Monday, April 27, 2015

Tokyo Midtown Springtime Fun!

Last minute trip this week, since Kris ended up with a day off!  Yay!  Our first hotel choice, New Sanno, was full.  Darn.  So, we decided to try out Hardy Barracks, another military hotel option in Tokyo.  We've never stayed here before so we weren't quite sure what to expect.  Compared to the New Sanno it is definitely an older building.  And, there aren't any of the extras you get at NS...pool, restaurants, room service, cable tv, wifi, etc.  What is different...the rooms are HUGE!  It's actually an old military dorm suite.  So, there are two rooms with a bathroom in the middle.  I like that we can put the kids to bed and then stay up and watch a little tv until we are ready to go to bed.  Only downfall...there are like 8 channels, none of them worth watching.  Especially when 1/3 of them are showing sporting events.  Oh well.  I guess we could have gone down to the lobby and looked through their VHS, yes, I said VHS, tapes to find a movie.  

After we were settled into our room we packed up our cameras and headed out to find our surprise for the day:  Gojira!  I read that there would be a 4 meter high Godzilla statue at Tokyo Midtown, and promised the kids there would be an awesome surprise at the end of our little walk.  We left Hardy Barracks and made our way toward Midtown.  We made it to the National Art Center and decided to walk around the Center's main building (below) and then walk to Midtown, which was right around the corner.  

Such an awesome building!  I couldn't get a shot of all the waves on the front of this building, but there are four or five of them on one side.  

Around the museum's grounds we found lots of beautiful azaleas, a pretty dogwood tree, and a giant piece of metal candy!

We made it around the building and I insisted we head in "that" direction.  I'm sure that's the way.  Well, it wasn't.  Midtown was, seriously, RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER...we ended up walking about three miles too many in the WRONG direction!  In order to silence the children who were getting impatient for their surprise and inquiring about dinner every five minutes...we stopped at 7-11 and got a couple ice creams and some chips.  
While we were stopped for ice cream, we decided to check out a map.  We figured out how wrong we were and made a course correction for Midtown.  We walked through this area around November and saw amazing lights in the park.  I was sure that since it's Spring there would be pretty trees and flowers at the park.  Not really.  There were some flowers and lots of trees, but they weren't as amazing as I thought they would be.  The kids were bored.  Good thing we still have that surprise at the end of the park!

We finally made it to the area where Gojira would be!!!  Guess giant lizard!  Maybe I had the date wrong.  While I pulled out my phone to figure things out, the kids ran around the park for a bit.  

So, I googled it.  Nope, it says Apr 24 - May something.  Well, maybe it's down the hill.  Nope.  What is going on here?!  Google again...I find a picture of him in this park right where we are standing and it says 2014...oh, great!  Wrong year!  But, it says he is returning in 2015.  So, now I've walked the kids from Hardy Barracks to Akasaka to Midtown and their surprise isn't even here.  Queue the complaints....wait....Daddy just said, "Let's look at this."  What's 'this'?  

Um...this was total awesomeness!!!  We found a little pond with a creek, waterfalls, rocks, wading pool!!  Wow!  I was hesitant to let the kids join the dozen other kids running around in there until I walked down to the water and could smell the chlorine coming off the spouts shooting out water.  Ok.  Maybe it's not so bad.  Take off your shoes and walk on in.  

After they walked around in the water for a while, climbing up and down rocks, climbing over a bridge, walking down little waterfalls, and trying to avoid the 3 year old naked Japanese boy ~ the same naked boy that got stuck on top of a giant rock and the 20 pound little girl that was supposed to be watching him couldn't reach him, and I'm sure couldn't lift him even if she could have got to him, she looked at me as the boy cried in the background and I said, "help?".  "Hai.  Help."  So, I climbed through the bushes and over some rocks to fetch little naked boy.  Haha!  

We got the kids out of the water around 5 and started to make our way back to the hotel so we could get our dinner.  As we were leaving Midtown Kris stopped in his tracks and said, "Whoa!  What's that?!"  Guess who we found breaking through the sidewalk on a mission to terrorize the city....

We made a small pitstop at HB to drop off the camera and bag.  Then, made our way to Coco's for dinner.  After dinner we decided to work off some of the curry induced coma and played at a local park for a bit....swings, rope bridges, monkey bars, zip line, and slides.

Almost a straight-down slide.  

We made it back to the room around 8ish, put a movie on for the kids and settled in for a good sleep before our next adventure...Ashikaga Flower Park!

A boy dreaming about his future car....