Tokyo Video: December 2019

A few weeks ago I compiled some of my video clips from our last trip to Japan (December 2019) into a 30 minute video. It’s a chronological mashup of many of the sights and sounds that we experienced on our trip, which took place mainly in Tokyo this time.

I hope that you will enjoy this video, which features dancing, singing, a Pokemon cafe, some cute dogs, amazing food, Sailor Scouts, robots, cram-packed stores, shrines and temples, kawaii monster girls, karaoke, mochi-pounding, snakes, and much more.

And even after my second trip to Japan, I am again dreaming of my return. Someday! ❤

If you’d like to see the videos from our last trip to Japan (2017) in which we traveled more broadly, check out this post.

Or, if you would like to read the detailed day-by-day blogs from our trips, they start here (2017) and here (2019).

Thanks for stopping by!

Tokyo Memories, Day 11: A Christmas-Eve Date at Robot Resturaunt

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

So, let’s get into it! (Or start with day 1 here)

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 11, December 24th, 2019

Merry Christmas Eve in Tokyo! We slept in a bit today zzzZZZzzzZZZ At around 11 we set out for Shinjuku, where we went looking for clothes that might fit us. I went to Eur3 and Dusty to Suzutan. I found a couple of really cute things that fit me ❤

Then, we ducked into a random conveyor sushi place, where we had a cheap & quick lunch.

At 4pm we entered the Robot Resturaunt for the show I had pre-booked. Despite being a huge tourist-trap, I think it really surpassed both our expectations!

It’s called “Robot Resturaunt”, but you really go for the show, not the food. First we watched a “preshow”, which featured around a dozen acts and was about an hour of robots playing music (well, musicians in cool chrome Daft Punk-esque robo suits), an intense singer man in sunglasses, and dozens of girls in various costumes doing many different dances, from pop to rock, techno, modern, burlesque… the “preshow” was an impressive show of its own.

For the main show, we were directed to the basement level. The stairways are absolutely tricked out from top to bottom with crystals, paint, giant lizards, flashing lights, gold, silver, and every kind of bling. Definitely the most “extra” place I’ve ever been. Before the show started, I bought an (overpriced) flashing lightbulb drink (lemon flavored).

The show was broken into 3 parts. The first act featured fights between rival robots and costumed heroes. Dragons, demons, drummers, warriors, cute, cool, and crazy robots.

Act 2 was a Christmas special featuring a strange storyline- well, the story isn’t so strange, but the 3 main characters are an island girl, a hyena woman, and a pirate, and their paths cross without much explanation… OH WELL, visually it was stunning, regardless. Christmas trains, lights, a giant inflatable Rudolph, handsome hyena men, lots of dancing, and tons of music stolen from various franchises! XD We heard music from:

  • Shrek
  • The 5th Element
  • High-School Musical
  • The Mask
  • and probably others I forgot

The last act started with a sort of ode to the nations of the world, with Michael Jackson’s face dominating the panoramic screen (We Are the World playing) and costumes and props bearing flags from various countries. Then, it turned into a hodgepodge of random robots- a collossal duck that blinks and chomps? Why not? A freakish rainbow doll riding a bike? Sure!

We (everyone in the audience) were given lightsticks for the final act, and waved them around without direction, using reckless abandon. Performers handed and/or threw marshmallow candies to the audience- I got one! Thanks, Shark Boy!

It was a really fun show.

Sitting in the Robot Resturaunt throne

We stopped at the supermarket at Higashi Ikebukuro for some drinks, pudding, and chicken (Christmas Eve in Tokyo requires chicken!) and exchanged our presents to eachother back at the hotel room. Dustin got me some adorable and subtle Pikachu earings from the Pokemon centre! ❤

Check out day 12, Christmas Cruise to Odaiba, here !

Tokyo Memories- Day 3: Two Tattoos, MewTwo, And Nintendo, Too

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

So, let’s get into it! (Or, start with day 1 here)

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 3, December 16th, 2019

I’m freaking exhausted but I need to get this incredible day down on paper before I go to bed! Today was tattoo day at Studio Muscat, so I headed out to the train station early to find the place (amidst some major construction in Shibuya). The train ride from Ikebukuro to Shibuya (around 7:50-8:20ish?) was INTENSE. I now know what it’s like to be squeezed into the train. I had never experienced it before, not even during our entire trip in 2017, but this was legit cram-packed. I had strangers intimately squished against me from every angle, and we moved and swayed as one big wave of humans. Something about it was sort of beautiful- everyone just stayed still and quiet and carried on with their routine despite having their nose pressed against a stranger’s armpit. The pressure against me from all angles reminded me of how a mother swaddles her baby- I was swaddled with and by humanity today.

So finally I made it to Studio Muscat and had wonderful sessions with Haruka (my tattoo of a cat resting on a traditional ball bell toy w. ribbon) and Eiji (my tattoo of a nephilia clavata spider). Both were very kind and professional, and thanked me for the cards I wrote them and the maple candies I brought them from Canada. I also chatted with some American tourists who came in to inquire about tattoos. 🙂

Catching Pokemon inside the studio as I wait for my appointment…

At some points I was cursing myself WHO’S IDEA WAS IT TO GET TWO TATTOOS IN THE SAME DAY?! (mine) as it was painful at times getting all stages of both tattoos done in one day with no numbing (the highlights of Haruka’s tattoo hurt like a BIIITCH) but I’m glad I got them done!

After my tattoos I visited the next-door cafe “Reism Stand” because I had the tattoo-shakes and needed to eat something. I got a hot cafe latte and some amazing, thick French Toast with apple and cinnamon.

Next, I headed to Shibuya to meet up with Dustin. I briefly perused Village Vanguard (a claustrophobic cavern of novelties and trinkets) and then checked out the Punyus in Shibuya 109 where I could actually find clothes that fit me!

Dusty and I headed to the brand new Parco building and had a lot of fun exploring the new Pokemon store– huge glass tank with MewTwo suspended inside! Poke-nostalgia! The store also features a new graffiti art theme.

The Capcom and Shonen Jump stores were pretty cool, too.

We waited in line for about 30 minutes (a line that extended down a winding stairwell!) so that we could browse the extremely popular new Nintendo Store! I went to the one in New York years ago (2007?ish?) on my choir trip for High School, but this one is apparently the first one in Japan! I spent a significant amount of money there o.o

Lastly, we explored the basement level which is full of unique and quirky resturaunts and cafes. We stopped at Tyffonium Cafe, a whimsical spot with a sort of steampunk-circus vibe. The cafe uses AR cards for augmented reality that can be displayed on your table using a tablet. Each parfait you order comes with a different AR card (which you get to keep!) that gives you a different visual show, each seeming to be based on/tie-ins to particular video games. I chose the “Tarot” parfait, and it was so strange and wonderful! It had a gummy ball, clear and round on top, and an umbrella of gelatin which draped over the parfait. I love textures, so it was FUN to eat!

My Tarot parfait
Dustin’s parfait

Check out day 4, Akiba Fun and Meeting Pikachu, here!

Tokyo Memories – Day 1: Ikebukuro From Above

A month ago Dustin and I began our trip in Tokyo! So, as with our last trip, I’ve decided to copy out each day of my travel journal into my blog. Each day for the next 18 days I will share a post of what we did in Tokyo a month prior.

Today’s post also includes the day we arrived, and then gets into our first full day in Tokyo!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day .5 December 13th, 2019 (arrival day)

We’ve finally arrived in Tokyo for the trip we’ve (okay, mostly me) been planning and prepping and dreaming all year. We had an overnight layover in Edmonton last night, then were up bright and early to head to Vancouver and finally Narita Airport.

Goodbye Canada!

As I write this we are riding the Narita Express train, which will whisk us to Ikebukuro where we will be staying (convenient if you have lots of luggage and want to avoid the busy train stations).

For this trip we’ve decided to stay in Tokyo rather than making additional trips around Japan. Our last trip in 2017 was AMAZING, and we had the time of our lives visiting onsen in Gunma and Kinosaki, exploring Kyoto, and so on

BUT

this trip we want to focus on the many, many things to do, see, and eat in Tokyo. ❤

We’re staying at the Sunshine Prince Hotel. Tonight we checked into our hotel and then pretty much fell into bed after a quick shower. zzzZZZzzzZZZ

This fancy butler dude was there to greet us upon our arrival at Sunshine Prince…

Day 1, December 14th, 2019

We started off our day with some konbini sandwiches and snacks, then headed out to do some shopping and exploring. It’s very busy in Ikebukuro today! The Pokemon centre was overwhelmingly packed full of people.

The shoes I packed have already destroyed my feet >.< and it’s much warmer here than we were expecting, our hotel room is very stuffy. But hey, we’re in Tokyo, I really can’t complain!

I don’t know if I have jet-lag or what, but I feel sort of weird today, like I’m in a state of depersonalization? I guess I can’t believe I’m finally here again. ❤

I got to visit a Rilakkuma store today, and WOW it was amazing. I spent a lot ^-^’ but I guess I was saving up for a long time so it’s ok, right? o.o’ The best thing I got was a big plush Rilakkuma and Friends xmas tree: it’s pink and beautiful and has little plush characters and xmas ornaments all over. So, in a way we have our own little xmas tree in our hotel room with us 🙂

Tonight we finished off our day by visiting the Sunshine 60 Observatory on the 60th floor of Sunshine City. We could see out to the night cityscape and played with some optical illusions and trick mirrors. I also tried out a VR experience where I got into a large cannon and it felt like I was being shot out.

Afterwards we had sushi on the 59th floor, and it was so fresh and delicious -_- mmmm. I complimented the sushi chefs (“oishiikatta!”) and they were very thankful. And then I was thankful because one of them came running after me as we were leaving and caught me at the elevator– I had left my phone on the table! >.<

Now we are tired, sore, and well-fed, and so ready for bed.

Check out day 2, Feeling Fancy in Harajuku, here !

Japan Part 2: The Sequel- Tokyo Drift~ “Two Trips Too Furious”~ Christmas Edition

Happy New Year to all of my blog readers, and I hope you had a warm, cosy, relaxing holiday break.

Alright, sorry for the ridiculous title of this post, but that’s what I put on the first page of my new Japan trip journal, and I’m sticking with it!

My blog has been very crickety and tumbleweedy lately, but it isn’t because I’ve given up on writing. I was away for most of December on my second trip to Japan with my husband, and this time we stayed in Tokyo the entire time. I had a blast running around and doing all sorts of stuff, and like my last trip I kept a (paper) journal– no matter how tired I was when I crawled back to the hotel at the end of the night, I wrote down the memories from the day.

So, in a few days I will begin a series of posts sharing what I wrote in my journal, starting on January 14th 2020, a month since the first day of our trip, Dec 14th 2019. Expect lots of photos, videos, excited ramblings, and rampant fangirling, similar to the last time I shared posts about Japan!

Here’s a little teaser of just a small handful of the many things we did in Tokyo this time around! I look forward to revisiting each day and sharing it with you.

If you want Japan content NOW (it’s OK, I understand), check out these videos or this series of blog posts from my previous trip to Japan in 2017!

Edit: Day 1 of Tokyo starts HERE! 🙂

Japan Memories Day 5: Akihabara, Eorzea Cafe, Pokemon Centre, and meeting up with a friend in Shin Okubo!

This is day 5 of revisiting my journal from our trip to Japan last year! If you’d like to start at the beginning, here is day 1.

So, day 5, here we go!

From Shauna’s Journal

Day 5, October 5th, 2017

Today was another busy, fun-filled day. Dustin and I had our reservation for theme cafe #4: Eorzea cafe, so we headed to Akiba. We were a bit early, so we explored the Animate there until the cafe opened. Despite a couple hiccups with our language barrier, we were able to order successfully and enjoyed the cute menu items and recognizable music and decor from FFXIV.

The cafe provided a tablet for us to order from. When we ordered drinks we got special collectible coasters. There was even a Cactpot event where an announcer pulled cards to determine which tables won prizes! 

We had a great time exploring Akiba and visiting iconic shops such as Mandarake, Rajio Kaikan, and Super Potato.

Dustin doesn’t want to go to a maid cafe, but I do! A maid handed me this on the street- so cute! I’ve heard some maids sing songs to make your food taste better… wonder if it works?! 😉

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Near the top of Rajio Kaikan there were these beautiful jointed dolls you could design from scratch and customize with different outfits and accessories. I thought they were adorable but Dustin said he thinks they are a bit creepy! I might go back and buy one sometime… 🙂 (note: I did!)

We headed to Pokemon Centre Ikebukuro next, where we found SUPER cute Pokemon goods! I got a chirimen (Japanese cloth) Pikachu! Dustin got a really cute Slowpoke. 

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After the Pokemon centre we took a taxi back to the hotel (the driver was so nice!) and I freshened up to meet Maika in Shin Okubo (Dustin’s feet were killing him by this point, so he stayed behind to relax). 

I waited for Maika at the station, and when she found me she gave me a big hug- she’s so sweet! We walked and talked about our travels, our jobs, Japan, Canada, food, everything. We randomly selected a Korean restaurant that looked good. The inside was papered with kpop posters. I ordered a kind of korean onion pancake thing. We shared some foods, and when I looked to some big jars near the window and remarked “MAN, those olives are HUGE”, Maika said “oh, they’re plums!” Turns out it was a house-made alcohol so we ordered some. It was sweet and tasty.The owner even gave us a couple plums from the jar to taste. YUM.

Before we left, the owner saw me take a photo of his SHINee poster, and he got SO EXCITED to meet a SHINee fan from Canada. He took my picture with the poster, exclaiming “Beautiful!”. He was especially excited when I said that Key is my bias member of SHINee and then he showered me with candy and packages of nori! He was pleading with me to come back again. I think I will at some point if I get a chance. (note: I never did have a chance to go back to the restaurant on this trip, as I couldn’t find it when I was back in Shin Okubo again- I wish I knew the name of this place!)

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My mystery restaurant ❤

Maika and I stopped briefly at The Saem where I squeed over SHINee advertisements and bought a few skincare items. Then we searched until we found an arcade that had a Taiko Drum game that I had mentioned wanting to play, and we played several rounds (including Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s “Pon Pon Pon” and Totoro songs!) I tried my hand at a crane game in an attempt to win a bunny plushie, but after 3 tries I decided to save my 100 yen coins!

It was so wonderful to meet up with a friend in Japan, as it can feel quite lonely sometimes to be in a place where you are very much an outsider with only a rudimentary understanding of the language. I had a lot of fun with Maika tonight.

Tomorrow’s post will be day 6:  Maid Cafe, Dollification, THE BEST BEEF EVER, Crushing the Crane Game, and EARTHQUAKE!!!

 

 

90’s nostalgia goggles

I stayed up a little too late working on this while listening to 90’s party playlists…

Used Pilot Eno blue pencil and knockoff markers.

Next time I want to do 90’s candies

🤤😍