Monday, November 26, 2012

Day Excursion

Taking a scenic drive on a Saturday afternoon isn't quite what it used to be when we were living in the States. However, I have to say, I'm really impressed with my husband for not being intimidated by the mass amount of things we have yet to learn about Japan. :) We were walking home after checking our mail when my husband said, "How about we go hunt down a Toys R Us and do some Christmas shopping?" The words, "hunt down," immediately gave me anxiety. Finding a new place isn't just as easy as punching in a name in your GPS. Our GPS (on our phones and in the car) is mostly in Japanese. My husband was convinced that he could find something nearby, however, and apparently he had a general idea of where to go thanks to some people at work.

So as much as I wanted to just stay inside, my husband gathered up our girls and we headed out in the van. It was close to lunchtime, so we started looking for places to eat along our route. You pretty much just have to guess which stores are restaurants and what kind of restaurants they are since you can't read. So when we  saw "Jonathan's Coffee and Restaurant," we immediately pulled in. Ha!

It reminded me a lot of a Denny's or an IHOP. The menu was mostly in Japanese, but as soon as the girls saw pancakes with chocolate on them, they knew what they would order. The Hubs and I just looked through the pictures and when our waitress came, I said (in Japanese), "We don't speak any Japanese," she laughed, and I just pointed to a picture.

The kids' menu.

Nothing on this page appealed to our girls....

See the chocolate pancakes at the top?

The waitress brought us all waters, but also motioned to a kind of drink bar where we could get something different for the girls. Both of them loved the little cups she brought them and Daddy filled the cups with some grape juice.

When our food came out, it looked delicious! And a nice surprise was that the girls pancakes didn't come with chocolate on them, but with a small chocolate pen with which they could decorate their pancakes. 

The only English word to describe this on the menu was, "Healthy." 

She LOVES Japanese "soup."

It was a lovely lunch, and I think it ended up being below $30 US. Not bad! One thing that I like about Japanese restaurants is that at every table, there is a little button. The waiter/waitress doesn't come to check on you every few minutes, but instead, you push the button when you need something. Why don't we do this in the US? 

LOVE this picture of Daddy and daughter.
When we left Jonathan's, we decided to head towards Yokohama to find a Toys R Us. And, believe it or not, we did! We parked in the parking garage and went inside to let the girls check out all the toys. There are toys there that are also sold in US stores, but there are lots of Japanese toys too. And you would never know that the kids can't read Japanese because they tried to play all the little video games, watched toy videos and stood "ooh-ing and aah-ing" over just about every toy they saw. We left the store and decided to head home on a more scenic route. 

Funny thing is, taking the scenic route in Japan is not the same as taking the scenic route in the US. They drive slower here and there is a LOT more traffic. I think it took us 2 hours to get home, especially when we ended up driving through a historic district that was PACKED with tourists for the weekend. We were also stuck behind some motorcyclists for a while, which made my husband long for the bike we used to have. It was a beautiful day for a ride. 

I'm so thankful that my husband is willing to take a chance and try new things. I was the one that really wanted to move to Japan, but he's been much more willing to get out of his comfort zone now that we are here. We are going to go on a tour of Mt. Fuji this weekend and I can't wait to share pictures of that trip.

I'm really starting to enjoy Japan. :)

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