With Ellie finally a little more normal with her sleeping, and us a little less on edge, we decided to head out on the town to explore a little more.  We didn’t want to have a full nap again, just a catnap stroller nap and going out would work perfect.  We were going to check out where the main train station was located and then head to a shopping area to hit one of Aya’s favorites, the 100 yen shop.  It’s the Japanese dollar store.

Just a few blocks from Aya’s parents place is a shrine right in the middle of the neighborhood.  They had a dedicated area for the Earthquake victims and survivors.  You could fold origami cranes and they would string it for you.  Cranes represent happiness and longevity and is considered a good luck symbol.  It’s believed that a thousand origami cranes strung(Sembazuru) together will grant one’s wish.

I love the look of all the streets and side streets.  They all pretty much look the same to me, but it never gets old.  I’m still amazed at how narrow they are and how two lane traffic, bicycles and pedestrians make it up and down these streets all the time.  I’m convinced if I were to drive a car here I would get into a lot of accidents.

The local train station seems to be a city center for a lot of towns.  And what every city needs is a Denny’s, a  7-11, and a bakery all ready for Halloween.

Once at the mall area, we saw a Mister Donut place and just had to stop.  Mister Donut is like Dunkin’ Donuts.  They have your standards, but they also have ones with a little different flavor.  Tofu, black sesame, orange chocolate, and even soy sauce!  They also have a whole selection made with Japanese mochi flour which gives them a very chewy unique texture.  We got a point card and if we earn 150 points I can get a mug.  We have 33 points so far.  Wish me luck! 

After our donut break, we saw a crepe truck.  Crepes are another very popular sweet in Japan.  I’ve never seen a crepe mobile before though.  I’ll definitely be getting a crepe before we go home.  One of my favorite treats!  And then I saw an ice cream vending machine.  I love this place!

Ellie napped for about an hour while we were out. She went o down easy at 8pm and slept all the way until just after 6am. Yes! Take that jet lag! It was a big relief to see that we could still be out and about while enjoying ourselves and Ellie.

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