Today my friends Ayako and Yuko took me to Kichijoji and then to Tokyo Tower! Today was the nicest day it's been in weeks; it wasn't raining and I was actually able to wear a spring dress without 10,000 layers over/under it. The sun was out, there were barely any clouds in the sky; it was really the perfect day to be outside enjoying everything Tokyo has to offer.
After eating some DELICIOUS baked goods and coffee, we went to a sock store. Yes, I spent $23 on socks and am not ashamed! If there's one thing Japan does really well-- it's socks. In America, visible socks are a definite no-no, especially frilly/colorful ones. But in Japan, not wearing socks is straight up disgusting. Visible or not, socks are a must. In fact, the style that most Japanese girls wear their socks with is with any shoe, (high-heeled, boots, flats, etc) completely visible under their stirrup leggings. GOOD TO KNOW! Now when you come to Japan you'll sleep better knowing that your shoes don't have to smell like rotting flesh! ; )
Anyway, enough about that. After my sock spree we went to Inokashira Koen in Kichijoji, and it was adorable. The first thing that struck me about the place was its huge lake that was full of little pedal boats (AND SWANS) for young couples and parents with infants. On the side of the lake, there were tons of street performers, artists, and flea market style goods vendors. Aya bought a super cute coin purse and I bought some wing-shaped earrings! :D
This guy would take your picture about 4-5 times and combine the pictures to make a new face.
Some Swedish post cards haha.
I was surprised people were still drinking under the trees despite the absence of cherry blossoms. Then I remembered that there's no "open-container" law in Japan and continued enjoying the park in all of its afternoon drunken glory.
Inokashira Koen really made me miss San Francisco and Golden Gate Park. Despite all the crackheads and hippie drum circles, that place has its own certain charm. And at the risk of sounding like a total hippie, I must say that I really enjoyed being near the trees and greenery today... it was a nice escape from the urban jungle and endless suffocating skyscrapers of Tokyo.
After we left the park, we headed off to Tokyo Tower. What an awesome place. I'd never been before and was completely blown away by the view. From the main observatory of Tokyo Tower, you can see Mt. Fuji and Yokohama on a clear day. Today we couldn't really see either of those 2 things, but we saw Odaeba, another awesome place I still haven't been to.
View from the street, thing is HUUUUUUUUUGE. Apparently they're building a bigger one to catch more signals.
I think this is the view facing Shinjuku.
Some temple and a park facing... east?
Odaeba~! That big circular thing is Fuji TV!
A window that lets you see just how high you are... it was SCARY!
We had originally wanted to see the special observatory, but the wait was about 45 minutes and the view isn't THAT different, it's only 100 meters higher. Good thing I'm from America, where we refuse to use the metric system, and have no idea what that actually means. The sad thing is that I'm only half kidding, folks (T_T)
After descending from the heavens of Tokyo Tower, we went to the 2nd floor gift shops. I bought Aya and Yuko some cell phone charms of Rilakkuma climbing Tokyo Tower as a token of my appreciation and for the awesome memories we made today. Aya didn't have anything hanging from her phone, so I felt as though I did her a solid :] I bought myself a similar one and now my cell phone has 3 charms! YAY FOR CONFORMITY!
Can you see the little bear climbing Tokyo Tower in the back? :3 What about my sakura Totoro? TEE HEE HEE.
Then we went to dinner. Aya and Yuko took me to this Korean place called Copain Copine near Hibiya (I think). GOOD NEWS FOLKS: PICTURES OF FOOD HAVE RETURNED!! We had a salad, standard Korean pickled stuff, bibimbap, awesomely spicy japchae, and this thing I've never eaten before called chige. Chige is sort of like an omelette-- but I don't think it's made out of eggs... or maybe it was? I don't know, you be the judge.
This is Chige. TELL ME IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE AN OMELETTE!
The food wasn't even the best part of the day-- and it wasn't even my sentimental "OMG I LOVE YOU GUYS" type farewell either. The best part was the fact that I spoke Japanese ALL DAY. It was probably horrible of course, but the fact that I have friends I can speak to (who won't judge me) really makes me hopeful that I might someday be... bilingual...
However, for the time being, I'm pretty sure my Japanese translates like this:
Thank you so much for you coming to pick me up after my arrival at the train station. I was afraid, very scare that I lost and I would not be of being able to telling you of where to goes to where I is. Thank you so much, please have this gift for of your kindness and your family's kindness of me. Please look upon me kindly~!
...now if only I could get this passage mass-produced and printed on a shirt... I'd make a killing here.
The one thing that I can't believe was the fact that Aya and Yuko had sneakily bought me shiyoko aka: bready peeps filled with white bean paste? DELICIOUS!
Don't worry, I had sneakily bought their keychain charms and Tokyo Tower shaped cookies for their parents too! Two can play it that game!
What it looks like after I bit its head off! BWAHAHA X]
Final picture of the day-- my favorite ad on the Metro!