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December 16, 2016

Off to Tokyo - Part I

Dan and I (mainly me) was itching for another trip abroad before the year ended.  With only a couple months left we looked through our calendars and saw an opportunity the first week in December.  I didn't hesitate and seized the opportunity. We decided to go to Tokyo since we're on the West Coast and they offer direct flights from LAX at a great price.

We were so ready, yet not ready at all for this incredible trip.

Unfortunately we were only able to squeeze in 4 days in Tokyo since I ran out of vacation days, but at least we were going! Since we weren't in Japan for long, we only stayed in the Tokyo area and thus plan to explore different cities upon our next return.

We arrived on a Friday afternoon.  After navigating to our Airbnb and struggling with the language barrier and culture shock after limited sleep, we quickly grabbed ramen nearby and called it a day.

The next morning we were refreshed and ready to venture!

We used Yelp! to find breakfast and stumbled upon a cute little restaurant called [Eggcellent].  It's a cafe in Roppongi Hills that is known as Japan's ONLY organic egg restaurant. They offer Western fare with a Japanese twist.  So SO delicious.  We ordered a quinoa benedict and berry french toast. Both the best we've had.

If you're asking why didn't we get traditional Japanese food for breakfast, it's because a traditional japanese breakfast is VERY different from western style breakfasts (which is our favorite).  They typically consist of steamed rice, miso soup, a protein such as grilled fish or rolled egg omelette (tamagoyaki) and various side dishes. We wanted to ease our way into that meal.  All other meals I had no problem with.

After breakfast we aimlessly wandered through a maze of streets, slowly making our way towards [Tokyo Tower].

Hot corn soup found in almost every vending machine.  My favorite!

Up the tower we go! The Special Observatory was closed but we were still able to to to the Main Observatory which was 150m up (almost 500ft).

In High School when my family and I lived in Iwakuni, Japan, I took a school trip to Tokyo and visited the Tokyo Tower at night.  Back then, it was the largest tower in Tokyo. Since then, a tower twice it's size has been built called SkyTree.

The views of the neverending city were breathtaking, especially with pops of fall colors throughout.

After Tokyo Tower we ventured to the other side of the city where we booked an appointment at one of the famed themed cafes throughout the city.  We chose the Owl cafe, which I was beyond excited about.  Tokyo also has cat, dog, bunny and hedgehog cafes. They have become really popular tourist attractions and are easily found all over the massive city. 

For the owl cafe, they only let in a small number of people and you only have an hour with the owls. Upon entering you have to wash your hands and put away all your things. You also have to be completely SILENT so as to not freak out any of the 30 owls in the small space.  Yes, there were 30 owls in the cafe, all different beautiful breeds. Even as we were leaving I kept noticing owls that I missed!

They were all perched in groups of 4 on various pedestals spread throughout the space. Each owl had a sign above their heads that showed the species and whether or not you could touch them or not. For an hour, after they briefly explained the rules, we were allowed to visit each owl, pet them (if allowed) and take photos.  We were also each given the opportunity to choose an owl to sit with us for the remainder of the time. Most of the owls were pretty calm, with the exception of a few restless ones which we both avoided.


I obviously went a little photo crazy.  Hope you enjoyed my little owl collage above!  I'm obsessed with them all.

Here are the signs for each owl.  If an owl had a pink circle, we couldn't touch it.


Time to choose an owl! II choose a beautiful black owl named Xavier. 


We became best friends.



Dan choose this adorable tawny brown owl.


Sorry for all the photos but this little venture was too much fun.  It was definitely one of my favorite experiences in Tokyo just because I've been in love with owls for years and I've never quite done anything like this! Have to give props to Dan for finding this little gem on Tripadvisor.  He really does love me.

Family photo!

Needless to say, our first day was a success! Follow along for the rest of our Tokyo adventures, coming soon.

Until next time,

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