Monday, May 05, 2014

Finally, we get a store near us...Old Navy in Tsukuba, Ibaraki and a fun dinner afterwards at the “fry your own” skewer buffet restaurant, Kushiya Monogatari

Old Navy is an American clothing company, I love Old Navy! They are the same company as Gap and Banana Republic, as I am sure all of you know. I love Old Navy because, you can buy quality clothes at affordable prices and with having 2 kids, it is really nice saving money, yet still be stylish, plus the clothes are really well made clothes. I would always stock up on trips back to America for the boys and myself, or order stuff to be shipped to Guam and my dad would mail them to me in Japan, or I'd go to Guam and pick up the packages. Then a few years ago, 1 Old Navy opened in Japan. It was  pretty far away, bordering Chiba and Tokyo (though I think Tokyo since the mall has the word Tokyo in it). Then a few other scatterings of stores opened up across Japan. So, I knew they were in Japan, but since my nearest Old Navy at the time was not very near us at all...and a 3 hour round trip drive, plus toll fees didn't sound all too fantastic, we just never went and if we weren't to take toll roads it would be 5 hours according to Navitime (like mapquest for Japan) and considering a 5 hour drive, forget it! : ( Hahaha. : ) Until now, an Old Navy finally opened in Ibaraki. So, needless to say, I am pretty happy. Here is a very rough drawing of where we live versus where the main or central parts of Chiba are versus the main or central parts of Ibaraki are.... to give you an idea of what I am talking about. : ) Oh and yes to be fair clearly... Chiba is in the shape of Chiba-kun (a dog mascot) but again this just gives you an idea, I'm not a professional artist here hahaha. See where it says main city part of Chiba City, or Makuhari. Funabashi, those types of areas. The main parts of Chiba where most of the stores are, shops are, people are, hahaha. That's way on the opposite end of Chiba from us, where we live. Now you see that astrix or sun and it says "us...our fam" That's where we live, literally teeter tottering between Chiba and Ibaraki. We live literally and I do mean literally at like the edge of Chiba.... the opposite direction of main parts of Chiba. When I drive during the day, I constantly see the sign, "welcome to Chiba" and "welcome to Ibaraki" depending if we are going to Saizeriya "Ibaraki for us", the movies, again Ibaraki for us. I can get in my car right this second and drive to the right and in 5 minutes I will hit Ibaraki, no exaggeration! So yeah for us, getting to the Old Navy in the main city part of Chiba... was just never gonna happen, because of where our house is located in Chiba. And given the traffic in Chiba that goes at a snails pace, it was just really again, never gonna happen. Okay and now see one of the main city parts of Ibaraki in my bad drawing pic that says main city Ibaraki, which is Tsukuba,...Tsukuba has everything Makuhari and Funbabashi does, but it's way way way closer for us.  The capitol of Ibaraki is Mito but Tsukuba is a bustling big modern city and easiest for us to access to from where we live. And the traffic does not go at a snails pace between our house and Tsukuba so we can literally zip to Tsukuba and zip back in no time flat. There are many small city's near to us, like the small city Noah and Branden went to yochien in...and also Narita city, is a small city. But the closest big city to us, is Tsukuba in Ibaraki. I can hang laundry outside on the pole for example when heading to Tsukuba and know I will be home, in time to bring the laundry in before it gets dark. If we were to drive to Diver City Tokyo Plaza for example where Old Navy is in Chiba/Tokyo, it wouldn't be a laundry hanging outside type day because depending on traffic the laundry would be out there way past it's time. So when we heard Ibaraki finally got an Old Navy, we were like holy goodness, we have to go!!!! So we did, we went to Old Navy, this post happened April 13th! : ) 
Our closest Burger King, is in Ibaraki, I blogged one time when our family went in there to eat one time. : ) Branden and Noah's dentist, is also in Ibaraki too. : )  Now you know why, when we go to Tokyo Disneyland or Disney Sea it is sometimes better for us to stay at a hotel because though technically we do live in Chiba, we really barely barely do. : ) 

We made it to the Aeon mall in Tsukuba, no toll roads and no traffic problems between where our house is located and to get here!

I see an Old Navy sign! Right on!

Parking our car before we start shopping!

2 hours to charge. We did go back out at 2 hours to see if anyone wanted to use it, but nobody was there or waiting, but we did switch spots to a regular spot afterwards. Like my husband says, it's like going to a shopping mall and someone saying if you shop here... we'll give you a free tank of gas, so to speak. It's free, and our car gets charged. So, heck yeah we'll charge! : ) 

Protected from the sun and rain, this mall has a nice charging station. 

Her seat covers and not sure if you can see the 3 lights near the dash, it blinks blue when she's charging. 

Hi kiddo!

It's a newer mall, just opened last year in March and really nice. 

I saw it....smiled and walked a little bit faster!

Thank you Old Navy for coming to Ibaraki! You have no idea how much we appreciate this! The store had a lot of customers, so I don't see this store closing down anytime soon! : )

I was worried if they'd double the prices in Japan. But I was wrong! They are just as cheap and affordable as back home! 

900 yen for these character T shirts. Noah got that heather orange Tom and Jerry one! Also, the sizes are American sizes, meaning Small is a 6-7, Medium is a size 8. I remember when Gap used to be American sizing and then they switched it so centimeters in the kids department. I hope they keep it American sizing! We did our shopping and went back and switched to a different parking space real quick and then had dinner at the same mall, they had so many good looking restaurants in there. 

You could bread and fry your own stuff at your own table. Sounded fun, so we wanted to try!

Plus a chocolate fondue fountain, heaven! : ) 

It's a buffet and you had 70 minutes to eat whatever you'd like. On your mark, get set, go! : ) I'm kidding, I'm kidding. : )

I love how it's explained in English, deep fried skewers buffet, yeah I think they nailed it! : )

As pictured, they also had fresh fruit, salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, pasta salad, all kinds of stuff. 

Pasta as pictured, curry, ice cream. What they offered was a lot! We were ready!

Pretty restaurant!

They had the batter, and panko (bread crumbs), you could pick from a huge assortment of things to try. I picked white meat chicken with no skin or fat and potato wedges and battered those. 

Oil in the center of the table and our sauces.

We had batter and panko on both sides of our table. The kids had a blast battering/breading and cooking what they liked!

Branden picked some beef with no fat and breaded that. 

My dessert platter, fresh pineapple, soft serve ice cream, and chocolate dipped cream puffs. 

Branden enjoying some dessert he picked too. 

I did have some salad with goma/sesame dressing and pasta salad as well. 

Noah, made some chicken tenderloin cutlets and had chicken cutlet curry, he loved that! Branden said great idea and so he made some too.

Branden enjoying his cutlet curry too and Noboru's elbow hahaha, he was enjoying many many things. : ) We stayed the full 70 minutes, boy were we stuffed, we also left with a very heavy Old Navy bag of clothes for the kids, however it was only 7,000 yen. $70 US, so really fair for the amount of clothes the kids got. 

We will be back to this mall, for sure! : )
Good only at the Tsukuba Aeon. We are getting a good amount of these quick charge cards to the places near us that we frequent. 

A good amount of clothes for Branden and Noah.

Old Navy, San Francisco, California. 

300 yen! Yep, love the prices. 

This shirt is ginormous on Noah, but it's a T for Christmas time, so Noah can wear it in November, December this coming year. 

This shirt is hilarious..."wanna talk about it?" "It's not your business" "Wanna Taco 'bout it" lol!

Noah is really super skinny. So the small fits him now and we also got the size medium and at 700 yen each, we were happy. 

Says 1290 yen, but you saw the pic up above they were indeed on sale for 900 yen each. 

These were what Noah ended up with.

Branden got this one too.

But he's also a size small men's now. So the rest of the shirts were from the men's section.

Branden's T's, love that magically delicious Lucky Charms one! Hahaha. 

Branden also got a pair of olive green shorts in the men's department too. 

Love this bag marked...STUFF. : ) 

Toiletry case.

Again loved that the prices were just as fair as in the US, 600 yen. 

They had a bunch of great wallets for 1200 yen. 

Noboru got me this one. Very preppy. 

I like wallets that zip around so I don't have to worry if a card accidentally falls out or anything. 
Also, I received a package from my dad from Old Navy and Gap. 
These are Noah's. Two shirts that say Awesome and 1 Adventure Time, T- shirt.

These are Branden's.

These are mine.
This blouse I thought was so pretty and it sold out super fast online. I'm glad I have mine. 

Also received my black tankini top so it can be worn under my rash guard and swim mini skirt from Lands' End.
Washed everything up and put them nicely in each of the boy's bedroom closets, so when the weather does get nice/warmer, they can wear them. Getting ready for the warmer weather... clothes-wise for Branden and Noah, little by little since the beginning of March.