Tuesday, March 30, 2010

3月30日 Day 6: ____houdai Day

I'd like to call today _____houdai Day. When "~houdai" is attached to a word, it means "all you can."

We started off by going to eat lunch in Maru-biru at this tabehoudai (all you can eat) restaurant with our friends Atsuko and her two sisters-in-law, Junko and Michiyo. The restaurant was basically a washoku (Japanese food) buffet and it was delicious beyond belief. American buffets cannot even compare to the quantity and quality of places like these.

However, I will say that the overabundance of obnoxious and unmonitored children at these restaurants is about the same in both countries. The table next to us had a babysitter with 6 kids-- which is basically my worst nightmare. Their constant squealing was the only thing preventing me from fully enjoying my 3 plates of food... I think Japanese mothers are going through some kind of alternative (a.k.a: shit) parenting method where they completely ignore their children until they knock something over. They seriously run around like wild animals!! >_<;;

After we left that zoo of a restaurant, we dropped all my baggage off at my dorm. Atsuko lent me sheets, pillows, bar soap, cups and a bunch of other random things that I can't even begin to thank her for. I feel so lucky to have a friend like her in Japan; her entire family is the sweetest I'll ever meet!

After Atsuko and Michiyo helped me and Mom set up my new room, they took us to Shimokitazawa, which has to be one of the coolest places I've ever seen. I'd never heard of it before today, but it's between Shinjuku and Shibuya and it's full of interesting vintage shops, dish shops, furniture shops, and hippie style clothing shops. Everything is SO CUTE-- you want to go into every store, which is exactly what we did! It was like... a kaimono wo shihoudai place (all you can shop-- but I seriously doubt that's an actual expression)

Here's a place in front of where I was waiting for my mom to finish shopping.

Everyone rides a bike!!

This store had a LOT of cute shoes-- you'd think that it was a sweatshop/escort service because of the name though...

Here's a cool alley that inspired the beginning scenes of Spirited Away. It hasn't been changed from its original construction in the 1950's.

An American Store~ full of Japanese clothes haha.

Freakin' scrumptious looking sembei~!

An awesome cherry blossom tree in front of a vintage-building.

Shimokitazawa was such a colorful place, I HAVE to go back when my mom's not here. Why? Because then I might actually get to see it all. When we went, Mom literally had to touch and look at everything and she was SOFA KING SLOW. Even if the store is only 1'x1', she'll find a way to stay in there for 4 hours. Michiyo's husband Kenny met us there, thinking he might get to talk with us or something. Too bad we ended up going into every store within a 4 block radius. He was holding his laptop in a shoulder bag, poor guy! He told me that Shinkitazawa is HUGE-- each street has tons and tons of interesting shops and that we didn't even hit the tip of the iceberg!!

For dinner, we ate at a Spanish Tapas bar in Roppongi Hills. It was a really cute pub-looking place and we ate a bunch of seafood and paella that I didn't feel like photographing. We insisted paying for dinner for Atsuko and her husband, Tatsuya because they've been so good to us. It was funny how big of a fight they put up because this group of about 8 office guys at the next table had a very heated argument about the very same thing. I understood almost all of that conversation:

Short guy: All right, this one's on me, guys!
Young guy: No way~ We'll get this one!
Young guy 2: Right! We should buy for you all since we're your juniors.
Short guy: Oh HELL no! WHAT IS THIS? *pounds chest* LET ME PAY!
Old guy: Come on short guy, it's ok. We'll all pay-- let's split it.
Young guy: No, no, no it's really ok!
Short guy: >_<;;

Japanese people are really good about being the alpha male (but only when it comes to paying for a meal).

This spider statue is right outside the place we ate in Roppongi. Sorry the picture's so blurry-- they had really good Sangria.

Mom and I are having a lot of fun together when I'm not stuck waiting for her to finish gawking at all the cute stuff she finds.

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