Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tokamachi Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival)

This weekends adventure took us to Tokamachi. It's still in the prefecture but quite a bit south of us. It's actually not too far off from Nagano oddly enough. Anyhoo so we got a hotel in Tsunan a couple stops away from Tokamachi and thought we'd give it a run. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and had a little look around. The little country city was so cute up there in the mountains. All over in front of buildings or buisnesses they build different kinds of displays from lanterns in the snow, shrine offering of onigiri, snowmen (yukidaruma) of Anpanman, Totoro and Draemon it was really quaint in the city too.

Fun snow displays: Guess who and what they are (mostly Miyazaki characters).

Of course there where snow tunnels, walkways and sculptures too.

Then in the evening there was a big event! Each year they build a stage for a show out of snow. This was the 60th Anniversary stage. It was pretty nice. They had comedians, magician/entertainers, great live music and some other Japanese celebrities.

During the day we enjoyed a bit of a snowball fight and the people.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tokyo-Chiba Weekend

Last weekend Bridget and I took off a little early from school to go to Tokyo and Chiba. After finishing up school a little early we made our way on the Shink into Tokyo. We stopped in at Shibuya for awhile to have a delicious meal at a garlic restaurant and a little brows around.

Then we spent out first night in Akihabara at a capsul hotel. Ever since I've heard of these I knew I just totally needed to try it at least once while I was here, just to say I've slept in one. They are really quite nice I thought. Being that you get to crawl into this little pod that resembles a toasty little oven, I felt it quite safe and relaxing. We were like little buns in an oven. Also the bathrooms and shower rooms where really nice. Plus, lucky us, going on such an off season time, there where only a couple other girls on our floor so no lines for the showers or anything. It was great.

Then we headed out that morning for a train ride to Chiba to see some fuzzy felines at Nyanda cat park. The ride was beautiful and takes your through along the coast into the outskirt of the Tokyo and some of it's suburbs. The station was really cute too.

We finally made it to Nyanda!!!!! The kitties were soooo cute. We got there in the morning when most where still sleeping but a few where up and about and looking for a warm lap to sleep on. I was impressed. I kinda thought that mostly the cats would just run away. You know how cats are, they kinda come around for a lap or a pet when they feel like it, not usually when they are called or when someone wants them to. But these kitties as the got accustomed to you sitting around by them would let you pet them or climb up into your laps for a snooz. There was a cone headed kitty that was really sweet and a little grey one that sat on my lap as well as a little black and grey one. I layed down by the table by a few and one of course came to lay on my sketch book so I drew him. Anyhoo. They where really sweet. I didn't take these pictures by the way. These came from Bridget's cam. Enjoy the fuzzy love. I was in heaven btw. (the music was literally ACDC hits covered by meowing cats)

I drew a few while they where laying around or sleeping too.

Then we did a little jaunt to Harajuku the next day and went home. I got a cool green jacket with patches. We also had great sashimi

The last night we stayed just above Shinjuku. It was a cute traditional style Japanese place.