Monday, May 25, 2015

Japan - Yokohama

By day 4 in Japan, the boys were exhausted and wanted a lazy morning.  So we slept in and planned to take the trains into Tokyo ... see a bit of the city, maybe a shrine, and the observation deck of Tokyo Tower.  Instead Ken called to warn me that a typhoon was heading toward Tokyo.  I checked the weather and sure enough it was forecast to hit Tokyo around 3pm that afternoon.  It wasn't a huge typhoon, but I still didn't want to get stuck in the rain with 2 tired boys in Tokyo.  So we decided just to explore Yokohama.  There's plenty to see and do just outside the doors of our hotel.
First stop was the giant ferris wheel!
The boys were so excited about riding this ferris wheel ... it really was huge!!  But what was I thinking taking our boys on a giant ferris wheel in typhoon winds???  Really??  Not my best mom moment!!!  A quarter of the way around and I thought Jaden was going to either start crying or throw up he was in such a state.  Between the sound of the wind blowing through our cart and the rocking movement every time I switched sides to take a picture - he was NOT having it!!!  I started telling silly stories to distract him until the ride was over, but it was a really long ride!!!
picture of our hotel from the ferris wheel

Landmark Tower (tallest tower in Yokohama) on left and Queen's Towers in the middle.  The office where Ken was working was in one of the Queen's Towers.

Yokohama bridge from the ferris wheel. Typhoon was coming from this direction.

Just sat down in the ferris wheel ... still smiling!

After the ferris wheel disaster, we took a break and did some shopping.  Boys were thrilled to find Legos!!  (and almost same price as in US ... not like Qatar where legos are 2-4 times more expensive!)
chosen souvenir - Ninjago lego set and Grape flavored Fanta
The following day was our final day in Japan and we had to check out of our hotel at lunch time and head for the airport around dinner time.  We decided to just stick around Yokohama for another day in hopes that Ken would get out of work early and join us.  The typhoon from yesterday ended up coming though the middle of the night and not much of an issue.  Today was absolutely beautiful weather!!
We started the day at the Cup Noodle Museum (Ramen Noodle Museum).  Boys designed and decorated their cup of noodles.
They turned the crank to get the noodles in the cup
They chose toppings (bacon, cheese, chicken and shrimp)
They watched them cover it and wrap it in plastic wrap
Finally they pumped up the little bag to create an air pillow of protection around your cup of noodles.
Finished product!  Time to tour the museum and learn the history of ramen noodles.
They thought it was cool to be on TV!
Nicholas posing with statue of the founder of Ramen
Would have been a MUCH nicer day to ride the ferris wheel!
Much prettier in clear skies! 

To kill some time while Ken was working, we went for a stroll through Chinatown...

Welcome to China town - narrow streets, vibrant colors, lanterns, street food EVERYWHERE!

It was a bit hot in the sun, but perfect in the shade...

Panda store

Boys in front of Chinese temple

Temple in china town.  Love all the colors.
Our final stop was to go to the observation deck of Landmark Tower.  Ken was supposed to meet up here at 3pm.  Unfortunately  we were standing at 2 different doorways for an entire hour waiting for each other and we never found each other!  :-(  Eventually I gave up waiting and we went to the top to see the view. 

View of Yokohama from Landmark Tower.  That ferris wheel sure looks small from up here!
And I have to include a picture of  a Japanese toilet.  The boys fell in love with them!!  "These toilets are EPIC!!!" were their exact words.  This is a fairly basic model, but I forgot to take a picture of the toilet in our hotel.  The toilets have buttons for evyoerything!  Water spray (for cleaning), bidet, temperature and pressure control of the water sprays, temperature control for the seat, some even have music and various other sounds with volume control.  They really are crazy!  And they are intimidating when they aren't in English!  How do I know if I pressed the button to flush or turned on the water spray if it's only in Japanese??
 We had an uneventful flight home to Doha and jumped right back into our routine after a wonderful 5 days in Japan.  Our flight landed at 4am on a Thursday.  Jaden didn't sleep a wink all night on the plane, but I put him on the bus at 7:15am.  I figured school would keep him awake easier than I could.  Only problem was that Jaden missed 4 days of standardized testing while we were gone and after nearly 36 hours without any sleep, they pulled Jaden aside to start making up his tests.  Poor kid!!! 

It was another fantastic trip to Japan and I sincerely hope it won't be our last. 

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