• I forgot to pick a category,  Japan!,  travel

    Japan Day 6: Yokohama Cat Cafe and Noodle Museum!

    On my last day in Japan we packed in a Cat Cafe and  Noodle Museum. Yes, you read that right. I went to a cafe to pet cats. They have things like that in Japan!!Yokohama-cat-cafe-1It wasn’t quite as amazing as I had imagined it up in my brain. Many of the cats are rescues, which is a super amazing great thing, but they are also a bit over-stimulated and preoccupied with each other and their territorial issues than the vision of fuzzy, purring goodness that I pictured wanting to curl up in my lap. But it was still really great to be stuck in a room with about 30 cats. They served coffee and tea and as much cat hair as you’d like. It was fun. Many of the cats were chill and a couple were kittens that wanted to play. Yokohama-cat-cafe-2So we did that a while. My favorite cat was the one with bent down ears. I almost wanted to smuggle him back home with me on the airplane. But then again I already have enough cat problems.Yokohama-cat-cafe-3We walked a little in downtown Yokohama. I’m sure you’ll appreciate Elliora’s happy demeanor in the photo below. You know how kids can be: delightful until their tired or hungry. I think she was both. We did walk a lot.YokohamaYou know. Trains, subways and all that. I am getting more and more comfortable with the public transportation but it’s always a little harder on the kids.Yokohama-trainsThen we walked to the Cupnoodles Museum. Here in the states we call it Cup o’ Noodles but in Japan it’s just Cupnoodles.CupNoodlesMuseum-1It was a really interesting space. I didn’t read all the inscriptions but instead just wandered aimlessly admiring the minimalist architecture. It felt a lot like The Getty.CupNoodlesMuseum-2Of course packaging design always fascinates me. The Japanese excel at it.CupNoodlesMuseum-3I loved all the noodle inspired art. Especially this wired noodle sculpture installation. Isn’t it cool?
    CupNoodlesMuseum-4Then, speaking of packaging design, we designed our own Cup of Noodles! They had the best pens.Coloring-Our-Own-CupnoodlesThis was my favorite part of the museum. I could have designed dozens more but they only allow one each and you have to make an appointment to do it.Making-CupNoodlesThen when you are done decorating you get to choose what kind of ramen you put inside. They have curry and regular flavor, fish and some other things. You can add toppings (freeze-dried vegetables etc) and even little cornstarch chicken faces that dissolve in your soup when you make it later. When you are done they give you a bag that you can fill with air to protect your noodles. It was all very ingenious and fun.Home-Again-YokosukaAnd then we went home. All in all a very good day. Perfect for the ending of my trip!

  • Japan!,  travel

    Japan Day 5: Kamakura!

    kamakura-buddahThe day before yesterday (I’m a day behind in reporting. Not so jet-lagged anymore.) we took a train to Kamakura. It’s funny because we almost blew off visiting the big buddha in favor of doing a craft for Alphamom but we couldn’t find some supplies I wanted for the craft so we decided to squeeze the buddha back in.

    posing-with-buddahBoy am I glad we did! It was such a wonderful little day trip. It was the Japan of my imagination come true. Do you like how Buddha photobombed our photo? A really nice man took that for us in exchange for a picture of Elliora and Annalie cheesing for a picture for him. They were happy to oblige.

    It’s totally okay to be silly and cheesy with the Buddha. There were people posing like they were kissing him. You can go inside and look at how he is built for 20 yen. You can even buy a sucker in a Buddha shape and eat him! Buddhists are a very easy-going happy people. A lot different from the religion I grew up in!
    kamakura-shoppingI’m such a sucker for touristy shopping places. Give me little shops and a credit card that works and I am a happy tourist. I hate shopping at home but out and about, exploring new places and hunting for trinkets and treasures makes this little hoarding heart happy. Five hundred dollars later (kidding, mostly) I am now worried about how I am going to get everything back home. Good thing I didn’t pack much coming here!walking-kamakuraI’ve been really lucky to get perfect weather when I’m here. I am lucky like this all the time when I travel. Everyone always predicts snow or rain or heat waves and when I get there it’s like the weather puts on it’s prettiest temperatures just for me. Seriously, pleasant all the time.

    Kamakura reminded me a bit of the little beach town I used to live in. Just with more narrow sidewalks and slightly  more tourists.
    trains-to-kamakuraThen we took the train back home and had the nicest walk along the water back to the base.sunset-walk-home-through-yokohamaThe walk included some selfies with the sunset and a random attack of the giggles, of course.goodnight-yokosukaOh, Japan, you are so pretty.