Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Winter Break Part 1: Ueno Zoo and Harajuku

On December 21st Jonathan and I went to Tokyo. It was a clear day and on the way there we had some great views of Mt. Fuji!

We arrived in Tokyo a bit after noon, dropped off our luggage at our hotel, and went to Ueno to go to the zoo. First we ate lunch at an Italian place in a department store in Ueno.

We both had margherita pizza. Jonathan got a set, which included dessert, so we shared a piece of chocolate tiramisu which was really good.

We wandered around Ueno park a bit before we found the entrance to the zoo. 

At the beginning  we saw an okapi, which has zebra-like legs, but it's more closely related to giraffes than zebras. The zoo was a little bit depressing at first because the animals had small cages and were just inside. There were doors leading to an area for them outside, but for some reason they weren't able to go out there.

But I had a much better feeling from the rest of the zoo. Also, it was huge! Well, at least a lot bigger than we expected. We got there around 2:30 and it was closing at 5:00. I thought that was plenty of time and that maybe we just needed about an hour there. We stayed until almost 5:00 and could have spent a bit longer.

I didn't take a whole lot of pictures because I was surprisingly not in a picture-taking mood, plus most of them weren't coming out well, but here are a few.

Those flying squirrel stuffed animals were soooo cute. But I was going coat shopping later and didn't want to spend any money before then.

I didn't get it, but the panda bento was cute!

We saw pandas! :) I had never seen pandas in real life before. They were cute. :)

As we were leaving the park we saw the Rockabilly Club out dancing. I've seen them on blogs and travel sites before, but had never actually seen them.

Then we went to Yamashiroya, a toy store near Ueno Station.

I was super amused by the Mr. Bean figure, haha! There's even a turkey to put on his head!

Then we went to Harajuku so I could see if Liz Lisa still had the coat I wanted. Jonathan had planned some stuff for us to do on the 26th. He wasn't telling me what, but when I asked what I should wear that day he said to dress nice. I had a nice dress, and was just going to wear my usual coat, but Jonathan said I should have something nicer. So I needed to buy a nice coat. A few days before I had looked in some stores in Hamamatsu but didn't find one that I really liked. I kept thinking about the lavender one I had seen at Liz Lisa over a month ago. It was still on their website (and on sale!) but I didn't know if I would find it in any stores. I would have ordered it online, but we were leaving in a couple days so there wasn't enough time. Anyway... I was going to look for a coat in Shibuya 109 (they have a Liz Lisa and many other stores where I could probably find a coat), but Jonathan needed to go to a 100 yen store to buy a luggage lock. I couldn't think of where any 100 yen stores are in Shibuya (I'm sure there's one somewhere though) so we went to Harajuku instead to go to both Daiso and Liz Lisa. I didn't think Liz Lisa would have the coat I wanted anymore and the other stores wouldn't be very good for a fancy coat, but oh well.

So I was kind of annoyed that we had to go to Daiso. Jonathan was being so paranoid about his luggage. I learned the reason later though.

Anyway... we eventually found the luggage locks in Daiso, and then I went to Liz Lisa.

I took that picture back in early November. Their Christmas tree is so pretty. :)

Outside I saw a lavender coat, but it was a different one and I didn't like it as well.

It was still pretty cute, but I actually didn't like the bows on the bottom very much.

Then almost as soon as I stepped in the store I saw the lavender coat hanging on a rack. And it was on sale just like online! Yay! One of the girls working there let me try it on and she pointed out all the cute details on it. Sooooo cute. So I bought it!

The buttons are so adorable!

I love lace!

Even the lining fabric is beautiful. Also, the tag is metal. I feel so fancy wearing this coat!

That was my first time buying something from a Liz Lisa store. It was such a fun experience. The girl who helped me was super nice. And at stores like that they walk you to the exit and hand you your purchase and bow. I love it. :)

Then we walked towards Jonathan's. The restaurant, not his apartment, haha.

We saw a group of people riding go karts down the street. They had some Mario costumes and were getting a lot of attention. Real life Mario Kart! It looked like sooooooo much fun!

I found the website of the place where you can rent them. The prices aren't bad so I would love to do it. Unfortunately Jonathan doesn't have an international or Japanese license and I don't want to do it alone. :(

After a short wait, we had dinner at Jonathan's.

Jonathan always makes weird faces when I take pictures of him at restaurants.

After eating our yummy dinner we still had room for dessert so we got crepes. I wanted to get one from one of the stands on Takeshita street, but Jonathan didn't want to walk back down that street (he hates it), so we got crepes from Cafe Crepe, which was in between Omotesando and Takeshita.

Fleecy? That doesn't really sound so appetizing, haha.

Like most crepe stands around there, they had a very large selection. The Christmas ones caught my eye and I got the noel brownie crepe, in the picture above. Jonathan got a caramel brownie one.

It was amazing. The brownie was sooooooo good. So super rich and chocolatey!

On the way to the subway station we saw a snowman. There was a sign saying that the snow had been brought in from Niigata prefecture. Random.

Such a fun day! And it was only the beginning of our trip!


  1. I was trying to look for winter in tokyo travel blogs and I came across yours! Nice blog! and that lavender coat is so cute! and that crepe looks so good omg! I'm so excited to go on my trip.
    I'm actually planning a trip in December this year and I'm leaving around the 22. How cold was it in Tokyo? Is it REALLY cold that wearing more than two layers is necessary? lol

    1. To me it's usually not that cold in Tokyo in the winter. I usually wore a skirt with leggings, a sweater with a long sleeve shirt underneath, and a coat. I think December is a great month there because it's usually very sunny!

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