Friday, January 23, 2009

Shinky

Monday was a holiday for us, MLK's b-day, no school for the girls and O was off work, so I made plans for us to go check out the shinkansen(s) in Tokyo.>
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In the end, O was on call, so he couldn't go, and the girls were less than enthusiastic about spending an hour on the train....to go look at trains. So, it was just me and my sweetie-pie.
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The weather was beautiful, warm and sunny. We set off a little before 12:00 and arrived at Yurakucho station, one stop past Tokyo station. There's a building there that's directly across the street from the station, the Kotsu Kaikan bldg, that has an outdoor deck/patio on the 3rd floor, which is exactly level with the bullet train tracks. We got some Wendy's to-go and headed up to the deck for a picnic. E was beyone excited, when the first "shinky", as he calls them, came past, he fell of the bench in his excitement! It was so cute! But all that excitement made it impossible to get any good pictures. A train came past about every 10 - 15 min, and because they were coming and going from Tokyo station right up the street, they were going slowly so there was plenty of time to take in everything. We had a great time, Ethan was so sad when it was time to go.
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Since we were so close to Tokyo station, I decided we'd walk there to catch the train home, I've been wanting to check out the station for quite awhile, it's massive and is almost 100 years old! It has a beautiful brick exterior, which is very rare here in Japan. When we got to the station, we discovered that there's a major renovation going on, which meant tons of construction, which meant tons of heavy machinery and equipment, which meant one very happy, little boy!
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We hung around outside the station for awhile, watching the construction and a beautiful sunset over Tokyo. Then headed inside to explore the station.
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I had no idea what was in the station and I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe some historical stuff since it's so old, or maybe just the excitement of a huge, big-city train station. But I sure wasn't expecting what we found!
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First, in the basement we found Tokyo First Street, a shopping mall! Tons of awesome stores, but the most incredible was the Tomica store! Tomy is the Japanese version of Hot Wheels. This was an entire store full of nothing but Tomy stuff. By this point I don't think Ethan could have handled anymore excitement! As with every Japanese toy store, there were tons of products on display, ready to be played with! I snuck a birthday present to the register while E was distracted, then we picked him out a pair of really cool shoes (I haven't gotten a pic yet, but you can kind see them in this one). Amazingly, he was perfectly content picking out just one little car, and left happily when I said it was time to go. I was expecting tears and protests, but I think he was probably a little overwhelmed from all the excitement of the day and was looking forward to getting back home to calm, familiar surroundings; he's very much a homebody, like his papi, and prefers his own house over any other place.


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Ethan in car heaven



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Even though the rest of the family bailed on us, we had a really great day. It was nice to do something fun, just the two of us, I don't get to spend much one-on-one time with my little sweetie pie. But I'm definitely heading back one day soon, by myself, to do some more retail exploration! Next on my list: Shinagawa Station.



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