Monday, July 28, 2014

A Steamy Saturday in Tokyo

Kai commented, “Japan is fun. But it’s also a big challenge.”

Our destination that morning was the Meiji Shrine. Here's my wife and Kai at the entrance gate:

Many shrines have barrels of sake on display. Sake is donated by brewers for festivals.

Kai remembered to purify himself before entering the shrine.

Later in the morning we went to Omotesando, home of many upscale stores with well-known premier brands. At a couple stores, people were lining up to get in. One store was a chocolate bar, and the other was a popcorn shop.

After lunch, we walked over to Takeshita Street, a narrow street in Harajuku filled with small independent shops that are said to be the bellweather for upcoming fashions. The vibrant scene there was quite a contrast to more staid Omotesando.

I think every person under 30 in Tokyo was there.

Pictures just cannot capture the vibe. It was crowded, loud, hot, and an overload of senses, but Kai seemed to enjoy it.

Next stop was Roppongi Hills.

We went to the Roppongi Hills Skydeck to get a great view of Tokyo.

Kai was more interested in seeing the special Pokemon exhibit that was promoting the new movie that is now showing in Japan.

After that, my wife took Kai back to the hotel for his daily afternoon break. We didn’t forget the iPad this time.

I went with my sister and her family to see Shibuya. Shibuya Crossing is famous for its scramble intersection which is said to be among the most busiest in the world.

I was getting a full appreciation of just how massive Tokyo is.

Late in the afternoon, we all met back up at the hotel and walked over to dinner.

We walked through the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku that is somewhat of a red light district. Fortunately, Kai seemed to be too innocent to notice anything.

Dinner was at an all-you-can-eat, cook-it-yourself, yakiniku restaurant.

Gotta love all that meat!

We capped out day by visiting the skydeck at the top of city hall to see the night skyline. There was no wait to get to the top, but as soon as we got off the elevator, we saw a huge line of people waiting for the elevator to take them down. As soon as Kai saw that, he had no interest in seeing the view as he was concerned that his free time back at the hotel would be consumed waiting in the elevator line.

Still, I snapped off a few quick pictures.

And then I got in line with Kai to take him back to the hotel.

The Tokyo portion of our trip was now over. We had a few bumps, but overall it went better than expected.

I am loving sharing this experience with my sister’s family, especially seeing the excitement of my nephews as they see Japan for the first time.

And, of course, it is a dream come true to be able to visit Japan with my wife and Kai. At one time, we did not think that would ever be possible. That Kai is handling it all so well is a very pleasant surprise.


  1. Wow again! What a great day. That Yakiniku restaurant made me hungry. The city lights were very beautiful. It was also great news how Kai had handled everything.

    Crowded, loud, and hot makes me very uncomfortable...and quite irritable.
    I am surprised Kai did so well. Good for him.

    I am looking forward to your next day's adventure!

    1. It has been all smooth sailing, but Kai has held up remarkably well overall. We have given him plenty of breaks and iPad time... ideally he would have more interest in seeing Japan than going on his iPad.... but sometimes those are the things that allow him to get through the hard stuff.


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