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the [perfectly calm] adventures of david-andrew

honored dog & fish feet (日本 2)

**My intention was to publish updates every night in Tokyo. However, I met some challenges. One was the struggle to find consistent internet with my gaijin iPad. The other challenge was exhaustion after running around Tokyo from 8A to 12A everyday. Sleep won that battle. I offer a thousand apologies for any inconvenience or anxiety this may have caused. Also, I can avoid the mess of a rush job like my last post. Further apologies offered.**

On our second day in Tokyo, we met up with our friend Hiccup and his Sister who lives in Japan. It’s amusing being so far from home and see people you know. Something is familiar, but in the wrong setting. It added to the jumble that is Tokyo, throwing me off a little more. Sister showed us around to some crazy fun sights.

We headed out to Yokohama to go to the ramen museum. First we made a stop at the famous Shibuya Station statue of the faithful dog Hachikō. This Akita Inu met his human, a professor, at the station daily as he came home from work. The professor unexpectedly passed away one day and never returned to meet Hachikō. Still, Hachikō waited everyday at Shibuya Station for nine years feed only by kind commuters. This loyal dog still shows up in popular culture almost 80 years later. ShibuyuStation

We got back on the train and continued to the Yokohama Raumen Museum.

raumenmuseum The museum doesn’t look very unusual from the outside. Inside, however, we transported to 1958 Tokyo. There are several ramen dealers around a courtyard. In the middle area there is a shoot-the-duck style game. The proprietor of the shooting game also doubles as a performer who put on a comedic show. I mean, I assume it was comedic because everyone laughed.

foreshadowing the transition to 1958

foreshadowing the transition to 1958

We found our way into the “Ikemen Hollywood” ramen joint. The dishes were puns based on US movie culture. There was “Jurassic Pork,” “Johnny Dip,” and a crazy spicy one called “The Backdraft.”
We weren’t allowed to take pictures here, so not much to show you guys, but ramen lovers would be in heaven here. They have “mini” sizes so you don’t get too full to try them all.

Yokohama also has a “Chinatown” area with some hidden adventures waiting for us.

ct_gate  ct_pandastore
 ct_jumble ct_pandabread

Near the entrance to Chinatown, we headed up a flight of stairs covered in neon exclamations into an arcade. The arcade was full of physically interactive games. We played a four-player game throwing balls at a video screen to knock bugs off as they try to climb the wall.

ct_arcade_kawaiiprizes ct_arcade_drum
We had fun with the drum game. I want one for my home.

Better yet, if the people who stock the arcade would put a few machines in my house and switch them out periodically, that would be rad.

We were wandering around the game floor when we were suddenly pulled into the wildest photo booth I’ve ever seen. Bright noises, loud colors, and 日本語 instructions lit quickly on the screen. There were cute poses demonstrated on the screen before each picture. We did our best to fall into form before each flash. Background options ranged from cutsie pink to pink graffiti to graffiti cutsie. After all the picture shooting, you could draw, stamp, and theme your photos.


the sophisticated & serious results

I now know firsthand why there are jokes about Tokyo being unsafe for the seizure prone.

ct_kissfish_sign One of the weirdest things we’ve come across in Tokyo so far is Dr Kiss Fish. Before I knew what was happening our friend was getting us tickets to have our feet cleaned by fish. It was almost intolerable at first. After getting used to it, it was just very ticklish and probably what putting your feet in a huge pool of Alka-Seltzer would feel like. It’s bizarre to watch living beings eat off your dead skin. They love to get the most sensitive areas of your arches and between your toes. The Dr Kiss Fish clerk encouraged us to put our hands in the swarm too. Hiccup was first, then I tried it for a bit.
ct_kissfish_feet   ct_kissfish_side ct_kissfish_hand

In the same building we went to an exhibit of “trick art.” Signs with each painting demonstrated how to photograph each illusion.

ct_trick_swing ct_trick_shark


don’t I look angelic?


We ended the night with an embarrassing, but hilarious dinner at a bar called Arabian Rock, but I think I’ll save that story for later.

ct_wires More tales from Tokyo coming soon!

Next: complicated drink instructions & golden eggs in Shinjuku – “Arabian Rock”

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Posted in art and food and toys and travel by dA on May 13th, 2013 at 4:04 PM.


5 Replies

  1. Heather Collins May 19th 2013

    Wow! It all sounds so adventurous and other worldly! The feet fish thing looks cool, but i think I’d mentally have to prepare for that or trick myself into thinking something else was happening. Love the pics. Looking forward to reading more!

  2. I wondered about mentally preparing too. I had no idea we were doing it until it was already happening. I’m not sure if that was better or worse?

  3. Anonymous May 19th 2013

    Ahhh Kawai’i – crazy gaijin!! Konbonwa & Shinkonsen!!!

  4. James R Waddell May 19th 2013

    I really enjoyed this entry! Makes me wish I was still 9 years old!

  5. arigato sumimasen ohayo kudesai