Sickly Honeymoon

AEJ and I went to Tokyo in January for our honeymoon. We started feeling sick while we were packing for the trip, and our health went downhill from there. Still, we managed to do some fun things while we were in Tokyo — not even half of what we planned, but at least that makes for somewhat more manageable blogging. Still, we left with over 1600 pictures. Click any of the photos below to see a larger version. And get comfy, ’cause this is a big one. (Oh, the number of times I’ve had to say that.  ZING!)

We stayed at the Mitsui Garden Hotel, the same hotel we stayed in last March when we first visited Japan for the “Kingfishers Catch Fire” premiere. (Thank you, 10mm lens.)

The hotel is in the Ginza district. It’s a little like 5th Avenue in Manhattan, only it’s cleaner, smells better, and is almost eerily quiet considering how crowded it is.

One morning, when AEJ was too sick to get out of bed, I went for a walk, searching for coffee. I eventually found a Starbucks, but if I hadn’t there would have been plenty of beverage vending options.

Here’s an alleyway, spotless, and filled only with motorcycles. Great for a “fast ride on a short machine.” (That, sadly, is also what the ladies called me in high school.)

The Ginza Apple Store was only a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Per what you’d expect from Apple, it was a pretty slick looking place. The clouds are a nice touch. (Again, thank you 10mm.)

I spent a good deal of time walking around the various department stores in the neighborhood.

The lower floors have endless food options…

… each more colorful than the last.

There really is just about any food you could want, whether it be a taste for sweets…

… or meat.

The people in Ginza were fashionable…

… but they couldn’t compete with the clothes in the Harajuku district.

Harajuku is where you go to see the fashion of five years from now — which, apparently, is when we’ll all be dressed like Nintendo characters. (Moms not included.)


Japan has a thing for pandas.

You could get toy baby pandas…

… and panda games (as well as fun plastic lobsters, great for collecting, sharing and trading!).

Best of all? A frying pan-da!

There was an amazing toy store two blocks from our hotel. Outside, they displayed the new “I Love Chips” collection of toys. In America, this would be potato chips, or my personal preference, Doritos. In Japan, the chips they’re referring to are computer chips. This difference, in a nutshell, is why Americans are morbidly obese, and Japanese are designing the Wii.

Speaking of the Wii and the obese, this toy store had a huge selection of Wii and Nintendo DS games — including the yet-to-be-released-in-the-US game, Wii Fit. I would have bought it, but it would have been in Japanese, meaning I’d have to have Wataru come over to translate every time I wanted to play.

Remember Monchhichi? If you’re my age, you do. Damn it — now I have that damn Monchhichi song in my head.

Another popular motif in Japanese toys: stuffed animals that watch you.

I mean, they won’t stop staring at me, with their adorable little eyes.

They’re still watching me. Am I just being paranoid?

Please. Please stop.

Okay, now, this one doesn’t seem right.

After looking at so many toys, it was time for some smorking. Oh, damn. I guess we have to go elsewhere.

Our last big activity was attending the huge sumo wrestling tournament.

Thanks to Wataru, we had our own box seat.

These boys were huge.

Each new class of wrestlers was introduced before their set of matches. During their introduction, they wear incredibly fancy garments — some of which made them seem a little less tough than they really were.

The matches were incredibly physical, with slapping…

… and strangling.

It was awesome.

Even with our miserable sickness, it was a nice trip to Japan. Hopefully we’ll be healthy when we go back again. Japan is great — good food, nice people, crazy fashion… and cute toys with huge eyes. Kitty!


Newman says

This is good - now I'll be able to recognize the hotel! I'm sure much of my wanderings around that neighborhood will be "ASoMB" (As Seen on Mackey's Blog)...

Cathy says

I'm glad you had a good time and wasn't laid up in bed, sick the entire trip. It's neat to see pictures other people take of places I've been and think, "I've stood on that corner, too!".

Mark S. says

yup. the stuffed animals will follow you home.

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