Sometimes a walk to the park is just a walk to the park…

But there are still a few things that I want to remember about last night (that sounds so spicy!), so before I add a note about today’s adventures (there was more than one!), I’ll write a few words about two hours of free time I had yesterday. Because I can.

Star Trek: The Original Series

Let’s start with my destination. I guess by now pretty much everybody has heard about Hamacho Park (in Tokyo, obviously) which is said to be a home to many rare Pokémon. And the world is playing Pokémon Go. Well, I don’t know about the world, but I can tell you this: Japan IS playing Pokémon Go. I went to this park because it was close but when I saw that it was crawling with Pokémon Go players, I decided to check if the rumors were true. 10 minutes of playing, dozens of Pokémon caught. Some of them definitely rare.

Scyther (CP: 963)

So if you are in Tokyo and into catching them all, you should definitely go there. If you’re not playing the game – avoid this place. It is really crowded and I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to call such a small strip of green a park – this is not a park.

not a cat.gif

So yeah, it’s not that I’m not enjoying this game. I am. Seriously. But I don’t want to spend my limited time here looking at my cellphone.

I’m not sure if I’ve already said that, but I live in a land of bridges. I cross 3 or 4 bridges a day. Some of them small, some enormous. I used to be scared of bridges (something to do with my inability to swim and my fear of heights) but I’m not anymore (at least not of the small and medium ones) which is really good. Because:

And these are not all the bridges I had to cross yesterday. I think there were four or five. I would like to know if this river/canal/water-thingy has a name, somehow my Google Maps refuse to show me its name. [Update: Yes it does. It’s Sumida River. Of course!]

Anyway, a park, Pokémon, bridges, it was all very nice but the best thing that happened yesterday was me winning some strange lottery in Family Mart! Found it (supermarket, not a lottery) on my way back and as I run out of food supplies (and was I’ll-eat-you-alive hungry), I just had to check it for presence of food with English subtitles 😉 or English-speaking personnel. Discovered my favorite Scotch pancakes (I still can’t believe I buy them in Japan), delicious bread, and… milk!

Nowhere on this carton it says “milk” so I had to use my mom’s method: shake it – if it’s sloshing about, it’s probably milk. And yogurt is thicker.

Checkout lady new only one English word: “one.” But that’s ok because that was enough. This is how she told me to take one lottery ticket from a box (I saw some guy doing that before me so I knew what to expect). And I won a soda! I know it’s not much but c’mon, I won a soda in Tokyo even though I have no idea why and how!

my prize 🙂

I’m not even sure if I this is a soda. It tastes like a sparkling lemonade. I like it.

(Note to self: I really need to learn more Japanese.)

In classic black leather (or why yesterday was both really awesome and painfully terrible)

So yesterday wasn’t really THAT terrible, at least not the whole time. But it did not start well… I couldn’t sleep at night (if someone ever tells you that time difference/jet lag is not a problem, do not believe them!), got sleepy in the morning but decided against going to bed and floated about the house till 2 pm (it was so hot!).

However, I managed to fix my phone camera shutter sound problem! I know that it’s not really a problem but last time I was in Japan, I was able to take photos with my phone without the shutter sound so the loss of this function made me really confused. And, as as an introvert, I would rather bathe in a sea of snails than make myself more noticeable than I already am (being a non-Japanese in Japan). The Internet tells me that in Japan it is required by law that cameras have sounds and as this time I’m using a Japanese SIM card, my phone somehow lost the option of disabling the shutter sound. Yeah. No stealth photos of strange bags, awesome clothes, maybe-but-probably-not-famous people. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, right?

source: online community

Anyway, after spending some quality time struggling with my phone and thinking that I would have to take all the pictures with my camera (which still has a silent mode, thank gods!), I downloaded some nifty no-sound camera app and voilà, I can take stealth photos again! Which is why I have a picture of my apartment complex now (not my floor though, I live on the 3rd floor).

First floor

So I went out around 3 or 4 pm. It was still very hot (probably around 28 – 30 Celsius) but not I’m-gonna-burn-out-your-eyes hot anymore. Did I mention that I have sensitive eyes? 😉

I planned to go to Hamacho Park which is pretty close to my apartment (about 20 minutes on foot), so I dressed for a stroll. And that meant wearing my usual clothes + a pair of relatively new leather sandals. However, after going out I changed my plans and decided on going to one of my favorite places in Tokyo, Kameido Tenjin Shrine – about 70 minutes on foot to the shrine itself + various places to visit along the road (so many people hunting Pokémon!) and my precious little shoes killing my feet = 1.5 h there and 2.5 h back.

So I’m gonna be staying in for a couple of days because yesterday went like that (with some random pictures I took during my long walk there and longer walk back):

I thought these were some good shoes, I thought they had a style.
And so I brought them with me and wore them for a while.
And there was this one long path, a beauty to my eyes.


Strumming my pain with real leather,
(day one, day one)
Stinging my feet with these straps,
(no more, no more)
Killing me softly with sandals,
Killing me softly with sandals,
Taking my whole life with these straps,
Killing me softly with sandals

One of the cheapest vending machines I’ve seen in my neighborhood

I felt all flushed with fever, just stumbling in the crowd,
I felt my feet were burning, wanted to cry so loud.
I prayed that I could stop there but I just had to walk.

Tokyo Skytree

Strumming my pain with real leather,
(day one, day one)
Stinging my feet with these straps,
(no more, no more)
Killing me softly with sandals,
Killing me softly with sandals,
Taking my whole life with these straps,
Killing me softly with sandals

I took this on my way back in some small alley. I forgot to turn off the flash so I just hobbled out of there as fast as I could. Freaky!

I’m pretty sure I’m gonna visit this shrine again, so I will take better pictures then. My feet were already killing me when I reached it yesterday, so I took only a couple of pictures while stumbling on and did not even go closer to the shrine itself to pay my respects, just bowed down from afar (I feel bad about it).

When I was walking back I kept thinking about all these Japanese anime and movies I’ve seen with heroines having sore feet and men carrying them home. Maybe hurting your feet is a thing here?


Oh, and there was one more good thing about that day: I finally managed to buy milk and drunk “normal” coffee this morning!