Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 4 (6 May) in Tokyo

This was one of the highlights of our trip - the Ghibli Museum. It was the day Sis and I explored Tokyo on our own without our Cousin accompanying us. It was very nice of her to bring us around Tokyo and Cousin-in-law also had dinner and a lunch with us. We talked about work, life in Japan, etc. Sis and I may have missed out some interesting places in Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ginza, Ueno and also the nice makan places, without them.

To get to Mitaka, we had to change to the JR Chuo line at Shinjuku. We took the Express train instead of the Rapid one and ended up paying about $10 when the conductor checked our tickets. Hee. Express train goes directly to Mitaka without stopping at the other stations between Shinjuku and Mitaka. Once outside of Mitaka Station, we managed to find the bus stop no. 9 easily, buy the bus tickets and board the bus.

We were excited when we reached Ghibli Museum. Both of us like the animes by Hayao Miyazaki such as Spirited away, Howl's Moving castle. Visitors are prohibited from taking photos inside the museum. When I visited it the first time, it was crowded but this second time, we were early and it wasn't packed yet. We leisurely admired the "exhibits". We watched the clay models spin at high speed and yet seem to be moving in slow motion due to strobe lights. There are 2 rooms showing sketches, pencil drawings, coloured pieces, storyboard of the various animes, a mock up of how Miyazaki created the animes from scratch, I think. Kids will probably feel inspired seeing all these and the coloured pencils and drawing stuff.

We then proceeded to the theatrette to watch a short anime clip. The little girl character, the cats (who don't look like normal cats since they are called Neko Basu, Cat Bus) and Totoro all look so adorable. I bought the CD for its soundtrack and also a medium size Neko Busu :) Sis got a small Neko Busu, a big Dustball and a little ghostly keychain.

After the visit to Ghibli Museum, our plan was to visit Kichijoji, a place I read that has interesting zakka shops. But when we went out of the train station, we don't know where to go. We went back inside and bought some cookies from Aunt Stella. We then decided to visit Shimo-kitazawa again and try to look for the interesting cafe, Deli & Baking Co. we read about.

It was still raining when we reached Shimo-kitazawa. We studied the map at the station and Sis kept a lookout at the unit number of the shops. We managed to find the area "29" where the cafe is located and after walking around, we found it. We were so happy. The cafe looked inviting. The waitresses were friendly and the cake display looked so good.

Cosy environment too.

I had a soy latte while sis a caffe latte. The stirrer is an ice cream stick.

The server understands some English, so we didn't have much problem ordering our food. I just asked whether they have "Sakana" or fish for one of their main dishes and she pointed to the Japanese characters on the menu. Sis order a Loco Moco Hamburger rice dish and I got the fish one. Mine may not look as interesting as Sis' but it was wholesome. I like the multigrain rice and the fish tasted fresh. I helped sis with some of her veggies too.

The meal was quite substantial that we didn't have any space for desserts. We agreed that we would be back at the cafe again before leaving Shimo-kitazawa to buy some cakes back.

We visited the interesting shops like T-Four and Communication Mania and discovered a few more interesting ones. We went back to Deli & Baking Co and got a muffin each. At Shibuya, we bought some sandwiches from the Andersan bakery at one of the department stores. On the way back to our hotel, we popped into Tokyo Hands, a departmental store and found a pet shop called Pets Living right on the upper floor. I remember in Odaiba there is a shop called Cats Living selling cat food and accessories and also has a space for visitors to mingle with their cats at a price. It is the same for the Pets Living too but Sis and I were more interested in the bags and cute stuff with cat designs. Hee.

Back in the hotel room, we had our dinner of sandwiches. Sis ate her Oreo cream cheese muffin. I tried a bit and it tasted quite nice. I was saving my Raspberry Chai muffin for breakfast the next day.

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