Tokyo, Day Two!

Does it count as Day Two, even if we didn’t get to our apartment last night until 7:30?

Today started early. There is apparently no explaining jet lag to a toddler. She woke up at 3 and never went back to sleep. We all laid in bed, watching Daniel Tiger and Dinosaur Train, until Logan and I finally gave up at about 5:30.

Unfortunately, nothing in this neighborhood really opens that early, so we got up and walked the streets heading for a place Logan discovered would be open called Cafe Coutumi. Somehow, Ami was in a great mood, despite only getting 6 hours of sleep last night (and two on the plane).

Cafe Coutumi had great coffee, thankfully, and simply gorgeous pastries. Ami chose a chocolate confection while we went for pistachio.

After our breakfast, we decided to head for the Meiji Jingu, a shrine dedicated to the Meiji Emperor and his wife. The park surrounding the shrine was lovely, and the weather was perfect – brisk but sunny.

This is one of the shrine’s two torii, or gates. The cypress trees felled to build these were apparently 1500 years old.

Ami and Logan posing by barrels of sake given in honor of the Meiji emperor.

A very helpful sign showed us how to wash our hands and mouth before praying at the shrine. Ami got really into the ritual, helping both me and Logan wash with the wooden dipper.

Even though it’s a bit of a pain in the butt, and Ami is already getting to be kind of large for it, I am already so glad we brought this stroller (the Baby Jogger City Tour). It folds down reasonably easily and Ami does seem to like riding in it, and it’s not too heavy to lug on and off trains and up the occasional staircase.

Lunchtime! We walked over the Harajuku bridge, stopping to admire the trains going by. Ami has been so excited to ride trains! 

Lunch was at Mai-Sen, a tonkotsu place a quick walk from the Meiji Jingu. We were first in line when they opened at 11, which turned out to be a real boon, because they got busy fast.

Ami’s favorite was the miso soup, with the rice being a close second. She got awfully excited about the array of condiments, and salted her soup and my cabbage and her rice and Logan’s noodles and and and…

After lunch, we strolled back to our apartment and crashed HARD. I stayed up for a little bit editing pictures, but Logan and Ami were both asleep within moments of laying down. 

3 hours later, we struggled out of bed (yes, there was some crying from the toddler, whose poor body was telling her it was 1 in the morning) and fought our way back outside into the sunshine. The streets were much busier in the afternoon than they had been in the early morning, which I found really intimidating and anxiety-provoking. Turns out a LOT of people live in Tokyo… who knew?

Our destination was Kiddyland, a five-story toystore. It took Ami a little bit to perk up and get into the swing of things, but she was soon selecting special Hello Kitty erasers and grinning at displays of character-embossed water bottles.

She declared herself done after only three and a half floors (ONLY), and we re-emerged into the throng of people.

Shibuya Crossing!

We did a little shopping, picking up a cute outfit for Ami, and then walked to Uobei Computer Sushi for dinner. 

Computer sushi? Yes! You order with touch screens, and moments later, a little plate is whisked out to your table on a three-level conveyor belt. It’s insane, and fun, and a VERY quick way to get food into your sleepy toddler.

She really likes tamago (Japanese egg omelettes)… and French fries.

I took a video, because this place was surreal. The whole day, in fact, was really discombobulating. It’s partly the jet lag, and partly the inability to figure out how to throw anything away or flush a toilet, and partly the masses of people. It’s not unnerving in a bad, uncomfortable way, exactly, it’s just… very, very different from our daily lives in Texas. I’ve been so impressed with Amity and how she’s adapted (I would be more impressed if tonight she slept past 3, though).

​​​On the way home, Ami got to ride her first train of the day. She loves holding onto the grab straps, whether or not it’s strictly necessary.

And that was today! I am a bit of a wreck, so I hope all of those words are in the correct order and at least somewhat coherent. I’ll leave you with this, the control panel for the toilet at Cafe Coutumi this morning. The flush buttons are actually along the top of this panel, so you can’t see them. No, I didn’t accidentally call the fire department.

Tomorrow, more things! And stuff! And… a nap? What time is now, anyway?

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