Pandas4Life

Day 70:  Japan

This morning I woke up with a craving for donuts.  So, I did what any sane person in my situation would do.  Look up the best donuts in Tokyo. 

Brian left at 4am this morning to go to the Supreme launch.  I decided to bring him some donuts from Camden Blue Star.  Camden Blue Star is a Portland chain that made its way to Tokyo and boy was I glad.  They were so yummy!  However, first I had to try the matcha Kit Kat I bought last night.  Since we already know how much I love matcha, it was no surprise that I also love matcha Kit Kats.  

 

After getting the donuts, I went to meet up with Brian.  Apparently, I chose the wrong Supreme location and ended up about a mile from were I was supposed to meet him.  By the time I had found him I had walked well over 2 miles and knew that that today was going to be a good day to get in lots of steps.  

For lunch today we decided on sushi.  It was my first sushi train experience and it did not disappoint.  Sushi is one of the few foods I could live on.  I could eat sushi every day and never get tired of it.   Is there a food that you could eat everyday and never tire of it?  

When we finished our lunch we decided to go shopping because Tokyo is a fashion hub.  We didn’t end up buying anything, but it was fun to see the fashion as it is so different from anywhere else in the world that I have seen.  

We decided that we should actually check out some shrines and other locations besides just shopping given our limited time here.  So we walked to Meiji Shrine.  On the way I was astounded by the number of people there were on the street.  The interesting part was that it didn't seem chaotic like many other big cities I have been to.  It seemed organized and the opposite of chaos.  It didn't even feel like there were hundreds of people on the same sidewalk.  

We made it to Meiji Shrine.  I came with no expectations, but it was nothing like I had imagined.  It was beautiful.  We walked through the main gate and were greeted with a tree lined trail leading up to the shrine itself.  I found myself drawn to the Buddhist traditions at each station throughout the shrine.  It wasn't too surprising as I find my spiritual views most closely align with that of Buddhist traditions.  

There was one disappointment.  When we arrived, the main shrine was covered up and surrounded by scaffolding.  There was apparently some kind of centennial restoration taking place, so we were unable to see the main shrine.    

Afterwards, we decided to go to a cookie shop called Cookie Time that we passed on our way to the shrine.  Who can pass up milk and cookies.  The shop was really cute, it is owned and run by Aussies.  The cookies were delicious and we even got to keep our milk glass.  

Once we finished our cookies, we made our way to Ueno park to check out some cherry blossoms.  Since cherry blossoms have such a short lifespan we were unsure if we would be able to see them or if we missed our window.  Fortunately for us, there were still several trees that still had flowers on them.  I have never seen a cherry blossom tree in person and this was definitely one of the things I was most looking forward to in Japan.  

While in the park we also saw some trees shaped liked pandas which made me think of my Pandavengers #Pandas4life.  My Pandas (Justin, London, Iryna, Stephanie and Sara) helped me through a lot during our 100 day leadership program at ChoiceCenter.  Without them, I don't know if I would have finished the program and I most definitely would not be where I am today.  I am so grateful for them.  I consider most of them my best friends in life.  The kind of friends that are more like family.  I can go to them for anything and they will be there, even if we haven't talked in 6 months.  Do you have people like that in your life?  Don’t worry if you don’t.  I didn't for a long time.  They will come when you need them most.  Until then, if you ever need some one to talk to or support you through whatever you are going through, I am here for you.  Feel free to reach out.  I will always get back to you.

On the way back to our apartment my good mood was brought down a few notches when I saw an image of Trump on the train.  I was reminded that the United States was now being ran by a celebrity that knows nothing about running a country and doesn’t like people.  I am so saddened by this fact.  It will be interesting to see how European and Asian countries view Trump and the US right now.

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Food is something that brings the world together. Each culture has its own traditions and favorite foods. As a self proclaimed foodie, I was so excited to try cuisines in the countries they originated in. During my travels, I have discovered and will undoubtedly continue to discover culinary treasures around the globe. I am honored to share with you, My Elephant Tribe, the amazing meals I have enjoyed throughout the world.

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