(Be prepared for a long post with lots of photos. Or come back later when you have time.)
Today a few of us decided to head into one of the big downtown areas called Tenjin. We decided to be adventurous and take the subway. The following are photos I took along the walk to the station near our dorm, and of the train heading into Tenjin.
To get to the trains you actually go upstairs from the main station. A definite change for me. As well, the platforms are marked where the doors will align, and they actually do end up there. This says doa, which is door.
We all chose the moshi ramen, which consisted of delicious broth, soft noodles, pork slices and a variety of sprouts and another veggie that I have had many times but do not know the name of. Apparently at this shop on Saturdays you can also have a second helping of noodles if you keep your broth. One helping was enough for me. Totemo oishii. Very delicious!
Back to walking…In the downtown core there are many, many, many, many, many bike parking areas. This photo doesn’t accurately show the enormous line of bikes, two or three deep, parked alongside a street.
We then headed to another shopping area, catching a lot of amazing sights along the way.
Loft is a 7 storey mega-store that offers a variety of goods from accessories, travel items, electronics, house wares, furniture, Halloween decorations, toys, kids items, and stationary. We spent a good hour wandering the floors being extremely entertained by many of the “interesting” things we came across. Including these…
So far it appears that Japan puts a lot of importance on keeping a trim figure, including your limbs and face, and achieving it by rolling your body with various colourful instruments. They have face, neck, arm, foot, leg, and body rollers. I believe the one top center in the photo is even for your bottom.
Moving to another department…I could not pass up taking a shot of these adorable chair socks. Not only do they keep your chair legs from scuffing your floor, they keep the chair legs warm and stylish also! Personally I would go with the argyle…
The next section in the store had various electronics, clocks, and these interesting stuffed animal speakers that play your music while moving around to the beat. I was more curious about the packaging. In case you are unable to read it clearly, it says:
He says to me, “Why don’t you run?” “Cause I can see, you have no gun.” I say to him, “That’s a good idea.” “Now let’s get going, get me out of here!” I began to run away from there, But right behind me was that bear. And on the path ahead of me I saw a tree, Oh glory be.
I am going to guess they chose this particular passage due to the use of the word bear. Or perhaps it was selected because it really shouts “gold bear speaker toy.” But what do I know.
We then stumbled upon my favourite section of the store, the Halloween department. I am modeling a couple items that I might just decide to pick up for my Halloween costume this year. The first being a toilet hat, and yes, it includes a fresh swirl of poop. I probably wouldn’t have even considered this costume idea if it didn’t include the poop, so that was a wise marketing decision in my opinion.
I now present you with what I found to be the most confusing part of the day. The Crunched-Over-Crying-Man Section. I have no clue what the significance of the crunched-over-crying-man is…but apparently you can decorate your place with various articles that display his pathetic weeping pose. Stickers, magnets, posters, note pads, you name it.
I also had no clue what these were, but found them extremely creepy, which of course meant that I needed to share them with you! Vegetable people with frightening faces. Yikes.
Finally, after some very good laughs, we ended our adventure at Loft and headed back to the station to go home. Along the way we were given beauty samples by giant blue bow and go-go boot wearing ladies.
And serenaded by this happy fellow singing and playing some advertisement for something unknown. I’m sure it was a bargain…
Now exhausted and at home, I am about to pack my bag for our overnight trip to the mountain. We leave Sunday morning and are back Monday night. I purchased rechargeable batteries today so I am sure to bring home some fantastic photos. We have been told we will be visiting some amazing places, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
Until then, take care folks…