Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Last day of Golden Week, spent hanging out in Shin Okubo...

The last day of Golden Week, was May 6th, a Wednesday. Our family did the same thing last year too and we had so much fun, that we decided, to do the same thing this year as well. : ) We went to Shin Okubo, located in Tokyo, Japan. Shin Okubo, is what folks in Japan, call Korea Town. Searching online though, I find westerners who do not live in Japan, call it Korean (with an N at the end)... Korean Town.  So either way. : ) Korea Town, Korean Town or Shin Okubo works too. : ) If you live in Japan though, they do call it Korea Town. : ) Or Shin Okubo. Phew. Longest explanation in history, sorry. : ) Usually Tokyo is jammed packed with people. Like seems... with millions and zillions of people. And millions and zillions of cars. Lots of traffic. Etc, etc. However while most Tokyo city dwellers are off enjoying the inaka (countryside) (where we live, hahaha) often at some onsen, resort in Japan, or maybe a small overseas trip to Guam or Saipan, or camping. So while they are off enjoying the inaka/countryside. Us country folks... like to use that time to go to the big city of Tokyo, for a day excursion. : ) Last year though we had lunch/dinner at Wendy's after walking and window shopping/sightseeing around Shin Okubo. This time though we had planned to have lunch in actual Korea Town. If you do not know, South Korea is famous for fried chicken. When we went to Korea one time, with the boys when they were super little, there was fried chicken shops everywhere. Smelled divine. : ) So, yep...plan #1 is Shin Okubo, and walk around, sight see and then plan #2 fried chicken! : )

This was very cool. Moving chopsticks in a big bowl of (fake) noodles. : ) 

So many shops and signs in Korean! Very cool! Felt like a little getaway. Hahaha. After buying Branden a new tube of face wash (he used the same one/type last summer and loved it) and a pack of "baby feet" type stuff for me. We went to lunch. We did stroll all along Shin Okubo first though before lunch. : )

Noboru had been researching what the Japanese feel... is the best fried chicken shop in Shin Okubo. He had read many reviews and widdled his list down to 2 shops. Then he asked my opinion. After we both checked the menus.. both out online, we decided on this place. Do not quote me on the name. But it is called, Chicken 456. Chicken 567. or perhaps... Chicken 678? @_@ I am sorry. I have totally forgotten the name. But it does have 3 numbers/digits in the name. Should be easy to find. First off, they gave each table of customers some cabbage salad and some daikon in a silver bowl to nibble on, while waiting for our food. I love cabbage, cooked or raw, any kind, is fine with me. So, we 4 munched the cabbage salad, Noboru munched the daikon. Each table had forks (I am assuming for western tourists, lol) and also chopsticks. There were 2 westerners sitting next to us, on the left of us. : ) Very nice young couple (mid 20's if I were to guess). : ) 

Noboru went to this fried chicken restaurant you guys and ordered soup! Kimchi soup. Yes, that is so funny.... he went to a chicken restaurant and did not order fried chicken at all, lol. However he *loved* the soup. He said it was so good. However only thing he mentioned was the soup had onion in it and he said he had never seen that soup, made with onions...like EVER. And ya'll know he hates onions, with a burning passion. : ) LOL. So, he just picked the onions out. But he still loved the soup. But, the onions being in the soup gave us a laugh. I tell ya, you got to keep your sense of humor in times like this. Meanwhile, the boys and I ordered get ready for this. It said, 16 sasami, which means chicken tenderloin in Japanese, basically 16 chicken tenders/tenderloin.  If you have ever had a fried chicken tender...you know 5 is plenty enough for an adult. So, we ordered 1 of those platters, since it had 16 chicken tenders. We figured, 5 for Noah, 5 for me and 6 for Branden would be plenty. Well enough to fill us up, for lunch. 5 whole chicken tenders. Anyway...so we were all excited. All waiting. And 10 minutes later...the kids and I had no food. @-@ Noboru was half done with his soup... so he ate slowly. Even though I asked him to eat it, while it was hot. But he felt badly about us, just watching him eat. @_@. We tried not to look. : ) It wasn't his fault of course. I'm a very chill...type person. I'd seriously NEVER need an anger management type a class, if you know what I mean. And Noboru neither but...his fuse is a tad shorter than mine is. And he felt so badly for us....and so at the 10 minute mark, he was getting a bit upset. Anyway...at the 12 minute mark...he starts looking at the menu. And right there... in the menu it says...to make it fresh...it can take up to 15 minutes on the fried chicken meals. Alrighty, mystery has been solved. Now he was relaxed. No more worries. All very normal now, that we know. Good thing he did not complain or anything. : ) Anyway...so the food finally comes and see this picture? The portion was like really REALLY small, you guys. If you reading this... are the family cook. Or if you have ever gone to McD's or The Hard Rock Cafe or anywhere and ordered 5 chicken strips. You will know...16 strips should have been a huge size platter. This was...and I am not kidding you...about the size of a Popeye's Chicken and biscuits combo for 1 person. Maybe could be enough for 2 people, if they weren't super hungry but 3 people, forget it. I am kidding you not, you guys. Noboru and I look at each other. @_@ Like...whhhhat?! Now he's like saying..."this is like, half smaller than what I was thinking."@_@  And then he said..."but this took so long...if we order another...I imagine it'll be another 20 minutes!" Okay the 2 other westerners are still waiting for their food, we are speaking in English since we only speak English for our family and are tables are quite close to one another...now I can see Noboru has made that sweet young couple now worried about their meal. Hahaha. Sorry, you two. : ) Now...I cook chicken a lot at home...you guys know that. And I can safely tell you... that this was a chicken breast, but sliced into strips. I looked very closely at this. And some pieces....strips were so small...that they were McD's chicken nugget size and a few even smaller than that. Nope, not kidding. I did remind Noboru..."it is what it is"...And there's no need to make anyone nervous (the wait staff, the young couple next to us, etc etc, ykwim). The kids are having a good time...I am having an incredible time. We did not know...their true portion size of the strips. Since this was our first time to this restaurant. But...now we do. So we got much smarter for next time, right? : ) He said..."you're right baby and I'm sorry." : ) I know Noboru just worries about the kids...meaning, did they eat enough..about me meaning, did I eat enough...so yeah he was honestly just really worried about us. So he had good intentions too. So, Noboru asked me, "do you want me to order another platter of this?" I said, "honey don't even worry about it..it's only lunch" And that was it, we ate.... the kids and I shared 1 of the tiniest chicken strips platters, that you have ever seen. Hahaha. : )  Oh and for what it's worth...the cost of the chicken strip platter. $26 US. 2600 yen. @_@  Oh and..it did come with a few fries mixed with the strips. It did not mention that on the menu *however*...the fries were ice cold, must have been fried that morning. Hahaha. : ) The flavor of the chicken was super delicious though! Very delicious. Will we go back? You know what...for the price and the amount you get? Honestly maybe not. But we'll see. : ) Oh forgot to add this... though...all the waiters were young 20 something guys and they were all gorgeous and looked like members of a Kpop boy band. : ) I much prefer my husband though. But yes, the waiters were very easy on the eyes. : ) 

Yep, told ya. You can see Noboru reading the menu over again/once more in this picture (gosh was he worried about his kids and wife or what, lol)....and that's when he found it said 15-20 minute wait. : ) Noah waiting at the restaurant, but you can see his nice summer hair cut, pic here. Sorry, I didn't even give Noah a chance to look at the camera. Just a quick snap and put the camera back in my bag. : )
Perfect view of Tokyo Skytree, while leaving Tokyo and heading to Costco Chiba New Town.

We all had a super long drive back to Chiba and Costco, so we all stopped for drinks at 7-11. Noboru picked this drink. I picked a jasmine tea. However, I tried a drink or two of Noboru's Lemongina. I know this drink has been getting lots of buzz for the past couple months. 1 of my friends says it tastes like dirt/soil. @_@ Hahaha. Another says it is straight up gross. Another completely disagrees and says it is totally delicious...like lemonade with fizz. So, I finally had 2 sips of this. My thoughts? I didn't like it. I'm really sorry for saying that. But, it wasn't my taste at all. To me it tasted more like grapefruit versus lemon. Coming from America...we know lemonade. How many of us grew up selling lemonade on our street/block as children? I know, I had a lemonade stand every summer, growing up. I know what lemons taste like, I love them. And I know what grapefruit taste like, I dislike them very much. To me...this tasted way way more like sparkling fizzy grapefruit soda. I would never buy this. Noboru hated it. : ( In fact to him, he also said it tasted like dirt.  What's up with that description, you guys. He is the 3rd person, who mentioned dirt. @_@ To be fair...I don't taste any dirt or soil type flavor at all. But it does taste like a grapefruit soda to me. To me, it does not taste lemonade-y at all. Not even 1 dot. Not even remotely lemonade-y. The kids each picked an orange water. 
I really dislike going to Costco on holidays or weekends, you know how I prefer quiet weekday mornings instead. However...since we were going to be driving past there anyways...and considering I was going/planning to go to Costco the next day anyway. We figured, we might as well go there. Also we were thinking about dinner. What we should eat for dinner. We were stuck between Jolly Pasta or getting a giant whole already cooked pizza and bring it home from Costco. Plus we picked up the few things we were going to get. So it saved us a trip the next day. : ) Tissues were super cheap. Antibacterial wipes, these are the best. Mozzarella cheese (for pizzas or baked ravioli etc) and huge hunk of colby jack for Mexican food night) And frozen pizzas for emergency dinners. : ) Like if Noboru is working at night... we can throw in a pizza or two and have some salad to go with. Easy dinner. : ) Costco was busy, but not as full as I imagined. We easily zipped in grabbed our stuff and paid and grabbed the pizza and left. We were in there, no longer than 20 minutes tops. : )

The stuff we brought back from Shin Okubo.

Branden's face wash. He loves this face wash especially in summer/hotter weather. And I picked up another foot treatment, since it's flip flop and sandal weather now. : )

Also, Noboru picked up another First Treatment Essence for me from the Missha retailer chain store/shop.. for one of my Mother's Day gifts. It was on a slight sale there...Golden Week sale. And about 5 Japanese women were picking up a bottle each of it, when we first entered that store before lunch and about 3 different Japanese women were picking up a bottle each, when we swung by the store after lunch. Noboru was like...super surprised by the extreme popularity of the product I am currently using...he said.."that stuff is so popular", he knew I just purchased that bottle online and have been enjoying the essence a lot. Anyway, now I am well stocked with that stuff. It's good stuff. : ) 

They gave us so many samples. Shin Okubo has an official Missha retailer, The Face Shop free- standing store. All sorts of beauty and cosmetic shops. : ) Missha also is available to order online for us, in Japan. Which is nice for me to know, because since I live way out in the middle of nowhere, I can at least order online and they can ship to me here at home, if ever I need it. : )
After going to Costco, we swung by the drugstore to pick up some essentials, shampoo and conditioner refills. Some face wash for Noboru and 1 for me. And some pineapple popsicles for the boys/kids.

Branden's on the left, Noboru's in the center and mine on the right (Noah uses whatever I use, since he has very sensitive skin). I am using Hado Labo cleansing foam at the moment.  It's very gentle for my face... which I need a gentle cleanser and I also like foamy cleansers, not cream ones. So, I am liking this lately. Only thing I wish, is it had a better scent. It has no scent...but I can smell a slight something. Wish it smelled like green apples or bananas or green tea or something fresh perhaps. Oh well. : ) It is a great basic cleanser. I wash my face twice a day, morning and night so my cleansers go quickly. : ) Will, I repurchase it again...maybe yes, we will see.... I like that it does not dry my face out at all. But...on the flip side, I do like a nice light scent of something. Hmm, we'll see. I am enjoying it a lot, for now though. Anyway that's how we spent our last day of Golden Week.

All in all, I think we had a pretty fantastic Golden Week. 2 days before Golden Week kicked off, the kids and I flew to Guam for the weekend, we got to see the movie Home. What else did we do for Golden Week. We hit the Gap outlet and Old Navy for summer clothes for the kids. We had a nice backyard family BBQ. We also had many good eats here at home, we played the family board game Sorry! We had many family movie nights with popcorn and snacks. And we ended our Golden Week sightseeing and looking around Shin Okubo/Korea Town. All in all, it was a pretty nice Golden Week for us here. : )