It all started with a vid chat session. lol darkestnight01 and I were chatting on skype and he mentioned that he had the next 4 weeks off and was going to be bored and needed ideas about what to do. So I told him that he is always welcome to come visit, anytime. That was Tuesday...By Wednesday evening he had plane tickets to Tokyo! lol I booked off a few days from work and the next thing I knew it was Saturday morning and I was on a train to Tokyo to go meet him at Narita Airport! lol Talk about last minute plans! XD Needless to say we were both really excited! This was his first visit to Japan and the first time we would meet in person!
I talked to my co-workers and arranged for darkestnight01 to come to work with me and teach my classes with me. Then I gave him his homework to create a presentation about himself and Germany. I also gave my self introduction as it was the start of the school year and the kids didn't know me yet either.
Anyways, I met darkestnight01 at the airport on Saturday te 13th. His plane landed early and was already at customs when I arrived, so I didn't have to wait long. We got our train tickets and headed off to Tokyo! At Ueno station we had to get express tickets back to Iwaki and we had an hour to kill before our train left, so we went to Ueno Park to kill time. The park is definitely one of my favourite places in Tokyo. There is so much to do there! We got back to my place before 9pm and set up the futons and went right to bed. It was a long day.
Sunday morning we went to the beach. I showed him the new cantina that was build last August and we did some groceries. Then we walked along the beach. It was so windy that we couldn't get near the water, but it was still beautiful. He liked the smell of the air near the ocean. I guess I'm used to it, because I didn't notice it until he mentioned it. lol We went to Taira for lunch and met up with my Japanese teacher, Chikako, who didn't let us pay for anything. We went to a ramen shop and got way too much food. We had ramen, gyoza and chahan. darkestnight01 liked all of it but didn't finish any of it. lol The portions were pretty big, so I don't blame him lol.
After lunch we went to the bus station to reserve our seats on a bus to Tokyo for the coming Friday. Then we went to the convenient store and bought tickets to the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. Chikako helped with both of those, but we still needed to ask the cashier at the store for help to get the tickets. Then we went to Chikako's house for drinks and talked for a while before going to Kojima (electronics store) to buy an adapter for his phone charger. We found a beautiful puzzle and bought it with the hope that we could finish it before leaving for Tokyo on Friday. We didn't quite manage to finish it, but it was ALMOST done. Only about 40 pieces missing from 1000.
On Monday darkestnight01 came to school with me and met my co-workers and came to my classes. The kids enjoyed it and they did a quiz about Germany after the presentation. Some students wrote questions for us at the bottom of the quizz and we spent some time writing replies. We ate lunch with the special needs students - there are 3 and they are kind of isolated and often left out of things. Misaki and Yukari usually get excited to see me and jump all over me, but that day when Misaki came running down the hall to say hello, she ran right by me and jumped on darkestnight01 - who hadn't even been introduced yet. LOL! She then dragged both of us down the hall to the classroom and we played for a bit. We had a good time with them. Then Monday night Sam came over. We were supposed to go to a local Izakaya for drinks and snacks, but it was closed. So instead we went back to my place and drank alcoholic drinks while watching Sherlock. I am now hooked on Sherlock :p
On Tuesday I had no classes so I took the day off and stayed home with darkestnight01 and watched movies ALL DAY! lol We watched Rise of the Guardians (one of my all time favourite movies and Darkestnight01's too, it seems), 2 episodes of Doctor Who, A Dog's Breakfast, Thought Crimes, and Castle in the Sky: Laputa. We also took an hour long walk through the mountains and rice fields before lunch. It wa a nice relaxing day :)
Wednesday darkestnight01 came to school with me again and went home after lunch. He had almost half the puzzle done when I got home! Then we went to Taira for dinner and Kareoke with some of my friends. We went to an Izakaya near Iwaki station and ordered an obscene amount of food. lol We shared everything on the table and darkestnight01 tried a bit of everything. The only thing he didn't like was the Japanese version of oatmeal which is watered down rice with egg mixed in. We split the bill evenly between the 5 of us and it came to about 2500 yen ($25) a person. Darkestnight01 mentioned that splitting the bill like that in Germany would never happen. lol Then we went to Kareoke. This was Darkestnight01's first time at Kareoke! None of us could believe that. We only stayed for an hour, but we all got to sing 3 or 4 times. It was a lot of fun and there were even some German songs for him to sing! lol
Thursday I went to work and Darkestnight01 stayed home. When I got home the puzzle was almost completely finished. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get it done before we had to pack it up but it was so close! Darkestnight01 took it home with him. That night we watched Six Bullets with Joe Flanigan and Jean Claude Van Dam. I love that movie. lol
Friday we got the train to Taira and then the bus to Tokyo (the train is so much faster!! but also more expensive). The bus ride took 3 1/2 hours and we got to Tokyo Station at 1pm. We put our bags in a coin locker and made sure we could find the hotel and then headed off to Mitaka to go to the Ghibli Museum. It was so much fun! We saw a short 14 minute film (Mei and the Cat Bus) and then explored the museum which is full of drawings, paintings and claymation - everything to do withthe many movies Miyazaki has created. Last stop in the museum is the roof top which has a giant robot from the movie Castle in the Sky: Laputa. We got pictures with it :) We made it back to the hotel just after 7:30. We stopped for Subway on the way! I was so excited! There is no subway restaurant in Iwaki! I hadn't eaten at Subway in a year (since I was in Hong Kong). And it was delicious! lol We got to the hotel and collapsed in our room. It was a tiny room but it had bunk beds! and a tv in each bunk and a fridge. It was really perfect for us! The beds were a bit too hard so we folded up the dubvet and slept on top of that and just used a blanket from the closet instead. Also, we had a fantastic view of the Tokyo Sky Tree!! It is so beautiful all lit up at night! XD
Saturday we took the monorail to Odaiba and WOW! Did that have a great view! We got off the train and walked to the Miraikan (Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) and got in line to buy our tickets, which should have cost 600 yen, but were free! Then we got in line to get a ticket and reserve a seat for one of the shows in the planetarium and found that those were also free! We had a great time there. We spent about 4 hours there exploring before heading out to our next destination - The Sony Explora Centre!
We decided to cut through a park instead of sticking to the main roads and as we did we stumbled upon a giant GUNDAM!! It's huge! I was so happy because I was under the impression that you needed tickets to get to see it and they had to be bought in advance so I wouldn't get to see it. But there it was!!! So pictures were taken! lol
We went shopping in Aqua City and stumbled upon a place where you can go in and play with cats. 500 yen for 30 minutes. SO we spent 30 minutes playing with a kitten who decided that Darkestnight01 would make a great bed and curled up on his chest and went to sleep. XD It was so cute and Darkestnight01 was in heaven! We made it to Sony Explora and had some more fun there before heading back to the hotel...in the pouring rain. We bought an umbrella at the convenience store and amde our way home.
Sunday it continued to rain most of the day, but we didn't let that stop us! In the morning we went out to Asakusa and went through all the shops and took pictures at the temple. Then we stopped in at a Starbucks to use the bathroom and warm up! it was really cold (6C)!! so I had a hot chocolate and Darkestnight01 had tea. Then we took the train back to Ueno and met up with my friend Taeko. We went to Sweets Paradise for lunch which is an all you can eat restaurant with pasta, curry, sandwhiches and about 20 diffferent kinds of cakes and desserts and ice cream! 70 minutes for 1480 yenn (about $15). We ate until we were stuffed and then went back to Ueno Park to go to the Science Museum. First thing we did was go to the Theatre 360!
It was amazing! Darkestnight01 and Taeko had never been before and they both loved it! It was so real, it felt like you were moving and right in the middle of everything! We were under water, and then we were in space!! looking down at the Earth and flying over the land...it was AWESOME! I really still can't believe it's included in the price of admission to the museum (600 yean). Then we spent the next 2 hours going through the museum.
After the museum, Darkestnight01 and I went to TGIFridays for dinner and I got potato skins and quesadillas (which I haven't had in a year - Hong Kong) and Darkestnight01 got Jack Daniel's chicken. Then we went back to the hotel and watched Sherlock and Jeff Dunham.
Monday morning came too fast! We got up early and headed out to Ueno Station so Darkestnight01 could get a ticket back to Narita Airport and I could get a ticket back to Iwaki. The week went by so fast! It was a wonderful visit and I really hope we can do it again! I hope I'll get to visit Darkestnight01 in Germany one day!! That would be awesome!