Christmas Eve shopping and sightseeing

With the help of drugs, I finally got a good night’s sleep. That was good because we had a busy day ahead.
We tried out our travel cards by getting on the subway to Omotesando:
                          spacious cars                              
 no street signs

In addition to being the road to the Meiji Shrine, the road has some of the most amazing contemporary architecture almost all for high end fashion houses.

 the critic
Michael Kors
Omotesando Hills mall
Oriental Bazaar
The Louis Vuitton store also has an art gallery.



a department store

Zara store
At the end of the street before Yoyogi Park, we veered off to find a spot for lunch. Scott wanted a large birru (beer):
Tokyo is supposed to be expensive but these were the $10 lunch specials:
                             grilled fish    
 fish stew
After lunch, we walked in Yoyogi Park to look at the Meiji Shrine:
Sake dedicated to the former emperor’s shrine:
And wine:

Everyone was photographing this little girl being taught how to pray at a Shinto Shrine:


Then it was off to do some shopping for Christmas. There were a lot of decorations even though Christmas isn’t a holiday in Japan.

Queuing for the women’s washroom is the same everywhere it appears. This took 20 minutes out of my life, not to mention the tolerance of my bladder!

People were queuing to get their photos taken with Christmas descorations. Christmas Day is treated like Valentine’s Day, a day for romance, so these were mostly couples getting photos and also groups of girlfriends.
Omotesando is called the Champs Elysees of Japan, not only for the expensive shops but also the lights at night.

More architectually interesting buildings for fashion and jewellery shops:




We walked to Midtown Mall for more shopping and more sights along the way:

Robin, Allie and Sidney shopped for gifts while Scott and I shopped for groceries at a store that had a lot of stuff you’d never see in Calgary:

like whole squid

A closer view of the Santa tree:

We were getting too tired to wander for a restaurant, so we ate at the mall where there was a partial view of the light display in the gardens:

Dinner was one of the more expensive we’ve had with draft beer at $8 and rice, miso soup and tsukemono needing to be ordered separately at $8 each, but the other protein dishes were also around $8. You could have a reasonable meal for $24 along with a good view, but we managed to spend more. Some people had a lot of birru, but not me, I didn’t want to get into another wait for the bathroom, or toire, as they call them here.

amuse of cucumber and miso
 thick miso soup
chicken karaage 
another chicken dish
 pork stew
eggplant and pork fried as a sandwich

Returned to the apartment to wrap gifts and make Christmas Morning Lifesaver (also known as Best of Bridge’s Christmas Morning Wife Saver, but I changed the sexist expection that the wife is doing all the cooking). Robin and Allie put the dish together. It goes in the fridge overnight and gets cooked in the morning. One of the ingredients below, for which you need no translation:

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