Saturday, March 30, 2013

tokyo trip: the third day.

the third day was a bit of a grey day. it rained (i kept saying it was "monsooning," & husband would be like, "it is NOT MONSOONING," but it totally was) the entire morning & afternoon & your 7th favorite blogger was just NOT feeling it. we managed to do some really fun stuff, though - most of which allowed us to stay under a roof. we stopped off first at the akihabara district (or ward, technically), which is famous for its insane availability of every sort of electronic device you can ever imagine. it rose to prominence as an electronics district after world war two, when japanese companies would sell their overstock of electronic devices and components under a bridge in akihabara...& the industry just stuck.

we hit up a place called yodobashi akiba, which is a gargantuan, eight floor electronics store. it was loud, bright, expensive - & really, really fun. for how cool it was, though, we didn't actually take many pictures, because we felt that would have been just unbearably touristy of us. looking back now, of course i wish we had taken more pictures. oh well. 

but check out this tv, which had an 84-INCH screen. i mean, i'm fairly tall, & this tv was ALMOST as tall as i was. imagine it!


they also had these amazing chairs that would give you full-body massages. a lot of people were trying them, so ben & tried, but for some reason the worker guy did not seem to like that we were trying them. he was, like, standing nearby the whole time kind of scowling. so this picture was...awkward to take.


later on that day we went to the tokyo national museum, which is another fun indoorsy activity when a monsoon is happening outside. ben & i have been to several more european art-centric museums, so it was so interesting & fun to hit up a museum that was full of almost exclusively japanese art. yay!

we can also talk about how the museum has little mascots, because everything in japan has its own cute little mascot:










just rows upon rows of beautiful characters. i will eternally shake my fists at the heavens for the contradictions inherent in chinese (& in this case, crossovers to japanese) characters: they're amazingly wondrous, beautiful, & expressive (a single character can express a thousand thoughts, ideas, & emotions, those suckers pack a real punch!), but gosh darn it if they're not THE hardest things in the world to learn & write. 



fell in love with these intricate, detailed kimonos:






a new life goal is to learn how to make the exact same face this guy is making, obviously:



NO-OSE:


kind of virginal, mother-mary figures, which was interesting:


um. there be a CRAB on dis pot:


we did a few other things this day, grabbed a bite to eat here & there (have i mentioned yet how much we LOVED japanese food?? we adored it. maybe i'll devote a whole post to a kind of love song to japanese food), but this third day was a good day.

tokyo trip: the second day.

i should warn you beforehand, this post is a long one. you don't have to read all the way through. but if you do - are you ready? let's go!

the ocean-eyed physicist was a great travel planner while we were in japan, & had some really fun things lined up for us to do. the morning of our second day, we went to the ueno zoo. it was actually perfect timing, because the weather was bright & sunny & lots of animals were out & about just in time for us to see them. but first? a few cherry blossom pictures, because those never hurt anyone:



& a picture of these tots being photographed right outside the zoo, because how could i resist??:




& 1000 yen, which is about $10:


the zoo was free for children 12 & under, which ben & i thought was a pretty nice perk...but it also meant there were about a million little kids running around the zoo the entire time. which is...okay, i guess. little kids DO seem like they would be the zoo's target audience, right? :)

anyway, here is a small sampling of the animals we saw out & about that fine sunny morn:

two giant pandas!!


(this was one of the pandas, the girl, we think)


(& here was the other one, the boy)



i just thought this picture of the girl panda looked really, really cute:



hedwig, basically:


a creepy vulture, who was feeding its little baby bird when we snapped the picture below (can you see the tiny beak poking out of the nest?), which was cute, which made me feel conflicted:


GO-rillas:



& comparing ben's wingspan to the cray-cray one of a gorilla:


i wish the tiger had been closer to us, but alas, tigers don't live by my shhedule:


this guy, who prolly has a great hairdo idea page on pinterest:


oh my word how we loved the polar bear. so playful in the water!




we caught a glimpse of the elephant's boom-boom (they were doing some construction on his (her?) habitat):


we also caught sight of these little animals. it was a little school group, & their hats were just too, too cute. & the hand holding? get outta town!



penguins...!:



oops:


& now, a brief foray into the little zoo shop we ventured into a bit:





flamingos:


do you see the little joey in the kangaroo's pouch?? its legs in this first picture...


...& its little head in this second one!:


holy weirdness that is the anteater:


speaking of hairdo pinterest pages, this monkey also probably has a very educational one:


timon over here:



zeebs:


ronny the rhino:


i kind of love this giraffe's skin:


ally over here basically wanted to eat everyone in the audience:


iggy the iguana (i'm making up these names, but you probably realized that already):


 later on that day we hit up a few more shrines, as is our wont:




oh, you know, just being really tall & white (with big eyes & a big nose, as people always reminded me when i was in taiwan):



this red lantern was huge! see how small ben is compared to it in this picture on the right:


inside the shrine, throwing a coin in to give an offering. great action shot props go to benjamin:






on the docket for dinner that night? sushi! we hit up this place that served sushi on little plates carried around the room on a conveyor belt. you reach out & grab the ones you want, & at the end of it all they tally your price by the number of plates you got, which are color-coded according to price.

& this wasn't your little california roll joint, mind you. the sushi we had was basically slabs of fat, pink fish on balls of rice - the fish was so raw it was practically still breathing. those suckers still had their gills! bring it on!


octopus that still had their little suckers! eeee! i had to draw the line at these.


ben eyeing his next choice:



eel:






we had some tuna, salmon, some albacore. delicious!


& spouts of green tea right at our fingertips (we did not partake! although ben thought it might have been okay, for some reason?):


in closing, a picture of these four sweet little pups, because everything is smaller & cuter in japan:

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