We started our adventure in Tokyo. We arrived way too early to check in to our hotel and so, jet lagged after our 12 hour flight we passed the time in the park nextdoor. How pleasant it was in the sunshine and we drifted off to the sound of children playing (cute little Japanese voices), bicycle spokes, baseballs, giggling girls playing with the water fountain and other Saturday afternoon in a Tokyo park noises.
Our hotel room was on the 14th floor of the Price Park Tower which over looked the park and had great views of the Tokyo skyline.
We made ourselves at home (well, home doesn't normally have a jacuzzi bath) and I drew the view until it was too dark to see it properly.
After fourteen whole hours sleep (when have I ever slept that long) we were ready to go and explore the city.
Natalie was good with the maps and got the hang of the subway pretty quickly. Our station was called Akebanebashi (I love saying that).
First we went to Shibuya.
So many people crossing the road.
It was nice of them to put on a parade especially for us!
There was lots of singing and dancing.
I can still hear the music now.
This guy brought his dog!
Before we left I bought a zine by a woman called Jannese Rojas who loves Tokyo and writes a blog called My Loverly Japan. Her zine was full of great recommendations, one of them being Loft (see it at the top of this picture), a department store with a WHOLE floor of stationary. For TWO HOURS we drooled over beautiful writing papers, stickers, pens, cards, notebooks. You name it, they had it and it was very very pretty. I bought some lovely writing paper to write letters home. Scrummy.
All that excitement made us hungry so we searched out another of Jannese's recommendations and headed for a restaurant she called The Bomb Shelter with a teeny door that you had to crouch to get in to.
Easy to miss but we are so glad we found it. Warm wood. Cosy atmosphere. Lovely food.
The menu was all in Japanese but the waitress sat us infront of Bobby, an English speaking chef from Hawaii and he talked us though it. Phew.
Lotus root, burdock and sweet potato vegetable chips were among our selection. Pretty aren't they.
I probably took way too many photos of bowls, plates and condiment trays in Japan...everything so beautifully chosen. There were so many beautiful ceramics wherever we went all begging to be photographed.
We loved this restaurant. Bobby served us well and even gave us a complimentary pudding, bless him.
This was just the first of many amazing places that we ate in. Everyday we thought we had found our favourite but there was always another one just around the corner :)
Tomorrow I'll take you to Nakameguru, a quiet leafy area with gorgeous boutique shops and then Shinjuku, the opposite extreme with it's noise and bright lights. I brought Ffion and Will back a Japanese cookbook and they are attempting beef teriyaki right now. It's smelling nearly ready....