My Trip to Japan: Day 4 Shrines, Shopping, and Haneda

Shun and I woke up rather early (of course I never quite fully adjusted to the time change.  I did have a normal sleep pattern, just that of a 70 year old woman where I would go to bed at around 10 and wake up at 6 or 7.)  He made me breakfast, because he is such a sweetheart.  It was spinach soup, over easy eggs, and some rice with just a bit of soy sauce on the egg.  I don’t care what he says, he is a good cook!  Then we went to some various shops in Kameido, including a small dollar store.  Then we kept walking and we got to a small street (which had no side walk so people just walked down the street avoiding passing cars as they came).  It had a lot of flower shops on it and there were streamers, almost like the leis you get in Hawaii (or some I imagine) crossing all over above our heads and down the street.  You could smell the perfume of the flower shops as well.  I took a couple of pictures just because it struck me as wonderful.

Then Shun took me to a small and not so famous shrine (of shinto origin) in Kameido.  There it was, just sitting in the middle of such a big city, but it looked so untouched.  We didn’t really stop and experience all the temple had to offer, but we did look at all the outside stuff and take pictures.  We also threw some yen into a box as an offering and prayed.  I’m not sure to whom, but I did it anyway heh heh.  Then we got on a train and went to the next station, Kinshicho.  We went in this big department store and looked around a Japanese Supermarket.  It was huge, and I did see a couple of American products there, only really expensive.  Spam in America is around $2 at Kroger (or this kind anyway, not the fancier kind) and it was around $3.50 in Japan.  Sour cream was around $3 for less than 8 ounces also.

We also went to a larger dollar store, which was amazing!!  I feel like I should have bought more there, but alas I did the whole, “well this is cute…” *puts said item back on shelf*  We also went to a book store, and I looked around, but didn’t really buy a whole lot outside of a postcard of Mt. Fuji for my mom.  Shun bought some travel magazines.  I looked at a popular clothing store, just to browse and see what sort of things were different.  I do agree with Mai when she said Japanese bras are prettier.  Oh, and they have some awesomely soft clothes.  I also ate some sort of curry bread as a snack somewhere in there.  Shun recommended it, and it was really good.  It had real carrots in there…  I’m sort of getting my whens mixed up here, but I know I also went to an accessory store (I was drawn in my all of the shiny things) and a candy store (mostly with traditional candy).  We also ate at a really popular Japanese restaurant, where I tried a sort of tonkatsu (it was fried chicken, maybe? in a miso broth with vegetables and eggs).  It really left me wondering why we didn’t have any authentic Japanese food in America instead of that Shogun crap they try to pass off…

After that we went to Haneda Airport, where they just finished building a new international terminal.  There were a lot of people there, mostly just looking around like we were.  The shops inside the airport are designed to look like edo period towns.  We didn’t go into many in that part, although we did in other non-edo portions of the airport.  I mostly liked taking pictures.  This is also where I experienced my first awesome Japanese public toilets (which I miss dearly every time I use a public restroom in America).  First, the doors are designed so no one can see you in the stall.  Kind of nice not to have that massive crack in between the door.  Second, the toilet has more features that you can imagine, and the seats are heated.  There is a place in the bathroom for young children as well.  Some (even though they don’t have all the other fancy gadgetry, have place in the very top of the toilet where you can wash your hands after you flush.  The hand dryers are awesome because you just stick your hands into it, and the machine blows air at the top, and you just pull your hands out and the water comes off.

Anyway, we went to some other shops in Haneda, including a toy shop where I bought Shun a toy car and we watched some cute kids race little toy cars on a big race track.  We also went into the Hello Kitty store, because I really like Hello Kitty.  It started to get kind of dark, so we went outside to the platform where you can watch the planes.  There were some more adorable kids, as well as a nice view of Tokyo and the airport.  We stayed out there for a while before deciding to head back.  Shun gave me some other options after we got back.  There was plenty to do, but I was tired, so we rented a movie.  I also got a sandwich at Family Mart, because I was craving bread.  And just as a note, not any wheat bread that I could find and not a wide selection of bread outside of dessert bread.  But the sandwich was good and got the craving out of the way (also different from sandwiches in America).

I don’t remember what movie we rented, I just know we wanted to rent Tonari Totoro but it was already checked out, or something.  So we got something else, but I ended up falling asleep less than halfway through, and he ended up falling asleep at some point as well.  but that was our Monday, and it was quite fun!!

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