March 31, 2015 - Tokyo, Japan - Day 227

Peter's POV 

Today was our first day in Tokyo. What we saw of the city yesterday made us really like it and we were all excited to see more. When we woke up we went to have breakfast at a Starbucks down the street. Starbucks are literally everywhere here.

When we were finished with breakfast left to go to the Patagonia store. When we were out with Dave on the Daintree forest tour I left my belt at one of the swimming holes. I had waited until Tokyo to get one because I wanted to see if I could get the same belt. When we got to the right area we also began looking for a sim card, so my dad could get a data connection and use Google Maps to help us navigate. The problem is that in Japan, they don't carry prepaid sim cards in general stores, they only carry them in certain electronics stores. So we were stuck wandering around Tokyo hoping to find either the sin card store or Patagonia. 

13.4 million people 

13.4 million people 

We found a couple of stores that had belts in them, but we really wanted to find the Patagonia store. We eventually had to break for lunch. We were all tired hungry and lost so we just found a restaurant that looked good and walked in. We were hoping to find some noodles, and after a couple stores we found a store with Chinese noodles.  The restaurant was great and the food was fantastic.  As you can see I really enjoyed digging into my bowl of noodles.

My mom's noodles

Birdcage lights over the counter

Another good thing came from lunch, my dad got a wifi connection, he found the Patagonia store and it was pretty close. We walked to the Patagonia and found a belt that we thought would work.

When we checked out I put the belt on only to find that it really didn't work, it kept slipping. We returned the belt and moved on, but my dad got a t-shirt and we all got stickers.  The people here are so friendly and polite - we are all really enjoying the culture. I ended up buying the first belt that I saw that day in a store called Haglofs.  Here are some pictures from the day out shopping around Tokyo.

This is a real cutting from a cherry tree in full bloom

This is a real cutting from a cherry tree in full bloom

When we were done looking for the belt, Lea said that she wanted to buy a camera. So off we went on our new mission. Luckily there was a store about 15 minutes toward the train station that we needed to go to and the store not only sold cameras, but they sold sim cards! When we got to the store, we found that the price of the camera's were more expensive than Lea guessed, but my dad was able to get a sim card, so we were back online.

We were all getting tired from a ton of walking so we decided that instead of going to see a park we would go back to the hotel for some rest before heading out around 5:30 for a sushi cooking class. 

At 5:30 we left for the class and weaved our way down the side streets of our neighborhood looking for the subway stop we were meeting our instructor at.  We finally found her a few minutes later than we were supposed to arrive.  Her name is Yuka and she was so nice!  

When we got to the class, we soon found that making sushi requires a lot of steps. First we made some sticky rice, and chopped up all of our vegetables and fish. Then we made a broth made from kelp, then we tested some different sauces and combined some to make our sushi sauce. 

Lots to chop up

We made our own Wasabi - spicy!

I had to pull wet kelp out of a pot - not easy!

Cutting the tuna for nagiri was REALLY hard to do well

After all of that the hard part began. Making sushi requires a lot of practice. First you put on the rice, which is not an easy task because you are dealing with sticky rice, which is VERY sticky. Then you put on the ingredients, next you have to roll it. The rolling is the hardest part, I never really got it, whenever I did it my ingredients would be squeezed out of the ends. So if you ever want hollow roles of rice and seaweed then you should get me to make you sushi.

The final product

Lots of Sushi!

We ended up having a lot of fun and Yuka so nice and patient with us. The sushi was really good and we were all stuffed by the end, in fact we could not finish it all.  She told us all of her favorite restaurants in the city and gave us some advice on things to do.  Afterwards we walked back to the hotel and fell into bed after a long first day in Tokyo.