A Day To Myself

Finally a day to myself. One where no work is involved. A day where minimal chores will be done. An opportunity to do whatever I wanted.

First I took a morning nap. Then I made lunch. There are so many things I could be doing. But this is what I have planned until dinner:

Time to build a model I bought in Japan! Fun times! Hopefully I can get most of it done without interruption. I need a bit of “me time” or “down time” or whatever you want to call it.

It’s about time.

Odaiba

We are doing our best to explore as much of Tokyo as possible on this trip. With tons of walking and lots of train rides, I think we are doing pretty good. Sure, we won’t see everything, but we are definitely trying. Our next adventure took us to Odaiba.

Hold up.

Our first adventure was waking up at 8:19am to a 5.0 Magnitude earthquake. Laying in bed, in a hotel, in a foreign country as the room trembled back and forth was an uneasy feeling. I was happy that it was a minor one. It took a few minutes after the rumblings but we calmed down and we just went on with our day.

On our way to the train station, we saw an incredible clock. Just like a tourist- we took a bunch of photos. When we arrived in Odaiba- we immediately began taking tons of more photos. There is a Statue of Liberty and the iconic Fuji TV building as soon as you step out of the train station. We then walked towards the outer edge of Odaiba in hopes of walking the parks, but it was all under construction with signs of the 2020 Olympics. So we wandered back towards finding the Full Size Unicorn Gundam!

Hold up!

But we weren’t going to make it there right away. We got distracted by a lost puppy. She was cowering in between the sidewalk and the fence over a major roadway. Clearly terrified. So I carefully got her out and my wife and I discussed what we should do. We began to head towards the Hilton hotel when we noticed some police just up the road.

Turns out they were looking for the dog for about twenty minutes. I was amazed that something like this is handled by the police, and the fact that they were actively looking for the dog. We waited about five minutes with the officer while another one walked his bike and the dogs owner to us. This is not something we see the police do in Canada. The owner was relieved and thanked us profusely before we went on our way.

Now we made it to the large Gundam. That thing is impressive! Even my wife thought it was pretty cool so she gave me the okay to buy a few limited edition Gundam models from the gift shop. We headed into Diver City and did some more souvenir shopping.

Hold up again!

We found Café de Miki with Hello Kitty and clearly had to stop for a lunch. My wife and daughter love Hello Kitty, so this was a no-brainer. We got to keep a souvenir mug and marmalade as well. After lunch, we went downstairs to the Hello Kitty store and bought some more stuff.

We left Diver City and made our way to Pallete Town and Mega Web. We stopped in at the Toyota showcase and saw some amazing concept cars that run on hydrogen and the kids tried out a VR sports car. This was on our way to the 115 meter tall Daikanransha Ferris Wheel. On the Ferris wheel we saw some amazing views of the city and bay. Then my wife remembered we had experienced an earthquake earlier in the day and was looking forward to the ride being over.

After the ride, we wandered through another mall called Venus Fort with some unique indoor decor. We made a quick stop at an arcade to play some more of the Drum Game, four player Pac-Man and air hockey. Of course we had to stop at a Studio Ghibli store and spend another small fortune on goodies.

Finally we escaped the malls and crammed onto a train to head back to our hotel and unload our goodies. This was our day of shopping which was originally planned for Monday. So now we have a free day opened up on our itinerary.

Hmmm… looks like family has voted for another day to be spent at DisneySea.

Experiencing Japanese Cafes

Today we slept in after two hard days at both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. We needed a calm down and decided to take in some other unique experiences Tokyo has to offer. So we took our adventure to Akihabara.

We couldn’t even leave the train station without spending a tiny fortune on tiny capsules filled with tiny toys. We hunted them out afterwards and spent a bit more. But the first real stop was only steps away from the train station. We hit up the Gundam Cafe for a quick lunch (and lots of food photos for Instagram).

After lunch, we wandered the streets walking in and out of shops filled with those capsule machines and anime statues. I also found the “Table Flip” arcade game I was so desperate to play. We gave it a go for fun. My son made the top ten on the scoreboard. Then it was time for us to head out for the reason for our trip to Akihabara.

Then the highlight of our day was spending an hour in the Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe. Almost hidden down a side street with no real markings except a few small signs on the windows. You need to book in advance, and they give you directions on how to find it.

Once we were there, it was like walking into a zen filled oasis. Classical music, whispered voices, and owls. Lots of varieties of owls. All of which were perfectly happy to visit with us as we marveled at them.

We were each given an opportunity to hold two different owls. So of course we took it! And we took hundreds of photos! This was one of the most unusual and gratifying experiences we have had. I even got to “hold” a Burrow Owl. This is my favorite Owl ever since I saw a Cartoon of it. I want one now more than ever!

That pretty much ended our day on an extreme high. We left Akihabara feeling fulfilled and could not stop talking to each other about the experience in the Owl Cafe.

If you make it to Tokyo- check out Akiba Fukurou Owl Cafe it’s worth it.

Astro Boy

Today was the third time my two youngest and I built some Gundam models that we had received at Christmas. I sat with them as they built their own “Petit’gguy”. They have a small collection of them now.

I walked them through how to read the instructions. I also showed them how to cut each plastic piece out carefully. Watching them assemble their models made me profoundly proud. Their concentration and attention to detail was impeccable. Once the kids were done, I started on mine. It was a calming activity that we all enjoyed.

During the builds- I put on “Astro Boy” from the early 80’s. We also have another box set from a more recent 2000’s reboot, but the original to me was a better fit for today. Astro Boy was my first introduction into anime when I was a young child. It was sci-fi fun that I connected with almost immediately. Through the years following, anime became a favorite genre of mine. My children have also developed a love of anime.

One time when we were driving down to Disneyland, we stopped at a gas station for a short break. On the back wall near the restrooms were a bunch of toys. My children had to buy me the Astro Boy characters that were there. It was really sweet that they wanted to make me happy. I guess they understand how to get to my soft spot.

Having connections with my children is something I’m really happy about. We share a love of many things. They’ve even introduced me to shows that they have become fond of- such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Teen Titans GO as well as others. We sit and watch together and talk about the shows.

Having quality time with my family has always been important to me and will continue to be for many more years.