Day 4 Japan 3 25 2014

Today was all sorts of amazing. No, no rock star sightings…unfortunately. Instead the day was filled with loads of walking, seeing a plethora of animals, eating delicious foods, goofing around, buying weather appropriate shirts, and sweating.

We decided to head off to Ueno Zoo today. The weather was picture perfect…I think I got a bit of a sunburn too. The zoo was bustling when we first got there but not real busy. Since Mom has her walker we were escorted to the staff only area in front of the windows. This was perfect because the pandas were outside in their pens just walking around. They are so big and fluffy!!!!! I would have loved to watch them all day but other people wanted to take their pictures and gaze upon their awesomeness…..and we had squirrels to find!

Last time we couldn’t find the squirrels in their exhibit space. This time, however, was a go! There was one little guy running around making me and a few other people chase him around the enclosure. Finally he found something tasty to eat and settled on top of a little squirrel house. I took some really cute pictures.

While we were watching the Prairie Dogs Mom started up a conversation with a woman and her son from Australia. They were soooooo nice!!! The woman informed us that llama’s can be trained to follow their owner around and to poo in one area of a paddock. I think I may have to get a llama…..cuz that would be super bad assed!

The  rest of the zoo was pretty awesome but not interesting enough to document about. The only thing that warrants writing about is, in the small mammal house a grandma tripped over her granddaughter. She couldn’t get up on her own, but Mom was right there to help her up. I even helped a bit….she was surprised that she was getting help to stand up and thanked us profusely!! That was cool. So were the bats….OMG were they cute!!!!

Once we were done looking at the animals and helping people stand up, we decided to go to a traditional sweet shop that is right next to the zoo entrance. We had been there last year and the visit this time was just as enjoyable. The tea was great and just what we needed. I ordered the dango, anmitsu, and something that I can’t remember LOL. I did take a picture of the menu so as soon as those pictures are posted I’ll remember. LOL

Next was the shrine, which is next to the sweet shop. Last time we were here, the shrine was closed for repair. This year….OMG…it’s breathe taking! We didn’t go into the shrine to tour the inner grounds because we were all getting tired and a bit hungry. We did stop at Starbucks before we headed into the zoo (Monkey got a Vanilla Creme Lemon Frappacino….it’s really good!!!) and did have some sweets and something that I still can’t remember, but with all the walking we were doing we were getting hungry. Before we left the park we decided to walk toward the Museum and take some pictures of the few cherry trees that had flowers on them. Most of the trees are in bud now, so it’s a matter of just waiting. We rested a bit besides the huge fountain in the park before making our way back to the train station.

Since we are heading to Kyoto tomorrow on the bullet train I thought it would be good to stop and see what the Tokyo station looked like. I’m so glad that we did. That station is HUGE!!!! We wandered around a little bit before I left Mom and Monkey to rest while I went to Information to ask about reserving seats and exactly where we board the train. The clerk spoke perfect English and was super helpful.

Finally we found our way back to Ikebukuro, bought some tasty foods to eat, and lounged in the hotel room for a little while. Due to the weather being as nice as it is (sorry, not to rub it in) I needed to venture out and find some shirts…I brought mainly sweaters…which won’t cut it in this heat. Because we are going to Kyoto, I needed to find shirts that I not only liked but that also covered the tattoos…it’s a cultural thing and I want to be respectful. I found three nice ones and called it a day.

I’m exhausted and need to wake up early tomorrow morning. We’re leaving the hotel by 6:15am to get to the train in time. If I’ve forgotten anything, I’ll fill it in tomorrow.

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