Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring Break Part 10: Sakura in Shinjuku and Ueno


Sunday the 30th was Lauren's last full day in Japan. Earlier in the trip it looked like Lauren would leave before many sakura (cherry blossoms) would be blooming. The best days for viewing in Tokyo were supposed to be the 4th to the 6th or somewhere around there (though later I think they were moved to like the 2nd or 3rd or something). So we planned on seeing sakura on her last day here so that we would be more likely to see more.

However, they bloomed a bit earlier than that forecast and we got to see most trees in full bloom that day! Unfortunately when we went to Shinjuku Park that morning it was raining, but the trees were still beautiful.

Usually that field would be filled with people having hanami (flower viewing) picnics.

Shinjuku Park has many early blooming trees so a couple were already loosing their petals. A few sakura petals landed on my umbrella.

I didn't mind the rain too much really. There was kind of a calm feel in the park and I got some cool pictures. Though later on Lauren's umbrella broke in the wind. Also, my lens kept getting rain on it so some pictures have some weird cloudy spots because of the rain drops.

That bridge was my favorite photo spot. The sakura and the bridge are so Japanese! :)

After Shinjuku Park we were ready for lunch. Last time Lauren visited Japan she really liked Beckers so we decided to eat lunch there. We went to Ikebukuro (which was between Shinjuku and Ueno anyways) and ate at the one next to the station.

Their menu is a little bit random and they always have something different every time I go. This time I had pho, a Vietnamese soup with noodles and chicken, egg rolls, and ginger ale. It was perfect food for a rainy day. It was super filling, too! Lauren had taco rice.

Then we went to a really nice gift/stationary store that I never know the name of, a boring suit store, Tokyu Hands, Sunshine City (only very briefly), and Closet Child (another branch of the same store I visited in Harajuku). I saw a really cute pink Angelic Pretty dress there and considered going back the next day to buy it. They had fewer sweet lolita dresses than the one in Harajuku, but I saw some better deals there.

Lauren got a lot of souvenir shopping done there, which was kind of funny because we had just randomly decided to go there for lunch and hadn't even planned on shopping there.

By the time we finished shopping it had stopped raining and the sun had come out. Before heading to Ueno Park though we went back to Beckers. Lauren had seen a strawberry sakura cheesecake there and wanted to try it. I didn't get any cheesecake, but then Lauren said it was really good so I gave in and got a piece. It was our sakura day so it fit in with the theme of the day!

It was really tasty! :) After eating our desserts we got on the train and headed to Ueno.

I was really surprised by the sakura in Ueno Park. I had expected them to be blooming, but they were at their peak already.

There were a lot of people at the park, but there weren't very many having hanami parties. I guess the rain had kept people away because it had seemed like it would rain all day, even though it ended up being nice later on.


Lauren and I had planned on visiting a cat cafe in Asakusa. After leaving the park we accidentally went into the JR station when we needed to go in the subway station. We tried to go out another exit which was close to the subway station, but apparently that isn't allowed and we had to go out the gate where we came in. Then we walked on a walkway around the station and got to where the subway was. But then we decided to just go do Big Bang karaoke again and went back into the JR station, haha.

We went back to Big Echo in Shibuya and had an awesome time just like earlier in the trip.

I sang Aitakatta. I had never sung an AKB48 song at karaoke before and it was a lot of fun! 

At one point in Ueno Station (the last time we went in there I think) I bought a cute sakura panda doughnut thing. There were cherry blossoms in the cake. It was super cute! I'll admit that I bought it mostly because it was cute, but it ended up being really really good! The cake was really moist and and delicious.

I was so excited to find Let it Go from Frozen! It had the video!!! Yay!!!

I also sang Shine by Ieiri Leo. I really like that song despite the weird English lyrics "I want you get a shine. We get shine."

Such an awesome karaoke room! It was supposed to end the next day, but I looked on their website and it was extended until May 11th. So I guess it was pretty popular!

As we took the train back to the hotel it was pretty empty so I took a picture.

At the hotel we looked at our lolita pictures from Maison de Julietta that had just become available online. We also watched a horrible Arashi acting tribute video which was just dramatic scenes of them crying.

We had done so much in about two weeks and had a lot of fun! It was sad that it was pretty much at the end.


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