Because it’s nearby (about 10 minutes on an express train from Meidaimae), Mike and I decided to spend the afternoon in Kichijoji. It’s a really nice area in west Tokyo, with lots of stores and a huge park called Inokashira Park. According to CNN, Kichijoji is the number one place people in Tokyo wished they lived.
Bordering Inokashira Park is the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. I’d been to the museum a couple years ago (it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a Ghibli fan) but since we were there anyway and it’s only 1000 yen, we figured we’d go again. We bought the tickets the day before from the kiosk in a Lawson store — you just select the day and the time you want to go and the machine spits out a slip that you give to the cashier. If you don’t know any Japanese, there are English instructions on how to use the machine here. The instructions don’t mention that you have to enter your name (first and last, in Japanese) and phone number at the end. But I don’t actually think it matters what you enter — they don’t check your name so you could just enter in a random mash of Japanese characters.
Inokashira Park was apparently a gift to Tokyo from the Emperor.
Mike doing what he does: enjoying nature/reading the internet.
There’s a little shrine near the middle of the park.
I love, love, LOVE Shiba Inu dogs. I was really tempted to steal these dogs but I think that’s frowned upon here.
SO FLUFFY! AHHHH!
Make a wish and write it on one of these ema, small wooden plaques.
On the way to the Ghibli Museum. Everyone (guidebooks/the internet) always tells you to go to Mitaka Station to get the the Ghibli Museum, but I think it’s a much nicer walk through the park from Kichijoji Station.
Looking down from the roof. No photos are allowed inside the museum. (But it’s reaaaaaaally cool inside!)
The famous Laputa statue on the roof.
After the museum, we walked around Kichijoji for awhile. There’s a huge outdoor covered shopping arcade near the station. I also wandered into Parco and bought a bunch of makeup. One of the really weird things about Japan that I will never get over is department stores that play (uncensored!) hiphop music in English. I guess no one understands the lyrics, but it’s kind of bizarre to listen to while you browse makeup or clothes, surrounded by frills and lace and Japanese teenagers.
Lots of tiny restaurants everywhere.
We ended up eating dinner at Toriyoshi, a chain restaurant. There’s four Toriyoshi restaurants in Kichijoji alone!
Toriyoshi is famous for chicken wings, so we got chicken wings. I like that in Japan, the wings come with the whole wing.
Oysters wrapped in shiso leaves and fried.
My favourite will always be the vegetables. Grilled mushrooms = YES. Grilled shishito peppers = MORE YES. I don’t usually eat chicken, or any meat (except fish), but I’ll make exceptions for Japan. Although I’ll eat it, I don’t really like chicken. I mean, the chicken wings were good, but I would honestly rather eat vegetables.
Mike is not a fan of Japanese beer pouring. The Japanese beer pour is about achieving MAXIMUM FOAM.
But he’ll drink it anyway. Kampai!
So that was my day in Kichijoji. Look at me, posting another timely blog entry. All of this stuff ACTUALLY HAPPENED TODAY. I am impressed with myself. Tomorrow I might even post another entry — about makeup! And in case you were wondering what happened with my haircut, it hasn’t happened yet… but stay tuned.