Curiouser and Curiouser!

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Was Open! (Japan – Autumn 2018 Day 6)

Cooler weather has arrived, though it is still warm and still quite humid. It feels great to me until the mid-afternoon, when I really start sweating and my hair freaks out. I swear… I just cannot look good while I’m in Japan in any other season than winter… naturally curly hair and humidity do not mix well so I get about half a day looking okay and unless I take pains to wash and actually style my hair in the afternoon, then it becomes a wild and woolly mane that is out of control. Because I do not like to fuss over my appearance for more than a very short while, I choose the wild hair rather than look my best. I wonder what this says about me as a person?

My compatriots woke about an hour after I did and we did not take too long to relax this morning since we wanted to make it out of the house and to Shinjuku with time enough to enjoy the park before it closes at 4pm. 

Paulina, Fredrik and I went to our station (Hikifune) and jumped onto the train to Shinjuku. I had expressed the desire for a proper coffee as did Chris, so I looked online for a good place to go… and found a Blue Bottle Coffee right next to Shinjuku Station – oh the joy! They have really good coffee and I was surprised to see that they expanded from Northern California into Japan! 

Chris suggested that he pick up the coffee, since he would arrive shortly before we would, since he was only coming from Shibuya. He also surprised us with some tasty pastries from a French bakery that was right next to Blue Bottle, which we saved to eat in the park. 

Yes, we finally made it into Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – wooooooooo!

I took SO MANY PHOTOS but I was not alone… Paulina is also a photographer and Chris has gotten the photography bug so it was nice to not feel rushed to move on when I was busy composing nice shots. Prepare yourself for a very photo heavy post today!

This was my second time in the gardens… the first being back in June of 2015 when Chris and I lived in Tokyo for 3 months. On that first visit I was solo, and spent the entire very hot day there. It was 91 degrees F with 90% humidity, and this time it was much cooler, and about 10% less humidity – much more pleasant weather for certain! Regardless of the weather, I feel like I could visit this garden over and over and never tire of it. I am VERY much looking forward to when the leaves start changing their colors – this is one of the gardens that I will definitely be going back to!

The 4 of us strolled the garden and stopped at a large field to enjoy our tasty French treats, and then strolled more…

We had quiet times

 

We walked a lot – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

Chris roaming in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Taking closeups of…. something.

Photographing me photographing a tree – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

Wandering Boo. – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

Views like this make me want to move to Tokyo.

Those are my feets with smushed fallen Autumn leaves.

 

…. and silly times

 

We felt compelled. – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

Fredrik… STAHP! (DEUTSCHLAND!)

Caught in the act! – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

It’s THIS way!

Chris demonstrating exactly what this sign means… complete with stick!

Somehow this moment just… happened… and it was glorious.

WHA! A wild Fredrik suddenly appears!

 

and selfie times.

 

Happy people in the happy greenhouse!

We happy!

Happy! – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

 

But mostly, plant times.

 

We liked the greenhouse. – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

photo courtesy of Chris Danford

Something was interesting! It was probably that brown plant that I was fascinated with. – photo courtesy of Chris Danford

– photo courtesy of Chris Danford

I love the greenhouse in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden!

Just a little bud… I’m sure it will open soon!

I risked life and limb for this shot. – Photo Courtesy of Paulina

I wish that I knew what sort of plant this is…

Potted plants in pleasing arrangements.

The upper level in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden greenhouse.

I want to know what this plant is also!

This tree is going to look SO nice with Autumn color!

Why yes, this plant WAS FUZZY! Yet another that I desire to know the name of.

 

Oh, and cloud times too. So many beautiful clouds.

A couple was having kimono times. I’m pretty certain that we got better photos of them than they did of themselves. Thanks, Kimono Couple for giving me a nice photo subject!

 

Thanks for providing excellent composition, Kimono Couple! I think that we had better photos from you being there than the selfies that you two ended up taking. 😀

 

Garden times with my special friends was so needed, and what a sharp contrast to the inner turmoil that I was experiencing the day before! I was feeling completely opposite emotionally and while physically I still wasn’t great, I was much better in comparison.

We were all pretty hungry at the end of our garden visit. Chris suggested Gyukatsu Motomura, another beef katsu restaurant. This place was special! At the table are pots made of pottery that they light up so there is an open flame in each pot. Each person gets to choose their own pot, which is topped with a slab of pottery – this slab gets VERY HOT… 

We actually cooked our meat on these!

The gyokatsu is breaded and quickly deep fried, then sliced up and served with many sides. You take slices of the breaded beef and place them on your hot slab of pottery where it sears the meat – you get to choose how well or not well you cook your meat! 

The accompanying sides were delicious: Pickled vegetable, miso soup that I think may have had a beef base instead of fish, sweet mochi with what seemed like it had a syrup either made out of light molasses or maple, rice with barley and mountain potato which was in it’s stringy form of goodness – I do love mountain potato and on top of rice! OH YUMMERS! Two sauces were included as well… one that seemed like garlic and the other a sesame of some sort? 

After dinner a very tired Chris said adieu… Paulina, Fredrik and I went to Flying Tiger, a store that has origins in Denmark. We found all manner of quirky and useful things! I was after a nail brush and a sleeve for my MacBook…. I found what I needed! A Llama MacBook sleeve came home with me, and I don’t even find the pink background too annoying! x

In Flying Tiger – they had all sorts of fun things.

 

The three of us then went to Akihabara to meet up with Joy and Zach, who had been in arcades all day again… Fredrik left Paulina and I for a boys night out of karaoke with another friend from Sweden – Paulina and I went to a few arcades and then dragged our weary bodies back home with the intent to go to an Onsen in Asakusa, but once we were still and comfortable at home, we decided to not go anywhere. 

I called it a night fairly early – no plans as of yet for the morrow except to find some useable wifi so that I can upload some photos to my blog posts!

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