our sixth day in tokyo was my birthday! HOORAY!!!
the fun thing about crossing the international date line is that you can have a birthday that lasts FOREVER. i think i celebrated for maybe 30 hours. XD
festivities started with an extra breakfast/early light lunch of coke life (get this when it's released in the states. it's real sugar coke so, basically, mexican coke. it's v good.) and onigiri from 7-11.
onigiri and salty boiled eggs from 7-11 are super. the packaging alone is worth the purchase. (the nori stays SO CRISPY because of the special packaging! (also, hey! 7-11 is technically a japanese company. that's why you can sometimes find hi-chew at u.s. stores.))
the MAIN thing we did on my birthday, however, was go to the shiro-hige cream puff shop for...wait for it....TOTORO CREAM PUFFS!!! O.M.F.G. THEY ARE SO KAWAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII and also INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!!!
(aside for my stepmom, chris-- totoro is a character in "my neighbor totoro", a studio ghibli film from the 80s. you might be familiar with that studio because of "spirited away"? anyway, totoro is one of my most favorite movies.)
shiro-hige only makes a limited number of these cream puffs per day so they suggest making a reservation at the cafe to assure you'll get one (or three in our case. XD). we were able to do this through our hotel. (SERIOUSLY GUYS art hotels hamamatsucho! I AM TELLING YOU THEY ARE FANTASTIC!! *so* helpful!)
we were a little concerned about being able to find the place as the second train that we transferred to from the oedo line was....not on the subway map. ha! but we found a local train (odakyu line (we saw a romance car go past! :D)) in the basement of shinjuku station and from there it was easy, peasy, squeeze the cc lemon.
we did have to walk through some construction work. it was oddly like being in a slice of life anime? hahaha idk, we were totally disassociated most of the time on this trip. jet laaag! *shakes fist*
BUT BACK TO SHIRO-HIGE!!! this place is AMAZING!!! each little ear decoration denotes flavor! this totoro is strawberry cream! (made from sachinoka strawberries from wakayama (shiro-hige uses as many locally grown products as possible! PLUS this totoro is seasonal (jan-june), fresh whipped cream, granular sugar and strawberry liquor!)
chocolate cream totoro!!
and MATCHA AND RED BEAN (also seasonal (may-august)
I ALMOST CRIED WHEN THEY BROUGHT ME MY BDAY LATTE TO GO WITH MY TOTORO SO CUTE SO SOSOSOSOSOSOS CUTE SO DELICIOUS
i admit, it was not easy to cut into a totoro. but, well, it did not stop me, as you can see.
this whole store was, dare i say it?, magical. fucking magical. i felt like i was in a miyazaki film the whole time!
we also visited the shop! here are some custard and fresh cream totoros awaiting purchase.
we didn't buy them. no, LEFF GOT ME SOME TOTORO COOKIES FOR LATER THOUGH!!!!! OMG I WILL POST THAT SEPARATELY IN A DAY OR SO THEY WERE ALSO AMAZING (edit: here they are!! :D)
THIS PLACE THOUGH
if you are a ghibli fan and are in tokyo DO PLEASE go to shiro-hige! it is well worth the trip to the tokyo burbs and it is charming AS HELL
it may have been the greatest bday present i've ever gotten! THANK YOU LEFF!!!!
we decided to explore the area around shiro-hige a bit as leff and i have always wondered what the tokyo burbs were like. guess what! they were exactly like in slice of life anime. XD XD
we found this very picturesque vending machine.
and HOLY CRAP I GOT TO RECORD THE TRAIN CROSSING!!!! (i love that warning noise!)
things of note on the way to our next stop. i wish we had been able to make it to this amigurumi show! (i would have loved to pick up another otama to go with the one i already have.)
where were we headed? at anthony's suggestion, FRESHNESS BURGER!! leff got a burger (he said it was the best burger he'd had in a VERY long time) but *i* got a MOJITO GINGER ALE
dfal;kjfa SO REFRESHING i have already recreated this drink at home, btdubs. XD
the morning was so relaxing that i decided right then that we were going to skip the japanese madness/guitar wolf show at basement bar that we had planned on attending (my feet. i was NOT going to be able to stand during that show. (i stood after foot issues at the solander show at privatclub in berlin, remember? so painful! (but a great show.)XD XD) nope, i wanted to go to another park. specifically kyu shiba-rikyu!
this is where we were when the 5.6 earthquake hit.
look, i'm not going to go on and on about this. i have been through many earthquakes before. this, was, however, the longest and largest magnitude that i have ever experienced. (it took maybe 45 seconds which is FOREVER in earthquake time.)
think about it this way though: no one was injured in the city, there was no structural damageand, most importantly, no tsunami warning. all that happened in the park is that the trees shook and the water rippled. also, this is a designated evacuation area, ironically enough. we were exactly where we needed to be. (if we had waited on a later train, we would have been stuck underground and WOW I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HAPPY because, after heights, being trapped underground is my biggest fear. HAHAHAH D:)
anyway, the park is edo era. it was underwater for a while! all land was reclaimed in, i think, the 20s and it is wonderful.
one section has a recreation of nakajima, land of immortals where there's no death or old age. PERFECT FOR A BIRTHDAY XD
there's so much wildlife in the park!
we even saw a pair of japanese paradise flycatchers!
OH YES! while i was sitting near here, yet another couple in traditional wedding attire had their photos taken.
also on the way up from the metro, we saw a sumo wrestler in a yakuta. (the day before we had seen almost an entire dojo's worth of martial artists on their way to a competition in shinjuku.)
ah, man. at this point, i needed a nap. i mean, that's fine! because we had planned on going to a japanese british pub later! YES A JAPANESE BRITISH PUB!! PUB GANG!!!! IT IS SO GREAT!!!
the pub's named after takehiro honda and his gang so jazz music was playing in the background. IT FELT LIKE I WAS IN A MURAKAMI BOOK WHERE WAS THE CAT OR THE GOAT WHO WOULD TAKE ME TO ANOTHER DIMENSION BWAHAHAHHAA!! (so freakin' awesome!)
also REAL ALE!!!
AND POUTINE AND FISH AND CHIPS SO FREAKIN' OISHII!!!!
this pub...was PERFECT!!!
and so was the stop by lawson's for more pino for me (and maybe an omurice for leff).
yes, perfect birthday. the absolute greatest. THANK YOU LEFF!!!
TOMORROW ON RAKKA AND LEFF GO TO TOKYO--- our last little bit in japan BOOOOOO, we take a last look around the neighorhood, TOKYO STATION MADNESS (kind of) the the GREAT YEN SPENDOFF AT NARITA AUGHT DIGGITY FIFTEEN (so stressful but really fun too) before FOOT PROBLEMS ON THE PLANE!! D: D: (it was good that we didn't go to that show after all. my foot might have exploded on the way back.) CHECK BACK TOMORROW SAME BAT TIME, ETC