One of Nick and my best friend's from college had a business trip in Malaysia and was able to take an extended layover in Japan...not once, but TWICE!!! (in February and again in March)
Since we were already in Tokyo, we took him to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Gonpachi! (The restaurant from "Kill Bill")
After that, we toured a shrine near by...sadly I don't know the name of it...but it was one we'd never been to before, and hey, they are all pretty much the same...nonetheless, it was a check in the box for Randy's very quick trip to Japan! Shrine = Check!
A walk around Shibuya, one of the busiest sections of Tokyo, and most famous spot for movie scenes...
(The guys crossing the busiest intersection in the world!)
This popular meet-up spot near the Hachiko entrance/exit to the Shibuya station is famous due to the Hachiko dog statue and story behind it...
The dog named "Hachiko" was a loyal dog to his owner and waited at the station everyday for his owner to get off work. "The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925, when Professor Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered from cerebral hemorrhage and died, never returning to the train station where Hachiko was waiting. Every day for the next nine years (when he too died) the dog waited at Shibuya station."
(One of my favorites - very sad but sweet story)
A little bit of walking around led us to a tacoyaki stand...one of the "must-try" snacks that Nick and I recommend while in Japan! (ball-shaped fried octopus!!!)
After a long afternoon in Tokyo, we took Randy to our part of Japan and gave him the tour of the "Holman Hotel," as we've deemed it due to our high volume of visitors (9 in 3 months alone!)
That night for dinner, Nick and I took Randy to one of our favorite sushi-go-rounds...can't leave Japan without doing so!
The next day just so happened to be the Chinese New Year festival in China Town near Yokohama.
I think we'll stick with traditional Chinese dumplings instead!
We got to watch the "parade" (their version of a parade isn't what we would call one in the States...more of a street show, but still very interesting) with dancing dragons.
We climbed up on the concrete plant holders to get a better view...
Gotta try the donuts in Japan... And yes they are different! Not as sweet, but still pretty tasty.
That evening Randy had a late flight back to the States (like I said, quick trip) so we took him to the Yokohama Sky Garden to get one of the best views of the city. (Yokohama is the second largest city in Japan)
Taking the second fastest elevator in the world to the 69th floor of the Landmark Tower, one can get a panoramic view of Yokohama as well as Tokyo! (The night time view is my favorite...especially if you make it to the Sky Garden before sunset...)
After drinks in the Landmark Tower, we took Randy to one of our favorite Shabu-shabu restaurants.
On Randy's second visit to Japan we took him to Enoshima Island for a bit of exploring!
The weather wasn't really cooperating...rainy and very windy!
I was deep into my 1st trimester and suffering from a bad case of morning sickness ALL day, every day, so I let the boys go off on their own for most of Randy's stay...
That night they went to a bar by our house for drinks and appetizers.
Then Nick took Randy to his FAVORITE place (and I say that because it's where he wants to take everyone and it's such a man-thing to do!)...Big Bang, the slick tracks by our house.
The next day Randy had an afternoon flight back to the States, but not before he and Nick got to go to the annual Fertility Festival!!!
Yes, that's right...falic shaped foods and all...a Japanese tradition that takes place every year. "The penis, as the central theme of the event - is reflected in illustrations, candy, carved vegetables, decorations, and amikoshi parade."
Only in Japan....
Randy's trips might have both been short, but he was here for the "Penis Festival" and the "Chinese New Year festival"...not bad timing at all ;)