Day 5 – Pirate ships, scary air and crazy eggs

We went from Tokyo to Hakone by many trains, buses, cable cars and a PIRATE SHIP. A real pirate ship.

And stayed in the most amazing hotel we had ever been to because it was a traditional Japanese Ryokan where you are supposed to get about in your PJs jump in the spa and be served drinks just like at the Playboy Mansion. The next room had an old bloke and 2 old women bunking in together and sharing the spa. Roooood.

I am too lazy to investigate why but soaking in that hot mineral water was the most incredible thing. It sucked out all the pain from walking many many kms per day and made me sleep like a dead person.

Highly highly recommended.

A cake shop in a train station. I could not make this up if I tried.

A cake shop in a train station. I could not make this up if I tried.

Its a cat screaming at a banana shaped cake  with a bow and a bell on it. Tokyo Banana Roar. SO YUMMY and I dont even like bananas much. We ate a 6 pack in 15 seconds. For breakfast. Tokyo's parting gift.

Its a cat screaming at a banana shaped cake with a bow and a bell on it. Tokyo Banana Roar. SO YUMMY and I dont even like bananas much. We ate a 6 pack in 15 seconds. For breakfast. Tokyo’s parting gift.

Hot can of coffee  and banana cakes We just don't do food very well in Australia do we? Lets admit it.

Hot can of coffee and banana cakes We just don’t do food very well in Australia do we? Lets admit it.

I think these were gravestones. Hakone area. So COLD I wanted to stab people. Vastly underprepared in the coat department.

I think these were gravestones. Hakone area. So COLD I wanted to stab people. Vastly underprepared in the coat department.

First class on the pirate ship in an elevated volcanic lake. Only the best will do. I think it was $9 per person and cattle class was 7 where all the tourist groups were. Very Italian. BIZARRE!

First class on the pirate ship in an elevated volcanic lake. Only the best will do. I think it was $9 per person and cattle class was 7 where all the tourist groups were. Very Italian. BIZARRE!

There was never any doubt that he was going to do this. I laughed. Then I said its cold, I need to go back to First Class.

There was never any doubt that he was going to do this. I laughed. Then I said its cold, I need to go back to First Class.

Cable car air thing thingy. machine cogs rolly wheels. SICK with fear. I found out a couple of years ago I don't like heights. I wonder what I was doing before that?

Cable car air thing thingy. machine cogs rolly wheels. SICK with fear. I found out a couple of years ago I don’t like heights. I wonder what I was doing before that?

Very pretty. Bleagh. Close eyes, breathe deeply.

Very pretty. Bleagh. Close eyes, breathe deeply.

Mercy. It was all I could do not to scream. A small part of my mind knew to take a photo  because it was pretty.

Mercy. It was all I could do not to scream. A small part of my mind knew to take a photo because it was pretty.

The Rotorua of Japan, stinky mountain bits with what smelled like poo water springs.  Someone thought "I know, lets put the eggs into water that smells like poo to cook them and then eat the eggs". Who would think this? Now its a famous touristy thing. Still cold, and also hungry, by this stage I was sharpening my shiv. Then Adam gave me deep fried potato and bacon on a stick and I calmed down.

The Rotorua of Japan, stinky mountain bits with what smelled like poo water springs. Someone thought “I know, lets put the eggs into water that smells like poo to cook them and then eat the eggs”. Who would think this? Now its a famous touristy thing. Still cold, and also hungry, by this stage I was sharpening my shiv. Then Adam gave me deep fried potato and bacon on a stick and I calmed down.

"It just tastes like a bloody normal boiled egg" Verbatim..

“It just tastes like a bloody normal boiled egg” Verbatim..

Painted on the pavement. Cute as.

Painted on the pavement. Cute as.

The balcony of our suite.  This was our proper 10th Wedding Anniversary gift to ourselves in super posh hotel. This tub was enormous. I had 5 baths in 24 hours. You could possibly fit 4 adults in there if you are into that sort of thing. #wearen't

The balcony of our suite. This was our proper 10th Wedding Anniversary gift to ourselves in super posh hotel. This tub was enormous. I had 5 baths in 24 hours. You could possibly fit 4 adults in there if you are into that sort of thing. #wearen’t

Super dooper bathroom. On the other side of that door is a funny little shower room where you sit on a stool and scrub your skin raw before rinsing off. Then go out of the next door to the balcony in the nudie rudie. You must be clean to get into the bath. There was nobody outside to see but there COULD HAVE BEEN.

Super dooper bathroom. On the other side of that door is a funny little shower room where you sit on a stool and scrub your skin raw before rinsing off. Then go out of the next door to the balcony in the nudie rudie. You must be clean to get into the bath. There was nobody outside to see but there COULD HAVE BEEN.

One of the rooms in our suite, this is where we danced and slept when our princess came to put our beds out and tuck us in. Best sleep I had had in maybe a year. I attribute this to having 4 hot mineral baths that afternoon / evening  and the biggest scariest most interesting dinner ever. No we did not watch TV.

One of the rooms in our suite, this is where we danced and slept when our princess came to put our beds out and tuck us in. Best sleep I had had in maybe a year. I attribute this to having 4 hot mineral baths that afternoon / evening and the biggest scariest most interesting dinner ever. No we did not watch TV.

Dinner menu. You did not choose from the menu. You ate ALL OF THE THINGS.

Dinner menu. You did not choose from the menu. You ate ALL OF THE THINGS.

Angry fish is angry. We waited until our princess had left the room and Adam rushed to the bathroom and flushed these guys. They had glaring eyes and chompy teeth. We could not do it.

Angry fish is angry. We waited until our princess had left the room and Adam rushed to the bathroom and flushed these guys. They had glaring eyes and chompy teeth. We could not do it.

One of the meals. Isnt it amazing? I also found it a bit challenging. I am not the most adventurous eater.

One of the meals. Isnt it amazing? I also found it a bit challenging. I am not the most adventurous eater.

Advertisements

Tokyo Day 4 – Fish Markets, Akihabra, Hipster Gig

Next morning up early, multiple trains, feeling VERY sketchy to the fish market.

After a bracing sushi breakfast we went into the largest fish market in the world. I knew it was going to be a bit hard to take, but baby me took all of 10 minutes to burst into tears and had to be lead by the hand out of the slaughterhouse.

Adam loved it and took lots of photos (on the good camera) of the creatures and fish being filleted and chopped and the displays and mini shops. Most people would find it so.

All I could see was blood blood and more blood. There were creatures that I would never have in my wildest  dreams imagined existed. I have a genuine terror of octopi and there were many many varieties. There were millions of dead creatures, creatures that were half dead or dying in buckets of sea water, and the blood all over the floor and the work benches and lots of dead, alien eyes were quite overwhelming.

I do wish I had been tougher on the day and seen more. I am glad my kids didn’t see me freak out, I would like them to be more stoic than their Mama.

I am amazed that in the figure shops the characters are on plain view for kids to see, there was a lot of pornographic stuff and was not sectioned off at all. This was something I had difficulty  getting my head around, especially since the people themselves are so super polite and reserved  and go to great pains to avoid offense and impacting others in a public setting.

We then went to see one of Adam’s most favourite bands. Of course we got into this venue, had no idea where to go so I walked up to these white guys, asked them if they spoke English and said we were there to see a band and did they know where we should go? Of course they spoke English, they were Canadian, they were the band. Which I realised when I saw the dude with huge hair get on stage with his guitar.  They played for 2 hours, 4 songs. Godspeed,You Black Emperor make Mogwai look like amateurs with their  12 – 15 minute songs. I did get  a bit bored on the Mogwai harbour cruise but comparatively speaking, they are speed metal.

Some interesting food that made me gag to look at.

Some interesting food that made me gag to look at.

Adams breakfast. He was a) less hungover and b)  more adventurous. He did have to do some deep breathing after eating the sea urchin however.

Adams breakfast. He was a) less hungover and b) more adventurous. He did have to do some deep breathing after eating the sea urchin however.

Fish markets with a hangover, could only cope with garden variety sushi nigiri of the most basic form. It was SO good. Then I watched a guy eating a fish head, he was possibly a fisherman. He sledged me in Japanese for saying oishii. I hope it made him REALLY sick.

Fish markets with a hangover, could only cope with garden variety sushi nigiri of the most basic form. It was SO good. Then I watched a guy eating a fish head, he was possibly a fisherman. He sledged me in Japanese for saying oishii. I hope it made him REALLY sick.

Darling little bun, it was a boiled bun with sweetened cherry blossom flavoured bean paste in the middle. We bought half a dozen, they did not last long. Ginza. Some famous bakery  that was exquisite.

Darling little bun, it was a boiled bun with sweetened cherry blossom flavoured bean paste in the middle. We bought half a dozen, they did not last long. Ginza. Some famous bakery that was exquisite.

If a lady is feeling cold about her nuptuals dont do it! Spend that money on a holiday instead. You know it makes sense.

If a lady is feeling cold about her nuptuals dont do it! Spend that money on a holiday instead. You know it makes sense.

This was a map in a park next to the Imperial Palace. The interpretation is sweet.And a bit sad.

This was a map in a park next to the Imperial Palace. The interpretation is sweet.And a bit sad.

This is as close as we got to the imperial palace, it was shut. We had walked for about 90 minutes to get there. Not bitter, no.  This was the moat to the guardhouse, there was a second bridge to get to the island of the palace. "Its great" says the guidebooks. Get stuffed.

This is as close as we got to the imperial palace, it was shut. We had walked for about 90 minutes to get there. Not bitter, no. This was the moat to the guardhouse, there was a second bridge to get to the island of the palace. “Its great” says the guidebooks. Get stuffed.

There were no children in this scenario. Just the old couple pushing a little pram with two dolls that blinked and spoke. The man was talking to and interacting with them. We were frankly a bit freaked out.

There were no children in this scenario. Just the old couple pushing a little pram with two dolls that blinked and spoke. The man was talking to and interacting with them. We were frankly a bit freaked out.

Every day, everywhere is this stuff. I think this was in Akihabra where we were looking at the electronics market and searching for anime.

Every day, everywhere is this stuff. I think this was in Akihabra where we were looking at the electronics market and searching for anime.

Blythe cabinet in a 7 story anime/comic/figure store. For my Blythe loving buddies.

Blythe cabinet in a 7 story anime/comic/figure store. For my Blythe loving buddies.

I loved the ceramics. So very much. This is not crazy or absurd, just gorgeous.

I loved the ceramics. So very much. This is not crazy or absurd, just gorgeous.

We went to see Godspeed, You Black Emperor at the Liquid Room. They played for 2 hours. 4 songs. The guitarists sat on the stage all in a circle. Longest gig ever.

We went to see Godspeed, You Black Emperor at the Liquid Room. They played for 2 hours. 4 songs. The guitarists sat on the stage all in a circle. Longest gig ever.

Shibuya crossing again. I was slightly obsessed.

Shibuya crossing again. I was slightly obsessed.

Tokyo Day 3 – Dinosaurs vs Robots Theatre Restaurant.

I had conflicting emotions about this place.

On the one hand it objectified these young women, there was no doubt about it. Look for videos on You Tube for the full catastrophe. Some of the girls looked dead inside, but some of them were genuinely smiling or great actors. Half of the girls were heavily tattooed which isn’t allegedly as acceptable in Japan so these kids were tough nuts.

There was no nudity  but all the bodies were young, nubile, and displayed to their best advantage. There were no spunky young men. My militant raging feminist me was having a banquet of indignation. I realise that last sentence makes no sense but I have been reading Dan Brown,  so reinventing the laws of written English is now acceptable.

On the other hand it was fun, despite this because at the end there was a DINOSAUR VS ROBOTS WAR. Which brought out my inner nerd and made me cheer like I might have been interested in a sport team, from what I hear. So there was that.

The food was rubbish, we managed to get quite pissed for such a small amount of booze, I think the drinks were lethal, so on the way home we did another one of the many amazing coolest things ever that Tokyo has to offer, and that is to get some food by using a vending/ordering machine out the front of the noodle den  and then going inside to be served 2nd dinner (and more beer).

So here are a SMALL selection of the photos I took that night. Sadly they are in reverser order so bottom up (no pun intended)

This bit was incredibly surreal.

This bit was incredibly surreal.

Giant ginger robots. For scale check the kids next to them on the right.

Giant ginger robots. For scale check the kids next to them on the right.

I sat here, with my box of crap  food and my weirdly uber alcoholic Asahi pre mixed green cordial, wondering if my brain would start seeping from my ears with too much excitement.

I sat here, with my box of crap food and my weirdly uber alcoholic Asahi pre mixed green cordial, wondering if my brain would start seeping from my ears with too much excitement.

If a person wasn't completely hysterical by the end of stairs then this should tip them over the edge.

If a person wasn’t completely hysterical by the end of stairs then this should tip them over the edge.

Because of COURSE there are images of women on the stairs for us to walk on. Top woman not a woman, top woman giant robot.

Because of COURSE there are images of women on the stairs for us to walk on. Top woman not a woman, top woman giant robot.

Butterflies. Theatre restaurant. Why?

Butterflies. Theatre restaurant. Why?

Going down the stairs to the  restaurant. It was like this all the way down. Weird mixtures of wildlife motifs and scantily clad women.

Going down the stairs to the restaurant. It was like this all the way down. Weird mixtures of wildlife motifs and scantily clad women.

The foyer of the Robots vs Dinosaurs Restaurant. We self medicated. Quite quickly, lest we overstimulate ourselves.

The foyer of the Robots vs Dinosaurs Restaurant. We self medicated. Quite quickly, lest we overstimulate ourselves.

Tokyo Day 3 – sadly less crazy photos.

Love hotel. Pop in, get freaky, go shopping. Conveniently next to Shibuya.

Love hotel. Pop in, get freaky, go shopping. Conveniently next to Shibuya.

Scarlett's Park (the one she could see from her room) from OUR room, looking to Harajuku and Shibuya. I would never tire of this view.

Scarlett’s Park (the one she could see from her room) from OUR room, looking to Harajuku and Shibuya. I would never tire of this view.

ahahahahaha *snort* this is on a plaque at the front of a love hotel.

ahahahahaha *snort* this is on a plaque at the front of a love hotel.

Silent Siren. Say it with me.

Silent Siren. Say it with me.

I bought this fabric in Japan. It is so awesome I am still too scared to cut into it a month later.

I bought this fabric in Japan. It is so awesome I am still too scared to cut into it a month later.

This used to be sold in Australia. Probably not anymore because it reminds any sane person of an orange vagina. Ain't nobody got time for that.

This used to be sold in Australia. Probably not anymore because it reminds any sane person of an orange vagina. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Large tower that reminded us of Berlin. I took numerous photos of Adam planking on the wall in front of it. Unfortunately they were not on this particular memory card.

Large tower that reminded us of Berlin. I took numerous photos of Adam planking on the wall in front of it. Unfortunately they were not on this particular memory card.

A rather large temple, they like to stand in the smoke, its in some way holy. I was in some way suffocating.

A rather large temple, they like to stand in the smoke, its in some way holy. I was in some way suffocating.

Japan Day 2, Nutso Potato – Start from BOTTOM please

The Pungency. Sounds like the name of an angry band. Kirin tea sold in vending machines was just so good and sweet and nectarlike it made me sad to come home.

The Pungency. Sounds like the name of an angry band. Kirin tea sold in vending machines was just so good and sweet and nectarlike it made me sad to come home.

30 year old metalhead bartender. Was playing some Japanese punk, we plugged in my phone and introduced her to QOTSA. 4 stools at the bar. Sake IMO is a bit yuck. One of the best bits of Tokyo.

30 year old metalhead bartender. Was playing some Japanese punk, we plugged in my phone and introduced her to QOTSA. 4 stools at the bar. Sake IMO is a bit yuck. One of the best bits of Tokyo.

Drunk old woman that grabbed us in Piss Alley and dragged us into the bar. Obviously she gets a cut, we also just knew we had to buy her a drink. So 2 rounds of drinks for Adam, myself, funny lady here and the bartender. $100. It was a rort but so much fun.

Drunk old woman that grabbed us in Piss Alley and dragged us into the bar. Obviously she gets a cut, we also just knew we had to buy her a drink. So 2 rounds of drinks for Adam, myself, funny lady here and the bartender. $100. It was a rort but so much fun.

In a window of a bar in Piss Alley

In a window of a bar in Piss Alley

Piss Alley, an area of Shinjuku with tiny tiny bars underneath homes. Its seedy, dodgy and almost empty on a Sunday night. FABULOUS!

Piss Alley, an area of Shinjuku with tiny tiny bars underneath homes. Its seedy, dodgy and almost empty on a Sunday night. FABULOUS!

Crap photo of a giant crab about 8 stories up. Allegedly a crab restaurant thanks Instagram.

Crap photo of a giant crab about 8 stories up. Allegedly a crab restaurant thanks Instagram.

Are they strippers? I dont know.

Are they strippers? I dont know.

Sunday night walking around Shinjuku. ITS SO BUSY! Why arent they home watching GoT or 60 Minutes? They all must eat out all the time. Its wonderful.

Sunday night walking around Shinjuku. ITS SO BUSY! Why arent they home watching GoT or 60 Minutes? They all must eat out all the time. Its wonderful.

The view from our room

The view from our room

ahahahaha no coherent commentary

ahahahaha no coherent commentary

I DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!

I DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!

What is it? Why is it so high in the air? Why is it angry?

What is it? Why is it so high in the air? Why is it angry?

This made me hysterical. I wish could read Japanese. I think this is the love child of Monkey Magic and Pigsy.

This made me hysterical. I wish could read Japanese. I think this is the love child of Monkey Magic and Pigsy.

Really shitty photo of the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world, I ended up standing on top that garden dead ahead to watch it over and over and had to be dragged away. Shibuya. 2nd coolest suburb in the world.

Really shitty photo of the busiest pedestrian intersection in the world, I ended up standing on top that garden dead ahead to watch it over and over and had to be dragged away. Shibuya. 2nd coolest suburb in the world.

We really said to ourselves "do their mothers really let them go out like that?" sadly the only cosplay kids we saw in Japan hanging out in a group. We saw some random little bo peep action which was kinda cool but they were in transit so not posing for photos.

We really said to ourselves “do their mothers really let them go out like that?” sadly the only cosplay kids we saw in Japan hanging out in a group. We saw some random little bo peep action which was kinda cool but they were in transit so not posing for photos.

Heh.

Heh.

COMME des FUCKDOWN * . "An asshole says, what?" Wayne : Waynes World.

COMME des FUCKDOWN * . “An asshole says, what?” Wayne : Waynes World.

Poodle shoes. POODLE SHOES.

Poodle shoes. POODLE SHOES.

Confusing on many levels, yet pleasing.

Confusing on many levels, yet pleasing.

I can fully embrace this! A dog outfit shop. Only dog outfits and couches and beds. Yay for Japan.

I can fully embrace this! A dog outfit shop. Only dog outfits and couches and beds. Yay for Japan.

This is a GARMENT. That they want you to WEAR on your BODY. No.

This is a GARMENT. That they want you to WEAR on your BODY. No.

Lithium for you.

Lithium for you.

Huh?

Huh?

Dude. No.

Dude. No.

Obviously. Cute sign.

Obviously. Cute sign.

Is this a boy band? Why are there so many men snuggled up to each other? Is it the Midnight Shift? I dont get it!

Is this a boy band? Why are there so many men snuggled up to each other? Is it the Midnight Shift? I dont get it!

I spy my very first Marimekko store down an alley in Harajuku behind a very impressive Ralph Lauren building. I got excited. Actually very nearly hysterical.

I spy my very first Marimekko store down an alley in Harajuku behind a very impressive Ralph Lauren building. I got excited. Actually very nearly hysterical.

One of about half a dozen photos of Blythe displays for my Blythe lovin friends. I can see the appeal. This was in the 5 story toy store Kiddyland.

One of about half a dozen photos of Blythe displays for my Blythe lovin friends. I can see the appeal. This was in the 5 story toy store Kiddyland.

Entrance to a department store in Harajuku. Amazing.

Entrance to a department store in Harajuku. Amazing.

You could drink by the glass, or obviously you could do the job properly.

You could drink by the glass, or obviously you could do the job properly.

One of the most evolved countries in the world and they still use 1000 year old brooms. I love this.

One of the most evolved countries in the world and they still use 1000 year old brooms. I love this.

Japan Day 1 – Best and craziest

IMG_0358

Awesome thing about Japan 101 – high tech toilets, sitting on a warm toilet seat gives you quite a fright. Everyone knew about the toilets except me.

IMG_0359

What an appalling photo, I was going to go back and buy this but didn’t. Now I have the sads.

IMG_0380

This man was attempting to appear alluring in the cherry blossoms in a non ironic way. He deserves to be mocked. This lady has a very pink bottom.

IMG_0386

It was like having a 2 year old.

IMG_0443

Nappies – my favourite Merries but there were also Moonies. I am not lying.

IMG_0449

We don’t do enough golfing wear in Australia. I love a plaid pant pulled tightly across the buttocks.

No Knead Bread for April

Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

On New York Times Website – click for linkage

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.