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    • Day 5–10

      Tokyo - Day 3

      May 26 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

      A big day before the kids arrive!

      Great breakfast at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. Then on to our new hotel, a ryokan, Yuen Shinjuku (ONSEN RYOKAN). Right nearby we saw an annual Shinjuku parade. Just after, we came across a street market which was so fun.

      Our big excursion lead through the heart of Shinjuku and then onto the Metropolitan Government Building for a stunning view of the city. As a Sunday, the streets were not crowded at all.

      Coming back, we visited the utterly amazing food court at Takashimaya, a dependent store, which has curated, high end food counters. Leaving, I couldn’t resist a Starbuck’s run only to stumble into a madhouse of people. Very popular.

      Lunch was a complete success right at the counter of Tempura Shinjuku Tsunahachi Souhonten for tempura.

      We then sauntered through Shinjuku Gyoen National Park for a quiet and peaceful excursion before heading to our hotel.

      At the hotel, we donned our Yukatas and went to the hotel’s onsen for a deep and restful soak. A nap, quick ramen dinner and the kids arrived to complete our day.
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    • Day 8–10

      Tokyo - Day 5

      May 29 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Another epic day. We are in the Shinjuku district, which has great architecture and fabulous people watching.

      Skipping breakfast we headed to the Tsukiji Outer Market based on the rain forecast (rain held off until ). A must see for market lovers, we all went in different directions. Fresh tuna, wagu, grilled oysters (video below), and sukiyaki (really good) . Everyone had a great time.

      We did a brief dip into the Ginza and went to a fabulous stationary store (Ginza Natsuno) with a huge variety of chopsticks, and Ginza department store (Matsuya Ginza-7th floor) with a lifestyle section. By this time, we were all a little tired and retreated to our hotel before our 5 o’clock baseball game.

      The baseball game was really festive and fast moving (our team had three home runs) until about 8 o’clock when the rain got to be too much and we retreated back to our hotel (they called the game five minutes after we left).

      One of the unique aspects of the game is all of the young women that have these big beer backpacks that go around selling the beer to you in your seats (see pic). The crowd is noisy and festive (as shown in the video). The food was really good (short-rib on rice). Yay to Judy and’s Ben for planning it.

      Back to the ryokan.

      The onsen in rain
      All my thoughts just fly away
      A thousand ripples
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    • Day 5

      Tokyo Day 4

      May 28 in Japan ⋅ 🌧 24 °C

      Family went to the Tsukiji Outer Market (the former fish market) for breakfast purchased from market vendors: fish on skewers, sukiyaki, fresh strawberries, wagu cooked to order…we walked around sampling various foods.
      We then went to the fancy Ginza shopping area, where we mostly window shopped,
      visiting a fancy paper store, a chopsticks’ store and Matsui Ginza department store with its fabulous food court.
      Sampled an egg salad sandwich purchased at the 7/11 across from our hotel - egg salad is a “thing” here and 7/11’s are everywhere.
      We upgraded in our ryokan from a tiny room to one where we can actually approach the very low bed from both sides. After our daily and refreshing dip in the hotel’s hot tubs (onsen), we took the metro to a baseball game: the home team Yakult Swallows against the Chiba Lotte Marines. Though rain was forecast, it held off for the first few innings and enough for us to get in 5 innings, albeit getting drenched over the last hour or so. Baseball in Japan is a big deal: fans dress in team colors and sit based on which team they favor. We sat with the home team fans, but the opponents were much more rowdy - and their team played better. Whenever our team hit a home run, fans twirl little umbrellas and generally go nuts - we got to celebrate 3 home runs! It was a lot of fun!
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    • Day 3

      A Hidden Oasis: Meiji Shrine

      September 19, 2023 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      Realising we lost an hour operating on Perth time, we had to hoof the 8 km to get to Meiji Shrine before it closed. Thank goodness we were all caffeinated because it was a power walk for the ages, albeit a beautiful one as part of the journey was through Yoyogi Park, Tokyo's equivalent of Kings Park.

      Within minutes, we were transported from the visual assault that was Shibuya to an oasis akin to rural Japan. It was totally surreal to go from walking shoulder to shoulder with thousands of others to gravel crunching underfoot in leafy tree-lined paths. We really wanted to slow down and take it all in, but there was no time. Stairs were climbed two at a time, photos were taken on the hop and vending machines were pillaged at top speed.

      With a literal minute to spare, we and this cute little shuffling old dude (going top speed at 0.5km an hour) slipped past the guard as he was putting up the closing gates at the temple's entrance. Inside, the mood was serene as we were transported back to a different era. We browsed past the Wishes Board full of traveller's prayers and paid our respects at the shrine. Photos of the shrine are forbidden and they take this very seriously. A guy holding a sign had to politely insert it in front of tourists' camera lenses despite the fact it was impossible to miss. It made us cross to see people deliberately disrespecting Japanese culture; I mean, it wasn't a big ask.

      Wishing we could stay just a few more minutes, we were ushered out to enjoy the 3km walk to the park exit. Wandering out, dreaming of burgers, Noah's feet definitely did not hurt. I mean, he may have mentioned it a few times, but at 19,000 + steps, most of them bloody stairs, I reckon he has good cause to want a little lie-down. Thankfully, the subway station greeted us as we emerged from the park's serenity, and after jumping a few subway trains, we emerged back in our new home suburb for Freshness Burgers (Japan's leading burger chain).

      Noah's rating of his sip of Dad's Asahi was "aghhhhhhhhh". I think we all made similar noises as we crawled into bed that night.
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    • Day 23

      Olympisches Museum

      May 24 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      2021 fanden nach 1964 zum zweiten Mal die Olympischen Sommerspiele in Tokio statt. Das super schön eingerichtete Museum erzählt die Hintergründe und viele Geschichten der Olympiade. Dazu gibt es sehr viele Exponate, wie die Fackeln, Kleidung, Sportgeräte und Medaillen zu sehen.
      Sehr witzig: Es gibt auch einige interaktive Stationen, um die Sportarten und die Leistungen der Sportler etwas besser nachvollziehen zu können.
      Wir haben natürlich alles ausprobiert und unser Bestes gegeben ⛹️‍♂️ … für Olympia reicht es aber wohl nicht. 😅
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    • Day 57

      Walking around Tokyo in the rain

      March 26 in Japan ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

      Visiting temples. gardens and Tokyo Museum today. Including Meiji-jingu temple. Rained all day 😂. A bit different from New Zealand weatherwise. Cherry blossom beginning to appear. Beautiful. Also visited ‘piss alley’ a very narrow street renowned for its bars and street food.Read more

    • Day 2–6

      Der erste Vormittag in Tokio

      April 16 in Japan ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

      Der Tag, der zieht sich. Aber so ein beheizter Toilettensitz ist schon was feines man will es nicht mehr missen. Was macht man völlig übermüdet wenn das. Zimmer erst um 15 Uhr bereit steht? Man geht dahin, wo möglichst viele Menschen sind - zur alle Gehen Kreuzung inklusive Mariokartfahrern. Es ist schon wahnsinnig viel Pling Pling hier. Und mit was für einer Geschwindigkeit die Tokioter Metro Karten kaufen, gehen vor allem gehen, ein- und auschecken war für uns hannoveraner Landeier für den ersten Transfer zum Hotel echt viel abverlangt. Aber letztendlich ist das Metrosystem gut verständlich und wir sind sofort ( natürlich dank Google maps) ohne Umwege angekommen. Die erste Mahlzeit eingenommen, ach ein Schrein ist uns auch über den Weg gelaufen und nun warten wir auf ein Bett für ein Nickerchen 😴.Read more

    • Day 3

      Tag 2 mit Unstimmigkeiten

      April 17 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Ausgeschlafen! Wichtig!!
      Dann zur Aussicht, die nix kostet und zu einer weiteren, die wir nur von unten betrachten. Zwischendurch etwas Streit: Alex laut Eric zu unentspannt Eric laut Alex zu technisch unbegabt. Wir essen Ramen und stellen fest, dass man überall essen kann, Bars oder Cafes eher eine Seltenheit sind. Deswegen landen wir tatsächlich im Irish Pub, wo mein Handy lädt. Den Abend lassen wir in unserem Viertel ausklingen
      Ps abgesehen von den rush hours morgens und abends ist die Stadt sehr ruhig und entspannt….. ooooh ja was für ein schöner Abend tolle Bar gute Gespräche dann noch private Karoke mit Ken. Er kein englisch wir kein japanisch dennoch alles perfekt allerdings nicht geschenkt aber das war es so was von wert .
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    • Day 4

      Trubel, Tradition, Chanel, second hand

      April 18 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Obwohl wir so schön gesungen haben - der ein oder andere Drink dazu war möglicherweise zu viel. Dann muss man eben mit Kopfschmerzen los. Nach Asakusa, die Idee hatten noch ein paar andere Leute. Fressbüdchen und Souvenirs ohne Ende. Essen darf man aber nicht davor oder gehend. Wir essen eine Art Pfannkuchen mit roten Bohnen und Butter, dann ich einen Kobeburger, Eric (ich schäme mich) isst bei MC Donalds (unfassbar). Schrein Berichtigung und in ein Kaufhaus, wo es wirklich alles gibt. Totale Überforderung. Schnell noch nach Omoto Sando, quasi die Champs Elysee von Tokio umme Ecke wieder ruhig dort gibt es coole Secondhandläden. Ausruhen gleich kommt der japanische Kollege, der uns ausführt.Read more

    • Day 3


      April 16 in Japan ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

      Liebes Tagebuch, das war ein Abenteuer, sage ich Dir. Neben großer Müdigkeit, ergaben sich auch tolle Bilder und Erfahrungen. Mariocart mitten in der Stadt und unglaublich viele Menschen auf engem Raum in der U-Bahn.
      Von den Toiletten, die klassische Musik spielen, wenn man sie betritt, will ich gar nicht erst beginnen zu erzählen. Nur soviel sei gesagt: Mieze würde hier kein Malheur passieren.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, 新宿区, SXO

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