Sunday was the perfect day for an afternoon picnic, especially when it meant catching up with my favorite creative girl from New York while she was in town.
The great thing about Shinjuku Gyoen is that it’s never too crowded (well, maybe except for hanami season) and it really is a green oasis in the middle of the city. The warm fall sun and cool breeze felt amazing as we spent the afternoon chatting away.
I wish I had more days like this. It’s so relaxing and nothing beats being with friends.
But all too soon, the melody signifying the park closing began to play…so we packed up and stepped back outside into the city.
Just a side note, did you know that the song that notifies people of facilities closing here sounds like Auld Lang Syne, but it’s actually the Farewell Waltz from the old movie Waterloo Bridge? I mean, that song is also based on Auld Lang Syne so technically it’s the same thing. But who knew that this tragic movie was so popular in Japan that the soundtrack was used as a way to let people know that something is ending?
The things you learn when you’re fact checking your blog post.
Anyways, I didn’t really take all that many photos (too busy talking as always) but here are a few smiles from our picnic 🙂
You know you have a good friend when they’ll wake up at the crack of dawn to have breakfast with you when you’re in town.
We decided to meet up at Veselka in the East Village. Leave it to New York to have a 24 hour Ukrainian diner and let me tell you, it was was amazing. (Remind me, I need to find a Ukrainian place in Tokyo!)
I love catching up with a grade school friends and it always tickles me to no end when I realize that we’re both grown ups now. I mean, when did that happen?
After breakfast, I took the train back to my hotel, which I’d been wanting to do forever. Work trips usually mean we have a car service but I’d heard and read about so many people complaining about how horrible the subway in New York was, I had to try it.
But train ride was smooth sailing all the way to Grand Central Station, with no delays, accidents, or crazy people. This unfortunately meant no subway horror stories to take back with me.
Ah well, maybe next time?
We landed in JFK before noon and and headed straight out to find food.
There were multiple calls for burgers so we settled on this little nook in Brooklyn called James, since it was just down the road from our destination.
It always takes me a minute to get used to American service, which includes a LOT more conversation than Japan. Not that it’s a bad thing, just different. Japanese service means I tend to jump straight into ordering, especially when we’re all starving, but then I remember that saying hello and all that small talk jazz are part of the American culture and adjust accordingly 🙂
After our delicious brunch we headed out to see a little bit more of Brooklyn.
This flight was very educational.
I learned that JAL curry was as delicious as everyone says it is.
And I always love the view out the window, but I have also discovered the joys of Deadliest Catch, quite possibly the best TV show on flights ever.
I’m already looking forward to my next flight, just to see this.
So Japan apparently has an American Football league.
My friend got tickets and so I got to tag along. I have to say, when we got there, there were actually a surprising number of people in the stands cheering the teams on.
That was until the half time show, where a bunch of energetic kids did their cheer routine and we quickly realized that over half of the people were the parents, waiting to take photos of their kids performances.
Needless to say, there were a few more seats available in the second half of the game.
We had a great time though!