Japan Day 19: Goodbye Tokyo, Hello California

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! It’s the LAST POST for my series from my trip to Japan in Summer 2015! And right now it’s Summer 2016 hahaha one year after. But I made it! Before I begin writing the actual post: To anyone and everyone who has read one (or even part of one haha) or all of my blog posts, thank you! I hope you enjoyed them and found them helpful in planning for your own trips. And thank you to my sister for filming and editing and captioning all the vlogs. I’m sorry I suck at video editing and couldn’t help you without making you mad…LOLOL.

So we woke up this morning really early with a plan in mind: Take a taxi or two to Shibuya Mark City, take the limousine bus to Narita Airport, and then fly home. I had tried booking taxis through online services but they were all in Japanese and so I asked the AirBnB lady to help me but she said they asked for bookings to be done 24 hours beforehand. She advised us to just flag down taxis on the street.

So that’s what we did. 7:30AM: me standing out almost into the street, frantically waving at the one or two taxis that drove by. Finally we got a taxi and we loaded it up with our luggage and told the driver the destination and then my cousin was the only passenger. He volunteered because with all the luggage, there was only room for one other person haha. My siblings and I walked to the hotel and met up with him. We had our backpacks on and it was a lonnggg hot walk. I never want to do that again omg.

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We were quite early for our shuttle so we just waited. And then the limousine bus was late. We got on and all immediately fell asleep. I stayed half-awake just in case we missed the stop at Narita Airport.

At the airport. My brother said that one person should watch the luggage at all times so I bought the largest coffee I could find and a chocolate croissant and a book and stayed watch. Then when my brother woke up, I told him about all the cool shops I saw while buying my coffee and my sister’s peach tea. So he got my cousin to keep watch and my brother and I shopped around!

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There was a Pokemon Center! LOOK AT THIS PIKACHU! It’s a ditto pikachu omg

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They only had children’s sizes in these Pikachu slippers 😦

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Cutest wastebasket ever. Wish I had the luggage space for this haha

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So cute I can’t handle it!!! Bye Tokyo!!

My brother bought a phone case that was made out of lacquer. Then my sister wanted to shop too so my brother went back and my sister and I shopped around and got lunch.

My sister got takoyaki and another peach tea.

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And I got a shrimp burger from McDonald’s! It was really good hahaha.

My cousin didn’t want to shop but when my sister and I got back from eating, the boys went to go eat too.

While waiting to board, my sister took all our yen and went to buy Pocari Sweat drinks and kitkats.

We took home like 6 bottles of Pocari Sweat hahaha. The kitkats we got were both regular green tea flavor and sakura green tea flavor. We try the sakura green tea flavored ones in the vlog!

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Can you guess what book I read on the plane?

Plane food. I have no recollection of what this was. I think maybe pork and rice.

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Cold soba noodles for snack.

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Salmon and rice.

ALMOST HOME!!!!!

Did you read my Tokyo Hair Makeovers post? Well I mentioned that my mom has never wanted me to dyed my hair. Lucky for her, I never really thought about coloring my hair. Until I went to Japan!! haha. After we got our hair done, we wanted to keep it a secret from my parents until we were reunited in person. So I had to keep telling my mom that our internet was so slow so I couldn’t send any pics, and phone calls were better than FaceTime….Oh man. I had to say that every single day practically! But it was worth it to see my mom’s reaction to our hair. The vlog is sooooo funny, I just crack up every time I watch it!! haha.

Anyway my cousin got picked up by his brother so we all hugged and said our goodbyes and then we went to meet our parents. I can’t describe to you the happiness I felt at seeing my mom and dad!!! It was sooo good to see them again! We missed them so much.

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When we got home my mom cooked us banh xeo, a Vietnamese dish that we all really like. It was soooo good to be eating my mom’s cooking again. Being home after a long vacation is a great feeling. My mom had changed the sheets on my bed too…it felt great to sleep in my own bed!

My trip was a long one and I felt like I changed a lot from it. I never imagined I would learn so much about the world, Japan, Japanese culture, and mostly myself, when I was planning the trip. It was my first time going out of the country, and my first time traveling without my parents. I really didn’t think about how living with the same 3 other people 24/7 for 3 weeks was going to affect me. I learned a lot about what kind of person I am and what I can and cannot tolerate, and how to react to other people. I learned to be aware in public spaces even when I am with people I feel safe around. I realize that there are so many culture differences between America and Japan and got to experience it firsthand (sorry for wearing an off-the-shoulder top…didn’t know that was low-key scandalous in Japan haha my mom approved it LOLOL). The whole trip was a learning experience that I really didn’t expect but am so grateful for. It might sound cliche, but I felt like I was a different person when I came home. I came home with a newfound appreciation for a culture that I have always respected. I came home wishing I could continue to not tip waitstaff HAHAH. I came home with a new family, and a better relationship with my siblings. And my parents too, even though they didn’t come along, my conversations with my mom and dad throughout the trip were full of advice and support that I could never thank them enough for.

After my trip to Japan, I want to visit again. I want to experience all four seasons of Japan. I want to see my Japan family and laugh together more. I want to eat more Japanese foods and fruits. I want to travel to Osaka and Nara and Kyoto. I want to have an onsen and ryokan experience! There’s still so much I want to do and I know I will visit again someday. I never knew how much traveling can open up your horizons and your view of not just the world, but of yourself. It may sound cheesy, but that’s really just how I feel.

Here’s the vlog:

Until next time,

C.


Places:

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu

Address: Japan, 〒150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 1 Chome−12−2 SHIBUYA MARK CITY 渋谷 マーク シティ 内

Narita International Airport

Address: 1-1 Furugome, Narita, Chiba Prefecture 282-0004, Japan

Japan Day 17: Foodie Adventures in Tokyo

Another super chill day in Japan for us! We started out the day heading to Omotesando to the famous Maisen Tonkatsu. I had wanted to eat there on the day we were getting our hair makeovers at NALU Salon but for some reason I didn’t see it even though they’re practically next door LOL.

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Yup, I took a picture of a laptop screen lol. Ugh I love the train system in Tokyo. It is so incredibly convenient and fast and punctual and cheap and I know it’s such a foreigner tourist thing, but the novelty of riding the train never wore off for me hahaha! It may be partly because I dislike driving?

We found Maison Tonkatsu quite easily. There are signs leading to the restaurant from the train station. We waited for a little while before we were seated. The restaurant is a lot bigger than we thought!

The menu is pretty extensive. We asked for the English menu.

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My meal!

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My sister’s meal!

I don’t have pics of my brother’s and cousin’s meals. My brother got his usual katsudon though. Theirs came with ice cream!! You can see in the vlog. All of us really enjoyed our meals.

Oh yeah, since we were nearing the end of our trip, we tried to get rid of all our coins by paying for the entire meal in coins…but they didn’t accept it LOLOL. Sad.

We walked next door to say hi to the hair-master Deji-san at NALU! It was great to just see him one more time and thank him for giving us beautiful hair before we went back to California.

Then I wanted to go to Omotesando Koffee. I had heard about it somehow and the reviews are really good. I only just started to appreciate the taste of coffee thanks to my then-coworker, Chris. Every day he drinks a black iced coffee and he would offer me some. And over time, I acquired the taste I guess? So I wanted to try this coffee place and enhance my palate haha.

The place is really hard to find even if you use a GPS/Google Maps. It is hidden, and it looks like a regular home. Well it basically is a home turned coffee shop. There’s a tiny minimalist sign that has Omotesando Koffee out in front though. And we saw a line forming out the sliding door so we knew we were in the right spot!

While in line, a fat white guy took a photo of my brother. He used his phone and the flash went off. I got really mad and wanted to confront him and tell him to delete the picture, but my brother said it was fine. He said it was probably just cause he has purple hair. I guess, but that’s no reason to take a photo of a stranger. He could’ve asked…we were speaking English so it’s not like he was afraid of us not understanding him.

My sister and brother got a frozen mocha or something. IT WAS SOOO GOOD!!! super coffee and chocolatey flavored, the whipped cream was so fluffy and sweet! No icy taste or texture at all.

I got a plain black iced coffee. It was smooth and strong and perfect. I was surprised that a coffee noob like me could taste the difference between this and a Starbucks iced coffee. Or maybe I just imagined it haha. Anyway there’s only one guy who runs the entire coffee shop at Omotesando Koffee.

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There were little toasted pastries for sale too but we didnt try them.

Actually, Omotoesando Koffee has closed permanently. Apparently, the house needed repairs that would have cost too much for the owner, so it’s no longer open for business. There is another location in Toranomon, though, and I will include the address for that location in my “Places” at the end of this post. I feel lucky that we were able to try this place out before it closed! I loved feeling like I stumbled upon the coffee shop (we almost walked past it), and it was a new experience to walk into a traditional Japanese house! And of course, watching the guy make the coffee with so much precision and passion was interesting too!

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After our coffee break, we headed to Tokyo Tower again because my mom wanted more of the Japanese doorway hangings that we bought her (I think they are called “noren”) from the little souvenir area on the second floor of the tower.

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And we saw our friend the monkey again!!! He is such a smart and cute little monkey!

Inside Tokyo Tower, I spent hours shopping for souvenirs for friends and family. I don’t remember everything we purchased, but we got our grandpa a sake set for decoration, a samurai shirt for our dad, wall hangings for our mom, keychains for friends, white chocolate mochi for my employers and co-workers, a set of decorative chopsticks for the people who wrote letters of recommendations for me, sling backpacks…and more. omg. So if you want to get people souvenirs, I think Tokyo Tower is a really good place to go! They have everything there!! And the people there are super sweet and friendly. One elderly woman complimented us on our Japanese, she was shocked when we said we were Americans haha. So cute.

Then we headed back to our apartment to set our things down and rest before dinner. My cousin really wanted to treat us all to yakiniku, which was really sweet of him! So he asked me to find a place nearby.

We couldn’t figure out the name of the restaurant we went to because it’s in Japanese characters only?? haha but it’s in the same plaza thing as Mos Burger on Dogenzaka in Shibuya.

OH JUST KIDDING I TOOK A PIC OF THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT OMG well it’s too late to put it in the vlog now lol

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Wow I am so smart for doing this lol. Anyway we ate here cause it’s like 2 minutes walking from our apartment! We took off our shoes and they put them away for us right when we entered. We were seated and we ordered food!! Our cousin was so generous he told us to order everything we wanted including drinks and appetizers! So we went a little crazy hehe

My siblings and I got chawanmushi! It’s got seafood in it and it’s really light and fluffy egg custard that is steamed. My sister also got peach juice, and my brother and I got lemon sodas (me without alcohol though hehe).

The dinner was super crazy fun…It was definitely one of the best dinners we had just because we were laughing so much and eating so much. The quality of the meat was super good. My cousin and brother ordered SO MANY PLATES OF MEAT. The waiter was like, AGAIN?!? HAHAHA. One of the waiters was really really cute and my sister and I totally freaked out about him haha. He looks like Usuke Devil, a bishounen who’s like, Instagram famous hahah.

After dinner we stopped by combini to get some ice cream of course.

The macadamia nut one was mine and the green tea was my sister’s.

Here’s the vlog:

Until next time,

C.


Places:

Tonkatsu Maisen Aoyama Honten

Address: 4 Chome-8-5 Jingumae, 渋谷区 Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Hair Salon NALU

Address: 4 Chome-9-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

Omotesando Koffee –> Toranomon Koffee

Address: Toranomon Hills Mori Tower, 1-23-3 Toranomon, 港区 Tokyo 105-0001, Japan

Tokyo Tower

Address: 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo 105-0011, Japan

Hannadaidokokoro Dougenzakaten (yakiniku)

Address: 2 Chome-29-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0043, Japan (this is the address for the same plaza it’s in).

 

 

 

 

Japan Day 16: Tokyo Disney Sea AGAIN!

AGAIN?! Why did we go to Tokyo Disney Sea again?! Because it was THAT awesome the first time, of course. There were still more shows to see and rides to ride and we just really didn’t want to miss out on anything!

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Our train schedule for that morning. We purchased tickets at the door this day and So also exchanged some money at the park. The exchange rate at Tokyo Disney is apparently usually really good!

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The must-see attraction we wanted to experience was Minnie’s Tropical Splash. We had seen it when we went before, but we wanted to wait and be in the main splash zone. So we waited. In the blazing hot sun and suffocating humidity. I am a delicate flower so I escaped to the air conditioned shops nearby so that I wouldn’t pass out. While I was embracing the freezing cold air inside, my sister texted me asking to buy my brother a sun shade cover hoodie towel thing.

Like half the people inside the Disney parks were wearing those to protect themselves from the sun. My sister and I had bought Elsa and Anna hoodie towels and were soooo glad that we did! My brother finally caved and wanted one too LOL. So which one did we get him??? Olaf??

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Winnie the Pooh!!! Omg so adorable right? Like a child hahahaha

He said that right when he put it on, he felt a huge relief. Our cousin didn’t want one even when we asked him over and over lolol I guess it was too expensive for him. Later on he said he wished he’d bought one on the first day we went to the Disney Parks so that he could’ve used it all three days. True! Next time!

Anyways the show was AMAZING. Even better the second time!! Because we were in the super splash zone we got completely soaked hahha. Make sure your phones and cameras are in plastic bags! We were all drenched by the end. My brother and cousin made good use of their snorkels…check the vlog to see how haha.

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Then we went to rest and dry off.

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This cave area is near Journey to the Center of the Earth.

We got to watch the Big Band Beat show, which is like Mickey conducting a band. It was highly recommended to us by our Japan family but my sister was so tired that she fell asleep during it! The rest of us enjoyed it but it wasn’t as cool as we thought it was going to be.

I asked my cousin to pick a place for lunch and he chose a mexican place. It’s called Miguels El Dorado Cantina.

Then we got gelato!!!

I got Kyoho Grape and Melon flavors and my sister got Peach and Blueberry. We both got cones for the pic….but it got really messy cause it melted instantly. My brother got his in a cup and it was already melting all over him hahah.

We ate meat pies for dinner. Those things are bomb lol

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This automobile is so cute I had to snap a pic of it hehe

In the evening we watched a show called A Table is Waiting. It’s near the Rivers of America. I asked for help to find out where the show was located, but I had already walked right next to it…the cast member was like, “just sit down here” LOL.

The show was INCREDIBLE! We all loved it so much! It’s cute and funny and really well done! I highly recommend seeing it if you visit Tokyo Disney Sea. Part of it is in the vlog so you can get a sneak peek of what it’s like haha.

After that, we headed home for the night…

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Here’s the vlog:

Until next time,

C.


Places:

Address: 1-13 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan

Japan Day 15: Exploring Shibuya

Omg okay so this day was dedicated to checking out the area around the apartment we were staying in. We slept in and went for lunch at the restaurant I had selected by researching online when planning the trip. We had walked there for dinner one night, but the line looked really long so we went to eat omurice across the street instead lol.

So today we came back and there was a line again but we waited and it didn’t take very long for us to get seated. The waitstaff took our orders when we were standing in line and we all just ordered what everyone in front of us had ordered. But we should’ve read the menu more carefully because there is an option for double portion. I think the boys would have wanted to get that instead of the regular lunch set haha.

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Gykatsu! There’s a couple different dipping sauces, all of which are delicious. Each person gets his or her own mini grill to cook their gyukatsu on. It got pretty hot in the restaurant from these grills despite the AC. My brother had to wipe sweat off his face with napkins LOLOL and we kept asking for the water pitcher to be refilled. But the food was really delicious! The portions were perfect for my sister and I but the boys said it was just like a snack for them.

After lunch, we really wanted dessert so we went to a cute little ice cream and fruits parlor in Shibuya. My sister and I split a sundae but the boys didn’t want anything.

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It was pretty expensive, like 1400 yen so around 14 USD but so refreshing on a hot day. Plus, the parlor is on the second floor so you can watch people cross the street at Shibuya scramble. 

Then we decided to check out the Tokyu Department Store. We walked there and split up. My sister and I went on every single floor and ended up purchasing rain boots for my sister and a pair of super comfy flats for my mom. We saw those cute backpacks that every child has in Japan and were shocked that they cost around 300 USD for one! They’re so cute!!

It was fun to browse but a lot of the things were out of our price range haha. We saw signage that had directions to a roof garden so we followed it. And the roof garden was small but really green and beautiful! Also on the roof was a little cafe and a plant nursery.

Hmm it was so hot, I wore just a men’s Airism undershirt that I bought from Uniqlo, but I wish I wore some real clothes so this pic of me in the roof garden would be cuter….hehehe.

Okay so I didn’t talk about this in my last post when the experience actually happened but a life-changing moment happened when we were guests of our Nagomi family. Our Japan mom peeled and sliced some Japanese peaches for each of us and told us not to share with her kids if they asked us (LOLOL). And we took our first bites and….OMG. It was the absolute juiciest and sweetest peach we had ever ever EVER tasted. We gobbled it down and were amazed– like we never knew fruit could taste so GOOD. We asked her why it was so delicious and juicy and sweet and she just told us that Japanese peaches taste like that. Each of us got a whole peach sliced up, and then she sent us home with a peach for each of us. T__T SHE IS SO SWEET! Thanks to her, we got to try Japanese fruit! And it is seriously fruit of the gods. Our cousin was like “now I can’t eat fruit back at home ever again” ahhaha.

 

 

So at the grocery store, we wanted to buy more Japanese peaches to add to our collection of peaches sitting in the fridge back in the apartment. So we purchased 4 more, plus an apple LOL. They cost 400 yen each if I remember correctly, so like a little less than 4 USD per peach. When we ate all the peaches later that night, the ones our Japanese mom gave us were a lot better. She probably got us gift fruit, the really expensive kind that are given as gifts in Japan. She is so thoughtful but it must have been really expensive because the gift fruit we saw had incredible prices. We saw a pyramid shaped watermelon for like 300 USD LOL.

Anyways, as a side note, I sent a really long email to my mom that night raving about the peaches and promising I would look up if I could buy some and bring some back for my mom and dad. Then I found out you can’t 😦 but my mom said it was good enough to hear my description lol. Later she told me she thought I was exaggerating until my brother and sister agreed with me that the Japanese peaches were like magic! hahaha

For dinner we decided to just grab some food from the food shops in the basement floor.

Meat skewers. The chicken meatballs were good but the beef was really weirdly soft and squishy and not good….

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Also we got yummy donuts from the bakery in the basement floor of the Tokyu Department store. Light and fluffy and not too sweet and no greasiness!

That was the end of our day! It was pretty chill but I liked just exploring the area.

Here’s the vlog:

Until next time,

C.


Places:

Gyukatsumotomura

Address: Japan, 〒150-0002 Tokyo, 渋谷区Shibuya, 3−18−10 大野ビル2号館

Shibuya Nishimura Fruits Parlor Dogenzaka

Address: 22-2 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

Tokyu Department Store Shibuya

Address: 2-24-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan

Japan Day 14: Tokyo Sky Tree with Our Nagomi Family

I am so behind on writing these blog posts! The vlogs have been on YouTube for weeks now and I have since traveled to more places that I need to catch up on, so I will do my best to crank out the rest of my posts on Japan. I can’t believe it has been over a year since our adventures in Tokyo!

On Day 14, we had planned to spend the whole day with the family we met through Nagomi Visit. We decided to check out Tokyo Sky Tree since none of us have gone there yet. We woke up early and had plans to meet at the train station connected to Tokyo Sky Tree, Oshiage Station.

And…it was our first time taking the wrong train. Hahah we were moving in the opposite direction. Oopsies. We corrected our mistake, though, and got on the right train and since I had given us extra time when planning, we were right on time.

It was really great to see our new friends again! We talked and walked through the shops and the kids showed us one of their favorite stores, Candy Show Time.

We got to try some of the fresh candy and watch them make it by hand!

It was both entertaining and delicious.

So cute!!!

There was a snack shop in Tokyo Sky Tree that had so many different kinds of candies and chips. My brother and I were so curious about everything that we would ask the oldest daughter what everything was. She is sooo smart, she translated everything for us. At one point though, I pointed to a package and told Sara that I loved pumpkin. She looked at me like I was crazy and said “That’s melon, not pumpkin.” Omg we all laughed so hard hahah. From that shop, our Japanese mom bought PEZ candy dispensers for the two younger kids and a Popin Cookin set for us to all do together at our house. My siblings and I got a bunch of the candy bentos you see in the video!

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Then we checked out the food court to buy some potato balls and deep fried shumai and then hopped on the train.

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It was really nice to get on the train and know for sure we were going the right way and when our stop was!

We ate ramen at a restaurant called Korakuen. There are a lot of Korakuen ramen shops all over Japan.

My sister’s ramen on the left, mine on the right. The oldest girl recommended me to get the ramen I ended up ordering. I think it was the sesame flavored ramen because I remember the sesame flavor was really strong!

We enjoyed our food a lot!! The two youngest kids got kids meals which come with a coin to get a toy from the gachapon machine in the restaurant haha. I wanted one too LOLOL.

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Our Japanese mom paid for our meals which was so sweet of her T_T

Oh I don’t remember if we did this before or after eating lunch but we walked to this Japanese supermarket and there was a 100 yen shop inside where I bought my Doraemon lanyard and some face masks. My brother and cousin bought some snorkels and swimming goggles haha…

Then we went back to their house where we did the candy sushi Popin Cookin set!

Since the instructions were all in Japanese, the oldest daughter read them and then directed us in English! It was so easy with her help!

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The sushi came out really cute too. Don’t they look just like the real thing?! Hard to believe these started out as just powder and water haha.

Then the kids brought their toys out to play with us! We had a blast and may have made a huge mess hahaha…

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The middle children lol

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Pokemon hehehe

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I LOVE THIS GIRL omg she is the sweetest and most gentle and so smart and I miss her like crazy!!!

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Man I still can’t believe my brother dyed his hair purple lol

 

tryna act kawaii haha

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:)))

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So many smiles!!

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Ahahha the littlest boy took these pics on his mom’s camera!

 

We had a delicious dinner of homemade yakisoba, onigiri, chicken wings, and corn. Everything was super tasty!

For dessert we had watermelon. Our Japan family explained to us that when they go on picnics, they blindfold the kids and take turns to whack the watermelon open with a stick??? Like a pinata! hahaha so they did a little demonstration for us. Watch the vlog cause that part is pretty funny!

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We also had a slice of sweet potato and apple pie that I bought at Tokyo Sky Tree cause it smelled so good!! And when we ate it, it tasted just as delicious. Japanese sweets are definitely not as sugary as American sweets. My cousin doesn’t like sweets too much but he really liked the pie. I have a sweet tooth, but the sweet potato and apple in the pie were super sweet and didn’t need any added sweetness that pie fillings usually have. Extremely tasty in a different way 🙂

After dinner we all just talked and played and laughed until we had to leave for the last train…The littlest boy kept asking us something in Japanese and we kept telling him yes and smiling and nodding until his mom told us that he was asking us if we were sleeping over T_T  She told him we had to go…and we all piled into the car and went to the train station.

We said our goodbyes and thank yous and hugged and shook hands and held back our tears. Our new friends were now our family members…and it was so hard to say goodbye to them!!! We had the best time together and experienced their culture in such a unique way.

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I am seriously so glad we went through with the Nagomi Visit and am sooo thankful for that website for bringing us together. Saying farewell was hard, and I still miss them a lot, but it’s not so bad because I email them once a week, and we send each other photos, and exchange gifts through the mail.

Here is the vlog for this day:

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Until next time,

C.


Places:

Tokyo Sky Tree

Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan

Candy Show Time

Address: TOKYO Solamachi, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo 131-0045, Japan

Korakuen Ramen

2-16-6 Dogenzaka, Shibuya 150-0043, Tokyo Prefecture (not the same one we went to but it’s a chain so same thing)

 

 

 

 

Japan Day 12: Pokemon Mega Center

Actually this day started off really slowly. I told everyone I was going to stay in the apartment all day today. Everyone got ready and my brother really wanted to try Freshness Burger because we’d been walking past it every single day. So my brother, sister, and cousin went down to get some food. When they were there, my sister texted me pics of the menu so I could decide what I wanted to eat. haha…spoiled LOLOL

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I remember getting a burger and fries but from looking at this menu…I have no idea which burger I picked. They all look good hahahh

After we ate, I felt a lot better, and so I decided I could make it out today. I got ready and we headed to the Pokemon Mega Center!

I always searched up multiple schedules because I was always scared we would miss a train!

Walking there was pretty nice actually. Ikebukuro is a really lovely place! We walked through a square and got to hear cicadas again lol. Actually we got lost looking for the Pokemon Mega Center. I didn’t realize that it was inside a mall and the mall was connected to a hotel. So we were walking around and then Google Maps told us we were there. So I suggested to go inside the hotel and ask for directions.

We walked into the hotel and I asked a woman behind the counter, “Excuse me, could you give us directions to the Pokemon Center?”

LOOOL IT SOUNDS SO STUPID TO SAY THAT OUT LOUD. What, did I think I was in a video game or something hahah I need to heal my Pokemon?!

To give the woman credit, she didn’t laugh or anything. She just repeated, “Pokemon Center…” while typing on her computer and then taking out a map and telling us where to go. Her English, like most people’s that we encountered in Japan, was completely understandable. We were really grateful to her help!! Because thanks to her, we made it into the mall, which is called Sunshine City (ummmm super cute name wtf)!

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I just love how Japan just has giant Pokemon hanging from the ceilings of malls and it’s totally normal.

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The Pokemon Center! There are signs all over the mall to help people get to the store. The store is pretty big, there are lots of these statues everywhere and tonsss of really cute Pokemon merchandise!

Me and my sister with the shiny Charizard!

Me and my brother with Lucario and Mewtwo. I bought that Pikachu plushie that I’m holding in this picture. My parents thought I was crazy for stuffing that into my luggage. BUT IT’S SOOO SQUISHY I LOVE IT!! I think it was around 3,000 yen.

While walking around the mall, we saw J-World which was one of the destinations on our must-see list! J-World is an indoor theme park, with the theme being anime and manga from Shonen Jump, I think. Again….as One Piece AND Hunter x Hunter  and Dragon Ball Z fans, we were pretty stoked. We grabbed info packets and decided to dedicate a whole day to spend at the park, so we would return the next day to go to J-World!

Sunshine City has a whole store that’s dedicated to Studio Ghibli! We weren’t able to get tickets to the Ghibli museum so this is the next best thing hahaha.

I think we took these Gudetama photos outside a Sanrio store.

 

Lol my sister was super excited because she’s a huge Gudetama fan.

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After we finished shopping, we met up with the boys to eat dinner. We chose to eat at a tonkatsu place called Tonkatsu Wako. My brother ordered an egg and tonkatsu bowl. He let me have a bite and it was sooo good!

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My set meal! It came with a coke! and everyone can get unlimited refills of rice and cabbage but none of us did lol.

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Here’s a shot of my meal where you can see the chawanmushi (silken egg??). It’s so creamy and light! We all enjoyed our meals.

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After dinner, we headed back to Shibuya Station, and on the way back to the apartment we got our ice creams of course haha.

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Japan found a way to package and serve soft serve ice cream that tastes good without sacrificing texture. For like 100 or 200 yen omg TAKE MY MONEYYY

At the end of the day, I was pretty glad I swallowed my annoyance and went out. I spent most of the day with just my sister and it was super chill and relaxing. She navigated us when we needed to find where Sunshine City was, and I felt a lot better not having at least that responsibility on me. And I felt like I saved the day when I suggest to go inside the hotel to ask for directions LOL.  We were all super excited to go to J-World the next day too! Yay for mood brighteners haha

Here’s our vlog about the Pokemon Mega Center:

Until next time,

C.

P.S. The next day is all about J-World and we had such a great time playing the games and seeing the attractions! We also have life-changing ramen hahah


Places:

Sunshine City Prince Hotel

Address: 3 Chome-1-5 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-8440, Japan
Sunshine City (Mall)
Address: 3 Chome-1-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan
Pokemon Mega Center Tokyo
Address: Japan, 〒170-0013 Tokyo, 豊島区Higashiikebukuro, 3−1−2 サンシャインシティ 2F
Tonkatsu Wako
Address: Japan, 〒171-0022 Tokyo, Toshima, Minamiikebukuro, 1 Chome−28−2
J-World
Address: Japan, 〒170-0013 Tokyo, 豊島区Higashiikebukuro, 3−1−3

Kimono and Shopping in Harajuku

One of my favorite (and later, least favorite…) days in the entire trip!! Good stuff first:

What’s a trip to Japan without wearing an authentic Japanese kimono? Of course, buying a new, authentic kimono will run you AT LEAST 300,000 yen. And realistically, it won’t ever be worn because there are a million steps to wear one correctly and of course I wouldn’t have an occasion to wear a kimono anywhere at home! So I planned for us to rent kimonos, a tour guide to walk us to Meiji Shrine, and experience Japanese tea ceremony, from a shop called Sakaeya Kimono.

Originally the appointment was for all four of us: brother, sister, cousin, and me, but things changed once my brother broke his arm really badly in an accident. He would be okay to travel, but it’d be very painful for him to get dressed in the kimono. So he opted out and my cousin followed suit. Those boys really weren’t very enthusiastic about the whole idea in the first place but I really wanted some photos of my brother in a kimono!! haha

Anyway, the kimono rental with walk to Meiji Shrine and tea ceremony and photoshoot was incredibly affordable, especially since we technically paid for rental for 11am to until 5pm of the day. It’s only 9000 yen (approximately 90 USD) and one of the best experiences ever!!

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So that morning my sister and I woke up early to do each other’s hair. Traditionally, the hair is styled up when wearing kimono. We did the best we could and were pretty happy with it (tip: bring your hair straightener and hair curler. It’s worth the hassle because then you will look extra kawaii in your vlogs and pictures LOLOL). If you have no sister you can trust with your hair or you don’t want to risk looking ugly (one of my curls straightened itself out and it makes me sad to see hahaha), the kimono shop offers a hair styling deal with a hair salon close by in Harajuku.

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We walked to Shibuya Station from our apartment, hopped on the train and got off at Harajuku Station. It’s like a 3 minute ride haha. We walked to the kimono shop and met Kahori-san, who is the loveliest woman ever. She runs the kimono shop all by herself! Kahori-san told us that before, her mother used to run the shop. She also said that after her shop was featured in a news article, it became very very busy. It’s true haha she got like three phone calls while she was working with us. Don’t worry, though, she still gave us all her attention!! Her English is pretty much perfect. And the air conditioning in the shop is really strong LOLOL which is a very good thing, considering how hot it is in the summer.

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Putting on the kimono takes about 20 minutes. All you have to do is just stand there. She will do all the work, after you pick out your kimono and your obi (belt. tip: choose a contrasting color).

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Since it’s summer, we were choosing our kimono from the traditional summer kimono, or yukata. They’re more lightweight silk than regular kimono I suppose, but to us it still felt like we were all bundled up. There’s a few undergarments and belts and cloth pieces that go into the process. You can see in the vlog that will be at the bottom of the post.

I let my sister choose first, and she picked a pink yukata with a cream obi. I chose a cream yukata with a blue obi. I remember Kahori-san suggested I wear a red obi but I just really liked the blue one. She liked the combination too so I felt reassured lolol.

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The socks are called “tabi.” You have to wear these socks so you can wear the special sandals. When you book your kimono rental online, you are required to submit your measurements so that Kahori-san can pull out which kimono will fit you. I suggest that you do what we did and measure ourselves for everything she asks for (waist, bust, hip, height, foot size) all in centimeters. Kahori-san has a bunch of hair accessories you can borrow to wear for the day. My sister and I are wearing some. If you stop by Daiso on Takeshita-dori (really close to the kimono shop), you can pick up hair accessories from there as well for only 100 yen each.

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Kahori-san taught us how to pose when wearing yukata. Apparently you don’t show your thumbs. I messed up with my right hand in here LOLOL but it’s okay. She gave us a few pointers and then her friend, Yoshi-san, came to take us on our tour of Meiji-shrine. It’s a ten minute walk from the shop to the entrance gate of the shrine.

Here are some pics from our trek into Meiji Shrine:

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Here we are at the torii gate. It took us 10 or so minutes to walk to this entrance gate. It’s pretty hard to walk in the little sandals! Do not underestimate the walk haha it’s do-able though!

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We borrowed the little bags from Kahori-san.

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The fans are also included in the rental. Here we are posing in front of a gigantic wall of sake barrels. Yoshi-san gave us a whole spiel about the history about them but I forgot everything lol sorry!! I know that they’re an offering though.

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So to my right there is a purifying area where you are supposed to purify your hands and mouth before entering the actual shrine. Make sure to watch the vlog to see how to do it!

 

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They sell wooden tablets, if I remember correctly, that’s what that stand behind is us for. You need them for….

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These things! We are standing in front of Ema Votive Tablets, made out of wood, that you write special personal prayers on and hang them up. Every day, priests will offer them to the gods.

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It costs $5 for a tablet. Or you can write on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope and drop it in the box we are standing beside.

And that is precisely what we did! Check out our sandals btw.

After this we did a prayer at the offering hall and threw coins into it. There are no photos, because Yoshi-san was showing us how to do the ritual, but there’s video from our GoPro. Make sure you watch the vlog haha.

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Now we are on the way back towards Takeshita-dori and the kimono shop.

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The scenery is absolutely beautiful. If you are wearing yukata to the shrine, people WILL stop you for photos. After a while we got too tired and hot so Yoshi-san told them no whenever we were asked.

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And back we go.

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We walked back to the shop after this and Yoshi-san left and Kahori-san performed a traditional Japanese tea ceremony with us. There are no photos of this but it’s ALL in the vlog. It’s a beautiful ceremony and I’m so glad we were able to experience it firsthand!

After that, Kahori-san took some photos of us in the shop.

We got to pose with her tea ceremony things!

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Fun fact: my skin got really bad in Japan because I was sweating so much all the time. lol

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Look at how beautifully the obi is tied in the back. There is a ton of padding in there to make it stay like that. DSC_0104

The kimono hanging next to me is a wedding kimono. Many couples who are engaged or just married book kimono rentals with Sakeya Kimono. If I ever get married, I’m definitely going to Japan for my future honeymoon, and I’m SO going to book a photoshoot in the super formal kimono with my future groom. hehe

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Omg my sister is so pretty.

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RIGHT?!

So we took a million pictures until we were satisfied. We had the option to wear the yukata all day until 5pm but it’s very tiring to wear kimono because the obi is tight and forces you to have good posture, and since there are so many layers, it’s very hot. So we decided to change right after the photoshoot.

Then we were off to explore Takeshita-dori with all its shops and everything! We met up with our cousin and brother, who told us that the shopping here is AMAZING. We were stoked to start shopping but first…food.

We went to Lotteria, which is a fast food chain. You know, burgers, fries, soda. Except they taste SO DELICIOUS LOLOLOL you can see us freak out over fast food in the vlog.

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My meal came with a melon soda float. It was so good. Melon soda is so good.

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My outfit of the day. Dressed for comfort. You see a ton of cute girls all dressed up around Harajuku. Guys, too! Saw lolita and neo-lolita girls and a lot of punk guys. Super fun.

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Only in Japan would a shop that has an “angelic pretty” aesthetic use these freaky rabbit heads for their mannequins. lmao

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Good advice from a t-shirt

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Okay this is just hilarious. I regret not buying this lol

My brother spotted this in a store and wanted to get them for his friend who’s kind of big but the sizes were too small, even in size XL. LOL the penguin one is so cute.

 

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My brother liked these hats.

We shopped for hours. I bought shoes and clothes and anime keychains. Everything was reasonably priced. It rained and got even more humid and since it was hot, we felt extra gross haha. My cousin bought an umbrella for 600 yen and then it stopped raining immediately HAHAHA.

Then my brother and cousin walked us to Kiddy Land, a toy store with multiple floors.

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Half of a floor was entirely Snoopy merchandise. This is the door to the elevator.

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I don’t collect figurines (gave all mine to my younger cousin. So proud of her for being into One Piece too), but it was cool to see all the ones they had on display.

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Tons of anime merchandise of all kinds. A whole section is dedicated to Sailor Moon, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and Pokemon. There’s also a Gudetama section. I bought a Gudetama shirt, tissue box, and notepads.

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Cool Gundam figurine?

My brother bought a lot of One Piece merchandise for his friends. Some puzzles from Kiddie Land and some shirts that I model in the vlog lol.

This puzzle was awesome and the FRAME! Ugh so cool!!! but the frame was sold out. Otherwise I’d be like TAKE MY MONEYYYY

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I saw this and said, “wow I can’t believe they’re selling damaged merchandise. Just look at the state Goku’s clothes are in.” and my sister told me to shut up HAHAHAH

My cousin bought these super cool wooden puzzles. He got a pagoda one for his brother. I asked him on Christmas Eve 2015 if he finished it and he said it’s 20% done LOL he said it’s too hard but he’ll get it done eventually. The puzzles do look really tough to do but they look super intricate and cool! You can see in the vlog.

Then we went to a random restaurant because they served pizza and my brother is a pizza fiend. It’s called Wolfgang Puck.

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My sister and I shared this chicken sandwich. My cousin got garlic fries. And my brother got a pizza. It was really good. He gave me a slice lol.

Anyways that was the end of the day. We went home to the apartment and got ready for bed.

And that’s when shit happened.

So I know it seems from the vlogs and the pictures that we were having the time of our lives. But in reality I was feeling really upset at the same time.

For MONTHS before the trip, I had done so much research and planning. I wanted us to eat at the best reviewed restaurants, shop at the coolest places, and do the craziest things in Japan. I put together an itinerary on Excel, planning each day down, hour-by-hour. I booked the flights, made the appointments for our hair makeovers, bought everyone’s Disneyland and Disney Sea tickets, arranged for the kimono rental, booked the AirBnB, and learned how to get Pasmo cards and use the train station. And it was thanks to my friend Lanna who taught us how to use Google maps and warned us that Yelp doesn’t have anything in Japan.

About a month before we left for Japan, I sent my itinerary to my cousin and showed my siblings everything. I asked them for their input and their opinions and ideas and asked if they wanted to take anything off or do something else so I could add it. My cousin emailed me back and said it looked good. My brother and sister said they were down for what I had planned for us so far.

Once we arrived though, my cousin kept saying things that felt like personal attacks towards me. He said that the restaurants I picked sucked, and that he couldn’t eat anything. I told him sorry but obviously it was my first time eating at the restaurant too, I was just going off of online reviews, and told him he could pick the restaurant for the next day’s meals. He would respond angrily and say, “No, YOU do it. I don’t want to spend time looking it up.” OKAY, then don’t complainAt least let us enjoy our food and don’t point at our plates and say “ew that’s gross” while we’re eating them? Kind of a bastie move.

The apartment I booked on AirBnB was very small, but I figured it’d be fine because it was in the middle of everything we wanted to do in Tokyo. My brother and cousin did nothing but complain about it. “It’s too small” “the air conditioning is too weak” “the instructions are in Engrish” “the toilet is too low” and “the internet is slow” and “the furniture is all from Ikea” were just a few of their complaints. But it really irked me when they said “god, why did you pick this place? Nice job.” IF YOU CARE SO MUCH WHY DIDNT YOU HELP ME BOOK IT? All they said to me when I was browsing AirBnB places and sent them the link to the apartment listing was, “yeah that looks fine, go ahead and book it.” So why was I the only one to blame? anyway all of their complaints to me were minor. We barely spent any time in the apartment. It was just a place to hold our luggage and have a place to sleep and shower at night. So I was really upset when they blamed ME for this.

My sister had gone ballistic at me earlier this day because I had accidentally left her GoPro on for a couple minutes. I’d done it once before but she didn’t say anything about it so I figured it wasn’t a huge deal. The second time I did it on accident she full-on screamed at me. I was really taken aback. And also since the beginning of our trip, she would hold my Pasmo card because my Kate Spade purse took forever to open. So before we got on a train, she’d hand me my Pasmo card, and I’d scan it and hold it. In my head I was thinking “I’ll hold it cause I have to scan it again when I get off the train.” But to my sister, even if the train ride is only 3 minutes, she expected me to hand it right back to her to put away in her wallet and purse. So she would yell at me if I held onto the Pasmo card for 1 minute after scanning it. It kept happening though because that was just my habit. I admit I was a repeat offender but I really didn’t understand why she was SO mad about it.

Then it happened…

(backstory first, cue the flashback music)

I am really close to my siblings. I mean, obviously, we were all on a trip overseas together. My brother is older than me by 4 years and he is the best brother ever. When he was a senior in high school, I was a freshman in high school. I remember on the first day of high school he showed me where my classes were so that I wouldn’t get lost (my worst nightmare lol). Then he got his first car and we drove together to school and even though I had to wake up earlier I was really happy. We went to the same college for 2 years and those years were super fun because he drove me to class and we took a few classes together and once I got creeped on on campus by an old man and I called my brother and he came to save me LOL.

The thing is, my brother almost never calls me by my name though. He always calls me names like Fatty and Ugly and some worse names….haha. He tells me I look gross when I put on makeup and says my outfits look like crap. Once I just got a haircut and I asked him, “notice anything different?” and he said, “yeah, your fat belly got fatter.” HAHAHA SO MEAN. Another time I said “don’t I look so cute?” and he said “no. I look cute. I’m the cutest of them all.” LOLLOL. So my brother acts mean and rude but I know he really cares about me because of the things he’s done to show it. Actions, I guess, not words, are how he shows his brotherly feelings? lol sounds cheesy. Anyway that’s just how he is.

So keep this in mind when I detail the INCIDENT.

We all got back to the apartment, tired from a long and fun day in Harajuku. We had ice creams and drinks and onigiri from combini. We were all happy with our purchases and my sister and I were so pleased with the kimono rental and trip to Meiji Shrine. Nothing could bring me down!

Except I was feeling bad because my cousin didn’t eat anything but an order of garlic fries for dinner cause he said the food was “too expensive and didn’t look good” at Wolfgang Puck. My siblings and I all enjoyed our Japanese-ized Italian food…and we knew some places would be more expensive than others. But the thing was we read the menu before entering the restaurant and my cousin said it was fine when we went in. And he said he was starving still after dinner, but then he didn’t buy any snacks  or food at 7-Eleven when we stopped by on our way to the apartment from the train station.

And I had just done the thing where I held onto my Pasmo card, so I just got chewed out by my sister.

It didn’t help that we forgot to leave the air conditioner on when we left so the apartment wasn’t cool when we walked in. Since we didn’t know how to use the A/C correctly, it was a struggle to turn it on and control it. My brother and cousin complained like crazy about the temperature. I said everyone else could shower before me, so I showered last.

And then.

I said something like “omg that was such a fun day. The kimono rental was super fun!” and my brother replied something like “gay. that’s stupid.”

IT JUST PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH.

He didn’t have to do the kimono rental, so why did he have to rain on my parade for?? I was so done with his shit, with the shit everyone was giving me. I felt so unappreciated and annoyed that I put so much work into the trip, and during the trip too with my navigation and train scheduling, and all anyone did was COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN.

I picked up my phone, looked up the international number for United Airlines, and asked them for a flight home.

They put me on hold. And the whole time my brother was yelling at me, saying “why do you want to go home early? Why are you making an international call? It costs more!” and stuff.

I was on hold for 30 minutes and then I gave up. I hung up, walked into the kitchen/area outside the bathroom to get away from my brother’s yelling, closed the paper-thin door, and FaceTime-audio-called my mom.

It was like 9AM in California and I knew my parents would still be sleeping. My mom picked up right away. and without planning it, I started sobbing. Loudly.

Of course everyone in the other room could hear me. I was literally sitting down on the floor in front of the door. I cried and cried and said “Please, Mom, I want to go home so bad, but I can’t buy a ticket home because they put me on hold for like ever and it costs me money because I’m calling from Japan and I’m not happy because everyone’s being mean and I miss home and I hate my brother and sister now!!!! HELP ME!!!”

To my mom’s credit, before she heard me say that I wanted to go home because of how everyone was treating me, she immediately agreed to buy me a plane ticket home no matter how much it cost. I think I scared her with my crying. I scared myself, actually. I was just so overwhelmed with feeling picked on and unappreciated that all my anger and sadness just exploded. Like it was four days of wanting to scream, “I’m SORRY your entire vacation was meticulously planned out by such an incompetent idiot (a.k.a. me), you ungrateful jerks!!” Anyway, so my brother opened the door and said “What are you doing?!?! Why are you crying?? Whatever, let me talk to mom.” I yelled at him to call her from his own phone (lol) and then my cousin came in and said “Let’s take a walk. yeah?” I remember yelling “I DON’T WANT TOOOOOOOOOOO!” and then continuing my crying jag.

I know it sounds like I was being a baby but I was so emotional because it felt like no one understood how hard it was to please everyone on the trip and that everyone was against me. Why was it even my job to make everyone happy? Why is it my fault if someone doesn’t like a restaurant or activity I chose for us to do? it’s NOT. But that’s what they kept telling me. And obviously that was NOT an enjoyable experience for me so I wanted OUT.

Then my mom did what moms do best. She calmed me down. She told me that it was going to be okay. She listened to all the reasons that I said made me want to go home. She  told me that I couldn’t run away from my problems because she knew I could deal with them. She gave me advice on how to deal with them and then told me to keep in mind their perspectives–my brother had no idea how I was feeling and didn’t know that if he acted fake-mean like he always did that it would annoy me or make me feel bad. She told me to consider that my cousin may feel like an outsider a bit, because it was us three siblings and then him. My mom reminded me that my sister is younger and that she and I are inseparable and so I should be patient with her and remember that we’re best friends. It made sense to me but I was still crying.

Then my mom said that my brother was calling her on my dad’s phone, so she handed her phone to my dad so he could talk to me while my brother talked to my mom on my dad’s phone (omg so complicated. Also my dad doesn’t have an iPhone so the call was expensive because we couldn’t use wi-fi to make the call ugh).

My dad gave me some pretty good advice too. Even though right when I got on the phone with him, I started crying hard again. Haha. I told him, “Dad, you always promised me, just in case, that you would pick me up and take me home no matter where I was, whenever I asked. I’m asking you now!! Pick me up and take me home!” He said in Vietnamese, “I know I promised you that, and it’s still true, but it’s not as easy as me getting into the car and driving to get you. You’re in a different country, and I know you’re upset, but it’s a situation that you can handle. No one’s hurting you on purpose, and everyone involved is your family. You can’t just walk away from them forever. You can fix things with them. This is your first time away from me and your mom, and you still have 2 more weeks to go. You are going to have to learn how to deal with them and have a good time for the remaining days you have in Japan. This is your chance to show me and your mom that you’re mature enough to do that. I’ll talk to your brother and make sure he doesn’t hurt your feelings again. After that though, you’re on your own. Okay?”

Omg. Typing all that made me all teary-eyed. I really love my mom and dad so much. My mom tells me she loves me all the time and hugs me a lot, and sometimes she still tucks me in bed and tells me stories at night. But my dad is not very affectionate, and to hear him say all that was just really a huge moment for me. I mean, I’m lucky because I always knew my dad loves me. It’s not like I was ever waiting for him to tell me that or anything. It’s just to hear my dad, thousands of miles away, wake up and take this call and not freak out that his daughter almost hysterically crying, try so hard to make me feel better with those encouraging words…It’s a big deal. So I took both my mom’s and dad’s advice to heart.

And so my brother got off the phone with our mom and talked to our dad and I talked to our mom again who told me that my brother promised to be more considerate of my feelings. She also told me that he cried and said that he didn’t know he hurt my feelings in the first place, he was just teasing me like he always did, and that he felt so bad that he made ME feel so bad that I wanted to go home when he thought that I was having so much fun. And she said that he said that he was really sorry.

If you know my brother, he’s this tough guy. Before he broke his arm in the accident, he went to the gym like crazy. He ran with a tough crowd in high school where he was one of the only guys who took AP and honors classes hahahah. When he went away to school, he told me crazy stories about parties that ended up contributing a lot to how I chose not to drink, party, do drugs, all that stuff. He calls me names and tells me he hates me and that I’m ugly. He apologized to me…and I could see that he’d been crying. Then he told me he was going to step out with our cousin so that I could talk to my sister and calm down.

My sister is a girl, obviously, and she’s my best friend, so we made up easily. She just told me she didn’t know how I was feeling. I explained to her and she said she was sorry for having no idea that I felt attacked, pretty much. She understood why I felt that way after she heard my explanation and told me she didn’t want to make me feel bad too. So we made up and after a while my brother and cousin came back and my brother asked me if I was okay and I said yes and we all went to sleep.

After that whole ordeal, I realized how I basically was a completely different person. I felt like I could deal with anything now. I was in a foreign country where the only bits and pieces of the language that I knew was from watching anime. I never took Japanese in high school or college, and the only anime I’m into is shounen anime so most of my vocabulary is words like “run,” “kill,” “bastards,” “pirate,” and “justice.” Not exactly the most useful words hahaha. I had to learn how to survive and adjust my behavior according to their customs and culture and get around and not get lost or into difficult situations. I was without my mom and dad and could do whatever I wanted.

But I was with my two of my favorite people in the world, my brother and my sister, and also my cousin, and I had to understand that they’re people too, and when you spend literally all day and night with them, you learn more about them, and also about yourself. At home, if I got into an argument with my sister, we’d just leave each other alone or go into different rooms for a while. I almost never argue with my brother at home because usually at home my interactions with him are like, going to the gym, cooking him food, telling each other about our days, watching anime together with my sister. Not much room for fighting. So this was all new to me. I’m just really lucky to have siblings that I have a really close bond with, and to have parents who I can call at any time and they’d help me out in a heartbeat, but not the easy way out.

And I never regretted not buying a ticket to fly home earlier that night. Because the best part of my trip is yet to come!

TL;DR; everyone was mean to me and I was sad so I wanted to go home but my mom and dad told me to deal with it like an adult and I (kinda) did.

I know that was a huge wall of text but hey, there were a lot of cute pictures of my sister and I in yukata in Harajuku so it’s fine right? It all balances out. It was a very personal post for me to write but it happened, and I’m glad it did because I learned so much from it. So I just wanted to record everything down.

You can watch our kimono rental experience and tea ceremony and shopping in Harajuku here on the vlog! It’s one of my favorite videos of our trip!!!

Unfortunately there is a little bit of a lag in the video. My sister tried to fix it and I tried to research ways to fix it and we tried everything online but it didn’t work. Sorry! Still a good video lol.

Until next time,

C.

P.S. The next blog post and vlog will be all about our day in Akihabara!


 

Locations:

Sakeya Kimono

info@kimono-sakaeya.com
(24hrs OK)
Tell +81( 0)70-5556-4393
(only business time 10:30 – 17:30 GMT+9 )
Open by pre-booking
Map will be provided after your booking

 

Meiji-jingu (Meiji Shrine)

Address: 1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-8557, Japan
Lotteria
Address: 6-4-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

 

 

Kiddy Land

Address: 6-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Wolfgang Puck Express
Address: Japan, 〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 1 Chome−17−1, 義富ビル1F