General Life · holidays · Japan Travel

New Years 2015

After two blurred (blurry?) days occupying space in my office chair last week, I flew off to Tokyo for the long weekend. Stayed in Akabane, which turned out to be very convenient for getting to the places I wanted to go. The only downside was that my room was a smoking room, because that’s all that was left. It was bearable for a short period of time, thankfully.

Me 'n GudetamaDropped my bag at the hotel and zipped off to Ikebukuro to meet up with my friend Alma, who I hadn’t seen since Y-Con 2010. We headed out to Tokyo station to look for the Marvel pop-up cafe (already closed, alas) and the Gudetama store (of which we found two … and dropped money at both). Tasty lunch was had as well, and some wandering around the character stores under the station proper. Eventually we surfaced from the station so we could see the lovely renovations that had been done for the station’s 100th anniversary. Hit up a post office for postcards and chilled a bit before I headed back to nap. Met up with Alma, Susan and a few other folks for traditional New Years Eve soba dinner, chatted for a while, then headed back to the hotel to watch the Kohaku music show and ring in the new year with iced tea and chocolate mousse (and a little quake).

Up the next morning to meet everyone for the madness that is lucky bag shopping. I wasCute Tony Moly makeup good, and only picked up a couple for myself — a cute little bag of makeup and accessories from Tony Moly (plus some other makeup purchases there — their stuff is too cute) and some skin/hair care (SK-II) products at Kokumin. The SK-II products I got are worth over $175, making the 6,000 yen price tag more than worth it. Bowed out on shopping when most of the group took round one’s haul back to their hotel. Opted instead for lunch with Alma, which involved a brief bit of snow and two very pushy pigeons. And a lot of good bread. We ran around the various Kbooks and Mandarake there in Ikebukuro before I headed back to crash for a while. Had dinner and coffee at Denny’s and explored a little around the station before tucking in for the night.

The 2nd, Alma and I were off to Ueno for the Attack on Titan exhibit. Nothing like starting your day listening to people getting eaten by giants. Heh. I loved seeing all the artwork, and my appetite is whetted for the live action movie now. We wandered around the park a bit, then took advantage of Starbucks’ outside heaters for a snack and coffee. Had a brave little birdie hop up on my plate twice for my crumbs. Tried a roast sweet potato, fresh off the grill on the back of a van, for the first time. So good! Went back to Tokyo station, where Alam fell prey to more Gudetama and some Miffy, while I stuck to a lone Kuroko no Basuke clear file. Met up with everyone for shabu shabu early, then headed back to the hotel.

TitanLast full day I bummed around the department stores in the Ikebukuro station before meeting up with everyone, plus Riko, for tea at Harrods. Riko and I had been trying for high tea there for almost a year. And we finally managed it. Heh. After tea, window shopped with Riko in the Mitsukoshi and the Shibuya Hikarie building before meeting back up with everyone, plus other friends/new acquaintances, for an izakaya dinner. Had the best tofu I’ve ever tasted — fresh and creamy and wonderful (and I can’t believe I just typed that I really liked tofu!). Had a sour plum cocktail (interesting!), fried gizzards for the first time in forever and cream cheese with miso, which was tasty.

And now I’m back at work for a full week for the first time since … the second week of December. We have a holiday next Monday, but I think I’ll work it and save the time for post-concert travel.

Full set of pics can be found here.

I don’t normally do resolutions, because I know better than to think I will keep up with anything for long, but I feel up to the challenge this year. So, I resolve to:

  • Live a healthier lifestyle — Better food, more moving around, more sleep
  • Read more — Much more
  • Study Japanese regularly — I’ve picked up some things from practical use, but I need to work on my vocabulary. Maybe even try the JLPT in the winter.
  • Stay as socially active as I have been — No hermitting
  • Keep traveling and exploring Japan — Shikoku is on the list for spring; perhaps Okinawa in the summer
  • Be the best darn Rodeo Girl I can be — Which will probably involve organizing something from foreign fans for whatever G10 turns out to be. Flowers, presents, something….
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