Monday, April 20, 2015

Japan Trip, 3/27/15 - 4/14/15

3/27-3/28, Arrival.

3/29, Day at the mall.

We watched "Jupiter Ascending" in 4D.  Tickets were pricey, but it was fun to try once.  Imagine Star Tours, but for the length of an entire movie, and with wind and water effects.  Then we walked around the mall and did some shopping, and ate.
Croissant Taiyaki with an and cream...
First bowl of ramen for the trip; wonton ramen.

3/30, Visited Yokohama.  

Did some shopping and a lot of walking around the stores.  Ate lunch at a pasta place in Yokohama, and had dinner and a snack in Tokyo Station.  We had Takoyaki for dinner at Gindaco.  Out of the four takoyaki places we ate at, texture-wise, Gindaco was my favorite.  The outside was slightly crispy, with a soft interior.  But super hot!  On the other side was a Krispy Kreme, so we had that for desert.  Mister Donut was on my list, and since Krispy Kreme had interesting flavors, I decided to try one.  Mis-Do wins by a landslide.
Takoyaki dinner at Gindaco
Workers at Gindaco doing their thing.
Krispy Kreme for dessert

 3/31, Tokyo and Ueno

Sakura viewing in Tokyo with C's parents.
The first 5 flowers of this tree signal Sakura Season
Strings of fortunes
Takoyaki at a street fair.  Massive chucks of tako in these!
small squid sushi at Sushizanmai
Ueno Sakura viewing after C's parents went home.  There was one tree with pink flowers.  And one tree/bush with tons of little birds.

Finally got around to having Mister Donut.  It was good.  I like the simpler one most.
Oh Yeah, Mister Donut!!!

4/1, A Day in Meguro

Just about every day started off with gourmet breakfast prepared by C's mom.  I was spoiled rotten!

Stopped off at the Calbee store in Tokyo Station.  Had to try the FRESH Jagaricos and salted chips with ice cream.  Breakfast Part 2.
Beauty shot of Salad Jagarico
Went to the Meguro Parasitological Museum.
This is a tick.  This a tick on blood.  Any questions.

 After looking at parasites, I just had to try MOS Burger.  Since we already had potato chips and jagaricos in the morning, we opted to just each get a burger.

Walked around to check out the sakura flowers along the riverbank.  Also went to check out a hotel that was inspiration for some of Miyazaki's Spirited Away.  Unfortunately, we could get access to the rooms, and their was an Ikebana show going on, so we couldn't even get access to the elevator.  But I did get to check out the fancy restroom!
Men's room

 Wandering around Tokyo Station.  The candy store Papabubble creates the candy on the spot.  They start with colored liquid candy, layer it, stretch it, and chop it into little pieces.
Papabubble candy-making process
 Omiyage food.  Takai desu!
2000 yen personal size watermelon
2400 yen for 18 strawberries
Looking up at the dome in Tokyo Station

 4/2, Akita over-nighter

We stayed at Tsurunoyu Onsen for the night.  First time for me at an onsen.  We took the Shinkansen to Tazawako.  Then took a bus, and had the onsen van pick us up.
Deliciously chewy soba in Tazawako
Milky waters of the mixed pool at Tsurunoyu

4/3; Akita city walk

This was a day of gluttony.  It started with a delicious breakfast at the onsen.  We took the Shinkansen back to Akita, and walked around there for a while.  Checked out the fish market, had kaiten sushi for lunch.  We saw a man selling mochi taiyaki.  We had a custard one.  The man was had worked in Tennessee for a while, building motorcycles.  So I got to talk to him a little bit in English.  After enjoying the taiyaki, we went back for one with an.  He was very apprecriative.  We went to a mall because they had a Columbia store; nice colors and designs, but very expensive.  We ran through the rain to a Mister Donut.  They were having a sale, 108 yen per donut.  We were too full to eat more than one each though.  Time elapsed from lunch to Mis-Do: 105 minutes.
Refrigeration system for drinks
Breakfast at the onsen
Kaiten sushi lunch
Mister Donut

 4/4 - 4/5, time with C's family.

4/6, Yokohama trip

4/7, Osaka

Spent the day at Universal Studios Japan.  Main attraction was Attack on Titan.  It wasn't a ride, more of a walkthrough that summarized the story with life-size figures.  Even the Eren and Female Titan were lifesize!  On the way back to the train station, we stopped off at the Osaka Takoyaki Museum.  Tried the takoyaki and two places.  First place we tried the shio, sauce w/mayo, and negi.  We both like the shio the best.  Second place we had 6 cheesy mochi batter.  I didn't really care for this one, but I was too full to try another place.
Poor Marco
This wand was floating in the window display.  Magnets, perhaps.
Harry Potter castle

 4/8, Kyoto



 Kimono posts in Saga-Arashiyama

4/9,  Saipan trip begins

 4/10, Saipan

1 boat, 2 shore dives

4/11, Saipan

More diving.   I forgot the extra batteries at the hotel, so I only got pics for the first dive :(
Crazy pack of fish at Dimple dive site
Rocky the clownfish guarding his anenome
tons of spam at the supermarket
even more spam
 4/12, Saipan
Last full day in Saipan.  Took a boat to Managaha Island for some snorkeling.  We all got massages at one of the parlors, then headed to dinner at Moby Dicks.
There's a baby fish in here somewhere
Here's a closer shot
Seafood dinner for our last meal

 4/13, Back in Japan for some last minute shopping and a solo 100 yen kaiten sushi adventure.  I missed out on some cheap eats because I got confused between red and black plates.  I should have just tried asking how much things were instead of stopping.  But I had a good fill, and left content.

4/14, Back to the States.