Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finally Nicholas's turn

At TIS the kids had their spring concert. This is really more for Judy-gram who requested that Nicholas be in the spotlight on the blog as the other two have had their chance. Poor middle child. He really did surprise us with his somewhat enthusiastic performance. Kate's class performed a few traditional Japanese dances - and I should probably post those as Nicholas's class focuses on water - not really anything Japanese...but it's his turn. It's a long one and I don't expect anyone to watch all of it. It's hard enough to sit through your own child's performance.

Connor is narrating.
This one's for you mom.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fish heads fish heads rolly polly fish heads

One thing on everyone's list when they visit Tokyo is the Tsukjij Wholesale Fish Market. It is recommended to hit it around 5am to see the most action. So the best time to visit the market is the first or second day you are here as you will be waking up early enough due to jet lag. All of our visitors have been there, done that. Finally it's my turn. The highlight is the Tuna Auction from 5AM-6AM. I wasn't there for the early show - but there was still plenty to see at 9AM. And the earlier the better as the market closes up around 10am. I was on a tour with 6 other women. We walked by so many unknown things from the sea, it was nice that our guide could do a little explaining. I have never been a big seafood eater and what I saw today pretty much reinforced that. I really tried not to look disgusted at times, but I am not sure I hid my reactions very well.

These are the guys to watch out for - the ones on the trolleys - they have the right of way, they WILL run you over. Things are tight and fast moving, you have to be very aware.

Just a little smoke while he sells his goods. The smell of smoke actually overpowered the smell of the fish. There is no way this place would pass any inspections in the states.

Octopus eggs - about 4 inches wide and very squishy
I didn't touch them, someone else in our group did - I was surprised no one hollered at her.

the whale stall...hmm...is this really possible today?

vacuum packaged whale

these were moving - baby eel? not sure, but plenty of the buckets of these squirmy things around

lobster covered in sawdust to keep them moist

blood and guts - everywhere

turtles - alive - this guy was trying to get out of the bag - made me very sad

swordfish, this guy was tearing off pieces and putting a piece in his mouth and then offering a piece to us - I took their word for it that it was tasty

this place is not recommended for small children - for obvious reasons

this was also moving, a bit hard to get in the bag

some very large shellfish

I was informed today that the Japanese carve out the eyeball and eat the jelly like substance
it's a delicacy, my friend's husband was offered this at a work dinner, but he just couldn't do it

so cheap! that's 2,000 yen for the entire tray

Fish heads fish heads
Rolly polly fish heads
Fish heads fish heads
Eat 'em up Yum!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday in the Park/ Meiji Shrine and Harajuku

Ah...another lovely day seeing the sights in Tokyo with our 3 well-behaved children. At least the sights were enjoyable. Such torture for the boys until they had ice cream in their hands. We headed over to Meiji Shrine, in Harajuku, one of the best known shrines in Tokyo. I specifically wanted to go on a Sunday in hopes that we would witness a wedding, but I guess weddings are common there any day of the week. We were able to see two processions, but no actual ceremonies. Entrance to the Meiji Shrine

The grounds are enormous. This is the place that packs in 3 million people to ring in the New Year.

The first wedding procession. This couple was surprisingly a bit older.

The guards telling us to get out of the way - in the nice sort of Japanese way.

She was beautiful. Didn't crack a smile.

Outside of the shrine - Harajuku girls
Looked good. Smelled good, but tasted more like the dough they put the red bean paste in. We didn't finish the bag.

Some 50's group that hung out, drank beer and danced - drew a good crowd
Serious hair
and outfits

quick clip of 'the show'

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Even the dogs are well dressed in Tokyo

Dogs are everywhere here, and people usually have more than one. And they are usually dressed well - for a dog. The outfits change with the seasons. Down coats for winter, raincoats for the rainy season, light shirts for spring. It makes me a bit crazy as I miss our dog terribly, but most of the dogs I see are small dogs and the big dogs typically don't have frilly outfits on or a pair of jeans on either - just a large t-shirt, you know like the way we would dress up our dogs when we were kids.

Here is a sample of what one can expect to see walking down the streets of Tokyo, but I missed shots of so many more outrageous outfits.
At one point the owner took off the outfit -- someone we were with suggested that was because they didn't want it to get dirty

fairy dog?

so many dogs in bike baskets, strollers and handbags

notice the matching hair(fur) accessories

and sometimes the dog matches it's owner

And these 4 dogs just hung out letting everyone take their picture.