No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

31 October, 2008

Tokyo Disney!

What to do with a day off in the middle of the week?  Tokyo Disney!  For only 5,800 yen, you too can spend all day with Mickey-san.  Kat and I relished in our childhood dreams and enjoyed people watching on Thursday.  So close to Halloween, visitors were encouraged to wear their favorite Disney costume (but if you wore a Pixar costume, you might be kicked out---ever so politely, of course!).  The Harajuku crowd left Meiji park and found their way to Disneyland to show off their cosplay.  It made people watching even more fun.  James couldn't be bothered with the 90 minute lines for Space Mountain and the Jungle Cruise to join us. 
Tim Burton's Haunted Mansion--the coolest of all rides, so well done it made you feel like you were in the movie. 
I'm not happy with the hat selection---apparently Asian fans of Disney embrace the new, and not the traditional personalized Mickey ears.  Couldn't find one pair of regular Mickey ears in the whole park!
Just like the original!
Great costume...or is it really a costume?  Hard to tell.
In Minnie-san's fridge
Kat throwin' the peace sign at ya.
Such a Japanese scene.  We chased this Cinderella around trying to get her picture as she moved away.  Imposter!  
School children in a line going into the park.  Most Japanese children do wear these uniforms everyday---knee socks, school girl skirt and sailor shirt.

27 October, 2008

Hiking on Mt. Takaosan

Feeling a little city weary, we tried to get out all weekend.  Our first attempt to go to Nikko failed miserably (no places to stay, missed trains while we were standing on the platform!), so we ended up with a hike on Sunday.  Mt. Takao-san is just about an hour from town by train, but still considered part of Tokyo.  The air was crisp and clean in the mountains and the leaves were just beginning to change.  IT was really beautiful.  The mountain is a spiritual place for Buddhists---the highlight of my day was seeing a Buddhist monk taking his leashed pig on a stroll.  
Apparently there are monkeys all around, but we didn't see any.  
Do you think the monkey's are mad?
Don't know what these little guys represent, but they are cute and everywhere.
Fuji is off in the distance.
Little Buddhas around the temple.

When this guy stretched out he was over a foot long---we couldn't believe how much he moved like a snake.

15 October, 2008

Cultural Quote of the Day

Teacher giving the test: Choose the word that doesn't fit: taco, burrito, sushi
Class:  What is taco?
Irish-Japanese girl: It's octopus!

12 October, 2008

Strange things that have happened since we moved to Tokyo

  • A man wearing a sick mask rang Jesse's doorbell at 4:30 a.m.
  • In a culture where public displays of affection are taboo, we saw a couple sitting on a bench on a busy street, sitting bolt upright, with one breast out while they made out.
  • Jesse saw a dead woman laying on the street
  • Japanese women have told Jesse she looks like Cameron Diaz (huh?) and sounds like Jessica Simpson (double huh??)
  • James took out a scooter rider on his bicycle

Japanese Oktoberfest

Cost of one beer: 1300 Yen (about $13)
Cost of German brezel: 300 Yen 
Cost of train travel to Yokohama: 1000 Yen 
Watching the Japanese congo line to Oompah music: priceless


James gets down with the locals

the new friends we vowed to meet at the same table next year

Harajuku Lovers

Harajuku is the home to the Tokyo teen craze Cos-Play. Girls dress like dolls, goth or Little Bo Peep. Boys dress up in mismatch baggy clothes, trucker hats and anything that is the latest craze. They hang out at the edge of Meiji Park and Shrine and sing, dance and just oggle each other. Tourists oggle with their cameras, too (we are no exception). This Sunday it seemed that all things 50's is the latest craze. The park had multiple groups singing and dancing to Grease and even a group of regulars who dress like Kenickie and the Burger Palace boys, with sky high sculpted hair that the do in the park as part of the spectacle. Takeshita Street is crammed with stores to buy costumes, 8 inch platform shoes and $90 t-shirts. After a day with the shopping masses, we joined 20,000 more people at the Radiohead concert at Saitama Super Arena. The Japanese fans are so polite and subdued, if I were Radiohead I wouldn't have come back for that lackluster encore request.

the crowds on Takeshita street
getting just the right amount of height
a little more hairspray, bob

watch them perform!

James got the internet!

Only problem is the cord is in the bathroom. He looks right at home, though.