Anyway- we took the train to Yokohama (express train baby!) and transfered to the Tokyu Toyoda line and headed for Gakugeidaigaku station.
I repeat- Gakugeidaigaku station. Bit of a mouthful to say- I lovingly renamed it "googoo gaga" station- much easier to say. Sissy thought that was the funniest thing she ever heard- I love 7 year olds- they are so easily amused. :-)
Back to my story. We got off at googoogaga station and proceeded to find something delicious to eat. There is a little shop right outside that had some lovely obentos- but they didn't have any seating (kind of more "take-out). So we decided to proceed down the road. We found Starbucks. Tempting- but I reminded myself we always end up eating at Starbucks or Tullys or Krispie Kreme. I wanted some good Japanese food. We finally found what looked like some yummy gyoza. So we stepped inside the little bitty restaurant and ordered the best lunch I have had in a while! We had a large bowl of ramen, gyoza and chicken nuggets. Don't think "McDonalds"- no these were lumpy real unprocessed chicken thigh meat. The Japanese are spot on with chicken nuggets I tell you. Sissy also ordered what looked like two balls of something coated with sesame seeds. We had no idea what they were- but what the heck- the food was cheap so why not? They turned out to be filled with mochi. I actually liked it this time- the sesame seed coating/crust complimented to mochi's sweetness just right. I was delightfully surprised at that.
The small shrine we found
Notice the fox on the right is nursing her pup?
The photo shoot was long but fun. The photography staff were just gaga over Sissy. They kept saying "kawai!" which means "cute", in reference to her. Today she modeled jewelry- a little different then last time. I'll post pictures once it's safe to do so- don't want to get in trouble.
Oh geez- I forgot to tell you what happened before the photo shoot! We made it to Starbucks after all- all the walking made us want a little snack. I was planning on getting something iced- but they had sakura flavored drinks and pastries. Sakura means "cherry blossom". I wasn't sure if it would be any good- but the frappuccino was so pink and pretty I had to give it a go. Sissy picked out a little sort of bread that was sakura flavored (and pretty and pink as well.) In fact- there was a real cherry blossom on top.
That sakura frappuccino was divine! Sissy's desert was good- but not as good as my frap! I can't exactly put my finger on the flavor- kind of tasted like cloves and maybe pumpkin? I don't know- it was just good.
My delicious cherry blossom frap
After the photo shoot we stopped at this lovely little park called Himonya Park. We are planning a trip back as the petting zoo and the pony stalls were closed. But we did find the little temple resting on a tiny island in the middle of the park's lake. We walked to whole park and then I let Sissy blow off some steam and play in the playground for a just a bit (it was starting to get dark and hence rush hour on the train.) As it turns out- it is a famous park and very old. Who knew?
Front view of bridge to temple.
Sideview of the bridge.
I am not sure if this counts as a Torii gate?
We didn't avoid rush hour- but it wasn't too bad. Let me to tell you -Sissy is a totally different child then the one that rode on the train with me when we first got here. She no longer complains about having to stand when there are no seats and she WHISPERS! That is a feat in itself.
She went to bed a happy little girl tonight. She loved our mommy/daughter day she told me. I think the icing on the cake was when I ordered a Happy Meal for myself- just like her. She thought it was for Brother- when I said it was for me- she hugged me right there in the middle of McD's.
I have to say I will go to bed happy tonight as well!
Oh- we saw the cutest bulldog at the park. He walked right up to the water spiggot and started to lick it- then his owner turned on the water for him and the bulldog proceeded to drink. Too cute! The picture is a little off kilter because I was trying to play it off like I was taking a picture of Sissy and not the dog.
Update: It took me three days to finish this post (that is why it is so wordy)- plus I wanted to get the pictures up as well.
After doing a little research- I realized that there are THOUSANDS of shrines in Japan. The one we visited is very small so therefore it doesn't deem a mention in any of the websites I looked up. But- I did find out that it is an Inari shrine- due to the foxes with the red bibs that guard the entrance. I'll have to research some more so I can give a more educated description than that!
And lastly- I can now pronounce (after much practice) Gakugeidaigaku. That is my accomplishment for the week. :-)