Tokyo Toy Museum

When i was pregnant, my doctor told me I needed to walk 3 hours everyday.  I usually enjoy the comforts available in malls. In hindsight, I should’ve gone to musuems or aquariums! I did however thought of going to the Tokyo Toy Museum but somehow forgotten about it.

One year later, Little A and I set out to visit the museum.

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The museum is housed in an old school and occupies three floors in one of the wings. You can park the strollers on the entrance but there’s also stroller parking on the second floor. Entrance is actually at the second floor and you pay at the gate near the entrance of Apty, the store where you can buy toys.

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There were about 10 rooms/areas you can visit.
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The first floor has the baby room where 0 to 2 year olds can freely play. The room is brightly lit and the flooring is flatter.
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There are also specialized sections for board games, instrument playing, pretend playing, storybook telling, science room! We could spend all day there but Little A needed to nap!

The same toys are available on the second floor but the room is for bigger kids. They run, jump, hop and skip so it’s better to stay in the baby room.

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Figurines they use for story telling time
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Top toys
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There are also room that display traditional Japanese toys.

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I wanted to buy this for myself..I mean, for Little A! We’ll see! 🙂

Tokyo Toy Museum is by Goodtoy. They manufacture….good toys!
700yen for adults. Consider getting a multiple pass.
Website here.
10:00~16:00

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Summer Festivals 夏まつり

It’s getting hot in Tokyo which means countless summer festivities!

We went to our ku’s and had tons of fun! They had various games like catching balls, throwing rings, shooting balls, fishing water balloons and balloon arts. There was also a mascot that came.

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Blurry us dressed in yukatas!

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Pretty ladies with colorful outfits! We were waiting for the Okinawan folk music concert to start.

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Festive displays

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Festive displays

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Festive displays

We also visited the jidoukan’s event. Similar to the ku’s, they had games and activities for kids and adults.

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Story telling time! Little A likes this book.

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Design your own tag.

The Ueno park pond was also fun! Huge water lilies abound!

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It rained a bit but we waited it out.

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Rain water

A flower that has bloomed looks like this
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Looks magical, yes?

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They prohibit bird feeding. But….

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Little A pointing at the gigantic flower
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On our way back, we heard music! Unfortunately, the drumming is a bit too loud for Little A so we left early.

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Catch one of the many summer matsuri 夏まつり all over the city.

Magnolia Bakery

I had to go to Omotesando the other day for some errands. But before anything else, Little A and I found ourselves lining up for cupcakes.

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There were about 15 to 18 people waiting in line and I figured it couldn’t be more than a twenty minute wait.  People tend to gaze at the displays though so the line moved slowly.

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They couldn’t decide what to get. I understand their dilemma.

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Cupcakes

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Cookies

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cakes

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Soooo rich and creamy, easily a favorite.

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Pastel colored dreams. Vanilla cupackes with buttercream and a dash of sprinkles.

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Smores, German chocolate, and hummingbird cupcakes

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Peanut butter and pumpkin

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bakers inside! Hire me please!

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Magnolia signature icing. Very sweet though for Japanese standards. Surprised that the Japanese ladies like them enough to line up! 🙂

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Really good, fudgy, cheesecake brownie

I have a teeny weeny complaint though….you know how you have come to expect them to put in ice pack for you? They don’t have them! My mochikaeri chocolate cupcake’s icing melted and slid off. On a positive note, it tasted great anyway despite the appearance.
P
Be prepared to line up.

Magnolia Bakery
http://www.magnoliabakery.com/locations/tokyo/
5-10-1 GYRE B1F,
Jingumae Shibuya-ku Tokyo
magnoliabakery@sweetstar.co.jp
Store Hours M-Sun: 11am-8pm
03 6450 5800

Fuunji 風雲児

I first read about this place from tokyoeats, and I have been trying to find an opportunity to go. A few weeks later, jinlovestoeat mentioned about going there, too! I knew we have to move it up our list.

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They open in the afternoon at 5pm, we got there close to 6pm. No lines–outside! Glee! However, a surprise awaits inside, there were maybe a dozen people ahead of us. Luckily, they serve the ramen pretty quickly and people generally eat and go. With the stream of customers, people tend not to toil!

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This is the owner (I think)

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Tickets need to be bought before you line up. We got the regular bowl and the tsukemen. They ask you if you would like the standard size or big size (same price regardless). We went for the upsized bowls but wow..we were sooo full at the end of the meal!

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The soup was creamy and not as oily as the usual bowls of ramen. It also didn’t have a bitter aftertaste some ramens have. The meats were tender, chunky and plenty. The egg yolk, perfectly boiled!

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This bowl is the light version of the tsukemen one. Less concentrated but still as yummy.

Winner of best ramen in 2012 and 2013! With the looks (and taste) of it, maybe for 2014, too!

Website here
東京都渋谷区代々木2-14-3 北斗第一ビル 1F
11 to 3pm, 5 to 9pm
Seats 15

Spajiro すぱじろう

I have never been to Nakameguro so it was perfect when Y asked if we wanted to accompany her and Z one afternoon.

Nakameguro is not as crowded as Daikanyama, Shibuya or Roponggi but it has lots of cafes and restaurants, tiny shops and chain department stores.

Y have been around the area so she recommended we go try Spajiro -a pasta place that serves japanized and japa-nice pasta.

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They had a counter and open kitchen much like ramen houses.

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But, they also have regular seats. Stroller friendly. However, stay near the door area because the back is a smoking area. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again, please stop the fake sectioning for smoking and non smoking. Declaring as such doesn’t automatically clear the air for non smokers.  Apart from that, it’s a good place to eat and catch up with friend/s.

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They have about 50 or so pasta dishes! It was a difficult decision. But, I ended up with this salmon and spinach pasta soup. I wanted to let Little A try some which eliminated all tomato based sauces and clams. Mentaiko and tarago might be too salty which eliminated a dozen more options. She tried salmon before so it was a safe choice. I was betting on the sauce to be thin which is perfect because I try not to let her eat/drink dairy just yet.

A dash of hot sauce and a sprinkle of garlic bits made this pasta dish even better. Little A ate more than i expected she would. I guess she loved it, too! I wish I asked for the large size instead of medium! I could’ve polished it off anyway! No extra charge unless you upsize to XL.

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Y ordered this. The only dish with Spajiro on its name, so it must be good! A basic carbonara with a bit of chili for the added kick. I was told it was good!

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For some additional fees, you can get set meals!

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And special dessert!

Spajiro has 7 branches in Tokyo

Tanabata Festival 七夕

July 7th is Tanabata — an annual celebration originating from the Qixi Festival.  It celebrates the separated lovers Orihime 織姫 and Hikoboshi 彦星. The deities are allowed to meet each other across the Milky Way only once a year on the evening of July 7th.

In Japan, people celebrate by writing their wishes on tanzaku (strip of paper) and hang them on bamboo trees along with other decors. These can be seen everywhere!

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This is the bamboo tree from our community center. The facilitators arranged for us and the babies to decorate the tree.

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Making the paper chains.

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Making water melons.

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paper dye!

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Drying! Then used to make paper streamers.

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Then we wrote our wishes on strips of paper and hung them. Then they played a song about the deities while walking around the bamboo tree.

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And finally,  they cut out a branch each for us to take home!

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Our tanabata bamboo tree!

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They even prepared cucumber and miso paste for us! Little A ate (aka gnawed) a couple of sticks!

Happy Tanabata! 🙂 May all your wishes come true! 🙂

Torigin Ginza

Getting lost in the city is one of my favorite way to spend the day. We walked around Ginza and pass through small alleys, and in one of them, we saw a signage for Torigin serving kamameshi and yakitori.
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The restaurant looked dinky and small! Interestingly enough, on the left is the New Torigin. Good enough to have two branches side by side?

An adventure downstairs await!
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I was expecting just several seats and a counter. But what welcomed us was a huge expanse and multi sectioned restaurant floor. In Japan standards, this is considered BIG! And, remember, they have 2 branches!

It was just 5pm but there were a lot of people, too! A good indication I think.

We ordered tori kamameshi (880yen)
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There was just a thin layer of chicken but it was tasty enough!

We also ordered the light weight yakitori platter (850yen)
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I always find yakitoris to be a bit too salty for my taste. I feel like eating them with loads of white rice! My preference aside, for about 180yen a stick, the bbq wasn’t so bad!

We also tried the chicken soup (170yen) but just skip it. Not good.
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Others were ordering the salad and tofu which looked yummy. Beers were all around, too! Good accompaniment for barbeque.

For cheap yakitoris, this is a very good place in the middle of Ginza. The kamameshi wasn’t bad, too. Just be prepared for the restaurant’s appearance..it doesn’t fit the glitzy and glamorous address.

Nearest exit, B3. Near Marcolini and Soul Cookie Bar