NYC, Venice, and Mexico in 1 Day

We took the train to Odaiba one day this weekend to do some sightseeing.


Odaiba is a man-made island in Tokyo Bay, Japan. There are several tourist spots on the island and most of them have a very modern design.

Fuji Television Building

This building was designed by Kenzo Tange, a well known Japanese architect. We have already seen several of his designs around Tokyo, and I hope to compile more photos of his architecture.

I did a little research and found that Kenzo Tange also designed a 1974 addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This was one of very few projects completed by Tange in the United States.


I read that the ball on the top of the building weighs around 2.5 million pounds!


Palette Town is a large entertainment and shopping area in Odaiba.

The large shopping area in Palette Town is called Venus Fort. Venus Fort is an indoor shopping mall, which reminds you of being in Venice or Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.



This huge ferris wheel is also part of Palette Town. It is commonly referred to as Daikanransha and is one of the world’s largest ferris wheels.


MegaWeb is a multi-level exhibition hall where Toyota showcases their newest Lexus and Toyota cars.



I think we found a car for Shawn. The car below is called the i-swing. What do you think…rather than both of us doing the next marathon, should one of us be the coach and ride around in this during training?



Actually, I think this is the car Shawn really wants. Say hello to the 2008 (hybrid) Lexus LS 600hL. This particular model was available for the low, low price of $127,000 (USD)!

Rainbow Bridge connects Odaiba and the Shibaura area of Tokyo. The rainbow portion of the bridge name comes from the colorful lights shining on the bridge at night.


A Statue of Liberty replica…in Japan?  You can see the Rainbow Bridge in the background of this photo.



Fiesta Mexicana was taking place in Odaiba as well. There were several groups of Japanese men carrying shrine-like figurines through the crowd. They were constantly jumping up and down and really started shaking the bridge we were walking across. Needless to say, Shawn and I both got off the bridge as quickly as possible – as it was a very unsettling feeling.


I’ll have to post some more photos in the up-coming days…


Garbage Disposal

You might be thinking…What kind of topic is garbage disposal!

This is just one of those new things in which we need to refer to a handout to make sure we are doing the correct thing!

Click on the below photo to see the extensive rules.


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Translation Humor

We recently purchased some coasters and trash cans at the Yen Shop. I’m still trying to figure out what the product information is supposed to mean. 🙂


Corkstar: Very like a natural sense. Deliver kindness of the cork for your life.


Witty Trashcan: The ECO CREEN DUSTBOX is bound to make your room the most wounderful.

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A Busy Weekend

We made our way to IKEA this weekend to pick up some basic furniture for our house. In order to make a successful trip to IKEA, you must have patience. Patience with the thousands of people at the store. Patience waiting in lines. Patience communicating with people that may or may not speak English. Patience “reading” through the IKEA catalog that is written in Japanese. Patience to get your things delivered. We took our time and just tried to enjoy the adventure as much as possible! Everything is supposed to be delivered on Thursday and we’re looking forward to settling into the house a little more.

Shawn also showed me how to get to Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku. Tokyu Hands is an 8-story building filled with an endless mix of diverse merchandise. Imagine – bikes, harware, camping gear, furniture, stationery, kitchen supplies, bath linens, home decor, leather & wood products, travel accessories, and so on all under one roof. There is nothing is the U.S. to compare this store to. You can buy just about everything except for clothes and major electronic equipment at Tokyu Hands.

On our way to Tokyu Hands, we walked past Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. This store has been open since mid-December 2006 and the line continues to be huge. If you look closely on the right side of the photo, you’ll see a person in a gray shirt standing in line. The line actually re-starts with that person and continues back over a bridge!


I wonder how long the popularity will continue? I will definitely not be waiting in that line – no matter if it is long or short!

We hope everyone had a nice weekend.

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It’s a Good Day to be a Cyclone


To the 99.99% of my family who are Hawkeye fans…….I am so sorry for your loss on Saturday.

To the remainder of us (I believe there are only 3) who chose to attend and support a winning school…..GO CYCLONES!

Oh yeah – Shawn just reminded me the #7 Badgers also came through with a WIN today.

Have a ‘Foggy’ Friday



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So…You Think I’m 43

I found a new shopping area today called Sasazuka Street. There are so many different sights and smells to enjoy. I will have some good photos to post over the next few days.


I was in the 100 Yen store (similar to the ‘dollar stores’ in the U.S.) while on Sasazuka Street, when I was stopped by a local woman who wanted to practice her English.

Stranger (S): Hello! How are you today?
Me (B): I am good. How are you?
S: Good – me too. Where are you from?
B: I am from Minnesota.
S: Ah – Minnnnn-eeee-soooo-taaaa.
B: Yes, Minnesota.
S: You are America?
B: Yes, I am American.
S: America in Minnesota?
B: Minnesota is in America.
S: Ah – yes. How old are you?
B: How old do you think I am?
S: Ummm – 43.
B: 43?
S: Yes, 43.
B: (Laughing) – I am younger than 43. (I told her my real age.)
S: Oh. You graduate from the university?
B: Yes.
S: In Minnnnn-eeee-soooo-taaa?
B: No, in Iowa.
S: Iowa?
B: Yes, Iowa State.
S: I do not know Iowa.
B: There is a lot of farming in Iowa.
S: I do not know what farming is.
B: Uh – lots of fields with corn and soybeans.
S: Oh, corn – beautiful!

I believe this is just the beginning of conversations like this.

Another photo from the shopping area…


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