Posted by: Santa Barbara Dreaming | October 8, 2008

Hello from Japan

Konnichiwa! The reason I have been MIA for the last couple of days is because I had been traveling to Tokyo, Japan! I haven’t been home in nearly a year, nor seen my mom nor my cats, so it’s very exciting to be home. I left on Monday Oct 6 and arrived on Oct 7th. I lost an entire day crossing the international date line and being on the plane.

Here’s me leaving SFO airport:

I'm leaving on a jet plane don't know when I'll be back again....

I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again

Traveler’s Tip: If you ever need to make an international flight making a connection out of the Santa Barbara airport, FLY VIA SFO (San Fransisco) and NOT LAX (Los Angeles). The SFO airport is MUCH cleaner, friendlier, easier to understand, organized, and has better shops and restaurants, Overall a much more positive experience than flying out of LAX.

Today, I woke up at 5AM from jet lag. But I went to sleep at 9pm last night, so I did get a good amount of sleep. At ten, my mom and I set out for Roppongi Hills, a posh neighborhood to go buy movie tickets for later and get some lunch. Roppongi Hills is known for being luxurious, elegant, and expensive. It’s lined with brand name stores like Louis Vuitton. I snapped this photo cause I though it looked funny: the cleaners look like toys!

Gotta keep LV looking good!

Gotta keep LV looking good!

One day, I will shop there! haha. Roppongi Hills was developed several years ago, and there are a gazillion shops and restaurants there, along with some big business. I supposed you could call it a VERY upscale mall. The architecture is very modern and funky, and it’s a popular tourist spot. For me, it’s like my backyard; it’s only a 15 min walk away. (In Tokyo you walk everywhere and 15 minutes is considered SHORT) In high school, my friends used to hang out here all the time, meeting for lunch or dinner, or just window shopping.

Cool modern architecture at Roppongi Hills

Cool modern architecture at Roppongi Hills

The difficult part of the morning was choosing where to go for lunch! There is such a plethora of choices, and so many of them look so appetizing, narrowing the choices down to one is a complicated task. Mom and I wanted to go to a new place and be adventurous today, so old favorites were no longer a choice. We managed to narrow our choices down to three; a bakery with scrumptious sandwiches on fresh baked bread, a Indian place with tantalizing curries, and a Asian Fusion place with exotic lunch plates. I chose to go to the Asian Fusion place, mostly because they had cute outdoor seating. 🙂

Cute ambiance huh?

Cute ambiance huh?

I had a mixed lunch plate; SOOOO GOOD! It was only 1,000 yen (or ten bucks) and I got fried rice, cucumber and carrot pickles, a peanut and fish side, a spicy piece of chicken, lettuce with peanut sauce, a piece of frittata, and a chicken satay with peanut sauce, AND an iced coffee, soup, AND dessert. Not a bad deal at all! It was a very filling meal. My favorite part was the soup- instead of croutons, it had potato chips in it. How creative!

Asian Fusion Lunch

Asian Fusion Lunch

After lunch, a dessert was clearly needed. My mom recommended we go to this French bakery named La Boutique de Joel Robuchon (fancy name, huh?) to get these chestnut shaped treats. The bakery is very posh; with dimly lit black and red decor, and it smells absolutely divine inside. Everything looked delicious, but we stuck to getting the little chestnut shaped goodies. Man, these things are small but GOOD. It’s a small, crunchy bread filled with chunks of chestnut and chestnut cream inside. It’s a perfect autumn treat. Here’s my mom enjoying the chestnut treats;

Little piece of autumn

Little piece of autumn

And then…. haha. here’s what I love about Tokyo…. Funky technology. Japan’s technology is light years ahead of America, and this perfectly exemplifies that. Panasonic was doing a promotion for their eco-friendly electronic home appliances. For this promotion, they had this booth where they take a digital photo of your face, and display it on a huge screen in the middle of the mall, and make your face “sing.” The computer makes your eyes and lips move, so it looks like you are singing along to the song playing on the screen. Totally tacky, and totally fun. Mom and I had a GREAT laugh.

Totally Creepy!

Totally Creepy!

I’m on the right, digitally singing. So creepy! I look like I’m crazy or something! I had SUCH a good laugh! Here’s me on the big screen:

Im the one on the botton on the left column

I'm the one on the bottom on the left column, my mom is on the right on the bottom

Totally unnecessary. But way cool. AND they give you a coupon for a free crepe just for taking your photo and being able to laugh at yourself. 🙂

Another part of the Panasonic campaign was this JOBA machine that you got to try out. It’s a machine that’s supposed to mimmick riding a horse. It’s supposed to help you tone up and shape up. I think it’s a bunch of bull crap, but it looked way too silly and fun to pass up on a free ride. You mount it like you would a horse, hold on to the “saddle,” and hold on as the machine vibrates and sways from side to side. By holding in your abdomen, it’s supposed to work your muscles so that you get the same benefits of a work out. I don’t but it, and for 1,500 bucks, it NOT worth it. But it sure was fun! Here’s me trying hard not to burst out laughing;

Im riding a horse machine

I'm riding a horse machine

How silly. Well, I’m going to go watch the Sex and the City movie with my mom tonight (neither of us has seen it yet!) I can’t wait. 🙂 and it finally stopped raining so I think I’m gonna go for a run!

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