when they’re in Japan. I’m currently writing this from the Toyoko Inn in Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea. I have no idea what people are saying. I have no idea how much this money is worth. I have no idea what areas are safe and what areas aren’t.

Ah well, I was told there’s no manners in Korea (I have noticed there’s no such thing as lines or order and just to get out of the way of the little old ladies at the airport) so I should be OK.

Today was mainly a travel day and my sister’s cost-savings idea took us several hours to get to the airport. Not a big deal, really, since we had nothing better to do and it was POURING RAIN outside. Fortunately I think only a couple of things in my suitcase got wet and I had to throw out a nice paper bag but that’s about the only disaster.  We started out the day at Tully’s coffee with a breakfast set.

Not many pictures from the travels because it was POURING and since there’s all sorts of restrictions about taking pictures at the airports in certain areas. We did make it to Busan and my sister’s cost-savings deal on this end meant we took a two-hour bus ride from the airport to our hotel. We met my sister’s friend Sally for dinner. She’s from the US but her husband is a bigwig in the Busan textile industry now and she lives here.

She took us to a pork barbecue. They put coals in that hole and then pull the vent down fairly close to the grill.

The first course is the soup which comes out still boiling. Everything on the vegetable plate goes onto the grill and there’s unlimited salad.

Here we go with the pork.

They’re big on Japanese beers here, but I decided to try something local. I’d never heard of Cass, so I had it instead of Hite.

Dinner was spectacular.

Afterwards we went back to the hotel and got some ice cream at the Seven-Eleven, a Haagen Dazs Crispy Sandwich green tea. It was tasty.

The Toyoko-Inn here doesn’t have all the amenities of the Japanese Toyoko Inns. No free razor. No ladies set that my sister is used to (some hand and face lotions). But they did give us two little bars of soap. Sally told us that could just be a Korean thing where you get little free trinkets. It’s all part of the adventure of Korea!

Tomorrow I guess I’m going to wait for my sister to finish running and then watch her and her friends shop. At least that’s what I think is happening. I’m just along for the ride.

Japan Day 47

Today it was mainly a day watching my sister and Lim shop. It was a trip back to Harajuku and Shibuya where we spent the whole day. I didn’t take all that many pictures because, well, I was just watching my sister and Lim shop. In fact, when we went by a shrine my sister just said, “Keep walking.”

This is at the start of the Harajuku street-full-of-stuff-for-young-people-to-buy.

Lim already posted this to her instagram and the only comment she got was, “Is that a real WWDC jacket?”

I think these guys are from Portland.

I thought my sister was going to make us just eat those small bread things for lunch.

But no, we went to the Patagonia surf shop and chatted with a nice Japanese kid who spent ten years in Irvine and he pointed us at The Great Burger.

Bacon cheese for me. It was pretty good. Goddamn iPhone focus is for shit, again. I kept selecting the burger but it does what it wants.

My sister had a barbecue burger.

THey wanted to take goofy pictures, too.

We also went to Bear Pond Espresso which was kind of meh to me.

I finally got some pictures of Hachiko!

Hachiko’s statue is right next to the smoking area. You can see one of the demon smokers with glowing eyes.

We went on a quest for dinner and ended up at a Tokyo Baqet. More unlimited bread! Tomorrow we’re off to Korea where I bet I’ll get to do whatever my sister wants to do. Well, I kind of do that when I’m on vacation with her anyway. Lots of watching her shop. Ah well.

Japan Day 46

Today was another travel day. I went to Tokyo on the Sh?nan-Shinjuku line and my mom and Mrs. Kobayashi went on to Toyama to visit the Kawasakis.

Before we all left, we went to get ramen near Gunma University.

I got to Shinjuku and I just wasn’t ready to deal with the crowds. I hid in my hotel room and sounds like my sister and Lim were doing the same. I had three days of update to do on my blog, and also updates to software on my computer. The intarweb connection in this hotel seems a bit odd; plenty of bandwidth but trouble with DNS. I’m not sure what’s going on.

We all decided to go get dinner and I suggested going to the Odakyu building. I think all of the ladies from Gunma go to Odakyu and they’d mentioned the restaurants there. It wasn’t as busy as the Takashimaya building which is a good thing.

My sister and I got some sort of soba special. I can’t tell what the hell is in focus in this picture. I think the answer is NOTHING.

Lim got something else.

Everyone was taking pictures of their food.

As I was telling my sister, I think I’m just about done and need to go home. In Osaka I couldn’t remember when I was in my hotel room sometimes. Ah well, only two more weeks!