by day three we had started to drag a bit. "let's do the tokyo river cruise today!" was the refrain that morning as we thought this would be restful and not involve much time on our feet. hahahah haaaaa why do i not realize that we ALWAYS cram too much into one day? hahahah ah, my feet hurt just thinking about it.
i will say this though, the morning workout routine on nhk is quite nice and it prepared me for at least some of the walking that was yet to come. (it is similar to this radio taiso one if you're interested.)
another smart thing we did this day was to stop and rest as much as possible. what you don't see in this photo is me sitting on barrier drinking a cc lemon while watching traffic go by.
i drank so much cc lemon on this trip. i must have consumed 80 million lemons worth of vitamin c. that's, like, a whole grove's worth. at LEAST.
anyway, the cruise leaves from tokyo bay near where this ship was docked.
here's a one way ticket to asakusa. i learned on this boat that it's "ahSOCKoosah" and not "ass a koosh uh" which is how i'd always heard it pronounced stateside.
ass a koosh uh is still more fun to say though, fwiw.
we had seen ads for the vingt et un since narita. who knew that we'd see it docked on the sumida?
leff had been misreading the "et un" part because of the font used on the posters. (we were really tired. please understand. (and once i translated it from the french as "twenty one" it was, sadly, never the "seaward" again.))
there are many, MANY interesting things to see on this boat. cool buildings,
the crazy futuristic batobus that could only exist in tokyo
and great signs.
nothing quite prepared me for seeing the golden poo building though. or for how large sky tree really is.
(this is a sunglasses photo because it was crazy hazy and glarey that day. apologies for the 70s style filter that keeps popping up.)
but first things first. we'd taken this boat so that we could take a train
to KAPPABASHI-DORI HELL YES KITCHEN TOWN YOU KNOW YOU ARE THERE WHEN YOU SEE THIS GUY
and also the kappa signs
and, oh yes, the AWESOME CUP BUILDING.
kappabashi-dori was on my must see list. but we didn't rush to it. nope! we stopped at mos burger first! oh my goodness, the ladies here were so nice! and so was my melon soda!
you're going to think i'm ridiculous for getting a hot dog in japan. guess who cares? the anwer is NOT ME this dog was DELICIOUS!! and actually spicy! and it had a snap like it was natural casing. all that for, idk, 380 yen? so, like, AROUND THREE DOLLARS?! amazing.
leff got the kakiage rice burger, in case you are keeping score. THE BUNS WERE MADE OF RICE and he says it was just as oishii as my dog!
totally go to mos burger in japan. don't be a fucking snoot about it. just go.
lunch consumed, we happily headed to the kitchen supply shops. check out this light! i love that little girl mascot SO MUCH!
i also love (and am freaked out by) the golden kappa statue from which kappabashi-dori takes its name.
guys, of all the yokai, the kappa freaks me out the most. i don't know why. maybe the threat of drowning that the kappa represents.
maybe i just don't like the idea of being tricked. idk. i probably should have left a cucumber for this guy. (kappas like cukes. for reals. prob cause of their high water content, i assume.)
the main reason we had come to kitchen town was for sampurus. we found three shops full! (we bought three items at the first store, some edamame, a takoyaki ball (for me!) and a chicken wing (for leff))
i also found a lemon drink that matched my dress.
we passed this complex on the way back to the train station and the last sampuru shop.
i know, we should really have gone to more shrines and temples. you don't have to tell me that. but there was a very real threat of not being able to get my shoes back on. (my feet are still swollen and we have been back for two days. i'm ridiculous.)
besides, if i'm honest, i was much more interested in fake food. it's just so beautiful! i would love to make these for a living!
what also interests me is how great the graphics in japan work. the message of this sign is crystal clear even though i cannot read the text. brilliant.
ah, but let's move on to sky tree, huh? i almost barfed when i took this picture. (heights are...not my thing.)
in addition to being the third tallest building in the world, sky tree also has an aquarium in its basement. plus there is a five floor mall on top of that. it's just...too much. which is why i'm glad we took a short stop at the pon de lion park first!
pon de lion park is probably better known as the "fancy mister donut" or, perhaps "the super mister donut for kids". whatever. i was absolutely in love with the place! so bright, so happy, so cute! i LOVE the pon de lion character!!
what follows are too many pictures of this place. deal with it or don't. look at me not caring. but, really, how can you hate on this place? LOOK AT THAT CHEERY MURAL
our order consisted of one of the mochi donuts and a pon de lion ice cream sandwich.
here is leff's pon de ring donut! he made the pon de lion "mounch mounch mounch" noise while he ate it. XD
i went for the ice cream sandwich which was SO GOOD. the pastry casing was just a tiny bit crispy and slightly chewy! i wonder if some mochi was used in the dough!
inside was vanilla ice cream. not plain by any measure, however. it was good stuff!
after resting our feet for a while, we decided it was time to tackle sky tree. unbeknownst to us, it was the official third anniversary of the tower's opening. HOLY CRAP WAS IT CROWDED
the views though. you can see a little better here how gargantuan tokyo is. this is only part of the city.
here are some people forming rings. is this in preparation for the 2020 olympics? i will never know.
sky tree made me dizzy. i had to take a break from views like this
to take in views like this.
the overcrowding and the foot issues made the experience one of the least enjoyable of the trip. still, the views can't be beat even on a hazy day. would attempt again even though we had to buy more band aids when we got back to the neighborhood.
speaking of the neighborhood, when we emerged from the metro, there was a TON of smoke! quite scary! until we realized that it smelled AMAZING! all of it was coming from a yakitori stand that was open only on friday! (sadly, did not buy any as we only had large bill yen at that point.)
also amazing, while we were in the drugstore, another customer left a bag by accident. one of the employees bolted out the door and chased her down the street to make sure she had her purchase. THAT is japan. super honest, super helpful, super polite.
at five in the afternoon while resting my feet, i heard some strange otherwordly type music. it was haunting! what was it? ah! i did a bit of research and found out that it was just the daily test of the emergency system! how like japan to make it practical (you can use it as an alarm to know it is 5pm!) and also soothing once you know what's going on. here, listen to the song and see for yourself! much better than the loud alarm that we tend to test with in the states, isn't it?
TOMORROW ON RAKKA AND LEFF GO TO TOKYO we go in search of bean paste god heads! WE EAT OUR FIRST YAKITORI we go to hama-rikyu park HOW IS THAT IN THE MIDDLE OF TOKYO IT'S AMAZING it is CURRY TIME AT COCOBANANAS (that is not really the name of the place) basically IT IS AN EASY DAY FOR ONCE CHECK BACK TOMORROW