Tokyo (2)

Tuesday 31/10

Wake up at 8am. The night was cold. We slept with the A/C on heater…

Kids do homeschooling with Isabelle while I prepare the programme of the visits of today. We won’t go very far since the kids are excited to go where the action is for Halloween today, i.e. in Shibuya.

I go and buy bread in the same bakery as yesterday. It’s really good. Nice lunch (salad & charcuterie) at home.

Kids stay home while we go and visit our neighbourhood, Daikanyama and Naka-Meguro districts. It’s a trendy area. Daikanyama is an upscale residential enclave with sidewalk cafes, fashionable boutiques and an unhurried pace. Neighbouring Naka-Meguro is more bohemian, with a canal in his heart. On either side of this canal, which gives Naka-Meguro its village / hipster vibe, we can find boutiques and a handful of eating and drinking spots. .

We start with the Kyu Asakura House, a good example of the early-20th-century villa architecture with tatami rooms and a nice garden. An amusing feature is that the dimensions of the rooms are given in tatami mats (12-and-a-half-mat, e.g.).

We then go to Daikanyama T-Site, a beautiful bookshop, with a Starbuck inside. There are a lot of shops related to dogs (including grooming of course), with even (paying) parks where they can play… There are also strollers for dogs! Everybody seems to have (small, poodle-type, usually ugly) dogs in this area.

We come back around 4pm. Kids are ready with their Halloween outfit (we didn’t buy any fancy dress this year since we are travelling) but they need help to put the contact lenses that they bought yesterday.

We go by metro to Shibuya Crossing. We try to find a good spot to see the crossing but it’s not that easy, especially today with the crowd that comes here to celebrate Halloween.

We also have a quick look at the haunting 30m-long ‘Myth of Tomorrow’ mural in the Shibuya station. It depicts the atomic bomb exploding over Hiroshima.

We walk in the very busy streets for 2 hours, including in the Shibuya Center-gai, closed to cars and lit bright as day. Kids, especially Ludivine, is super happy. She takes selfies with all the people with fancy dresses. Very nice atmosphere.

We also try to go inside a cat café but they don’t accept kids below 13 years old.

We do again a purikura (at ‘Purikura No Mecca’) but this time in 2 “groups”: girls together and Jules with us. It’s fun. It’s full of girls with their fancy dress.

We go back to the station. At one point of time, a crowd movement separates us from Isabelle. Fortunately, I have the 3 kids still with me. I manage to speak to Isabelle on the phone and we fix an appointment inside the station (from where we came earlier on today). In the basement of Tokyu Department Store, we manage to find the small (10-seat) ‘Sushi-ya’ restaurant that I spotted during my searches. It is located at the back of the buzzing Tokyu Food Show depachika. I could spend hours watching the stands of the shops in these depachikas.

We eat great sushi, mainly shrimps, salmon and fat tuna. The chef has been preparing sushi for 52 years… We eat at the counter (where else in this tiny restaurant?). The salmon sushi are definitely among the best that I’ve ever eaten. Even the kids notice the difference between these sushi and the ones we traditionally eat. At the end, the chef prepares a small plate with miniature sushi. Cute and lovely! The dinner is not even that expensive (90 Euro for the 5 of us).

We go back home by metro.

Kids are in bed by 9:30pm. They enjoyed Halloween (while they thought we wouldn’t be celebrating it this year).

We work on our laptop. It’s so great to have a real table to work on…

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