Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nov 3 2015: Napping through Tokyo

Finding places to play: basket of plastic fruit in a restaurant
Play area in kids section of
Mitsukoshi Ebisu department store

As Olga learned last week and I'm discovering just now, traveling with a baby is an entirely unique experience. This week he wakes up around 8am on the dot. He starts stirring before that so you have to make him super comfortable if you want to sleep past 6am. He gets super tired around noon and you need a bunch of time for changing clothes, medicine, eating, bathing, playing, going out, and coming back, so you end up with a couple of hours in the morning for a quick sightseeing excursion. We've been using those morning hours for a nice breakfast in any of the nearby neighborhoods - and a visit somewhere he can run and crawl around - a department store, park, playground, sidewalk. Then he passes out and we come back to nap, change, eat, play from 12 - 4pm.

How much is that baby in the mirror

How do you pick between gelato flavors like
Mustard Spinach, Pickled Plum, Apple Ginger,
and Peanut Milk? Two for sampling, two for buying.

I've been super tired too - catching up on missed sleep from the past few weeks of work - so I've been enjoying the opportunity to nap with Bowie. It helps make Tokyo a bit like an oreo - rough and crunchy on the outside - soft and creamy on the inside. That leaves from 4-8pm to go out and explore a little further out neighborhood.

Bowie reached and stretched and strove
until he was able to grab the subway handle
(with some help from behind)
Model Railroad at Sony Building Tokyo. A moment
later Bowie snatched the train from track and almost
got us kicked out

We tried a couple days with a stroller and a couple days with a baby carrier. Bowie LOVES the carrier. He's up closer to eye level, kicking and cooing and giggling as we hike through the urban jungle. On Monday he got his first taste of rain (through an umbrella) and I could see him stretching to reach his little hands out to touch it. After a rough time the first day, we've been learning the subway system. It's a good way to get around, especially without a stroller! Visitors to Tokyo: do yourself a favor and get a Suica prepaid card as soon as you can - it simplifies the subway system immensely because there are 10 routes to get from point to point and you don't have to know the exact cost of your route before you board.

Getting denied entry at Kabukiza (it's
still quite beautiful from the outside)

Hitachino Jackpot!!
I've heard people say English isn't spoken much in Japan. We've had absolutely zero trouble communicating - maybe Tokyo is different from the rest of the country. We did have two problems though. On Sunday night we picked out a place to have sushi, and upon opening the door to sushi bar, a lady ran over and showed us a sign in English saying "you must order in Japanese." That didn't seem like a problem, the menu seemed to have photos and we'd be happy to point. But she was blocking the door and wouldn't move. She just kept pointing at the sign. No matter how much we agreed, she wouldn't let us in. Tuesday night we tried to go to a Kabuki show at Kabukiza, but were told the minimum age for all of their shows is 6 years old. There must be a family-oriented show somewhere, but I was hoping the top Kabuki theatre in Tokyo would have some kind of kid-friendly matinee. But no troubles being understood - especially when Bowie flirts with neighbors and waitresses and train passengers. They love flirting back with him :)

Shibuya Crossing at night

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