Wednesday, July 7, 2010

itonowa cafe & shitaya shrine

ok, the flight to narita wasn't as bad as i had expected. kou-chan was an angel!
we had a bottle of milk in one hand and a pacifier (a dummy?) in the other expecting kou-chan to start putting those little lungs of his into action on take off.
as our plane started to back out from the gate our nerves got the better of us and we decided to give him some milk.
15 minutes later with an empty bottle of milk we are still on the runway in hong kong. the plane in front of us apparently blew a tire. lovely.
5 minutes later and i can smell a dirty nappy and the seat belt sign is still on. double lovely.
as soon as that seat belt sign was switched off k-chan took kou-chan (too many "k"s and "chan"s??) to the toilet and came back with poop down the front of her jeans.
we now know to not hand out the milk until the plane is really about to take off!

the rest of the trip was a breeze, kou-chan slept most of the way and even slept on the train into tokyo where we stayed one night in a hotel.

the following day we strolled around the area close to our hotel checking out a cafe which i had wanted to go to for a while now; itonowa cafe.
itonowa cafe is hidden down a little side street and easy to miss if you don't know where you are going.
we had hoped to enjoy a relaxing brunch here but kou-chan didn't like the aircon being set at 28 degrees as he is obviously used to hong kong's chilly aircon settings.
japan is big on eco and "going green" so most aircons are set at a warm 28 degrees; great for the environment but no so good for hot squirming baby.
ended up having to scoff down our brunch and escape to a local park where at least there was a cool breeze.
hope to come back to this cafe when kou-chan is a bit older as they have a nice selection of homemade jams for sale and ceramics by the designer iihoshi yumiko.
you can check out her website here.

after cooling off in the park we went to shitaya shrine (下谷神社) to buy a omamori (お守り)or amulet for k-chan's dad as he has just had some major surgery; the reason we flew back to japan...
shitaya shrine was the perfect place to chill out in the shade before getting a taxi to ueno station to catch the shinkansen (bullet train) up to nagano.

cafe info:
itonowa cafe (japanese only)
1F, adachi building
1-13-10 matsugaya
taito-ku, tokyo
open: 11am to 7pm
closed: thursday
nearest station:
7 minutes walk from inaricho station on the tokyo metro ginza line
10 minutes walk from tawaramachi station on the tokyo metro ginza line
15 minutes walk from TX tsukuba express asakusa station


shrine info:
shitaya shrine
3-29-8 higashi ueno
taito-ku, tokyo 110-0015



pascale said...

Don't these angel darlings just keep giving us challenges without any warnings? but then there is no guidebook so they might just as well happen without warnings :p

You and K-chan are doing a great job as parents! and hope your father in law is recovering well.
Have a great time here and hugs to your angel boy.

Mary said...

thanks for all your comments on my japanese posts!
! looking forward to seeing more of your photos of japan. i COMPLETELY fell in love with it and can't wait to go back!
i hope your father in law is recovering quickly.
cute stripey suit kou-chan is wearing :)

gingerbee said...

so many k's and chans, and so i got too confused with both. heehee.

it's good to hear that everything went ok with your flight...although am not too sure with the poop. Heh. but, but, i'm pretty sure that you and k-chan will be expert nappy changers in no time!

that second picture (the one with beans and rice balls) looks delish. after finishing constructing this test, i'll probably fix me up some thing starchy and with seaweeds. hehe.

oh, and i just realized how fun it is to give student's surprise quizzes!

hiki said...

Hello there!
I have been so behind in checking my blogroll for sometime, but are you in Japan!?
These are such beautiful photos, and I will be looking forward to seeing lots more of your wonderful shots from Japan! I hadn't heard of Shitaya Jinja before...but it looks lovely!
I hope you and your cute family will survive this humidity, but I guess you'd be used to the hot summer living in HK???


Gaijin Wife said...

Hope the FIL is recovering well. The plane trip doesn't sound too horrific at all - quite pleasant in fact, bar the shit down the jeans, although I must confess that shit down the side of the plane and seat is worse (thanks Shou who was just a tad under the whether last time I took him home) Those change tables in the plane are not user friendly at all, although undoing it and clicking it into place about a hundred times in a row was good entertainment for a non-sleepy Ryu on our last night flight.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Kou-chan is such a doll!!!

Hope you are enjoying yourselves in Japan (and those supercups). ;-)

Life for Beginners said...

Hope your dad-in-law is recovering nicely. And oh! Back in Japan! Beautiful as ever.

And more beautiful still is the lil angel sleeping. :)

world of sekimachihato said...

* pascale
thanks pascale. seriously everyday kou-chan surprises us with his actions, facial expressions and just his personal character.
no guidebook could prepare us for this kind of joy!

world of sekimachihato said...

* Mary
likewise i hope to hear more about your trip to japan. there is so much to explore here!
and that stripey little suit of kou-chans is already getting a bit tight!

world of sekimachihato said...

* gingerbee
you got confused with all my k's and chan's and i got confused thinking that YOU were a student; but no, you're a teacher??
how old are your students? and what kinda quiz are you creating for them?

world of sekimachihato said...

* hiki
yeah, i'm in japan now; in nagano actually. not really here for a "vacation" as k-chan's dad is not well so we are bring over so grandson-power for him.
must say the temperature in tokyo was much more comfortable than hong kong but it was too warm inside shops/cafes etc...
at least it's nice and cool up here in nagano.

world of sekimachihato said...

* Gaijin Wife
yeah, i think our flight could have been a lot worst!
and those changing tables in the plane's toilet are awful! no room to spread your wings and it was freezing in that little cubicle!
everytime i changes kou-chan's nappy he would pee again due to the cold air!!!

world of sekimachihato said...

* aixxx
yup, supercups and all the other yummy stuff around is making my jeans feel a tad tight...

world of sekimachihato said...

* Life for Beginners
thanks~. my dad-in-law is recovering well and can't wait to be discharged from the hospital.
in between going back and forth from the hospital we are checking out a few places in the local vacinity too.
looking forward to reading about your trip to europe!!

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