Monday, June 29, 2009
Lions and Tigers and Gundams, Oh my!
Spent the weekend hanging out in Tokyo with Janet. During my b-day weekend she visited the H&M store that was across the street from the Princess Heart restaurant and wanted to go back. While I didn't really need to do any shopping, I did want to go to Tokyo and see the huge 1:1 scale model Gundam that was recently constructed in Odaiba. So, off we went.

Took the early train in Tokyo. Had somewhat of a mix up as I ended up on an earlier train than the one she took, but I hoped off at the kaiyamato station and waited for her train to show up. Only had to wait about 15min, which wasn't so bad. On the train we had some breakfast. She got me some melon pan goods and also this really yummy chocolate mint drink that I am now addicted to!

First stop of the day was Odaiba. In Odaiba, we ran into this kitten store that had a huge pink cat in front of it and took some pictures. Then we went to check out the Fuji TV building. Very cool. Then we headed over to the park where the Gundam is. Seeing the Gundam was pretty cool, but the park had a really bad odor. Smelled like a herd of elephants had been recently living their. After we took a few 'action' photos we escaped the smell as fast as we could.

After Odaiba, we headed to Ginza to check out the H&M. Imagine our excitement, shock, and horror at finding there was a sale going one. Why horror you ask? Well, we are very weak willed when it come to shopping at the H&M and its really hard NOT to spend a bunch of money on clothes when you tell yourself.....well, I don't really NEED these pants, but, hey, they are 70% off so why not! We probably spent about 3 to 4 hours at the store. Very hard core of us, but a good half of that time seems to be spent waiting to get into a fitting room. So worth it though. I walked out of the store with 2 new pairs of pants, 2 cute shirts, and a summer dress for just under 1man (about $100).

After Ginza, we went to Shinjuku to check out Uniqlo's new summer stuff. And once again found ourselves in the middle of a sale. Ekk! We didn't spend so long in the Uniqlo but I ended up walking out with a pair of leggings, a summer jacket, and about 4 new summer shirts. Again, spending about 1man. And thats not the end! The department store where the Uniqulo is was doing some type of giveaway. For every $5 you spent at any store, you got a ticket. If you got 6 tickets, you got a shot at winning several prizes. Top prize was a vacation package followed by $20 worth of vouchers, $5 worth of vouchers, or a free snack from the 100 yen store. I ended up with 3 chances and won myself a free snack. Janet ended up winning the $20 worth of vouchers. So even though we were all set to move on, we ended up shopping again so she could spend her vouchers.

In our search for something to buy in the store, we ran across a shop that sold what has to be my favorite jam ever. Milk tea jam. Great stuff. I first discovered it on my trip to Kobe to see Nicole and was seriously considering asked her to ship me some more, but luck was on my side. Janet game me a voucher to buy a jar with. Then she used up the rest of the voucher on a tumbler and drink at Starbucks.

By that time it was almost 8pm. The night before we discussed going to a theme restaurant called Arabian Rock. Janet has really been wanting to go and I just love theme restaurants in general, so we called to get some reservations, but they were all booked up. However, the lady on the phone said if we just showed up we could probably wait to get it. Arabian Rock is conveniently in Shinjuku and only a 5min walk at most from the Uniqulo so we went over to see what the wait would be like. A cutie in an Arabian getup said I would be about an hour wait, which was fine with us.

Eating a late dinner usually means an overnight stay in Tokyo so while waiting to get in, we went to go check out the overnight packages at some nearby karaoke places. We also stopped by the donki store and got some random stuff. By the time we finished, almost an hour had past so we headed back to the restaurant. After a bit of a wait, we got in.

Like any good theme restaurant, we weren't imediatly seated. Instead we entered a room with a magic lamp. A genie voice over the speakers told us to......well, do something. Not even Janet could figure out what we were supposed to do. We tried rubbing the lamp, but that didn't seem to get us anywhere. At that point the genie voice started its loop again and we had no idea what was going on. Eventually I decided to try opening the lid on the lamp and the moment my fingers touched the lid, a door to the left sprung open! Nearly gave me a heard attack!

Beyond the door were 2 girls dressed up in arabian wear. They were probably a bit annoyed that we took to long to open the door, but were still really nice about everything. They had a small magic lamp with them and asked us to make a wish and rub it. When we rubbed, a flame poofed out the pouring end and then we were taken to out seats. I would put the decor to be on par with Ninja. Ninja is a bit more extensive and interactive, but it did feel really arabian in there. Our seats were huge and surrounded by a metal gate covering in a see-throughish fabric. Our host explained the rules and left us to our own devices. Not a minute after we sat down, all the lights in the restaurant suddenly turned off! We sort of looked at each other and freaked a bit until a voice on the speaker started wishing some one a happy birthday and then music started and the lights came back on. I really should of had my birthday there! They did a whole belly dancing thing and had cakes brought in by someone in a huge character costume. We got a good look at the costume because the person was standing right next to us, waiting for their cue to appear to the birthday person.

One thing I like about this restaurant over Ninja is that they make use of the server button so its easy to order. On the Arabian Rock website I was really drawn to a particular drink set. It was esentially a make your own drink kinda thing where they give you several shots of flavored liquor and a magic lamp (aka. mixer). I really wanted that, but didn't see it on the menu anywhere. Panic! But, when we placed our order they said it was a special offer that had expired but that they would go ahead and let me order it anyway. It was really awesome of them to do that for me. Later, I ended up panicking cause I didn't ask how much it was and alcohol at theme restaurants can be expensive, but it ended up only being about 2,000, which considering the about of alcohol I got, was a good deal. Janet got this really tasty looking milk and cotton candy drink.

The food was amazing. Not Ninja amazing, but the it also didn't come with Ninja's price tag either. We had some salad with potato chips, pitas with a choice of 2 dips, shrimp and potato cheese curry fondue, and steak bits cooked with a flame at our table. Round 2 consisted of a Cesar salad, curry steak dish, sweet potato fries, and then a deep fried root type thing that I forget the name of all the time. We considered dessert, but ended up not being able to finish all the extra food we order and thus no desert for us.

After dinner, it was straight to the karaoke place to try and snag a night package. The first place we tried was already full, but we did get into our second choice. After singing for about 4 hours, we both passed out in the booth. I have always wanted to overnight it in a karaoke box, but Janet always vetoed that idea in favor of a manga cafe, but she has been on a karaoke kick recently and actually suggested it this time. Personally I like the managa cafe better. Its hard for me to sleep with all the sound. But, I suspect that with some ear plugs, it would have been better.

The next morning we hit up a MacD's for a quick bite and then headed back home. Yay for a nice, relaxing weekend of shopping, eating, and more shopping.

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