Adventure Time!


Today I set out to be a tourist again. It’s amazing how quickly anywhere in the world can get comfortable and boring if you don’t take it upon yourself to go out and see what’s around you. So I found the One Day in Tokyo itinerary on Wikitravel and decided to sort of follow it.

I started off strong by waking up around 9 therefore abandoning the whole “go to the fish market and have sushi for breakfast at 5am” part of the plan. No thank you. If clocks were people their butthole would be 5am, and fish for breakfast sounds like something that is illegal to do to prisoners.

So I went to the Edo-Tokyo Museum and learned about Tokyo’s history.

Childbirth during the Edo period was generally seated delivery, and the woman in labor used a rope hung down from the ceiling or an assistant as a support. The newborn baby was given its first bath by the midwife, who seated herself in front of the bath tub and bathed the baby by placing it on its face on her lap. One reason for this was to protect the opening made from cutting the umbilical core from getting wet. Another reason was that it was commonly believed one should not take an eye off the child’s back which, according to Chinese belief, was an important place where all five entrails were concentrated. The mother of the newborn child, in accordance with a popular tradition to prevent blood from streaming up to her head, had to spend seven days and nights seated, either on the delivery seat or leaning against the futon piled up. Unfortunately, it was not uncommon that this practice ruined the woman’s health.

Check out the incredible process of woodblock printing. Step 1 is on the right, and each step adds more detail. I was impressed.

Next I went to the Meiji Jingu temple garden. That was a nice walk in a park which was frequented by the Emperor and Empress themselves when they were alive.

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Then I walked through Shinjuku’s Harajuku and found a place called Calbee Plus, dedicated to nothing but treats made of fried potatoes.

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Masaaki Yuasa spoke along with some other folks I didn’t know (but that probably just makes me the Philistine here, not them the unknowns). Here they are discussing the episode he was given free reign to create in Season 6:


OK then I came home and burned some gyoza for dinner and wrote this.


My Not-Allowed-to-Stay-In-The-Apartment-All-Day Day

My company is on break for the Obon holiday for most of this week, and I am determined not to spend it in my apartment watching South Park and Seinfeld on Internet TV. So I gave myself a rule today: out by 10am and back no sooner than 7pm.

I hopped on a train in a direction I never go and asked my girlfriend to pick a number between 1 and 30 (she picked 22). That’s how many minutes I stayed on the train.

The results:

1. Got off the train and started walking around, ended up walking into the area around Sensō-ji, my second time there in a week but this time from behind the temple. Saw a lot I missed by coming in through the Kaminarimon Gate, like the lovely works inside the free admission Taito City Edo Shitamachi Traditional Crafts Museum.

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Ate some delicious fried custard stuff and did a little shopping:

The cat make a speech. Listen to its meow.
The cat make a speech. Listen to its meow. Dream of a sweet love song.
Hehehe I don't know why I love this store's name so much.
Hehehe I don’t know why I love this store’s name so much.

Moved on, hop another train and ended up…

2. At Yashio station where I looked at some clothes

Satan Faith: Bulldog. hahahaha

And then I stepped into the spot to which, unbeknownst to me, destiny had been leading me all day: The 3rd Planet Game Arcade.

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And finally, I rounded the corner to witness a miniaturized horse race betting game. O_O

By the way, did you miss the fact that one of the jockeys’ bodies was horrifically snapped off at the waist? He was just a set of legs. I think that should disqualify him.

I was wandering around inside 3rd Planet thinking “This place smells just like the bowling alleys back home,” when I rounded the corner to discover:

It is also a bowling alley.
It is also a bowling alley. This place is incredible.

I played one game. One sad little game.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a two-digit bowling score.
A pirate-themed, two-digit, single-player bowling game score.

Finally emerging from the incredibly fun and diverse gaming experience that my day had become, I grabbed a bite at the finest McDonald’s I have ever laid eyes on.

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And now I’m writing this on the train at 7:30pm. Google maps says I’ll be home in 15 minutes, where I’ll upload all those pictures you just saw. My random train-riding journey took me to the opposite side of Tokyo from my home and cost me about ¥3000 total. Success.

If you’re ever looking for something to do, stop looking and just get outside. Something to do will find you.

Now for some South Park…