Shop Rocket Fuel
- 30 days of biking (26)
- Artwork (8)
- Bike Products (30)
- Cooking (14)
- Creativity (12)
- Cycling (4)
- D.I.Y. Tuesday (97)
- Events (100)
- Fashion (16)
- Giveaways (2)
- Holidays (39)
- In the Studio (22)
- In training (37)
- Instagram (220)
- New Releases (92)
- Press (63)
- Ride to (6)
- Riding in style (14)
- Site News (32)
- The Daily Tweed (27)
- This and That (7)
- Tour de France (3)
- Uncategorized (4)
- View from the afternoon walk wp.me/p3wi59-18j 53 minutes ago
- View from the afternoon walk wp.me/p10IZN-UA 10 hours ago
- This cloud is totally shaped like a fish wp.me/p10IZN-Uy 1 week ago
- Found out niece is into Star Wars am going for coolest Aunt ever by making this for her family.go.com/crafts/craft-1… 1 week ago
- @igitdog my road ID has the same Elzar quote on it too. Makes me giggle 1 week ago
Tag Archives: be@rbrick
Things here in the studio have been busy as am sewing up orders, making new pieces for the site, organising the Sydney Tweed Ride and of course watching the Tour de France.
So today I am sharing some drawings The Englishman has been adding to his blog. Click on each drawing to see the story behind the bear.
Yesterday I shared the story of our last day in Tokyo and the lost be@rbricks. For a truly astonishing “only in Japan” tale head on over to The Englishman’s blog to read about the rest of the story.
Over the next few weeks I’ll have more photos and stories to tell about Japan including a whole heap of great bike stuff we spotted while we were there.
Woke up to a stunningly sunny day and was sad that this would be our last day in Japan. But no time to mope we had to make the most of our last day.
Lockering our bags at Tokyo station we also took the time to book our tickets on the Narita Express train (NEX) it only leaves once an hour for the express so good idea to book ahead.
Some quality fashion spotting in Harajuku was next and then we finally found the green tea shop we’d been hunting for on the day of FAIL. Cho Cho Na Ma is super cute.
More cafe than tea shop so we decided to grab some lunch there. The food portions are so huge it kind of was like lunch and dinner rolled into one. But the prices were reasonable and the food was yummy.
Once again I had some issues with my ordering. The English description was sauteed ginger with vegetables and rice. I thought that sounded great and The Englishman had chosen hashed mushrooms. It turned out my sauteed ginger was sauted pork! So we swapped meals and all was well. The hashed mushrooms turned out to be a thick almost stew like mix of mushrooms, root vegetables and sauce on mixed rice. We also picked up some green tea to bring home with us.
We took a walk through the back streets of Harajuku to walk off the enormous food portions and finally found KiddyLand! It’s this great toy store which used to be on the main intersection but has been moved due to construction. We saw some be@rbricks there but decided to head back to Shibuya and 1/6 and get some more there before we left.
In Shibuya there was some kind of Pirates of the Carribbean treasure hunt walk on which of course meant someone dressed up their cat as a pirate.
Some shopping and a stop at 1/6 to pick up more be@rbricks and then head on over to Akihabra but not before once last crazy dash through Shibuya crossing.
At Aikihabra we went to Yobidashi electronics store and got a few pieces including a crazyily tacky pink hello kitty phone cover for me (I mean if you can’t leave Japan with one totally pink crazy accessory what’s the point of going to Japan? ha ha no really it was so bad I had to have it).
Back at Tokyo station we were packing the days purchases into our luggage when The Englishman asked me for the be@rbricks. I said you’ve got them, he said no you’ve got them. Searching through our bags from the day and they weren’t there, they’d been lost. I was devastated, even though they weren’t very expensive they were something we’d brought ourselves from our trip and I’d lost them. With not enough time to go back and search for them there was nothing to do but wait for the NEX and in my case have a cry. Such a bad way to end such a good holiday I was just so upset at having ruined everything.
At the airport we were leaving from the second terminal and almost nothing was open, nowhere to get food and the only stores were luxury handbag places so it was impossible to even buy some snacks for the plane. Jetstar had changed our original flight plan so now we were going from Narita to Osaka and then on to Cairns before having an 8 hour wait in Cairns before heading to Sydney.
We’d been told when we booked in at Narita to not get any liquids there but to wait and get them in Osaka as we’d have to go through a second security check. Problem was once we got to Osaka the stores were all closed. Literally only one tiny little cafe was open. It sold out of almost everything as everyone was trying to get some food for the flight and buy a drink. Plus it meant no duty free of any kind. Nice way to screw over your customers Jetstar.
The flight ended up leaving after midnight local time. Being a night flight we thought they’d have the lights turned down and we’d get some sleep and it would make a long flight seem not too bad. How wrong we were. It seems Jetstar no longer has hosts on it’s flights more like sales people who ruthlessly shove their overpriced crap products at you relentlessly for the length of the flight. Till well after 3am it was the sales assistants walking the aisles calling out over and over again what products they had and how you could purchase them for. Finally the lights were slightly dimmed but only for about 2 hours because by 5am the sales pitches started again and continued for the rest of the flight.
Arriving at Cairns airport with almost no sleep and no food since lunch the following day you are then shoved through the duty free store which only stocks to most common of alcohol and none of the Sake we’d actually hoped to pick up from the Japanese duty free (considering Jetstar flew us via a route that made it impossible to buy any duty free I would take a guess they either own the duty free store in Cairns or at least are shareholders in it).
Through customs and picked up our bags and headed straight to the domestic terminal where we were greeted with the sight of huge numbers of bike bags and boxes. Seems a triathalon had been on over the weekend and everyone was heading home.
Speaking to some of the ground staff I managed to get us on the next flight to Sydney instead of having to wait till almost 4pm to get on a flight (it was now about 8am). A quick flight back to Sydney then a train and finally back to a very noisy but well cared for cat.
It was a wonderful holiday but just so upset that the last few hours were ruined by me losing the be@rbricks and then by the horrible flight back.
Today was utterly exhausting! We got back to the Kangaroo late last night and put some washing on and repacked our bags. We figured with only one night left we wanted to make sure we had enough room to fit everything into our bags.
I’d not long gone to sleep but wasn’t yet in deep sleep when I was suddenly woken, disorientated I couldn’t figure out what was happening when I heard the Englishman say “it’s ok it’s just an earthquake”. Half asleep it all felt very odd like being shaken from side to side but bigger somehow. It only lasted a few moments and all was quiet again.
In the morning we made a plan of all the places we wanted to re visit, pick things up and take a look at for the day.
First stop, back at kitchenware street to pick up some pieces. Spotted this very cool plate delivery bicycle.
From there we went to Akihabra electronics district to take a look at some of the comic and toy collectables stores. Fell in love with way too much vintage Star Wars merchandise but managed to resist buying out the entire store. Next on our list was Ginza. Not wanting to revisit the day of fail when it came to food we found this yummy looking rice bento (which was mostly vegetarian).
While we’d been in Kyoto we’d started collecting stamps from the JR train stations. Now that we knew what to look for we started spotting them in Tokyo and added to our collection.
Would love to know the story behind the stamps. Is it some kind of collector game for kids? Is it just for big train nerds? It doesn’t appear to be for tourists as it has almost no English signage on them at all. Not only were they fascinating the images were really beautiful.
Ginza was shut down to car traffic and opened up for bikes and pedestrians. It even had chairs and tables in the middle of the street!
We did some shopping and when we came back on the street my feet were just aching. We thought we’d enjoy the sunshine and sit down on the curb for a bit. I am so glad we did this because not only did my feet need a break by taking a rest we spotted the best ever wiener dog. Now as many of you know we keep count of our wiener dog sightings, in Japan the count skyrockets as they seem to be the small dog of choice. We saw some almost every day. But this one was the best sighting ever.
He’s wearing pants and a shirt and a natty hat!!! So exciting and so adorable. He had his eye on that food and was rewarded for being a good dog and sitting still while his owner ate.
After the spotting of the ultimate wiener dog it was over to Shibuya to check out a store selling be@rbricks to add to our collection. A tiny little store it had a great selection and the sales assistant even snuck 2 free limited edition be@rbricks into our bag. Awesome loot as they are not available anywhere else but from that store.
Tokyu Hands was next on my list and I took the time to well and truly stock up on Japanese stationary, craft items and MT tape! Clothing stores were next on our shopping list and we spent some time picking up some pieces. I got some “goal pieces” for summer. So when all my training pays off I’ll have some new clothes to wear.
In search of more be@rbricks we’d read that Isetan in Shinjuku might be a good place to get some. Sadly it seemed they didn’t stock them anymore. Possibly it was a pop up shop instore? We’re not sure, but while we were in Shinjuku we took a look at some of the Pachinko and games arcades. The Pachinko parlours are really loud and vaguely confusing. We tried to figure out how it all worked but even watching people we had no idea what was going on. The games arcades were easier to figure out and even had demon looking bunnies to win.
Rainy start to today, not bad just drizzly. Undeterred by the elements we caught the bus to Ginkakuji (Silver temple), on the way we had to swap buses so went to a Lawson (convenience store) to get some pastries for breakfast. I grabbed a danish and this cute wrapped one that felt all soft and squishy so I assumed muffin or cake of some kind. I gave the wrapped one to the Englishman and started eating my danish. Laughter soon followed as what I thought was a cake ended up being a cheeseburger!
Ginkakuji (Silver temple) is built on the side of the hill and while relatively simple it’s the raked gardens and extensive moss garden that make it so impressive. With the slight drizzle of rain the moss looked even more rich and green.
The street leading up to the temple is tiny and twisting, packed with small shops selling souvenirs and food. We got this super cool potato that has been cut into a spiral and threaded onto a skewer and then cooked. So yummy and such a great idea. They were also selling cucumbers on a stick that were stored in ice. We saw this many times and while cucumber is nice I can’t really imagine gnawing a whole stick of it as I wandered through a tourist spot?
Last time I was in Kyoto my friends who were living there at the time booked me in to get dressed up in traditional clothes. It was so much fun. You saw the photo of that here so this time we thought we’d book in again.
It takes a few hours (for the women about 20 minutes for the guys) as you need to get all your makeup done and the many layers of clothes. Both times I have been dressed as a Maiko which kind of translates to apprentice Geisha. Maiko outfits tend to be brighter and more patterned while Geisha outfits tend to more plain and almost sombre so it’s a bit more fun to be a Maiko.
With the multiple layers of clothes, belts, cushions for padding and heavy make up you feel huge like you can barely move but the skilled workers who help you put it all on are very good and make it as easy as possible. Here I’ve got my wig on (my blonde hair is tucked up under a hair net underneath) and am getting my belts adjusted.
I’ll share the professional photos another day but even though it seems like such a “tourist” thing to do it is worth it. You get some great photos but learning how all the clothes get put together and the time and care it must take to do that every day is really fascinating. We went to Studio Shiki and found them to be great. If you can go on a fine day as some of the plans allow you to walk around outside and you can get some great photos. Also they only take cash payment no credit cards.
After finally getting all that white makeup off (takes longer to take off than put on) we walked up the hill to Kiyomizu temple. Parts of it are currently undergoing reconstruction and conservation work but the views are still breathtaking.
We kept passing these girls we had seen earlier, they were dressed in traditional clothing and out for the day (a not uncommon sight) and they fitted the surrounding so well.
On our way back down from the temple we got some of the best steam buns I’ve ever had at this tiny little shop. Mine was filled with fresh made tofu and came with a honey soy sauce. The Englishman had sweet chestnut mixed with red bean. Delicious!
After a day of temples, shrines and getting dressed up we did some shopping and started adding some be@rbricks to our collection. Be@rbricks are cute little collectable toys which you buy in a box but you don’t know which one you get till you actually open the box.