Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Hydrangea" in English, "ajisai" in Japanese

Seiko and me

Seiko and Satsuki

Hello! Wow, two posts in less than a week. What's going on? I have more photos to share. Yesterday, I went with Seiko and her friend Satsuki to one of my favorite places, Kamakura. Our goal was to see the hydrangeas, which are in full bloom right now. They grow really well in this area of Japan, and the Japanese name for them is "ajisai." We went to two different shrines to see them, and also stopped by a popular money shrine that promises good fortune if you wash your money in the water there. Is it just me, or does "money washing" sound a bit like "money laundering"? Hmmmm. We washed our money and now I'm waiting to see what happens with it. Unfortunately, my photos of our money washing didn't turn out because I had my camera on a weird setting. However, I was really happy with my flower photos and I hope you will be too.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

That's really me in front of Tokyo Disneyland!

This is a covered version of Main St. USA and it's called World Bazaar.

Zach enjoying his popsicle---maybe a little too much?

Splash Mountain

Zach with his Mickey bucket of caramel corn.

This was delicious!

These bakers had 10 Mickey-shaped waffle irons going at once.

Cute! And tasty!

Inside the Enoshima Aquarium

Zach found a friend.

Cool jellyfish

Creepy and scary Japanese Giant Crab

They had a whale/dolphin/sea lion show in the afternoon that we watched. It was pretty good.

We stopped at McDonald's on our way home and tried this Shaka Shaka chicken. The instructions are on the bag, and it basically tasted like a McNugget covered with the powdered cheese you get in a Kraft Mac&Cheese box.

Zach saw these on the menu and was so excited to try one. They were good, but not good for you. Japan's McDs still deep fry their pies (I think they are baked in the U.S.), and this potato version is the same as the fruit ones.

Konnichiwa! Okay, so it has been a while since I've been back here and if some of you are annoyed, I apologize. I do think about my blog, if that means anything. I just haven't been good about writing. Anyhoo, I have some fun stuff to share, and if anyone is still checking this thing, I hope you enjoy it.

We've been enjoying a small vacation this past week. It was kind of a last-minute decision, so we stayed close to home. There is so much to do in Tokyo that we haven't done yet, and one of them was a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. We've been talking about it for a long time, and we finally went yesterday!!!! The park is quite similar to Disneyland, but it has its differences too. It was pretty crowded, but we didn't have too much trouble waiting in lines. The longest we stood was 70 minutes for their brand-new Monsters Inc. ride, which was a disappointing ride to us but probably quite fun for really little kids. We didn't have any problems with Pirates or Small World, two rides that always seem to have long lines in California. Most of the narration on the rides was in Japanese, of course, which gave them a new twist. In fact, I think it made the Pirates ride more scary. I was bummed that the Enchanted Tiki Room was closed for repairs because they have their own special Lilo and Stitch performance in Japanese that is supposed to be really fun, but Zach was thanking his lucky stars because he strongly dislikes the Tiki Room. I don't know why. ;-) "In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki room..."

Headband ears were incredibly popular, and they had so many different kinds---Mickey and Minnie, Dumbo, Bambi, Goofy. I got myself some cute Minnie Mouse ears on a headband and wore them proudly. Earlier in the day I bought some cheaper barrette-style ears but they didn't feel like they wanted to stay on, so I splurged and upgraded and was happy I did. ;-) I've been wearing them around the house today and Zach just keeps shaking his head.

We ate our fair share of tasty treats as all good Disneyland visitors do. Churros, a Mickey-shaped popsicle, Japanese curry rice (this was really weird to eat at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Westernland a.k.a. Frontierland), a slice of Mickey-shaped pizza, caramel corn in a Mickey Mouse refillable bucket (I mocked Zach when he said he was going to get it but realized that I was foolish---the bucket is cool and the caramel corn was yummy), and a Mickey-shaped waffle to end the day. Zach's friend told him that they sold turkey legs somewhere in Westernland, and he had his heart set on eating one, but we never found them and wonder if it is a seasonal thing.

Now that we've made it to Tokyo Disneyland, I'm hoping that there will be a future trip to Tokyo DisneySea, a second amusement park next to Disneyland. Apparently it's the only one like it in the world, and we've heard lots of positive things about it.

We also made it to the Enoshima Aquarium this week. It was a bit pricey for what they had, but the weather was cooperative (the rainy season is almost here) and it was fun to see and smell the ocean. They had a pretty cool jellyfish exhibit and giant Japanese crabs that freaked me out. It's been nice having Zach home from work, and I'm glad we got out and saw a few more Tokyo sights. There's just so much to see and do here.