the year is nearing its end which is the perfect time to look back on all the adventures the duck and I have gone on since we arrived in Japan…
In order to get the right Tokyo feel, and to aid us in reminiscing, we took a little stroll (or waddle) around Shinjuku station where we made a few fun discoveries (like this little turquoise plastic ball – more to this at the end of this post):
Of course we started off our Shinjuku adventure by getting lost, like back when we tried to take our first trains or foolishly decided that it was a great idea to walk from Shibuya to Shinjuku in the blazing summer sun. But we soon found our way to our first stop, had some nice curry (because curry is life), and then set off on our actual adventure of exploring Tokyo’s exciting underground passages, as seen in this cool blog. But, first, we were introduced to the most amazing cake stall ever – just look at it!!!
When we found the infamous underground eye of Shinjuku station (I don’t know how it’s called, but it’s an eye, so…) we just had to take a picture.
Oh, how many photos the duck and I have taken on our (educational) Tokyo (and Kyoto) adventures. Feeling the eyes of the passers-by on our backs soon was something we learned to ignore, together with the occasional sleeping train seat neighbor, well, most of the time. Taking trains has become something so normal for us that we’re surprised ourselves that it hasn’t lost it’s charm yet.
Called by the great outdoors (yeah, as if that ever happens to us, ha!) we decided to leave the underground passages to explore a bit of the area outside Shinjuku station. The temperatures were surprisingly mild and the sun gave me so much enthusiasm that I tried to speak some Japanese with our lovely friend. I found myself very consentient, saying several variations of そうだね all afternoon, and I even got the chance to talk about my hat-selling dog.
Still, the new year will need much more Japanese speaking on my side. In fact, that might become my number one New Year’s Resolution – followed by finally embracing being those foreigners who take photos and record videos in seemingly random locations and situations… without ever capturing anything suspicious.
After all the walking we decided to stop at a Konbini to get some afternoon snacks. That was the easy part. Finding a bench to actually sit down and snack turned out to be a true challenge – similar to our trash sorting dilemma early during our stay.
Driven away by the cold we went underground again and found this (still no benches, though):Weird. But definitely not the weirdest thing we’ve found since the start of our Tokyo adventure. We’ve had so many strange and exciting experiences here that it’s hard to pick a favorite. So we won’t. Instead, I’ll give you a resolution to the first picture in this post: We found a bunch of gachapon machines and decided to get ourselves a little year-end gift out of one of them… but which one? Well, let me introduce this beauty: a machine dedicated to depressed animals – just what we needed to start the new year!
And luck brought us this happy fella:
He will start into the new year with us. We’ll be a happy depressed trio!
We did feel a lot better, though, after we found seating inside one of the Shinjuku Lumines where we could finally eat (=our favorite thing to do) and think some more about the passage of time, like how, in the beginning, we were scared of natto (can you believe it?) and being late and now, after having spent two and a half seasons, a Halloween and a Christmas in Tokyo, we have grown to accept that we will probably never cease from being surprised by even the smallest discoveries, in fact, so surprised that we just have to share them with everyone who is keen enough to keep reading our blog. We’ll stay the weirdos that we are and we will be proud of it!
2017 was amazing – hopefully 2018 will be just as exciting and fun (and much more Japanese – like, you know, language-wise).
The duck and me
Lesson learned today: There are, in fact, no benches outside the gates of Shinjuku station. At least that’s what the information staff told us. So, if you really need to sit, shopping centers are your best bet (often you’ll find chairs or benches near the restrooms). Ha! Who knew?