Today was spent almost entirely underground!! All we did was shop and eat at three different train stations: Tokyo, Shinagawa and Shinjuku (in that order).
We slept in until 9:30 or 10, and didn't leave the hotel until about 12 because we just wanted to rest. These last few days have been nothing but GO-GO-GO! Mom wanted to fill up our Suica cards today. Suica cards are like train station debit cards that eliminate the use of tickets (see above). You can also use them to pay for meals and other goods inside the train stations-- talk about useful. LA should do something like that... hahaha.
Anyway, Mom was worried she wouldn't be able to fill up the card by herself and dragged down one of the hotel receptionists to help us. I felt bad for this poor girl-- all these people who work at the hotel are too helpful! The Suica refill station ended up being in English so it was an even bigger waste of this poor girl's time... But she showed us this cool sushi place in Tokyo station and we ate lunch there. Delicious!
After that, we went to meet up with my mom's Japanese tutor from her college days. I call her Yuko-sensei, she's like my cool Japanese aunt! We met her at Shinagawa Station because it would be easier to find her than the Shinjuku station where she had made dinner reservations. All of these stations have SO many stores, shops and restaurants. We seriously didn't see the light of day (except from inside the Shinagawa station's Dean & Deluca). We bought a lot of omiage (presents) at the Shinagawa station, it was seriously like one-stop shopping! There were so many cute and clever Japanese gadgets, jewelry and handkerchiefs, I wanted to buy it all!! Ah, I digress...
After our mini-spree in Shinagawa station, we went to eat dinner at this French/Japanese fusion restaurant called Sumi no Ee in Shinjuku station. It was very interesting; the French and Japanese should combine forces more often... especially in the kitchen!
I'm SO pissed I didn't take pictures of the appetizer I had. It was basically a salmon latke (probably the closest thing to Jewish food I'll get here in Japan lol). It was a white sauced salmon wrapped in spinach covered in shredded fried potatoes. HOLY JEEBUS IT WAS SO GOOOOOOOOOD. So good I forgot to photograph it. Oh well-- more incentive to go back!!
This was my main course: pork in wine sauce with mushrooms and potato chips. The sauce was definitely French-inspired but the flavor of the pork and the way it was cooked was undoubtedly Japanese.
Yuko-sensei got sembei-crusted fried chicken. Yeah, that's right: sembei (rice crackers). Apparently you can just crush them all up, deep fry them and turn them into this amazing concoction instead of using panko or bread crumbs. It was reeeeally moist inside (...that's what she said bahaha).
Mom got 3 different types of fish in a wine reduction sauce... French and Japanese fusion at its finest.
After that, we went into this department store called Isetan, which is conveniently located right above the Shinjuku station. I got a chance to look at some pretty cute clothes. All I can say is that big girls in Japan can dress well too! (But only if they're willing to pay...) We only got to look around Isetan for about a half hour, and then it closed. As we were leaving, all the store workers bowed and thanked us on our way out, which was very Japanese of them. Every day I'm reminded that it's such a different culture here...
Today I tried walking around in my cute Kimchi and Blue boots and had it was an EPIC FAIL. 3 hours after we left the hotel, I was in soooo much pain; I couldn't feel my toes!! We walked so much in those big-ass stations that I had to buy new shoes!! I seriously felt like I was going to die; I don't know how these Tokyo girls do it all day. Maybe they're good at hiding pain? Or maybe they've just accepted it as an inevitability to look cute... WHATEVER! I can't compete with them! THIS IS WHAT I GET FOR TRYING TO LOOK CUTE.
Another thing I don't understand about these super kawaii girls is how they manage to look so damn adorable and then sprint to catch the train in their 6 inch heels. Mom, Yuko-sensei and I almost missed the train to Shinjuku, but I was able to pry apart the doors with my Amazonian strength. All the people on the train probably thought, "What a beastly girl..." :P
Since this post is mostly about train stations, here's something interesting I saw on the Marunouchi line when we were coming home:
These extra gates are to prevent people from jumping in front of the train. I guess a lot of Marunouchi line riders don't enjoy their lives... These gates were at a lot of stops! Just thought it was an interesting and dark fact you should all know.
We're going to visit my school tomorrow... I'm excited to finally see what it looks like!! Time to sleep now while Mom isn't snoring~!