Japan Day 11

I blame the fact that I’m so behind on my blogs on sheer exhaustion. It’s also because we have been going non-stop since the moment we got here. I can’t complain, however, this has been the best vacation that I’ve ever been on. To date, we have had the best experiences ever.

Ok…enough blathering about the trip in general….onto Day 11!

NEW YEAR’S EVE!!

We all woke up early and excited to see what the day would bring. Of course we had no set plans so after we were all showered and dressed we headed out the door.

Our first stop was Starbucks inside of Tobu. While we were sitting there enjoying our drinks an d quiche (because Jess made me super hungry for it) we all started talking about our next trip. So, over that wonderful cup of coffee with milk (me), chocolate brownie latte (Monkey), and Matcha frappacino (Mom), we decided the dates for our next visit here! I’m so excited that we’ll be back here from April 25, 2014 – May 9, 2014 🐱

Finally we were done with our breakfast….and the espresso had kicked in for Monkey, we were on our way to Animate.Monkey wanted to go back to there and see if she could find a few things that she had missed during our first visit.

The walk to the east side of Ikebukuro wasn’t nearly as busy as the first two times…probably because it was New Year’s Eve and most businesses were closed or had shortened hours. I can honestly say that the crowds haven’t really bothered us yet. The only time Mom had problems was in Harajuku…and that’s because she was so cold that she couldn’t get comfortable outside. I also felt bad that she couldn’t go into most of the stores because there were steps going into 95% of the establishments or the ‘aisles’ were microscopic thin.

Monkey did not find the little items that she had wanted to pick up. Rather she found the Project Diva game for (my) PSP and, what we soon found out, was the box set for Du Rarara, an anime series. Needless to say, she now has her birthday and xmas gifts for the next couple of years.

Once my wallet was done shopping at Animate, we decided to take a nice leisurely stroll. Eventually we found our way back to Seibu where I noticed a sign for Tower Records! I was over-joyed and now on a mission. There were some things that I wanted to find and thought that out of everywhere in Japan, Tower Records would have these items. After getting lost in a completely different shopping store complex and being steered in the right direction by a very kind man, we found the Parco Building (where Tower Records is located.) Up to the 5th and 6th floors we went!

Well, I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I decided to ask this very nice looking young guy behind the counter…who didn’t speak a word of English. After about a 15 minute long ‘conversation’ (Thank you Matt for the English – Japanese dictionary!!) we both came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to find anything that I wanted there. They had one Malice Mizer cd….that I already had. Being in the Mother Country, I thought that I would have problems finding something to do with Mana (aside from the Gothic and Lolita Bibles.) No dice. Ah well….maybe next year I’ll have better luck.

We were all tired, so we decided to get over to Tobu to buy a few special food stuffs for our NYE dinner feast. The hotel also had a special Soba dish that we planned on also getting. I had wanted to try these special black soy beans that are eaten for NYE as well as sushi and some chicken and veggy tempura balls. The beans tasted exactly like corn pops! I love them!!! I love them so much I don’t know what I’ll do without them! It’s sad really….but I’ll live if I can’t find them anymore. But, I digress…

One of my Mom’s goals while we are here, is to see Mount Fuji. We did catch a glimpse of Fuji-san on our way to the Studio Ghibli Museum….but that doesn’t really count. Well, our hotel has 25 floors and I was sure that we’d be able to see the splendor of this dormant volcano. After putting our food away, off we went to the elevators….excited to see Fuji-san. I didn’t want to go into the restaurant or bar so we headed down the hallway where the ballrooms are located…all of which were locked. Sad that we couldn’t see the mountain, we headed into the bathroom just to see how spectacular it was. HOLYMOTHEROFALLGODS! Windows….an entire wall of windows greeted me as I turned the corner. Windows overlooking the west side of Ikebukuro…and there in the south west corner….in all of her splendor and beauty…was Fuji-san…with the sun setting behind her! Granted there was a cloud hanging over her top, but still! What a fantastic gift to receive on this last day of 2012.

Once the sun had finally set we were all on our way back to our room. Before, during, and after our dinner we watched this tv show that highlighted some of the current rising stars of Japanese music. I took pictures of each performer with the exception of the first two or three acts…so of course I totally missed Golden Bomber…fail. The show ended at 11:45pm with all the performers singing Auld Lange Syne in Japanese. For the last 15 minutes of 2012 we watched assorted temple bells being rung, other celebrations, and then at the stroke of midnight….fireworks were set off. One set was from the roof of Sunshine City 60 with a clear view from our hotel room. The other set of fireworks was too far for us to see clearly, but we still had a great show.

Exhasuted we finally passed out.

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