Dinosaurs and a chain of restaurants

As Shinjuku gradually drifts into whatever passes for sleep in this ever partying town so must I. In sadness at leaving Japan.

Today was food, shopping and a dose of dinosaurs.

The hunt for breakfast was a frustrating one. Alex wanted the Vie De France bakery, but that lead us wandering both East and West Shinjuku and ending up eating burgers at First Kitchen.

We caught the Yamanote Line to Ueno’s National Museum of Nature and Science. A special “Dinosaur Expo” of magnificent skeletons and fossil on display was our first destination.

The main part of the museum had an excellent display of the history of the universe and life on Earth from the Big Bang to civilisation. Meteorites to hominid skulls and satellites.

Unfortunately the rest of the museum really required a tablet with English translations that, in our round about entrance, we hadn’t hired. Also, B and Alex were very hungry so we hurried through much of the rest of the museum.

There were interesting displays on mechanical computers, an old scanning television and a Mitsubishi Zero aircraft. You can also peer at a piece of comet dust from the Japanese probe to comet Itoigawa.

Ueno Park was rich and green now that the cherry trees had finished blossoming. Some youth played a game of baseball. One shot saw the ball get stuck in a tree.

We walked to Ameyoko Street in search of food. B insisted on a sushi bar, but none of us like the raw tuna. With Alex still hungry we found ourselves in Ringer Hut, a champo chain, eating gyoza.

Akihabara was next, to get model railway supplies from Yodobashi Akita. And a stop at Vie De France.

We had spotted a number of interesting stops along the Chuo Line. The kind of local places I wrote about.

We caught a train to Musashi-Koganei. There B went shopping at a Ito-Yokado, a low end department store. I was feeling very tired and quite ill. Fortunately, there was a place to sit.

In the surrounding area we found a small supermarket that had exactly what we were looking for: 80C jelly. It was dinner time and a couple of floors up was a Saizeriya, a cheap “Italian” family restaurant. I said we should try a family restaurant and here was a chance.

The servings were generous and the food nice. B and I actually had “hamburgers,” which means the meat patty done Japanese style.

On the way back we stopped at Kichioji. I’d found a large Loft store there, but as we passed through the covered arcade we discovered a drug store selling Shiseido Kuruya body wash, very hard to find.

Loft was full of things we didn’t need until we saw them. Bought lots of stationery for Alex and some Star Wars stuff.

Kichioji looked great. Must return one day.

Back in Shinjuku one last chain restaurant, Cafe Gusto, for dessert. Whenever we want dessert we can’t find it. Every other time the displays are everywhere, tempting us.

And so we walked back through the late night crowds of Shinjuku, under the bright neon lights. So sad to be leaving.

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