Noodles and Beef

carnenchiladas:

Meowth!

I think this is our fourth Pokemon Center (Osaka).

Kimono thrift shopping. All silk. $5.

They wouldn’t let me try anything on because I’m a dude, so I’m telling them I’m shopping for my 180cm 135kg mom.

Plausible.

My laptop battery died and I’m too cheap to buy a charger for it in Japan…so I’m going to be a little slow to update.

I’m the meantime, here are some special edition Krispy Kream donuts from Tokyo.

Top left going clockwise: green tea, green tea cake, mango, strawberry

Donuts in Japan are surprisingly less sweet than in America. These look delicious, but I was disappointed when I didn’t get heart palpitations from the sugary overload.

Tokyo 🚄 Osaka

Bullet train.

It’s running faster than the sensor refresh rate of my cellphone, so buildings are skewed diagonally. Wow.

Japan Day 2

Our biological clocks still running on Pacific Standard, we were wide awake at 2am.  Perfect time to cab over to the Tsukiji fish market to catch the famous tuna auctions, explore the vendor stalls, and eat at the secret sushi bar hidden inside the fish market.

I was very happy.  Something about the singing Japanese men auctioning off tuna resonates with me.

My secret sushi place within the market was apparently no longer a secret.  A line wrapped around the store with a sad sign saying they couldn’t accommodate any more customers.

Sushi shops surround the outer market, but we were very disappointed.  The uni was not fresh at all.  

So we tried cleansing our palates exploring the outer market, buying pieces of raw, fresh fish that caught our eye and eating it on the spot.

Mmm.  Whatever that was.

Went back to the hotel, napped, hit the SONY flagship store at Tokyo Center.  Absolutely gorgeous interactive displays, complete collection of SONY lenses, but oddly overpriced above MSRP.

We ended up going back to Akihabara where I bought my new lens.

Then lunch at an all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant.  Wagyuu beef for ~$20 USD.  I was in heaven.

Caught the Yamamote line for the the Mega Pokemon Center, where I spent a lot of time playing with my new lens.  Its perfect for dramatic, sharp, architecture shots, macros, and tight portraits.  It could easily become my primary lens.

Big pup bought a three-foot-tall Charmander plush.  No idea how we’ll get that thing home.

Ended the evening at a small Tokyo-suburb onsen.

I wanted to take big pup to Takaragawa or one of the big onsen resorts in Tokyo, but couldn’t because of his full-body tattoos.  Most onsen (and even public beaches) refuse access to people with tattoos because fo the possible association with Japanese mafia, the Yakuza.  Sigh.

This little onsen was cute though.  A very unique, Japanese experience.

We shared the bath with a dozen families winding down during the middle of the week.  I got to practice my Japanese with a couple (presumably) salary men, while some kids asked if big pup was a professional wrestler.

Big pup enjoyed himself, that makes me happy :)

Japanese souvenir shopping

Where can I find a sexy kitten maid costume that would fit tank?! Ahhh!

Japan Day 1

Big pup and I decided to visit Japan for an impromptu trip before I moved away to Seattle and started my new job.  Its a chance for us to have one last super big adventure.

Flight wasn’t so bad.  Found some sleeping pills in my duffle bag from my last trip so spent most of the flight passed out.  Woke up for meal service.  Chicken teriyaki with rice and this weird multi-grain salad:

Pretty delicious.  The photos don’t do it justice.

This was my first time flying through Narita airport.  A little older than Haneda, but not bad…  Had some trouble getting through with “my husband.”  I forgot that our marriage isn’t recognized here.  Or maybe they require a customs form for every adult.  Hmm.

Anyway.

Took the airport express train to Tokyo, then transferred to Akihabara.  Finally got to our hotel at 5pm.

It’s quite a bit bigger than I expected.  My last hotel room at Akihabara combined the shower and toilet into one…this at least breaks those apart.

Walked around for a bit exploring Akihabara.  Had some wonderful sushi, melon bread, and these cheese pastries.  Ended the evening at the Tokyo Station Pokemon Center.  Just a preview of the mega Pokemon center I’ll be taking big pup to.

Have an early morning tomorrow.  Bedtime.

Wow, when did they add internet to trans-pacific flights?

Lunch service: teriyaki chicken, this quinoa salad thing, and green tea ice cream. Mmm.

SFO ✈ NRT

See you in 12 hours, Tokyo

A couple shots of the yukata I wore at the onsen in Japan. It was very comfortable, but I wish it were mid-thigh length instead of floor length.

In a rare twist of fate, my flight was over booked and my previously center seat was upgraded to exit row plus (I have both seats even though flight is booked?). Look at all that leg room!

It’s been such an adventure: charity beach parties in Taiwan, exploring Tokyo by ouija board, indulging in exotic meats of rare animals, and more. And yet, I am having trouble fully enjoying this trip by myself.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

My adventure is home with big pup, lil pup, Chuck pup, the most important people of my life. When I proposed to big pup, I told him he was my greatest adventure. Being apart for so long only reinforces how true that is. Just typing these words has me tearing up…I’m a mess without them.

I would drift off during my trip, imagining what it would be like if they were with me, or if I were home now what we’d be doing. Big pup would spend the entire day in this book store, lilpup would fall in love with the onsen, these Asian guys would maul Chuck pup.

Sigh.

I’m coming home. Thank you for waiting for me, pups.

Last hour in Japan. Got chirashi-don at that sushi place near my hotel and fundoshi from BIGGYM.