Wednesday, December 01, 2010

the rest of the summer

In September I had a houseful of visitors from Germany staying with me for three weeks. We were lucky to get an extension on summer while it was already getting frigid over on their continent, and we spent most of the time in tshirts and shorts, fighting off mosquitoes.
We puri-kura'd and got creepy alien eyeballs.
We went to Minato Mirai and rode the rides.
We went to Kamakura and the Daibutsu and the beach and found some truly heinous sea life that Anne happily picked up and prodded. She's a rock. I shuddered.
Lena had her first go at an ocean. And everyone knows, the best way to be in the ocean is in your birthday suit. Here's a tip: if you want people to stare and exclaim EVEN MORE than they usually do, unleash a naked blonde baby on them. I swear we turned hundreds, if not thousands, of heads in unapologetic fascination with this little one. She fell in the fountain in Yokohama, okay? That's why this sprite was tearing around Sakuragicho in her nethers.
And we went to Kodomonokuni, twice, which is majorly fun for kids and pretty cool for adults too. It's totally okay to go swimming in the fountain there, and nobody will even stare at you.
But you might want to bring some extra butt padding if you brave the 110 meter long roller slide. Just saying. I'll spare you more details about the road rash on my backside.
She didn't seem to mind, though.


  1. Looks like you had a great trip back into summer!... Although I suspect that it's starting to cool down now even around Tokyo. It's nice to post these things with a bit of delay... reminds you of all that warm weather when it's starting get cold as.

    Thanks for the heads up on Kodomonokuni... looks great. Would you definitely recommend for people coming into Tokyo (say for 7-10 days), or is it really best for locals to get out with their children? We love Yokohama, and often go (and it's got to be about 1000x better than the Ampanman Museum!

  2. Hey Ben -
    I was looking for things that were 2-year-old friendly, and this was DEFINITELY one of the best (maybe the best) things we did. You can spend a full day there and not get bored - the park is spacious and beautiful, with a mini zoo, a huge kids trampoline-like thing, hiking trails, so many playgrounds, a mini train, some rides (like bumper cars), fountains and wading pools to play in, a bicycle course, and more. It's especially nice in summer, and if you can go on a fine day, that's the best. It's mostly outdoors, so it must be a nice day. Additionally, they close around 4 (I think) so you could still go to, say, Minato Mirai in the evening. It's relatively inexpensive (esp. compared to a lot of other kid-friendly things we were looking at, like other theme parks and aquariums) at about 400 yen for kids and less than 1000 for adults.

    If you're rushing to do a bunch of stuff in Tokyo and it's closer to 7 days, it might be hard to fit this in. But if you have JUST a bit of extra time, I really recommend this as a great place for kids AND adults. We also went to Sanrio Puroland, Minato Mirai, and other public parks, but nothing pleased everyone and took up a nice chunk of time like Kodomo no Kuni.

  3. That's a pretty good price. There's a similar sort of thing up in Sapporo, and I know they're a great way to spend the day (for kids and parents). We'll keep it in mind on our next trip.

  4. Cool - and it's 600 for adults and 200 for kids. Beats Disneyland :)

  5. That's a very handsome cat. Is that Timmy?

  6. It is! I think he's absolutely dashing :)

  7. He is indeed. People who say that animals don't have individual personalities are simply not very good at spotting the obvious. So there.

  8. Who says that? Timothy has more personality than many of the people I know.

  9. ah, another cat-lover, eh? You'll have to say hello to mine:

  10. Thanks! Italy looks lovely...