20 September 2008

zomg tokyo! day 14

Day 14 (19 September)
I made up my mind to wear my new skirt, regardless of the weather. And I did, including my gorgeous new shoes that Naomi found in DSW.

Two cows left. Both have been confirmed to reside in office buildings. Both are hiding just to make us miserable. They have to be found today, since the offices will be closed over the weekend. Sigh. First stop, Tokia Building, where we confirmed that we still had no idea where the cow was hiding. After wasting quite a bit of time, I gave up and asked a security guard. He was amazingly helpful, providing me with explicit directions to the stupid cow hiding under an escalator on B1.

One cow left. Where are you Cow-san? Since the previous one was in the basement and we had previously explored all the above ground floors, B1 seemed a logical place to start looking. Of course, B1 was the normal maze of tiny restaurants and hundreds of people flowing through. Near the subway entrance, Elmo cow was cowering (ha ha ha... I'm sorry) next to a stairwell. Cows complete!

Next task, the Japan Mint, Tokyo Branch, for some 2008 proofs. By the time we were sitting in the subway car, my feet were quite displeased. I figured it was just because the new shoes were combining with my unfamiliarity with heels in some sort of unholy matrimony. The unholy part turned out to be wrong.

It was a bit of a trek from the subway station to the mint, and by the end my feet were considering mutiny. While Matt explored the museum, I looked at my feet. My gorgeous new shoes were wearing holes in my toes and ankles, in the form of blisters. I was practically waddling by the time we made it to the gift shop to purchase our proofs.

Here's a question: what kind of mint doesn't sell proofs? The Tokyo Branch kind of mint! They had them on display in the gift shop, but none for sale. I destroyed my feet for nothing, so there was no way I was leaving empty handed. They had some regular 2008 coin sets with the different versions of the coins, so I made due with those. While still nice, they were not exactly a great consolation prize for the 2008 Cherry Blossom Proofs.

There was no way I was walking any further than I had to in the evil shoes, so back to the hotel we went. Both my pinky toes were more accurately described as giant blisters, and my big toes weren't faring much better. The shoes went flying across the room as I dreamed of all sorts of ways to kill Kenneth Cole with his demonic creation.

As luck would have it, we bought a pack of bandaids from a golf store in Ginza when Matt needed one for his toe. They turned out to be uber padded bandaids that were designed for covering blisters. Ha! Take that you stupid shoes.

Nothing, not even two useless feet, was going to keep me from the evening's activity. A new Cirque du Soleil show, Z3d, is opening at Tokyo Disneyland on 1 October. However, with the help of the nice people at the concierge desk, we got two tickets to a dress rehearsal. While not guaranteed to be the final show, much less a perfected show, the rehearsal is much better than never seeing it.

Before the show started, we went to the snack bar to prevent death by starvation before intermission. Popcorn was available in two forms; a large paper cup for 350 yen, or a souvenir bucket for 1100 yen. We both wanted popcorn and the bucket was much larger, so bucket it was. Sadly, the bucket was barely bigger. The marketing geniuses had designed an oblong container, so it looks much larger on a shelf than it actually is.

It was by no means perfect. It was also amazing. The show is based on tarot cards, and starts with two clowns falling into a book. One of the first acts was acrobats with lassos. There were a few moments where lassoers were out of sync, and one even dropped his rope.

My favorite act came next in the form of a female acrobat who performed using two ribbons hanging from the ceiling. She climbed, twirled, swung, unraveled, and performed other tricks that I wouldn't even know where to begin describing. And she made the entire thing look easy.

Later, there was a tightrope act that was both incredible and incredibly scary. A female acrobat did a split on the wire, while the males took turns jumping over each other. Then one of them fell. There was no net. There was no safety wire. But there definitely was a moment of absolute terror when I thought I was watching a man fall to his death. Instead, he caught the wire with both hands and swung himself back up.

The trapeze artists, unlike certain other acrobats, had a giant net that unfolded from the ceiling. When one acrobat completely missed the trapeze bar, he just bounced in the net and climbed back up a ladder. No big deal.

The rest of the acts defy explanation, even after thinking about it for a full day. You will just have to come see the show yourself.

In an act of open defiance of the chronically wrong weather report, we had left the umbrellas in the hotel room. To teach us a lesson, it was pouring when the show got out. We actually considered purchasing a souvenir umbrella for 1000 yen just to get us back to the hotel, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it after the popcorn incident.

It took a bit of getting rained upon, but eventually we made it to the train station. The helpful folks at Disney couldn't find it in their hearts to put up signs for the train station more than once every few thousand meters. Maybe they thought they were building a casino?

There is nothing quite like coming home soaking wet and finding a nice, warm toilet seat waiting for you. I'm definitely going to miss the warm toilet seat at 3 am. And the automatic flushing. I can definitely live without the bidet/washlet functionality, though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon and Matt,

Just caught up with all your blogs. Enjoyed reading them. Sounds like you two are having a great trip except for the toe blisters. When travelling that is one of the hazards. Never use new shoes on a trip. Old comfortable ones are best but I guess you have already learned that the hard way.

Looking forward to tons of pictures when you return.

Luv ya,