Friday, April 30, 2010

Trip Day 3: Ueno Koen

Here you have the photos of third day, we went to Ueno Park to eat under the Sakura, we didn't count with the fact that there were no Sakura blossoms yet.. xPP

The day was beautiful for a Picnic, so we woke up as early as we could to prepare and pack the food to take to the park.
I loved the hotel surroundings, as we walked to the train station I couldn't help but admire the place.., everything was so tiny, the cars, the parking lots, the buildings; it's so anime-like.. xDDD Really, at times I felt inside a DORAMA, plus near the hotel there was a school with that familiar sound of the Westminster chime!!! SO COOL!

Takadanobaba 01 Takadanobaba 02

Takadanobaba Streets, near our hotel.

When we arrived at Ueno Station you could feel the spring floating around even if it still was a bit cold.
There was this stall that sold some kind of Sakura mascot that resembles to an Alpaca. Does anyone know why Alpacas are so popular in Japan..? I'd really like to know!

Ueno Station 01
Ueno Station 02

Ueno Station.

When we got out of the station we went to Yamashiroya since Tamar had to buy a few things, so we sneaked around and bought the Willy Wonka truck with the chocolate.
After finally getting out of the shop (yes, my husband and I can be very dedicate while browsing shops.. xDD), we headed to the park.

Ueno Station from across the Street
Mandatory group photo.. xD

Liar Game the Final Stage!!
LIAR GAME the final stage ad spotted! ♥ Ahhh, Shota-kun!! :3333

Ueno Station 03
Mandatory location photo! xDD

Then we finally got to the park, there were lots of people, not as much as I would've expected, but a lot indeed.
As I said before, the trees weren't blossoming so I was a little disappointed since it looked like any other park in the world.. xDD

Ueno Park Map
Ueno Koen Map.. See how big it is..? I only got to see 1% of it.. xDD

Ueno Park 01
"The Gang of the Yellow Shoe" sightseeing.. xDD

Ueno Park 03
Ueno Park 07
Ueno Park 05
Apart from crows, there were lots of kitties..

Ueno Park 02 Ueno Park 04
Ryu-chan and I.., I'm making such a stupid face! >.<

After looking around for a while we decided it was time to eat.., so we found a place to seat and unpacked our food..
While we were eating, a guy approached us and spoke to Maka about something. What I don't remember is if he gave her a business card.. Did he, Maka?
In the meantime Tamar and I discussed the possibility of him being a HOSTO, but a very low budget one.. xDD while my husband tried to understand what a HOSTO was.. (you should've seen his face while Tamar and I tried to explain xDDDDD).

Noodles with Egg and Cheese
My noodles with egg and cheese!! :333

Takoyaki we bought at the park, everyone tried it except for me..

Maka Eating Takoyaki
Here is Maka eating the Takoyaki.., I think everyone like it!

Food Stalls
And here are the some of the food stalls.

As we walked our way to Toshogu Shrine I met the only cherry blossom tree in bloom, and like me, everybody was there taking photos of it..

The Only Sakura at the Park
Click to see it bigger so you can see it's a Sakura tree.. xDD

Then we went to the Toshogu Shrine.., sadly it was being refactioned so we didn't approached it, but we did looked around; some places to eat, your typical shrine things (yeah.., you can notice I'm not well-versed in this subject.., but you get the general idea.. xDD).
There was also "The flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" (you can read the origin below, if you like, looks like a lot but it's quite interesting!)
The Origin of "the Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"

On August 6, 1945, US forces dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and another on Nagasaki on August 9 the same year, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in an instant. Even now, many survivors are still suffering from the damage.

Sometime later, Tatsuo Yamamoto went to Hiroshima in search of his uncle, and found a flame of the atomic bomb burning in the ruins of his uncle's house. He brought it back to Hoshino-mura, his hometown in Fukuoka prefecture. He kept it burning in his house as a memento of his uncle and an expression of his resentment. But years went by, the meaning of the flame turned into a symbol of his desire for abolition of nuclear weapons and for peace. Hosino-mura village build a torch and transferred the flame to it on August 6, 1968. It has been keeping the flame ever since as the flame for peace, with the support of the villagers.

"The use of nuclear weapons will destroy the whole human race and civilization... The elimination of nuclear weapons... has become the most urgent and crucial for the very survival of the whole of humanity.
There must never be another Hiroshima anywhere on earth.

There must never be another Nagasaki anywhere on earth."
(From the "Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki" Issued in February 1985)

In 1988, a flame was taken from the torch and was merged with another flame lit by the friction of broken roofing tiles of Nagasaki. Along with 30 million signatures collected in support of the "Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki", it was carried to the third Special Session of the UN General Assembly for Disarmament taking place in New York City.

In April the same year, members of "Shitamachi People Association" put forward an idea of lighting the flame at the precinct of Ueno Toshogu Shrine in Tokyo. Rev. Shozen Saga, the chief priest, warmly welcomed the proposal, and promised to set up a monument and work together to keep the flame burning.

In April 1989, an "Association for the Flame of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Lit at the Ueno Toshogu" was founded with the people of wide ranging people. Tens of thousands of people took part in the fund-raising for over one year and the construction of the monument was completed on July 21,1990.

In commemoration of the 45th year of the A-bomb tragedies, a flame of Hiroshima was taken from Hoshino-mura and lit at the monument on August 6, and a flame of Nagasaki, generated by the friction of Nagasaki roofing tiles, was also added to the monument.

We, hereby pledge to keep burning the A-bomb flame, convinced that this monument should contribute to strengthening the worldwide people's movement to abolish nuclear weapons and achieve peace, which is the most urgent task for the people across the borders.

August 1990

Association for the Flame of Hiroshima & Nagasaki Lit at the Ueno Toshogu

Ueno Park 06
Ueno Toshogu entrance..

Ueno Toshogu Shrine 01
Ueno Toshogu Shrine 02
Food stalls at the shrine.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine 03
I don't know what is this for, I guess for some kind of exhibition or something like that..

Ueno Toshogu Shrine 04
Lanterns, beautiful lanterns!

The Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 01 The Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 02
And here is "the Flame of Hiroshima and Nagasaki"..
Maka and I wanted to take it as a freebie, the gang wouldn't let us.. xDD

After the shrine we went to the Tokyo National Museum, that day they were closing one our earlier so we got to see only one building and no gardens.., they looked beautiful though.. ;_;
Inside there were lots of beautiful things like Kimono, Katanas, Armors, and Art.., I love old Japanese art!
Sadly I have NO photo of those things, but it was mostly forbidden to take photos inside, with few exceptions..

Tokyo National Museum 01
Here's the Tokyo National Museum main building.

Tokyo National Museum 02
And NO! We didn't planned the white coats thingie.. xDD
We match because we are cool like that! ♥

When we got out from the museum, it was already dark, so the lamps on the path's edges were lighten up.. It was so pretty!!

Ueno Park at Night

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trip Day 2: Tokyo Arrival & Harajuku

OK.., so let's continue with the second day of the trip, our arrival at Narita airport, the chaos, the despair and Harajuku on Sunday..

So.., after 9 hours or so of flight, we arrive at Narita, our timing was great, the landing.., not so much; Ryu-chan and I got sick due to the killer turbulences and the recent breakfast. The difference between him and me, is that I was SO discrete that no one realized I felt sick, Ryu-chan, instead, remind me of that part in the film "Stand by Me" at the Tart eating contest.. OK.., you get the picture.. xDDDD

First we had to fill the immigration papers they didn't give us on board because they forgot them, so customs was cluttered with people trying to understand what to write and where to go, only me fighting with a son that stench of yoghurt.. DD:
When we finally sorted migration.., we headed to collect the baggage. I was really anxious at this point because the only thing I wanted was to change Ryu-chan's clothes.., so I run down stairs!

Welcome to Japan!
Welcome to Japan! The worse is yet to come..

Very few people were there at this point.., so no problem to pick up the luggage, except for the fact that MY suitcase wasn't there.. OH YES! You heard right.., it wasn't! SO I spent like 40 minutes filling papers and trying to understand the poor Japanese guy speaking engrish. It was quite a show.., I was almost crying, Ryu wanted clean clothes, and my husband was sick of Ryu's smell.. xDD
After 40 minutes trying to understand each others and trying to find where my suitcase was, they told me that it was in Rome, and the next day they were going to send it to the hotel when it'd arrive. And I was naive enough to believe it.. =_=
So we went directly to take the Airport Limousine to Shinjuku..

Waiting for the Airport Lumousine

My two "Borjas" waiting alone.., the airport was deserted.., just us.. xDD

Airport Limousine Ride
Ryu-chan inside the bus, happy to have clean clothes on!

After an hour trip, we arrived at Shinjuku, were Tamar was supposed to be waiting for us, but due to our problems and subsequent dilate, she dilated too.. xDD
Luckily it wasn't much of a wait, and after the so long waited meeting.. (I know she cried a little when she hugged me.. xDDDD), she guided us through Shinjuku station to Takadanobaba, where the hotel was.

It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to take photos of everything, but I was so tired and had to carry Ryu's luggage that I couldn't even take my phone out of the pocket to snap some pictures.
At the hotel we did the check-in and tried to adjust to a very strange english; now I understand how native english speakers have it hard to understand english with foreign accents.., so hard! DD:

After leaving everything in the room, I went down to the girl's room to meet Eva and Maka. there Tamar gave me the lovely Aprilia as a gift and I cried (but I cried for real!!), and then we went to Harajuku for sight-seeing and eating.

Takeshita-dori 01
At Harajuku station and the first peek at Takeshita-dori, it's crazy!!

Takeshita-dori 02
Crazy but awesome!!
There were so many people and we were walking so fast, that I didn't see a thing.. XDD

Around 5 pm. we arrived at the eating place.., an awesome building called Design Festa Gallery full of crazy art and awesome people. There were many little showrooms, mini galleries, and places to eat or drink.., there was Sakura-tei, an Okonomiyaki restaurant.
After a while trying to decide what to ask, we all went with different things, I picked a Monja-yaki since it didn't have any fish or anything from the sea.. xDD But it was harder to make than an Okonomi-yaki since it doesn't have egg.., but I cheated and later used my husband's Okonomiyaki's egg and could eat something.., but my jet-lag was so strong that I wasn't that hungry.

Design Festa Gallery
Entering the Design Festa Gallery.., crazy, huh?

Okonomiyaki at Sakura-tei
All the Okonomi-yaki and Monja-yaki being cooked!
I can't stop laughing at the donut-like monjayaki.. xDD

The restaurant was so cool! All with fantastic artwork on the walls and awesome ambient, of course I regret not taking more photos.., but with my phone camera this is all I could do.., plus my battery charger was inside the suitcase and I didn't want to run out of battery in case the airport people called me.

Ryu-chan at Sakura-tei
Maka at Sakura-tei

Here you get the picture of how the place was, with Ryu and Maka posing..

Later we went for a very quick visit to Harajuku's Closet Child, and I must say that now I don't regret that much not visiting any Emikyu real store, Closet Child is Emikyu's paradise! So many dream prints of mine, some cheap, some expensive, some impossible!!
And here is where I obtained my first piece of cloth.., one of my dream prints ever in the best colour!! Emikyu's 'Trump Print' JSK in Blue!! ♥

The story of how I got it is quite interesting; Maka got it for herself.., but since it was too long for her (it's quite long for me too), and I wanted so much, so much.., Tamar and Eva paid for the third part of the dress each of them and then the three of them gave it to me as a present since I didn't have clothes due to my lost suitcase.. xDD

Trump Print Blue JSK
Trump Print Blue JSK (detail)
Beauty in form of a JSK.., I couldn't be more happy!! :DDD

After visiting Laforet to buy intimate clothes in SWIMMER, which I'm not showing, we left for the hotel since we were dying and wanted to sleep forever.., but that forever were only 7 hours.. xDD

I hope you enjoyed this update on the trip with so little photos and lots of ranting.. xDD
Next will be better, and the other will be non-existent because I don't have photos.., Maka.. I know you have.., please upload them somewhere so I can have them too!! :333

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Trip day 1: Rome, Italy

Our flight to Rome was planned to take off at 06.00 am on Saturday, March 20th, so we arrived at the airport around 03.20 am, we did the check-in as soon as we arrived and went directly to police control & customs. What we didn't know was that the problems had already started without us even knowing..
The girl at the counter was SO stupid that she didn't know how to check a kid, and she was about 10 minutes trying to do so..; and her stupidity made her make a mistake that kinda fucked-up my trip, but let's leave that for the next post..

At Barajas Check-in
Alitalia counters at Barajas, Madrid clogged with very loud youngsters on school trip.

Eating at the check-in Queue
Ryu-chan decided the check-in queue was a great place
to have an spontaneous early breakfast.. xDD

I must add that we almost loose our flight thanks to police control, they only had one machine working and lots of people from two different flights were fighting to be the first passing through it. After passing through customs, they were already making the last call and us running along the terminal, and it wasn't even the T4.., but endless nonetheless..

Ready to Take-off
Happy to be on the plane!

We arrived at Fumicino, Rome at 08.40 am, but since our flight for Narita wasn't taking off until 15.00 pm, we decided to go visit Rome, the Colosseum, more precisely.

At Fumicino
At Fumicino Airpot, also known as Leonardo DaVinci Airport.

We took a train to Rome, and later made combination with the metro for the Colosseum. While we were waiting for the metro to arrive, my husband says: "Look, one of your kind.." I didn't understand at first, but then I looked and there was a lolita with what I think was an AP print, yellow tea party shoes and SWIMMER headphones, I was to far away from her so I can't tell how she looked like, and it would've been strange for me to approach and say "Hi!".. xDD

At Lido Station to the Colosseum
Ryu-chan at Lido Station waiting for the metro for the Colosseum.

We had no problem to find the Colosseum, the station name was "Colosseum" and it was quite viewable from the station exit.. xD

Colosseo Station 01
What you see when you get out of the station.

Colosseum 01
Here you have it! The amazing Colosseum..
I must admit I imagined it was bigger, but it's not the size that matters,
it's the beauty of it; so yeah.., it's impressive!

Inner & Outer Walls
The inner and outer walls.

Colosseo Station 02
Ryu-chan was so tired he sat down while my husband
and I were taking photos.

The surroundings were really pretty, full of ruins and green areas that are all part of the Colosseum.

Don't remember what those Ruines were..
Some ruins I don't remember what they were.. ¬.¬

Arc of Constantine
Ryu-chan & I with the Arc of Constantine at the back.

Once inside, we decided to take the guided tour, so we could at least understand what we were looking at.
I have to say again that I imagined it bigger, to me the interior looked specially small.
They make it look bigger on films.

The Arena 01

The Arena 02

Two photos of the Arena from different points of view,
and the Interior Seating.
Not as big as I thought it was, but more beautiful indeed!

After the tour, we went to the shop to see if we could buy some not so expensive and quite small souvenirs.
We did found something and someone.., it was so funny! Suddenly, my husband goes all secretive and tells me: "Look, Bono, the politician"; so he took a photo of him.. xDD
Yes.! We have a Bono in Spain, and it's not Bono Vox.. xDD, he's the President of the Congress of Deputies.

Colosseum Souvenirs

José Bono.. LOL
The postcard and the helmet we bought,
and the photo my husband took of the Spanish Bono.. xDD

And some more photos of the place as we were leaving to the airport again..

Seatings in the Background
The seating system, quite simple:
Rich people close to the arena, poor people up there..

Marble Columns Bases
Some marble columns bases..

Awesome Pillars

Travertine Pillars
The awesome pillars I fell in love with!

Then we took the metro and the train again to go back to the airport since it was 12.00 pm and we wanted to eat something before the flight.
We arrived at the airport and had some focaccia.., then headed to our gate after passing through the police control again.., so much fun!! Weeee! =_=
Got on the plane and started the killer flight which wasn't that bad at all, I was so tired that I almost slept the whole time.., but that's next post story..

Focaccia before the Killer Flight
The focaccia before the flight.
The chicken one was quite tasty.., but not as much as the one my husband makes! :3333

I hope I didn't bored you too much, but I like reading detailed trips, so that's what I try to do myself! :DD
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