Saturday, November 14, 2009

October Travels - Tokyo

I got to go to Tokyo !! Woo hoo. Hubby had to stay an extra week, so he called me in Montreal and asked if I wanted to come over for the 2nd week.  Of course the answer was yes !!

Instead of staying at the Westin this time,  I stayed at the Strings Intercontinental.  I actually liked this hotel much better.  The decor was modern, the views were amazing and the location was excellent. It's located 2 minutes by covered walkway from the East Exit of the Shinagawa station.  Easy access to everywhere I wanted to go via the Yamanote line.  I felt like such a local there this time, I even got my very own Suica card.


This was the very first trip where I spent my entire time in Tokyo.

Saturday - we spent our day in Roppongi.  Tim got tickets to see "Michael Jackson's This is it", so we decided to join him.  After that we met up with Mike and Takahiro for some Japanese BBQ. Pictured on the bottom right is Tongue. Everyone said it was delicious, but I couldn't bring myself to try it.
 


Of course I had to revisit all my favorite shopping spots -  Tokyu Hands & Loft in Shibuya, Yuzawaya (my favorite craft store) in Kichijoji and of course the cosmetics counter in Odakyu ( I love trying new brands of Japanese makeup).

Of course I also had to eat an ungodly amount of food. When I didn't hang out with my hubby, I just spent the day eating pastries - no real lunch or breakfast. I just walked around and picked up pastries every few hours.  I am still afraid to get on the scale to see the damage.

I am happy about one of our food discoveries though - we found the absolute best ramen noodle joint just around the corner from the hotel.  Doesn't it look FANTASTIC ??? It's one of those joints where you have to buy your order from a vending machine before sitting at the counter.  Good thing I took Japanese 1A.  I was able to use my hiragana and find the word ramen on the machine :)





I also finally got the chance to visit the  Ghibli Museum! I loved it with it's beautiful displays of artwork and the wonderful short animated film at the end.  They also had the best Totoro gift shop ;).
The museum is located within walking distance from the Mitaka station ( JR Chuo Line) but why walk when you have the Ghibli bus waiting for you right at the south exit of the station.  You can not miss it - the cutest yellow bus ever :)


Now... onto the Totoro swag from the gift shop :) There were Totoro keychains, scrapbooking stamps, pins, postcards but what  I love the most were the three figurines we bought.  I can not wait till we find a place to display it. ( Warning: Picture overload coming up!)

 
 




Another new discovery on this trip - whenever I wanted to buy fabric I usually visited my favorite craft store Yuzawaya, but did you know there is such a thing as Fabric Town in Tokyo ??  Fabric Town is located right off the Nippori station (Yamanote line/Keisei line).  The entire street is lined with fabric stores, trim stores and even button stores.  However the main attraction in Fabric Town has to be Tomato .  It has the best selection of fabrics with even a 100Y section. It took me about 3 hours just to walk through everything.  Just a note, they only accept cash (which I was short of that day, so I only walked out 2 meters of fabric :( )



On my last day in Tokyo - I visited the Nihon Minka En . The Nihon Minka-en is a charming park that displays 25 historical buildings which have been collected from all over Japan.

 

At the end of the tour, you can also take a traditional japanese indigo dyeing class - which I did and loved :D

Instructions on how to get to Nihon Minka-En can be found here  with one correction - instead of exiting the east exit at the station, you need to exit the south station.


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