We’re on the final leg of our journey, on the shinkansen back to Tokyo, with our flight later tonight. We’ve asked the girls what their favourite parts of our trip have been. While I know they’ve enjoyed just absorbing all of the new experiences, I’m not that shocked to hear temple visits or schlepping luggage around train stations have not been the highlights.
5. Watching Sumo
Sumo is only on at specific times of the year, and May just happens to be one of them. While we didn’t get to an actual match, watching on our mini television in Kyoto was just as fun. The ceremony of it all: the drama, costumes and seriousness. And those guys are huuuuge!
4. The food (especially the parfait place in Kyoto)
We are super lucky our girls are up to trying anything. Well, it’s not really luck. They were never brought up on nuggets, chips or sausages (eewwwww), and have been eating everything from green curry to sushi, to lasagna with piles of salad since they were babies. Making separate meals for every member of the family just because they “don’t like it” in my mind is just an outrage. Their main snack on the run here has been rice triangles from 7eleven with a crunchy nori (seaweed) coating. Unwrapping them takes a degree, but they’re cheap and tasty. We took them out for a treat of a parfait each in Kyoto. The window display was just too much to resisit, although the offerings containing hotdogs, french fries or tempura prawns on top of the ice-cream stacks were NOT the go!
3. Visiting a cat cafe/Singing karaoke
We visited Sydney’s Cat Cafe for Avalon’s birthday last year, but this one had Japanese cats! The girls have been missing Lorenzo the Magnificent, our boofy British Blue, so a kitten dose was what was required. Working at Neko Cafe Time was a girl from Venice who is studying Japanese in Kyoto. For 20 minutes, it was just us and an older businesssman, who was loving getting his relax on by playing with the cats. The clear fave was Persian Momo. Major attitude problems, but super cute. I thought it felt a bit like a dentist’s waiting room, but the girls had a great time.
Karaoke was a highlight for Milana. The reverb was out of control, and the private room reeked of cigarettes, but the St.Clairs gave Katy Perry and Taylor Swift a run for their money!
2. Shopping, especially in Harajuku
They’ve loved the vending machines filed with manga keyrings, badges and figurines. The supermarkets filled with mysterious food items. The kawaii shops overflowing with cutie socks, toys, chopsticks and stickers (“B Side Label”…the best!), and of course, the Lolita clothing shops in Harajuku. We may try to make one last stop today.
1. A close tie between Disney Sea (Avalon) and Sanrio Puroland (Milana)
Of course. Topping the list had to be a theme park (or two). The immersion into another universe at both was beyond compare. Even we loved them. They both have a favourite Sanrio character now. Milana’s is “Cinamaroll”, and Avalon’s that lazy egg “Gudetama”. They gravitate to their displays EVERYWHERE we go! Good luck finding the merch in Australia kiddies!