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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?!?
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 :)
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.
a giant wall mural where you could add your art!
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.
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.
We can't wait to see and do everything here! I'm starting to worry that three years won't be enough!!