Tokyo Part 2

Ahhh Hamarikyu Gardens, a lovely green oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. Pay a small fee and you can traipse about through carefully cultivated flowers, duck hunting grounds, take a boat ride, or enjoy Instant green tea on an island.  All this in the middle of Tokyo.  There is even a 300 year old pine, but we( by we I mean just myself, Tetsuya has the constitution of a work horse) were too tired to cross the gardens to see it. 

Hamarikyu Gardens, playground of the 17th century Tokugawa Shogun.

Hamarikyu Gardens, playground of the 17th century Tokugawa Shogun.

We made our way through the middle of the gardens going from construction site to construction site to try and find the famed tea house. We thought maybe the places under renovation might be it, but luckily we were wrong.  Once we reached the sizable lake with beautiful bridges linking the small islands we knew we had found it.

The Wisteria crossing, the first bridge across the lake.

The Wisteria crossing, the first bridge across the lake.

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Almost there

The tea house is an open air Japanese style small building with tatami floors and coverings. So once you take off your shoes you are ushered to your spot where you order your tea and small confectionery.  

There are directions in English on how to take your tea.

There are directions in English on how to take your tea.

Confectionery!  It in the shape of a leaf, with a ladybug and morning dew. Or so the lady told me.

Confectionery! It in the shape of a leaf, with a ladybug and morning dew. Or so the lady told me.

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You must eat the sweet first then drink the tea.

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For the pretty one, you have to divide it into 4 sections then eat it a piece at a time. But no one said you couldn’t share!

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It was hot, how hot? Almost soaked your whole shirt hot.

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Refreshing! not too sweet. basically anything with ice was a godsend.

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Afterwards we just wandered around aimlessly until my blood sugar crashed and I caved and demanded Air Conditioning.  

So then we went to the best place in the world… a department store. These things are awesome! I love them, they are like Target on crack. You can get anything, and everything is always cute.  They usually have a grocery store too, with wicked awesome food, including already prepared food. Which I have yet to pick up something that wasn’t decent tasting.  

Don Quixote

Don Quixote, isn’t actually a department store but it had 7 levels of stuff!

But we had a special trip in mind to this department store, shopping for YUKATA!

Yukata are summer time cotton Kimono. Just as pretty, but cheaper and lightweight. So we found the lady in charge of Yukata, because unlike in America, just about each section of the store has a customer service representative in it to help you.   She showed us the yukata in my size and helped us try it on!  

We bought a whole set. Yukata, Obi (the tie string thing) The fancy bow ( so I wouldn’t have to tie a fancy bow myself with my inept lazy Western Fingers) and Geta ( Hard uncomfortable traditional wooden shoes). The Geta really aren’t that bad, but after walking for like 3 hours it hurts like crazy

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This is me after 3 hours in Geta. Ouch

Then we went to the main event, the reason why we bought Yukata. A yukata festival. There were women there to help me put on the yukata  and traditional dancing. I did not dance. Sorry folks I don’t dance unless I at least know the basic steps.

see the c

Cute Children playing giant drum!

Cute Children playing giant drum!

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You can almost see the fancy bow. We have another festival coming up later. So we will take a better picture.

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Of course food

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Tacoyaki- no not tacos, but octopus fried in a yummy batterful dough.

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Chimaki, Rice filled bamboo leaves. Scrumptious.

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Our pitiful attempts at a selfie. We will have to try again later.

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