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Published: March 24th 2009
If there is one thing to be said about Tokyo, it's that it's one hectic and crazy place. The sheer mix of people and tourists that run around are confounding and mind boggling. Even with Sendai being a large city, I always get a little amazed seeing so many foreigners whenever I'm in Tokyo. Who knew that seeing people who looked like you would be slightly unsettling?
Anyway, I spent my weekend with friends and seeing my friend Raven for the first time in over a year. She just got into Tokyo this last weekend and I wanted to see her while she had free time before starting classes. So I went down on Saturday night and hung out with Ridwan and Amy. We got a quick pint at an Irish Pub and then headed out to Yokohama, where they live, and talked well into the night.
Sunday morning we all got up and went into Harujuku for brunch. There is this wonderful restaurant, Fujimama's, that makes a Western brunch and breakfast. I had biscuits and gravy for the first time in almost 2 years. It was so good to have sausage and home fries again. As we sat,
I noticed a lot of expats and other foreigners greeting each other and updating each other about life and whatnot. Fujimama's is were a lot of the expat community comes and, it seemed to me, most of the regulars all know each other. It was really fun to observe all those people catching up and enjoying a taste of home.
After gorging ourselves on brunch, we headed made our way to the Design Festa houses. Design Festa is a huge event for young and up and coming artists to showcase their work in Tokyo. There are two houses, East and West, and every couple of weeks the artists change. Numerous mediums are brought together through hallways, stairways, and a small ally that are covered in art. We had a blast going through all the rooms and deciding who we liked best. There were artists everywhere. Some painting on buildings and stairways, and others managing their little rooms and trying to sell postcards and interacting with the art community. We all left there with a couple postcards and a lot of interesting pictures.
I ended up staying with Amy on Sunday night because it was getting so late and
there was a lot of missed calls and e-mails between me and the friend Raven is staying with. So on Monday morning, Amy and I were up way too early and headed into Shinjuku with the morning work rush. Met up with Raven and headed out to Mitaka to play in the Ghibli Museum.
Now, those of you who know me know that I am in love with Ghibli movies. I had been dying to go to the museum for a long time now. After I found out I could buy tickets through the Loppi at Lawson, I was died set on going. You are only allowed 2 hours in the museum and you have to buy the tickets well in advanced. A good hint though, buy tickets for during the week. It is really hard to get tickets for the weekends, since everybody is off of work. Stick to the weekdays and you will have a much better chance in getting tickets.
The Ghibli Museum was the home for mine and Raven's inner child. We watched amazing clay animation, saw numerous watercolors and sketches that were lining walls and overlapping each other. I wished I could have
staying in that room for hours. Sadly, we were not the only ones in the museum, so we had to move on. There was a giant Cat Bus that huge group of kids were playing on. Sadly, we were a bit too tall and old to go in and play with them. Raven and I were really disappointed to. I really wanted to play on the cat bus!! On the top of the museum, there is a giant Laputa robot and power stone. You had to wind up a metal staircase and walk through a small bamboo lined path, as well as all the other museum goers.
Alas, our 2 hours were up. We did find the gigantic Totoro taking tickets at a fake ticket booth before we walked back to Mitaka station and found a basement udon restaurant. It was a lovely local place. I wish we had one in Sendai. The rest of the day was spent getting Raven's travelers checks exchanged and then seeing her friend and walking around a bit. I was bushed so I headed out to Tokyo around 4 and made it back to Sendai by 7:30. I was awake for only an
hour before I headed to bed. I was exhausted!
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