Blogging From a Cat Cafe

It gets hot in Tokyo.

暑い。
暑い。

Before you dismiss that picture above as just a screenshot of a weather app, please, read it. Look at that stuff:

  1. There is 62% humidity and no chance at all that it will rain.
  2. It’s 91°F (33°C) and it feels like 99°/37°.
  3. It’s only July.

And I can vouch for that “feels like” bit, too. In the train station (where you don’t feel that 17mph wind), it literally feels like a sauna.

But enough about the weather. Speaking only an idiot’s version of the language and knowing practically no one here, it gets lonely in Tokyo too.  I’m an introvert, and something of a loner too, but I’ve surprised myself by how difficult that level of alienation can be at times.

So today I’m treating myself to 3 hours at 猫の居る休憩所299 (neko no iru kyuukeisho 299, or “Rest Area 299, Where There Are Cats”).

Cat cafes - where being ignored by the other living beings around you is half the fun.
Cat cafes – where being ignored by the other living beings around you is half the fun.

Here’s what things look like as I write this:

Pretty nice. Also, here’s a cat licking my plastic bag. Some cats are into this sort of thing, including my kitty at home in America.

Weirdos.

By the way, just outside of Ikebukuro Station, I found a warp pipe:

I figure I could skip straight to Osaka if I got in this thing and crouched down.
I figure I could skip straight to Osaka if I got in this thing and crouched down.

 

Adachi Fireworks Festival

This weekend I went to the first fireworks festival of Tokyo’s summer, the Adachi Fireworks Festival on the Asakawa river.

It was IN-CREDIBLE.

hanabi-600px
It was an hour-long show.

There were fireworks that looked like red hearts, umbrellas, smiley faces, stars-within-circles, Doraemon’s face. Think about that – somebody figured out how to make shapes made of fire in the sky. It lasted from 7:30 to 8:30 and I have honestly never seen anything like it.

Shapes in the sky:

About 15 minutes into the show:

The big finish:

If you’re in Tokyo and want to see more 花火大会 (fireworks festivals) this Summer, there’s a massive list of them at gotokyo.org.

Aside: “firework” in Japanese is 花火 (“hanabi“). 花 = flower and 火 = fire. So they’re fireflowers!

I just thought that was neat.
I just thought that was neat.

Roller Slide!

I spent practically all day yesterday (and about $30 in train and bus tickets) traveling to and from Oume, a beautiful little city in western Tokyo.

oume-garden
Gardens and beautiful houses seen in Oume, Tokyo.

Why, you ask? Because according to Tokyo-Park.net, Kabokuen park was in Oume…

Kabokuen playground and it’s hiragana flower bed

…and Kabokuen has something American parks do not…

Roller slide!

I rode this thing probably seven or eight times before I had to catch my bus and begin the 2 hour trip back home. Worth it! The trick is to crouch and ride on your feet leaning forward. Some of the kids rode with a piece of cardboard underneath them but I didn’t see the need. Can’t wait to visit another park and ride some more. 😀