Japan Trip Day 3 - 2013-07-29

After a good night's sleep and waking up at a more reasonable hour, we headed off for a day that would be pretty jam-packed. It was raining, so we planned things that would mostly be indoors. On our way to our first destination, we noted how Japanese seem to think of everything, they even had hooks next to the pay terminals on the subway to hang your umbrella!

Also, they have these neat umbrella bag dispensers: just stick your umbrella into the top and pull it out sideways.

Our first stop of the day was The Miraikan Museum of Science, which sounded like it would be pretty cool. It had some interesting exhibits, and fortunately all the exhibit text was also in English. I think my favorite exhibit was this machine which physically simulated how the internet works: You load black and white balls into one of the stations where the first four balls indicate the destination of the message, and the next eight balls represent a letter. Then you send the balls down a ramp to another machine that acts like a router, sending your letter along to the next router closer to your destination and so forth.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of a malfunction so you could only send the messages back to yourself, but it was still a cool idea! Some of the other exhibits were interesting, but we found them to be a bit dense and confusing: you had to read and process a lot to figure out what they were trying to get at.

Our next stop was Rappongi, which has a whole bunch of shops and restaurants. We ended up eating at a cute little restaurant that had a number of different types of rice that you could order with your entree. I got one with eel in it and Kellian's had chestnuts and red beans. Quite tasty!

Our main reason for visiting Rappongi was to check out a design exhibit that Kellian found called Tokyo Midtown Design Hub. The exhibit featured all types of design from product packaging, various products themselves, and print media.

Next we made our way to Sunshine City in Ikebukuro to check out Namco Namja Town, an indoor theme park with some rides, an area with a bunch of desserts, and an area with a bunch of different types of gyoza (dumplings). It cost 500 yen to get in ($5), and we weren't quite sure what to expect. The ice cream was pretty tasty (and cute), here's Kellian with an ice cream cone that looks like a bunny.

The rides were another $8 each (they're free if you buy the $30 entrance pass), so we only did one of those. It was a game where four groups of players sit on a large circular platform facing four screens. They each have a gun that shoots golf balls at the screen when you turn a crank. You try to shoot things on the screen for points, and at the end it totals up your score to figure out how well you did. I won, which was a bit surprising considering I didn't really know what was going on!

For dinner we had okonomiyaki at a little hole in the wall on the way back to Ikebukuro station. They have a grill on the table, and you order various proteins and veggies that are mixed into a batter. Then you dump it out onto the grill and make yourself a savory pancake. It is kind of crispy on the outside and a bit gooey on the inside: quite tasty!

At this point we were pretty exhausted, so we made our way back to the hotel. Tomorrow we're thinking we might check out Tokyo Disney World!


spletcher said...

Thanks for the great update! Rice with eel! Pretty adventurous dining! Sounds like you're both having a great time exploring Tokyo! Does it rain every day there? How warm has it been? SDP

Auntie M said...

Congratulations, Brian, on your great success with the puzzle competition! Great job -- iicmovand quite an honor to be invited, let alone to be a finalist! :) Sounds like you and Kellian are having a great time in Japan. Hugs to you both. xoxox

Janet Pletcher said...

Sounds like you are having quite the adventures in dining and just acclimating yourselves to Tokyo. Your blog is such fun to read and I look forward to seeing what you are up to tomorrow! Love Mom

Max said...

I'm totally excited by nifty machines and devices.

The umbrella bag dispenser is brilliantly simple and the internet emulation machine is such a cool idea!!

I love that you are keeping track of your food too. I'm a huge food lover and it's fun to see what you're eating on your trip.

The okonomiyaki looks so cool! It's main ingredients are flour, a type of yam, and water.. so it's a pretty basic concept and something I might try to make here in the states.

Fun stuff you're getting into!