Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Ernie's Long Tokyo Journey

Ernie wanted to put on his new clothes from yesterday immediately. Partly because he was excited and partly because he knew that he can't wear one set of clothing for more than two weeks before he outgrows it.

I thought the Bape Kids packaging was pretty fun.

Suited up and ready to party.

Ginza had a Starbucks Reserve Store but it was nothing compared to the one in Seattle.

Art Aquarium Museum was a fun little joint. It mixed cool lights with cool fish. Ernie likes lights, and I guess probably because fish tanks are often lit up, he likes those too.

Ernie always liked to chew on things but lately he's been more focused on chewing on stuff. He was also sort of biting more aggressively. We guessed that maybe he was teething and we were correct. You can see two little white lines there in his gums where two little teeth are poking through. He's been getting more slobbery lately as well which is another sign of teeth arrival. This is a couple months earlier than average and is a cool developmental milestone but... I was worried that he would be sad the whole trip if his mouth was hurting him. We did give him Tylenol for the first time to help him sleep last night so hopefully that is not a bad omen of things to come.

We shopped the 12 floor Uniqlo flagship store in Ginza.

I was excited to see that they had exclusive Ginza related items.

A couple of young American guys complimented Ernie on his "drip" and he's been pretty smug ever since.

It was funny to see that they were running an Ichiro advertising campaign. I actually have my Mariners jersey in my luggage in case I meet Ichiro and he agrees to wait wherever he is while I go back to the hotel, change into the jersey, then return for the picture.

At one point Big Ern was lounging in the baby changing room and he was nagging the crap out of me. "Dad! Make me a music video! Dad!"

I whipped up something quickly just to pacify him.

I wonder, probably like the majority of parents on earth, whether Ernie could be a baby model.

I couldn't resist these cool Japanese t-shirt prints. They had a fun series that was based on different sake companies.

There was also a fun series that was based on different important institutions around Ginza. Theaters, stores, etc. Lydia got a good shirt based off a ramen joint.

We spent the $30 or whatever was necessary to use their little photo booth.

It was a surprisingly bad photo booth.

There was a Uniqlo Coffee shop.

In Japan people pretty much keep to themselves. If someone comes up to you in Japan and starts talking you can assume they are: drunk, nut jobs, or are not Japanese. I was trying to enjoy my dorayaki and some lady who I think checked a couple of the boxes mentioned would not shut her yap.

They even sold flowers. There was nothing that this Uniqlo could not do.

We saw a Hunter store and took a peek. My only interaction with the Hunter brand thus far has been the collaboration they did at Target one time. Lydia lived her best life and bought some shoes.

We had lunch at Toyama Sushi Ginza. The gimmick here is that the fish is from Toyama Bay.

I showed Lydia my tea whisking skills. Like many other sushi joints, there was a hot water faucet at the table to make tea. Convenient and also a great way to burn the crap out of yourself.

It was ironic that we looked for a conveyor belt sushi joint, but they weren't using the conveyor belt. I assume due to lingering covid spookies.

Ernie was making new faces now that he had some teeth to play with. Sucking on his lip and so forth.

I did not go to the trouble of "reading" what was contained in the set I ordered but I did see that it was the manager's recommendation. Who am I to argue with the manager?

On this menu the weak could ask for no wasabi. Low energy and sad.

They weren't using the classic conveyor belt but they did use the express belt things to zip your ordered food to your table.

The thing on the right was like crab meat with some crab guts on top inside of a crab shell.

We passed by a fancy kimono store. I think if I was a rich dude and lived in Tokyo I would buy this kind of stuff because it's cool but also to support these awesome industries.

Pretty much every return trip home involved a stop at the convenience store. I drank about a gallon of cold tea a night. It was pretty hot during the day.

I snagged Lydia some kenpi at a little stall on our way back. They are kind of like candied french fries.

These particular ones had black sesame sprinkled on them as well.

I had initially wanted to see a Tokyo Giants game in the Tokyo Dome, but their schedule didn't mesh well with our plans. Luckily there are several teams in the Tokyo area. Like a concerning amount of the entire league is in the neighborhood. I guess maybe Japan is more centralized than the US in terms of population? Anyway, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows were playing so bought some tickets. Buying the tickets was an experience all of its own. On the website you didn't really get a lot of information, and what you did get was hard to understand. You just said "give me two tickets in section B." You didn't get to choose exactly which, and it was unclear to me anywhere exactly where section B was located. Then I had to go to a 7-Eleven to print out these tickets, which I then took to the game. No digital tickets seem to exist.

We bought this thing thinking it was going to be like ice cream but it was like a frozen gummy bear type thing. At first it was weird but then I started thinking that it was genius because it didn't drip or melt as it warmed up.

We got a nice steamed bun with a little face burned into it of the team mascot: Tokyo Yakult Swallows Tsubakuro. Really rolls off the tongue in Japanese, I'm sure.

So we had Ernie, our snacks, his carrier, a diaper bag... I did not anticipate how friggin tiny Japanese stadium seating was going to be.

The seating was so bad that despite having bought decent seats we retreated to an emptier section of the nosebleeds just so we could spread out a bit.

When the home team did a thing, everyone whipped out these little umbrellas and danced and sang with them. It was a sight to see when the whole stadium did it in unison.

I bought a couple brewskies from the beer girls that were always prowling about at the game. They have little pony kegs on their back and pour you a fresh one. I may be paranoid but I feel like once I'd had a few they would always look me right in the eye as they passed, tempting me to have just one more. Or maybe I'm cute as hell. Whatever.

Each dish seemed to have its own player sponsor.

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