Our [Abbreviated] Amazing Race – Day 1 

(Technically day two but we were so exhausted and jet-lagged when we arrived that we passed out cold. We’re getting old and we have a baby. So those who are following, I’m writing about our Saturday, which for all of you was your Friday. Confused? We’re fifteen hours ahead. Literally in the future.)

Which brings me to my first post about Tokyo. It is the future. When you can order your udon noodle meal by pushing a button and putting money in and then your order is placed, you are in the future (think Coke vending machine). This totally does away with the need for a wait staff. 

Anywho, I’m exhausted so I’m just going to bullet point our experience on this first day out. 

  • Toilets in Japan are super high-tech… Our hotel room toilet has a butt warmer and several buttons to make your elimination experience top notch. Once your full elimination is complete, there’s usually a built in bidet to give you the ultimate clean, fresh feeling. Public restrooms have several buttons to push as well. 
  • Japanese people seem very polite and they seem to keep to themselves. It was a sunny day today and we saw very few wearing sunglasses. Interesting. Tokyo is like New York City on crack. Lots and lots and lots of people. No one says,”Excuse me,” or “Pardon me,” but it’s not offensive because there are so many people walking; It’s pretty unavoidable to bump someone a little when walking around. I would say most signs and storefronts/restaurants are in Japanese. They don’t give a crap here about catering to English-speaking tourists when it comes to that. While I would say a good amount of cab drivers, store associates, etc knew enough English to wait on us, we kind of had to figure things out when it comes to shops and where we were walking into. You are in their country and it’s apparent… but not bothersome. We made do and it’s not terribly hard to figure things out. And again, not offensive. I think we’ve been spoiled by traveling to Europe where things are typically translated. 
  • We ventured to the Harajuku District, specifically Takeshita Dori Street. Shoshanna on Girls called it Katy Perry’s Vagina due to all the pink-centric Harajuku girls walking around. In our experience, we saw lots of trendy young people, but I wouldn’t say it was a sea of pink. Super touristy and JAM-PACKED but worth a visit for our first and possibly only time in Tokyo. Full of tons of tchotchke shops and creperies… and a cotton candy shop that sells cotton candy the size of your head. We had luck at the Oriental Bizarre. An awesome shop for fun souvenirs. The visit to this district definitely made me claustrophobic but I’m glad we went, even if just to people watch. 
  • Imperial Palace and gardens were beautiful. Cherry blossoms, koi fish, bamboo trees… very neat. 
  • The subway played a little jingle when we got off at one of our stops. It sounded like we got a star or one-up in Super Mario Bros. 
  • We tried what we think was real ramen tonight. Udon noodles in broth. Going to go ahead and say it was. Pretty damn good.
  • Remember when you were little and you went to Showbiz Pizza for birthday parties? Well imagine going to Showbiz while on an electrical, magical acid trip… in Japan. I’ve never done acid myself but I’m pretty sure the Robot Restaurant is what it’s like. This really deserves a post of its own. Wow. Just wow. There’s nothing like it and it’s so unbelievably bizzare and amazing. So weird and I’m so happy I got to see that in my lifetime. 

Anywho, that’s all she wrote for tonight. Off to Kyoto tomorrow. 

Oyasumi nasai. 

Morning view and tea. 

In case your baby needs to use the toilet, here’s one. 

Imperial gardens


Takeshita Dori (Harajuku District)

Todd’s so excited to go to the Robot Restaurant!


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