Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 2 (technically)

Jet lag. Ug. Yesterday was rough, though over where you guys are it's still yesterday. I slept until 6 this morning instead of 5, so that's a good thing. I just get waves of tiredness that I force myself to push through so I can keep having fun.

I went to the Pokemon Center yesterday! It was a bit underwhelming, but still necessary to go to, I think. It was pretty much all little kids and then Yuki and I and a couple other weird-looking white guys. I suppose that makes me weird too. The store was PACKED and I had to shimmy around to look at all the Poke-merch and avoid stepping on small children. All the employees who worked there wore masks, probably to make the moms feel safe?

Yuki's mom just noticed I'm awake, she asked if I wanted hot dogs (do you want hotu dogu?) for dinner... whatever works

I ate soba noodles for lunch after the pokemon center, this is a video of me trying to eat them, let me know if it doesn't work. I'm no good at slurping them up, it takes me a really long time to get the whole noodle in my mouth - but they're very good!

Yuki's grandma just brought me some hot green tea and an ayu, which is like a flat little pancake folded in half with a sticky goo paste in the middle, tastes better than I just made it sound.

After lunch we went to the imperial palace at the center of Tokyo (Koukyo), the gardens around it are sooo pretty! Then we went to Ginza, the real ritzy part of Tokyo, lots of designer brand stores and other expensive Japanese stores. I went into a traditional paper store with Yuki and her friend Howard, who goes to U-M and is from Hong Kong, he's studying Japanese in Tokyo right now, and he speaks English and Cantonese and some Mandarin too so I got to practice with him. He always covered his mouth whenever he laughed or smiled. In the paper store there were all kinds of beautiful paper fans, origami paper, little cloth and paper bags with aromatic powder inside, calligraphy brushes and paper, and on and on, it was really cool to look at everything.

I just ate breakfast, and I didn't know it was possible, but the hot dog I ate was distinctly Japanese - the bun was different, so was what was on it. I've never eaten a hot dog for breakfast before. I also ate some biwa, which is a fruit they have here. I think her mom cut off a peel, but the best I can describe it is that it tasted like how a creamsicle would taste if it were a fruit.

Yesterday again: my favorite place in Tokyo so far - Asakusa! It was just so cool. I think Asakusa is the area, and we went to a temple there called Senso-gi for the wind and thunder gods. The temple is in the back and leading up to it are all kinds of stalls with paper lanters selling little trinkets and snacks for only a 100 yen ($1). Cheap snacks and goodies are my weakness. When you pass under the entrance to the area the temple is in, with all the shops/stalls lined up it looks like something right out of Spritited Away. We're going again today and I can't wait to drop some more yen, sorry mom. If you ever go to Tokyo, you MUST visit here!

Yuki's favorite snack that looks like poop (don't worry, she thought it was funny when I told her) - tastes sweet and better than it looks.

All the coins in Japanese currency (500, 100, 50, 10, 5, 1)


  1. Haha noodle slurping! I am so glad you're doing this Sarah! Can't wait until you post again! MISSSSS YOU!

  2. Sarah its your cuz Liz. this is really cool so when i get back to Indiana im gonna look it up and read the rest.