Welcome to Day 7 of Janet and Randy's Japan Adventure 2017
Wednesday, April 12th, 2017
Woke up to sunny skies again - Hurray! I was already awake when Randy woke up, so as soon as he woke up, he asked me to google whether there had been an earthquake overnight. Sure enough, there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake north of Tokyo. It woke him up at 3:12am - but I slept right through it (not a budge).
We showered up and headed over to Starbucks for breakfast as usual. After breakfast, we took our umbrellas back to the hotel lobby, and also booked our return Limousine Bus transfer to the airport for the next day.
Today was the last day our friends Charlene and Lionel were going to be in Tokyo, so we had plans to meet them for lunch at Tokyo Station. We decided to head over and browse through the Matsuya department store in Ginza, then we took our time walking to the Tokyo Station, as it was very pleasant out. Along the way, we came across some people creating a work of art using just flower pedals. Very cool. It also looked like a ton of work for something that wasn't going to last very long.
We got to the station a little early, so did a little exploring. We came across a little beer bar that sold Hitachino Nest beer (which is one of Randy's favourites). Since we had some time to kill before our friends arrived, we decided to sit down and enjoy some beverages while we waited.
I had a Japanese Saison beer, and Randy had a stout. We also ordered a small dish of German potatoes and bacon. This place was on a second level of the train station, and had a nice view outside. So, we sat and had our beer and potatoes while enjoying the view. It was 11:30 in the morning, which to me sounds like a perfect time to have a beer !
Our friends notified us that they were on their way. We had originally suggested we meet inside the station at a specific gate. However, they decided to take a taxi to the station, and most taxis drop off at a specific spot. So, Randy waited out near the taxis and I waited by the original spot. Randy did meet up with them at the taxi drop off point, and then we went looking for a place to eat.
We decided to try restaurants in the Daimaru Department Store. In most department stores in Japan, the top one or two floors have restaurants in them. There are usually around a dozen restaurants to choose from, and most of them are reasonably priced. We ended up at a tempura and soba noodle restaurant. Randy and I sat and played with little Toby while waiting for the food. He is such a cute baby.
After finishing our food (which was very tasty), we headed back into the station to show our friends where they could buy some really good waffle cookies (we had given them a couple cookies of a box we had bought a few days ago). We came across the KitKat Chocolatory in the basement of the Daimaru store, and our friends stopped to buy some of the interesting flavours of KitKat, while we kept Toby amused (and maybe vice versa). Then it was off to the cookie store, where we ended up buying ourselves some more cookies as well.
Our friends had to catch their train to Odawara, so we got them to the correct train gate, and then said goodbye. They managed to sneakily buy us a gift of some KitKat chocolates (while we weren't paying attention). They said it was in thanks for showing them around Tokyo, but it was completely unnecessary as we thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with them. But the gift was appreciated.
We headed back to our hotel to drop off a few things we had picked up during our morning wanderings. We then debated whether we wanted to go to Shibuya and do some photography. We had already done a lot of walking, and I didn't really feel like spending half an hour on a train to get to Shibuya. So, we decided to head back to the Tokyo Station to do some time-lapse photography of all the crowds.
We found a spot up on a second level (close to the Hitachino Nest Bar), and set up the tripod. We spent some time working with filters and various settings on the camera, and was about to set the timelapse timer when a gal came over and told us that we couldn't use a tripod there. We could take pictures, but just not use a tripod. D'oh! Dang it !
So, we went down to street level and had a seat at a stone bench that faced the train station entrance. The bench had these wide stone dividers between seats (to act like arm rests). So, Randy had an idea to just place the camera on the arm rest and take photos from there. So, we did that. It was also nice just chilling out and watching the crowds of people cruise past. The timelapse is here.
After we were finished, we headed back into the station to catch a train back to our hotel. We noticed a rice ball shop that sold onigiri (rice balls). So, we went in to check out what types of rice balls they had. We saw that they had tempura shrimp balls - which we have never had. So we got a couple of those to take back to the hotel with us. "We aim to be the best rice ball shop", well ok then... let's see how you stack up !
Once back at the hotel, Randy started the program to stitch together the timelapse pictures, and I worked on the journal. You can find the final timelapse movie here.
Around 7:00pm, we decided to head out and try to take some night-time shots of the Ginza shopping area. We were surprised to see that it had cooled down a bit from warmer weather during the day. So, we took a few pictures, but didn't take as many as we were planning as it was a little chilly. While on the main drag in Ginza, saw some more of those Mario Cart vehicles, so I took a video. Check it out here.
We then looked around for a place to have supper. We were looking for a curry katsu place, but couldn't seem to find one. So, we ended up back at the little restaurant near our place where you order from a kiosk. We have no idea what the restaurant's name is - because the entire signage out front is all in Japanese. The place is handy, the food is good, and the prices are cheap. So, it's easy to go back more than once! We both ordered the pork katsu curry, which also came with a cup of miso soup. I found it very filling, and Randy ended up helping me finish my food. It was a hardship for him. You just can't waste that yummy katsu curry sauce ! That's just wrong.
It was starting to get a little windy, so after our meal, we headed straight back to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
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