Sunday, September 7, 2014


There's a hotel called the 'New Sanno' in downtown Tokyo that is strictly military.  It's pretty fancy and perfectly situated for seeing the city! Plus- it's crazy cheap for being in Tokyo!  The labor day weekend was totally booked for months I'm sure- but I called every day- several times a day- for a few days leading up to the dates and got a last minute cancelled room!  

All of our household goods showed up thursday- and we left friday morning!  downtown is only 20 something miles from here- but the drove usually takes 45 minutes to 2 hrs.  Driving into tokyo was a little intimidating- but we made it.

I think this is the only pic I got of The New Sanno.  It really is fancy pants.  and so fun!  it's located directly next to the French Embassy in Japan and therefore is also surrounded by fabulous French bakeries.  
From our room window we could see the Tokyo Tower and the LDS temple!  perfect view for us.
We got there in time for lunch and made our way out to explore!  I opted for lunch at the french bakery.  
they boys went for McDonalds.  I'm going to have to say that McDonalds has already proven to be a lifesaver here.  I'm sorry if it's offensive to you- but sometimes the only thing you can get your kids to eat on the streets of Tokyo is a chicken nugget :)
Kent- on the other hand- is set on trying every strange menu item they've got.  This trip he had the teriyaki burger and the filet-o ebi.  Shrimp burger.  blegh.  It was SO GROSS.

can you see their little pink bodies?  Shrimp is one of those things I can't even put in my mouth. I'll eat fish- and try some weird things- but biting into those little crustacean springy bodies makes me dry heave.
they've also got ice cream cones and mcchicken on the 100Yen menu.  Zeb says the mayonnaise is better here :)
Right near the bakery and mcdonalds is a beautiful Japanese Garden.  We had some bread slices with us from the bakery and decided to give the birds a few pieces.  BAD IDEA.  they saw our kiddos as an opportunity and ATTACKED.  we ran out of the park with Zeb and metta in tears and me laughing so hard I could barely run.
I would have gotten more pictures- but the birds got CRAZY after this and were jumping all over the kids.    Here is metta just after a bird jumped on her lap and grabber her bread.

I did get one happy pic before the killer bird attack.
directly across from the garden is the Tokyo Temple!(you can click on the link to read about LDS temples).  It was great to walk around and see the area with the kiddos.
I love that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same where ever we go.  It's pretty comforting.

we took out our double stroller for our first excursion- but quickly realized it was only going to be a hassle!  we took it back and made the kids walk all weekend and they did a pretty great job.
even the man hole covers in japan are amazing :)
we took the subway a few stops over to see Tokyo tower that afternoon.  Zeb and Ike have been pretty excited about coming here.  They've seen it on Cars 2- and a Mater's Tall Tales and wanted to see the real deal.  

the views of Tokyo are expansive. Japan is packed in SO TIGHT everywhere.  Only 30% of the country is actually inhabitable so the habitable areas are packed in.  
we spent quite awhile up in the tower letting the kids run around check out every view they could.

they also had fun with this robot who moved around and followed them.  

we made all sorts of people nervous at the glass bottom windows.  I am not afraid of heights- especially when they are completely enclosed and totally safe.  Several people were not so relaxed :)
all of our kids loved it!

On the way home we stopped to grab some dinner for Kent and me at a popular curry place.

I had to take a picture of the menu because it was in Japanese, English, Portuguese and Russian!  all of our languages.

I got the egg and mixed vegetable curry.  I was surprised at how delicious it was!  I was pretty famished from all of the walking!

we got the kids pizza at the hotel :) and then went for a swim at the pool.  It was super kid friendly with an entire section just  couple of feet deep.  Japan- and much of the military- is so kid friendly.  It makes our lives much more enjoyable!

cartoons in the hotel bed.

The metro and train system in Tokyo isn't nearly as overwhelming as I'd heard it was!  It runs the same way as any major metro I'm sure- but was so similar to Moscow that the smells and sounds were welcoming :)  
the signs here still crack us up.  they are so dramatic and well animated :)

we think this about giving up your seat for the elderly.  But we are unsure about the pile of wool the sheep left behind.

and this one is to terrify you about the dangers of standing too close to the track?!?

The trains are always exciting for the kiddos- so it was pretty easy.  A few of our rides got pretty crowded- but that only made it more fun.

 we went a couple of stops to Shibuya crossing to be a part of the world famous 'scramble'.  All lights turn red for traffic and pedestrians are allowed to inundate the road!  It's pretty insane and wild to be a part of.  Especially with three littles.  I wanted more pictures- but didn't want to lose a child, either!  we need to go back at night with NO kids :)
 There's a great park nearby- but it's been partially closed due to an outbreak of  Dengue Fever!  the mosquitoes are spreading it and there have been lots of confirmed cases.  We are still fresh sweet foreign meat and are currently COVERED in bites- so we thought it best to avoid the park during mosquito season!

We made our way up to a giant children's museum and let the kiddos play for several hours.  It ended up raining and was the perfect time to be there!
they got to add to a giant piece of artwork out front.
 and inside had all sorts of fun.  there was so much to do!

a giant wall mural where you could add your art!
 a huge playland.
 building station.
 metta loves playing with all of the little Japanese kids.  I've had to learn how to say "excuse me!" and "I'm sorry" when she does something unruly! I also always know their response: "daijoba des"-which means "it's okay! don't worry!". The Japanese really are so polite and understanding of children.  I can't tell you how many Japanese kiddos I've seen throwing tantrums on the grocery store floor or in a parking lot.  It makes me feel so normal.
this fun game had the boys in laughing fits forever.  It's little people magnet soccer.

Our little metta is OBSESSED with families.  seriously.   everything she sees becomes a family.  animals, toys, cars, fruit, WHATEVER!  just today at church she told me all about the 'mama, daddy, and baby' buttons on my cardigan.

 once the rain cleared- we rode bikes on the roof!  they had plasma cars, trikes, and strange bikes all over the different levels of the roof.

 the music room was also a hit.

 Our final stop of the day was Harajuku station!  to see the crowds and some of the crazy culture of Japan!  we'll have to take any visitors here.  It's chaotic. and really fun.

 this candy store- 'candy a go go' was perfect!

 once we got onto some of the side streets and the crowds thinned out- metta wanted some independence from our arms.  She wouldn't walk any closer than ten feet to us.  the Japanese love her.

The drive home was peaceful and quiet.  we were all exhausted.  I am LOVING having weekends with Kent.  I feel like we can do SO MUCH!  it's been the most splendid change from the hours of residency to this!  He's still busy and working like crazy- but I feel like his schedule is at least semi predictable. and that makes a world of difference.

We can't wait to see and do everything here!   I'm starting to worry that three years won't be enough!!


Regan Butler said...

Oh Leisy, so much fun. Thank you, thank you for takings us to Japan with you. Your family is thriving and I just can't stand how cute Metta is. We love your family and are so happy you are having this great adventure.

Annie Oswald said...

Best. Blog.EVER,

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, Cora, and Josh said...

We adored all of these pictures and loved hearing the stories! We could not stop laughing over the crazy birds, and love the last picture!!!!!

Pat and Brent said...

What a great time u are having !

Pat and Brent said...

Wow Leisy, you are having one adventure after another! Thanks for sharing. It helps when we miss you so much.
The bird incident was CRAZY! I've never understood how people can be terrified of birds or Hichcock's "the birds", but I think your kids know.
Love how Ike and Zeb enjoy all their adventures so much, and cute little independent Metta with everyone's eyes on her!
Is Kent studying while the kids play? He is one dedicated dr!
Love you guys. Pat

Kent and Leisy said...

Mom - that is me "studying" the Japanese metro system and trying to figure out how to get home!! Bus, Subway, Train, Car or all of the above?!? Traveling around Tokyo is CRAZY!

Cynthia said...

your weekend trip sounds amazing! Love the pictures and hearing about your experiences in Japan!

Keelin Cromar said...

I love the way the Japanese look at little Metta! So cute! Keep up the awesome blogging. Enjoying your adventures!