After Enoshima we had a really delicious Okonomiyaki at Yokohama station and headed to the Ramen museum. The ramen museum featured an old Japan, in 1958, when the instant noodles were invented. Besides the whole awesome scenario there were also famous ramen restaurants where you could have your bowl of goodness.
Before I start rambling about baby clothes and baby strollers and so on, let’s finish the photos from Japan, yeah? Yes.
After a wonderful day and an even better night at Robot Restaurant, we took the train and headed out to Enoshima. This is a veeery tiny island connected to the mainland through a bridge. It’s tiny and beautiful, full of mountains and restaurants serving delicious donburi and dried up octopus. It was quite a fun way to spend a slightly rainy day.
And this was our happy stroll through Enoshima. How I miss that octopus. How I miss Japan…!
This is the craziest most awesome place in the whole world I believe. It could only have come out as a product of Japanese minds.
I intend to let the pictures speak by itself, because there are really no words that can accurately describe what that place is. But I’ll try.
In the heart of Kabuki-cho lies Robot Restaurant. Is it a restaurant? Is it a strip club? Is it a mecha-thing-place? A game shop? It’s all that and maybe more. Except a restaurant.
You start lining up with everybody else at the very flashy entrance, that has the two giant robot ladies that we saw the very first time strolling around the streets in Shinjuku.
Once in, the flashiness is so intense that you loose it. It all kind of a blur of different colours, animals, mirrors, lights and whatnot. We were so confused that we got lost. We went down a flight of stairs that had pretty girls in princess-mononoke-like masks sitting on each step, and when the stairs where done and I face forward (I was hypnotised by the girls) I see a big bulky robot, that turned around to reveal his bright green eyes.
After the initial shock we realised that we were not supposed to be there (no one said anything to us) so we went up the stairs and found the elevador that we were supposed to go in.
Once the elevador opens its doors we find ourselves in a humongous room with sea-shells giant chairs and glass opulent tables, were a girl in a minimal cat suit sat us. On our table – surprise! – a robot dinosaur that – surprise! – reacts to our touch. It behaves like a pet. And it’s creepy. And adorable. And creepy.
We have a drink and then start to hear music, violins and pianos and all of the sort, are being played by some very professional musicians that are somehow dressed like silver power rangers. It’s awesome.
And then we are directed to the true thing. The moment we had been eagerly waiting! A room lined up with chairs on both sides and completely dark. But there’s about to be light.
I’m pretty sure the entire show has a storyline, but it’s just very confusing and difficult to follow with SO MUCH going on. You have girls in drums facing more girls in drums, and then a pterodactyl appears and the robots as well and there’s a fight between good and evil and out of the jungle comes the Kung Fu Panda to save the day, but it’s actually a spider that kills the evil queen that is going to be eaten by the giant snake.
See what I mean? That’s not even half of it!
There isn’t much more I can say about the show, but even for some of you who are now thinking this is completely insane, yes, you are absolutely right. But it’s a right-kind of insane. You are absolutely engaged and in awe with every little detail you can get your eyes on. It’s an amazing and very unique experience, completely totally and utterly magnificent.
If you get a chance to go, don’t hesitate for even a second, go.
Back in July, on the 18th was Keoshi’s birthday, so we knew we had to push it to the limit, even if being in Tokyo was already pretty much doing that.
We strolled around Asakusa, bought a crazy amount of stuff, ending up with our hands full of bags right at the beginning of the day and just walked to the skytree area.
Besides the obvious places what I really love about Tokyo (and pretty much any city) is losing myself in it, and we know how to do that just right. The neighbourhoods we went through were amazing. Completely normal and average for Japan standards, but for us, totally awesome.
When we got to the skytree we went up and we saw a never-ending city from above, and that drew us in even more — so much to see, so much to get lost in!
The day was awesome, but what was about to come was even better…
The first day back in Tokyo we headed out to try something very different — Ramen. Ah but not the usual kind of Ramen, a deconstructed Ramen.
The flavours were incredible, and I can still remember how decadent that fried chicken was, how it fell from the bone, how juicy and flavourful it was and so so crispy on the outside. The bowl of broth was also packed with deliciousness, but it was so fatty, that I could not finish it — it was the very first time I did not end a meal in Japan, I honestly felt a bit embarrassed, but I just couldn’t sip more of that thick broth.
It was definitely an awesome experience, and a new way of eating something so traditional in Japan. Definitely a place to go back to.
After a quick stroll around Akihabara, we went to Ueno, and back to Akihabara (yay for JR passes!).
In Ueno we strolled around Ueno park trying to spot Shinobazu pound. It was tough to spot because it didn’t really look like a pound, due to the huuuuge water-lilies growing all over the water. It was so so beautiful.
We then went back to Akihabara, for another stroll.
Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period (…) in 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by the Tokugawa Iemitsu. There is not a single nail used in the entire structure. It takes its name from the waterfall within the complex, which runs off the nearby hills. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.
Kiyomizu-dera is not only a buddhist temple, it’s a wonderful communion between men and nature, built on respect and admiration by the first to the latter. It’s a place for peace of mind and where one can simply awe, taking in the surroundings.
This was our last day in Kyoto. We took our bikes back and had time for a nice dinner before we headed to Tokyo. Kyoto is definitely deeply rooted in us, and we will not forget all those bike strolls around such a unique city.
Everything about Kyoto was incredibly special this time around. I don’t know what it was — maybe last time our expectations were just way too high? But the bikes played a very important role. It allowed us to see more, more of what Kyoto really is, and that felt so very exceptional, echoing deep within our hearts.
Here are a few more shots around higashiyama.
Weeks have been flying by me lately. One minute I’m getting up from my slumber on a dreaded Monday and the next, it’s already Friday and I’ve got so much to do already for the next Monday! It’s crazy… but it’s crazy good.
But here I am again, back on track (well, sort of) and sharing some more photos from Japan.
Nishiki Market is a wonderful array of everything beautiful and delicious, that can be found in Kyoto. We strolled around for quite a bit, trying to get out of the rain outside, and that’s when you start paying attention to certain details.
How nice people are to each other and to you; how everything is just so simple and easy — like building tables out of empty fish boxes; how everyone goes about their daily life, happy and content.