Big Audrey in Little Tokyo – part 2

I know I went on about how I don’t plan things when I’m on vacation, and how I’m all fly by the seat of my pants and “planning things isn’t fun”, but I didn’t realise how gigantic Tokyo is. And how much there is to see. And just how quickly 9 days can fly by – especially when 2 of those days are eaten by travel. 

After walking around and seeing a few things on our first day, we realised that time was going to blow by. So we made a list of Shit That Looks Cool, and made loose plans around it.

First up: ramen at Afuri, and the Tokyo National Museum and National Museum of Nature and Science. The museums were in Ueno, a cool little neighborhood where Joel wanted to take photos.

DSCF6895
I forgot my comb, and I could only find a teasing comb to buy at 7-11. So it took about 30 mins to comb through my wet hair. Oh, what fun.
DSCF6914
Afuri Ramen
DSCF6910
Insta-ramen. You order and pay from this vending machine, and a ticket prints out. You hand the tickets to the cook, take a seat, and then your food is delivered. Like McCafe, except not terrible.

Afuri is a well known ramen place that’s famous for its cold Yuzu Shio ramen: cold ramen soup with noodles, pork, marinated egg, and a giant dollop of cold, jellied, yuzu fruit. It was definitely different, and I’m not usually one for jellied fruit being ANYWHERE near my meat soup, but after the first few bites, I was sold. It was a great combination of sweet and salty, and I ate the entire bowl without feeling bloated and full.

DSCF6911
Cold Yuzu Shio ramen: don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.

We took a longer wander through Harajuku, which was basically people, people, people, everywhere. There were interesting shops and more delicious crepe stands than you’d expect for a single street.

DSCF6907
Harajuku!
DSCF6903
Tourists!
DSCF6916
So. Many. People. Also so many hustlers.

We scrambled through Takeshita Street and wandered through the rest of Harajuku, which was mostly high end shopping, dining, and a random shrine and zen garden.

DSCF6930

DSCF6921
TURRRRRTLE
DSCF6934
CICADAS EUUNNGGGHH. Joel picked up one of the shells and walked toward me, and I told him if that shell touched me, I would leave, get on a plane, and never see him again. I’ve never been so serious.
DSCF6924
such koi

We left the garden and kept wandering, toward Ueno and the museums. If you like walking, Tokyo is for you. The public transport is great, but there’s much more to see if you’re on foot. Unfortunately for me, I chose to wear a pair of sneakers this day that look very cool, but definitely weren’t broken in. And by the end of the day I had 2 giant blisters on my toes, by our last day I had blisters on 7 toes and on one my heels. Womp womp.

DSCF6935

 

IMG_2525

IMG_2527

IMG_2528

We didn’t ride a bullet train, but we did spend some time in the subway. Most of the maps were also in English, so it was easy to get around. And it was especially easy for me to get around, because Joel was my navigator. Sweeeeeeet.

DSCF6938

DSCF6937

DSCF6939
All adverts should have cartoon characters.
IMG_2581
v. clean trains
IMG_2582
and v. quiet.
IMG_2587
aforementioned navigator

 

DSCF6944
a boy and his knives

 

When we got to the Museum, we saw some kind of carnival with tents and music and a big crowd. It turned out to be the Pakistan & Japan Friendship Festival. Alrighty, then! There were Japanese and Pakistani food vendors, live musicians, and probably a lot more, but I can’t read Japanese.

DSCF6951

IMG_2597
Fried chicken was sold out, Joel was devastated. But that long potato, tho.

DSCF6952

IMG_2594
Frozen beer is a big thing in Japan. It’s not a beer slushie, but it’s served at a super, super cold temperature, and the foam is velvety. We got ate that pancake thing on the right, it was amazing.
IMG_2596
Chef making the pancake thing
DSCF6956
Mmmm Pancake thing with frozen beers
DSCF6955
caught ya!
DSCF6964
Fountains in front of the museum

The National Museum is huge! We spent a few hours looking through the exhibits. There was everything from swords, pottery, painting, calligraphy scrolls, to Buddha statutes, kimonos, photography and Samurai uniforms and saddlery. I took about 6,000 photos (when I was allowed to, they’re really strict. We saw a few museum employees wave down tourists and watched as they deleted photos from their cameras). I probably could have stayed there all day.

DSCF6970

DSCF6971

DSCF6973
gorgeous screen printing
DSCF6976
Buddha
DSCF6983
etched gold writing box
DSCF6995
so. many. swords.
DSCF7012
Cool pottery
DSCF7007
Funny pottery
DSCF7017
Scary pottery
DSCF7025
funeral procession made of clay

DSCF7036

DSCF7118

DSCF7043
very, very, old photographs
DSCF7046
View of the garden that was closed for maintenance 😦

DSCF7051

DSCF7070

DSCF7067
I fell in love with the kimonos. I want all these.
DSCF7079
And this one.
DSCF7082
And this one. And the 14 other robes I took pictures of.

DSCF7102

DSCF7106

DSCF7109
Samurai armour

DSCF7112

DSCF7115
this dragon’s face – wtf?
IMG_2629
Vending machine iced coffee is life.
IMG_2591
We ran out of time to see the Natural History museum, but we did get some shots in with the giant whale.
IMG_2631
It’s a whale.

DSCF7131

DSCF7137
Ueno at dusk
DSCF7142 (1)
handsome man

DSCF7152

DSCF7163

 

DSCF7156
Most restaurants show their meal choices this way – it’s awesome
DSCF7162 (1)
date night
DSCF7165
meat market
DSCF7167
so much food

DSCF7168

DSCF7176

DSCF7169
#america in #japan

We decided on a little hole in the wall restaurant that had the best fake food displays. The staff didn’t speak much English, but I had Yakisoba that was off the charts.

IMG_2663
beers with bae
IMG_2664
yakisoba, more like yakisobadass
DSCF7181
Joel’s eel, with miso soup and pickles – yumm
IMG_2665
even warning signs are better with cartoons.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more Japan!

xo

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s