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19 July 2016 @ 06:59 am
Tokyo: Monday  
Woke up early but at least this time I managed to sleep through the whole night. After leisurely getting ready and heading down to the attached cafe to eat--softlykarou and I had the sakura pancakes, which had a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and a bit of cherry blossom flavor in it--some of us went back to the hotel to finish getting ready while softlykarou, another friend, and I went to Ikebukuro Station to do a bit of shopping. Except we forgot that this is Tokyo and there's a reason that when Gibson wrote about Tokyo in Neuromancer, he called the part of it where the story took place "Night City"--almost nothing is open before 10 a.m., and even the bakeries don't open until 7:30 or so. We went to Andersen and got a bit of bread and sat around until the rest of the stores opened, and then went to look. softlykarou found a shirt at a store called Ozz On, bought it, and around then everyone else showed up and we got on the train for Ueno.

Multiple people had suggested a lower-activity day after all the walking there was yesterday, so we went to the Tokyo National Museum in Ueno Kōen. It's a Japan-focused art museum, though there was a Greek art exhibit that was hilariously advertised as "Land of the Immortals." There was a statue gallery that banned photography, but most of the rest of the museum was fine with pictures:


Look at this detailing!

The museum was roughly ten times as big as the part we saw, but after statues, clay works, Jōmon and Yayoi crafts, and Ainu and Ryūkyū art, it was after noon and everyone was getting really hungry and the sun had come out so we didn't want to do that much walking or eating at the food carts in the museum courtyard. We waited around for a bit while tastee_wheat looked at the general Asian art building, and then we headed over to a building in the south of the park and split up between a Japanese restaurant on the middle floor and a Chinese restaurant on the bottom. I went for Japanese food, and after a steak bentō I had to get dessert because it looked like this:


I'm tempted to make a stupid panda joke, but it's not bread.

After the museum we split up. tastee_wheat and a couple of the others headed off to Tokyo Tower to try and see the city from the top while tropicanaomega, softlykarou, and I headed back to the hotel, though we stopped on the way back to Ozz On to get a skirt that matched softlykarou's new top. They ended up going out again before dinner, to a bunny cafe called Usabibi and met Bibi, Mikan, and Purin the rabbits. I tried to read for a bit, but pretty soon I got extremely tired and ended up napping for a bit, and again after softlykarou came back. At 6 p.m., I asked for three more minutes of sleep, and after that the two of us and one more friend headed out to meet one of softlykarou's old friends, who neither of us had seen since we got married.

We met up in Shinjuku outside a sukiyaki restaurant, and after softlykarou glomped her friend, we took the elevator up. Unfortunately, without a reservation the earliest they could fit us in was 8:30, so we left and went up to the top floor and another restaurant called Nanairo Temariuta, which had giant wicker balls built around tables in the center of the main dining space, all of which were occupied (手毬 is a traditional handball game). Instead they stuck us in the back room with the other group of gaijin, but that's the only (minor) complaint I had. It was great food otherwise, through the pictures were a little deceiving and we ordered way more food than we had the stomachs to eat. Two pots of nabe was probably one two many, though in our defense, the waitress did say each one feeds two people. Two sumo wrestlers, maybe.

softlykarou's friend had to run to catch a show at the robot restaurant, but we didn't leave Shinjuku quite yet. We wanted check out the Square Enix cafe first, so after briefly checking out the lights of Shinjuku:


Night City.

...we followed google maps and two streets over, the crowds and lights pretty much vanished. We walked through darkened streets, deserted by almost everyone but a few people going about their business, and in maybe ten minutes of walking we arrived at the weird dome of Artnia, the Square-Enix cafe.

Well, sort of cafe, sort of bar, sort of gift shop. When we got there it was almost closing time and they didn't seem to have a menu out at all, so we looked at the gifts. Most of it was Dragon Quest oriented in honor of DQ's thirtieth anniversary, but there was a room in the back done up for Final Fantasy:



Not visible here is the way that the water appeared to be moving up into the ceiling.

softlykarou bought a keychain because she felt bad looking without buying anything, and then we made our way back to the train station and headed back to Ikebukuro. A quick poll of our friends determined that nearly everyone was ready for bed, except for one unfortunate who had taken a five-hour nap, so we went back to the room and went to sleep. I didn't even get halfway through writing this before I fell asleep, and so I post it now.

Steps taken: 15565
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Final Fantasy I - Victory
 
 
 
nelc: Jennifernelc on July 18th, 2016 11:50 pm (UTC)
Cute dessert!
dorchadas: Dreams are olderdorchadas on July 19th, 2016 02:46 pm (UTC)
It was really tasty, too! Custard, black bean jelly, and vanilla ice cream.