Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Shibuya Lit Up

Welcome to Shibuya. Home of the famous Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest in the world.

Which from Shibuya Station looks like this. Yup, that is everyone crossing at once. So what's it like to be down there?

Everyone waiting to go.

And they are off.

Some of the highlights of the area. First with Shibuya Station itself. Yes Anna is everywhere.

Sign which something to do with electricity?

Bakery inside the station.

Pastry fungi anyone?

Of course there is Hachiko

Nearby some street musicians who were actually pretty good.

Of course there are those giant television screens at the crossing. Which can lend to some pretty interesting photos.

Are they pretty? To the right is Center Gai, of course the narrowest street and the one where everyone wants to go.

Lots of interesting buildings and people there.

A place with a whole lot of sole.

Does this mean you get one drink only?

They almost don't look real. They are too perfect.

You can't miss the Disney Store.

Parco 3. Went there, and Parco 1 and Parco 2....

And 0101

I wonder if other people notice some of their buildings look like robots.

Shibuya from March 2008.

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Mixed Day in Tokyo

So the day after we went to Setagaya I met-up with a friend for lunch and B went back to Akihabara because he had to find the robot store. So I left him to figure out where he was going to go (was the only time he had to do that, I did all the figuring for the rest of the trip. At least it gave me a lot of confidence finding my way around Japan).

I made my way on the subway to Nihombashi where I met-up with a friend. We had a very nice lunch and chat.

The area of Nihombashi that I saw was very business-like, lots of people rushing here and there. Even so, one could see lovely bits of nature like these transplanted sakura trees.

I wasn't planning on going to Ginza during our trip but my friend gave me such good directions I decided to try it. Two stops later and I was at the swankiest shopping area in Japan.

The buildings and stores in the area by Ginza station were very impressive. But I had directions to a specific place in Ginza.

Volks Ginza Tenshi no Sumika. Glad I went because the store is now closed.

Excuse the doll outfit photo, but I thought it was very cute.

I didn't take many photos because our day was really not going to start till later that evening. I headed back to the ryokan and tried to rest while waiting for B to return. We then headed out to another enormous place....Tokyo Dome.

Since we didn't know if they would allow cameras, we didn't bring any. Probably as well since it was raining off and on while we waited in a very long line for a very long time with a lot of very interestingly dressed people. We finally got in and found our seats after getting some not so great food. It was my first shrimp sandwich ever. I will say that the food vendors at Tokyo Dome rock in getting orders done quickly. They put event people here in California to shame.

So we ate and drank and waited and waited and waited in this huge place that was almost completely filled with people. And why were they there?

Yeah we got this weird idea that it would be fun to experience a music event while on our trip. Yoshiki and all decided to accommodate us by having their reunion while we were there. Wasn't that nice of them? Just kidding about that. I did get to see Yoshiki and Sugizo perform with S.K.I.N. last year so this definitely was an event that I knew would be spectacular. And it was. It was amazing how much the crowd was into the show, the sound was excellent, and the use of LEDs to recreate Hide on stage performing with them worked out really well. Sadly the show was late in starting and Yoshiki collapsed on the stage at the end. Turned out he was exhausted. Other than that, compared to other concert experiences I've had, for an arena sized venue, this was extremely well done.

We headed back to the Taito area after the concert and experienced our first "sardine" subway ride. I'm amazed at these guys, how even when there is no room they still push their way onto a subway car. We made it back okay and since we hadn't had much to eat that day (the sandwiches at Tokyo Dome are kids meal size) we got lucky. It was late but a Korean BBQ restaurant was still open. With the grill in the table we had fun cooking and then eating various things. It was a very good way to end a very long day.

From March, 2008

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sakura, Sushi, Sake, Sweets

I'm gonna post here a few photos that I hope I haven't posted before. Mostly of sakura blooming around Taito and of some of the food stuffs we got while staying there. One of my favorite things about Japan is the fact that bento is found in almost every market. And you can get stuff like these..

Like many things there, packaging inside of packaging is happening.

But never fear, the Ryuk cookie is here. I wish I had bought more, they were good!

Not to be outdone, the purchasing of the yummy panda cookies was also done.

Just part of one of my meals, which includes the three important S food groups. Sushi, sake and sweets.

Speaking of sake, I'd like to have this vending machine installed at my apartment building. Thank you.

And oh yes I did. Verily.

I did eat real food. I mean where else can you get grilled salmon, tempura, tamago, veggies and adorable kamaboko for 368 yen?

One thing I did not eat. A Sakura Burger from McDonalds. Where they lace everything with teriyaki sauce. This thing changes it's name depending on the holiday. I will admit to eating a filet o' shrimp sandwich. Once. I think it would have been good with a Cup O' Sake.

And now for some random sakura photos from around Taito. I checked my journal so I don't think these were posted before.

Next up is Shibuya. From March, 2008

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gotokuji's Maneki Neko

Finally the reason we decided to see Gotokuji Temple.

This is the gate which leads to our destination.

The underneath of the gate. Everwhere you look there is something interesting to see...even when you look up.

Another shrine...I watched as two ladies rang the bell and went through the steps. I decided to do it also. Afterward, one can go up to the shrine, slide a small window open and drop offerings inside. My main wish was that my kitties back home be safe and okay. And why did I have that wish here?

Because this is the Maneki Neko shrine! This is the inside of the shrine. Who knew the kitties liked to drink so much sake?

Display to the left of the Shrine windows. Even the mouse is making an offering to the neko. I'd love to know if they have any festivals here, it would be fun to attend one.

Around the side are a few other shrines.

My understanding is the water is for washing hands as a way of purifying one's self.

Right by this was a stand, probably the most photographed thing at the temple.

Gorgeous paper cranes on the side of it.

Yes, lots of Maneki Neko. Of all sizes. Some appear to have been brought from out side but others could have been bought at the temple shop at the gate.

Maneki Neko are suppose to bring good luck, especially to businesses. There are various interpretations such as protecting money, bringing in customers, but overall I think it's always nice to see the friendly kitties beckoning one to come in.

And that is the Maneki Neko Shrine. I wish you all well!

I thought I would try submitting this to the J∙Festa. It's a round-up of different blogs about things in Japan. This month's J∙Festa is about places in Japan. Take a look, there are many different ones listed.