On our first full day in Tokyo, we journeyed around near our hotel. We found some shops and restaurants. Then we ventured off towards the Tsukiji market to check out the fish.
After wandering around the market sampling foods and taking tons of photos of fish, we saw a sign pointing towards a temple. Since there was no big plan today, so we walked over there.
It was a lovely building that we entered and I performed a Buddhist prayer as respect. The chanting and the incense inside added to the spirituality of the temple.
Then we walked towards “Don K”- a store filled with cheap junk. We laughed at the merchandise- my kids thought it was funny that dad was a shit head. I was mesmerized by the over stimulation in the store. Noises, sounds, videos, and colors attacked my senses. We picked up some bento box lunches and went back to the hotel.
After lunch, we all had a quick nap- the time change was still hitting us. By dinner, we were up and out the door making our way towards Tokyo Tower. On our way there we stopped at the Zojoji Temple. But as it was getting dark, there was only some of the outside to see. Lovely white cherry blossom trees were all around. (We plan on walking back during the day sometime this trip).
Once at Tokyo Tower, we went inside and checked out the stores. Our middle daughter loved the Hello Kitty merchandise. I had pre-purchased tickets for the Tokyo Tower Top Deck Tour since it had just reopened at the start of the month -they had limited tickets available. We were each given a device and ear piece that described the history of the tower as we slowly escalated to the Top Deck through a series of elevators.
Once we were at the top deck, it all became so much more than just a visit to Tokyo. Inside the top deck were angled reflective panels that gave a look of shattered glass. It was a beautiful expression of art. The 360° views of the city were stunning. I had timed out our tickets for the 8pm slot in order to view the night lights and the Disneyland Fireworks.
This was a great way to end our first full day in Tokyo- overlooking this amazing city.
We made it to our destination. For some reason, I kind of stand out. Probably because I’m 6’8″ or a bit over 2 meters tall. I’m big in Japan.
We are excited to be here. There is so much to see. And I guess we have become a sight as well. Oh boy. Big In Japan is going through my head over and over. I tower over the crowds already just coming off the plane.
We arrived at 6:30pm Japan time. Which to us was 3:30am. After getting our bags and clearing customs, the first leg of our journey began. The part I was worried about- figuring out how to get to our hotel.
After a few moments of staring at the ticket machine for the monorail- I figured out what I needed and where we were heading. Luckily for me- my wife stayed away with the kids instead of crowding me. She knew I need a few moments peace to get it.
The monorail wasn’t too busy and it spoke in English at each stop. Ours was the final stop where everyone had to disembark. Smiles were showing up on our faces as the shock of being in new country overcame us.
Relief was coming over me. Off the train and we had to get to our hotel. This was the next part I worried about. The printed map was not very helpful:
As we walked, my son asked how I knew where we were going. I told him I had memorized our route using Google Maps and Google Street view. Figuring out how far from landmarks (7-11 and Denny’s- the ones I’d recognize). In about five minutes we were at the hotel and checking in. Our Tokyo adventure was continuing even in the lobby.
There is a little robot in our lobby named “Pepper” who was kinda neat. It was there as a sort of assistant to help if you had questions. It would follow a person’s eyes as it got near to them. The little guy looked at me and stared up. I think it was “blinking” in astonishment- the lights around its eyes were changing color.
After getting settled in our room for a few minutes, two of the kids and I wandered out to the 7-11 and grabbed a snack. Our day/night ended at 9:30pm Tokyo time/ 5:30am Vancouver time. We all passed out.
First day done. Now to explore more of this city.
Holy crap. The day is upon us. Time to hit the skies over the wild blue yonder. My wife’s anxiety and fears have turned to excitement and fun. Now it’s my turn for the stress…
We did online check in yesterday and had an early arrival at the airport today. Our bags were dropped off 3 hours early and our stress level was turned down. I grabbed a candid shot of my wife and son as they waited in line.
We enjoyed a late lunch and we were off to pass through security. We were first at security and my wife got a secondary screening. But it was still quick. We found our departure gate and grabbed a seat by a large chessboard.
Our kids kept themselves occupied without the use of electronic devices (even though we had those with us). Lots of smiles and smack talk as they challenged each other. People watched from the distant sidelines as the games went on.
At one point, I chose to take my shoes came off for a breather before we boarded the plane. No one wants to have smelly feet for ten hours. Only a few minutes remain now until we board. Last chance to use the restroom and wash up. I want the stress feeling to go away.
I’m not worried about the flight- which is good. I’m worried about every other aspect of our trip. Argh! It’s almost time to board! Stress sweats… ugh. No! We can do this. It’ll be fine. It will be fine.
And fun. We have companions. So a bit of silly photo fun is being had. These guys will make a few more appearances during this trip.
Off we go! See you on the other side of the world!
First days of spring. Time for more sunshiny days and a new lease on life. Green grass and baby animals. Ah, spring. So I’m going to share a favorite childhood poem of mine. And a fun photo.
Spring has sprung
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the birdies is?
Oh lord ok there’s one up in the sky.
Oh no! It whitewashed in my eye.
But I’m a big boy- I don’t cry.
I thank god that cows don’t fly.
I’m looking forward to our trip to Tokyo (counting down the hours until we leave). Mostly I’m excited for the sights and the experience, but also for the food. Mmmmm Japanese food…
I love Japanese food. Not just sushi. Although sushi is up there in one of my top spots for favorite foods (I’ve even made sushi myself). The food in restaurants I have been to in North America are so flavorful and beautifully laid out- it makes me hopeful for an even better experience abroad.
From what I have seen online, there is also a lot of fun offered up in presentation as well as flavors. Choosing meals will be easy at first for my family. We all share similar tastes, but by the end, we may argue over which ramen place to go to or what snacks to buy.
I’ve brought a lot of spending cash for our meals, which is rare for when I travel. Usually we like to pack food and only eat out a couple of times. But since we are flying and can only take so much baggage- this trip will involve a lot of restaurants.
Can’t really complain- I’ve only ever heard good things about eating in Japan. Maybe this trip will have us Instagramming our meals more often!
Follow along with my food adventures at binarydigit01 on Instagram.
On Friday I decided to buy a new iPhone for myself. I was really bad with my last phone. The 6+ was too big. I broke the screen 3 times (four if you count the pixel lines that appeared down the side). It pissed me off one time that I had to write about how stupid I was: Aw Dang. I never broke my iPhone 4! I treated that thing like gold. I took some Parks & Rec advice:
Since we are going on a trip I don’t want a piece of poop iPhone with a broken screen or dying battery to try and make memories with. I wanted something that works. Convincing my wife was easy… I had to buy her one as well.
This time around I bought the phone in white. Last year I mentioned how I associate white cars with Luxury so I figured, maybe I should do the same with my iPhone. I should be able to treat it better now. It’s smaller and easier to see. It feels slick and clean as I type today’s blog post. I had to spoil myself for my birthday…
I’m also excited to utilize some of the new features available for video and photos. I’m going to force my children to participate in some fun while we are gone!
I love my new phone.
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. I plan on spending it sober. What???
It may surprise some of my friends. I do enjoy a drink (or five) from time to time. But tonight, I just don’t want to. No reason. I’m just not in the mood to be out there with a bunch of people getting drunk and rowdy.
Those of you who do want to enjoy in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations- stay safe. Make sure you and your friends have a ride home. Having fun doesn’t mean you have to be irresponsible.
So whatever green beer or Irish kissing you do tonight- enjoy yourselves.
Yesterday was my birthday. It was perfect. My family did exactly what I wished for- nothing.
Well, not exactly “nothing”. They took me out for sushi dinner. Then they gave me 42 homemade cupcakes. I received a few bags of candy with 42 pieces in each. Then we went to the drive-in movie to watch “Black Panther”.
It was a perfect birthday. Exactly what I wished for. No big party. No extravagant gifts. Just my wife and kids having fun.
The answer to the Great Question… of Life,the Universe and Everything… is…
Today I turn Forty Two. My life has been pretty darned good so far. This year I am planning on making the most of my 42. First is my bucket list trip to Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to travel there since my childhood for many different reasons.
Next will be to meet a couple of my childhood icons at the Calgary Expo at the end of April: Paul Reubens and Wil Wheaton. I dressed as Pee-Wee one Halloween and I loved it. I almost had the opportunity to meet Wil Wheaton, but I chickened out. Not this time! I even wrote about it two years ago: One Day.
I’m also blessed with extra vacation time off this year. I am going to try and make the most of my time by relaxing and traveling. There is so much beauty to see and experience in the world. I may even venture off on my own without the family. Just because.
Here I am, age 42. It’s an important year to me. Not 40 or 45 just because they end in a five or zero. No midlife crisis planned either. Just enjoying 42 years of the earth’s rotation. Especially the last 17 years. Life has been full of off-set plans, like being married on a Tuesday just because. Or naming our first born daughter Random from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series.
42 years of just trying to make my world a better place.
“Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”
I guess so.
I love fake celebratory dates. “Star Wars Day” is the best one. (May the 4th). But today is also a perfect example of made up celebration days.
It’s “National Pi Day” or “Pie Day”. Whichever dad joke you want to use to share 3.14 is ok with me. I like pie.
Time to go out and spread some silly joy and plaster social media all about pie and Pi. Math and dessert go hand in hand.
I’m going to get me an apple pie later on. That’s my favorite pie. What’s your go-to pie for celebrating today?