Amezakui, Robots and Karaoke.

As a kid I was always obsessed with the art of glass blowing. I wanted to be a glass blower as a profession, but clearly that didn’t take off. When I saw a picture of Amezakui, which is like glass blowing for sugar candy, I knew I had to try it. I found the place that sells them, and then found their head office. Luckily, the office does offer workshops, albeit all in Japanese. They have an instruction sheet in English, so that was good enough for me, I signed up.

I walked there on a quiet, sleepy Sunday morning in the neighborhood. Streets were empty besides a few joggers, elders playing croquet and occasionally some folks off to work on a bicycle. I arrived far too early so I decided to look for a place to eat and warm up. I definitely could have used a warmer coat. There weren’t many places open but eventually I came across one. It was the most charming cafe! They were playing quiet music, had warm blankets and gave me an English menu that included a map and history of the town. After finishing my breakfast, the barista gave me a complimentary piece of tiramisu. Then, upon leaving, they gave me a cookie that said thank you on it! It was such a sweet hospitable experience. I also stopped at another Shrine on my way there. I love how these Shrines are placed in very populated areas of the city (or perhaps vice versa, the cities were built around them).

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The workshop started at 11am  and included 4 Japanese girls and me. They were kind enough to translate a few things to me that they thought were important to know. Although, I was able to follow along pretty easily by just watching the instructor. Our Amezakui design was a rabbit, the difficulty level rated as low. Ha! We were given 2 practice rounds before doing our final one. I was laughing so hard at our first ones, they were all pretty bad. Mine seemed to get better though and by my final third attempt, I thought it turned out okay. I’d love to try and do this back home and perfect it. They don’t ship overseas, but I’m going to attempt to carry mine and one I bought back home.

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On the way back, I stopped in the sky tree tower. I didn’t go all the way up, but I did do some shopping in the mall on the fourth level. Everything is so fun to shop because it’s all very colorful and cute. My sister and I used to be addicted to Sanrio as kids so of course I had to stop and buy some things to bring home.

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I took a quick rest and watched another episode of Outlander before heading to Shinjuku to see the infamous Robot Restaurant. Everyone recommended it and now I understand why! It was the most tacky, fun, and entertaining show! It was necessarily “high-tech” like I expected it to be, and it was in a much smaller room than I imagined. This, however, made it that much better. The intimate room put you up close to all of the action. I was seated next to a woman from London who was fun and during breaks she gave me advice on other things to do around here. While drinking sake and waving around a glow stick I enjoyed the theatrical show about robots taking over the world. They ended with a tune by Bruno Mars and I was sad to see it end.

 

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With new found energy I decided to try and find one of the places the woman had told me about. Specifically, this one that is a “host” bar where the guys tell you you’re beautiful. Sounds perfect! I failed to find it, but I did stumble across this hole in the wall karaoke bar. I enjoyed conversing with some of the locals who for my sake did speak English. I sang my go-to karaoke song, Nelly’s Hot in Herre and a few other ballads that others signed me up for. Eventually bed was calling and after a stop for food I made my way back to the hostel.

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