Merry Christmas Eve from Japan

I’m a day late in writing this, but better late than never!

Yesterday was Christmas Eve and we wanted to do something special. After asking for some train station help at the front desk of the hotel, we were on our way to the Ikebukuro Train Station! I do have to admit that it was a bit frustrating at first, but we managed to figure out how to buy tickets and get into the station proper. Once inside, we needed to find an elevator to get us up to the platform. A very nice lady showed us where the elevator was…since we were standing there looking very confused.

Finally we were on the train – a much easier task than I anticipated. The ride from Ikubukuro to Harajuku was a mere 15 minutes. It was awesome that the announcements were in English as well as Japanese which really put me at ease. Finally we were in Harajuku and on our way to the day’s adventure.

We decided to do a bit of walking and stumbled across Takeshita Dori…which at first we didn’t realize. We were standing outside of NOA Cafe looking at the menu when the waitress came out and invited us in. What were we supposed to do…we went in! Monkey was a bit cranky so I suggested that she tried the chocolate latte (cuz really, who doesn’t cheer up after eating chocolate?) while I had the carmel latte. For foods, Monkey got the Chocolate Honey Toast, I had the Apple Honey Cinnamon Waffles, and mom had toast with a hard boiled egg. OMG!!!!! The drinks and food were AMAZING! I’ve never seen pieces of toast that thick! The waffles were crispy on the outside and nice and fluffy on the inside!

When we were done eating we decided to walk around…and after that breakfast, we really needed it! We had gotten to Harajuku so early that there weren’t many places open. I had noticed on the map that I had, that there was a temple really close to where we were….so I led both Monkey and Mom towards the temple. Going up there was so serene…which was weird to me because of how busy the entire area is. The temple was absolutely beautiful…but I couldn’t take any pictures. We stood there and looked around and I soaked in the peace and tranquility before quiet walking toward the adjacent park. We looked around the park and watched a cute orange and white kitty ‘fish’ for a bit by the pond.

Then it was back toward the street and more walking. Mom was a bit cold so we ducked inside a small store which had loads of kawaii clothing that Monkey really wanted. We pretty much had to drag her out only to duck into a Starbucks. I got a very yummy Nutty Praline Latte in my new Tokyo Starbucks travel mug.

Soon it was back to the outsides and more walking. We just strolled down the streets and watched Harajuku wake up. I took so many pictures yesterday! A very kawaii girl was trying to get a baseball hat on a display but was have trouble reaching the top…so I scooted across the street and got the hat onto the top for her. Soon all the stores were open and we couldn’t get enough of window shopping. We found so many awesome good finds…but will be going back again before we leave. Monkey did get a very cute and extremely cheap cosplay outfit! She was in heaven when I told her she could have it.

We also stumbled across one of the most awesome and bizarre clothing stores I’ve ever seen! The entire store would have been Liberace and Lady Gaga’s dream store! I wish I could have take pictures. I can’t even begin to describe some of the outfits. Maybe I’ll sneak a pic or two when we go back…LOL

Eventually it was time for us to go…primarily because the crowds had grown exponentially! Before getting back on the train we thought we should use the bathroom. There was a little line so it wasn’t that long of a wait. I was first in line so I was the first to experience…it…the dreaded SQUAT TOLIET! I walked into to the stall and looked down….I was so taken aback that I didn’t get a picture…I know…a fail. I was also so taken aback that I didn’t know exactly what to do, so I stood there for a little bit before ‘flushing’ the toilet and leaving. I stopped Mom before she went in….she has a bad knee and would have been able to use it anyways. Monkey had no idea of what was going on until we were on the train platform…she laughed so hard.

When we had gotten back we came back to the hotel room to relax and play a game of Scrabble. After 2 rousing games, we ventured back out. Mom was a bit tired so she went back to the hotel room and let Monkey and I finish up dinner shopping. We opted to go to KFC then stop at Lawsons. The wait at KFC wasn’t bad so we got our food and were on our way to Lawsons. We picked up some more tea, water, fruit, and a kawaii little yule log!

Back at the hotel we settled down to our feast! Mom got the little table ready while Monkey and I washed our hands. I opened up the KFC box to be greeted by,what I originally thought was a chicken head and neck combo! That was not the kind of treat I really wanted! Weirdness aside, the food was goodish – a bit greasy- but tasty. We had satsuma oranges after the chicken and were all too full for cake- that’s going to be eaten on Christmas Day.)

After dinner, it was more Scrabble before reading Twas the Night Before Christmas…our Christmas Eve tradition. We were all so tired that we passed out by 9pm!

so…I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas/Holiday!!!!

Love to you all!!

 

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