17 hours in Tokyo ~ launch of Climadapt face masks

Wrapping up our 100 days in Viet Nam, an opportunity for a grant that we have been working on for 18 months, for our amphibious housing project, yanks us back to Nicaragua.  

While booking our ticket, we find one particular routing that allows us to have a super long lay-over in Tokyo- 17 hours in fact.  From wheels down in Narita airport north of Tokyo, to wheels up from Haneda airport, 2 hours away, we’ve got 17 hours to play with. 


First stop: Akasaka-Mitsuke neighborhood.  Good place to leave our bags at a large hotel for the day.  This used to be Ben’s neighborhood when he worked in Tokyo two decades ago, and he has a plan for our breakfast.

Huge Koi fish as much a symbol of Japan as the red rising sun.  Bright orange and white.


So, like characters in a fast paced thriller, we zig and zag through Tokyo to have a shot of … Tokyo.  

Japanese Kanji. A lot of writing to say “no entry”
Restaurants dedicated to eating the FUGU fish. A deadly blow fish which is a delicacy despite its lethality.
3D blow fish above another Fugu restaurant.
Ramen shops a plenty. An efficient use of tickets to pre select your  ramen dish,  pre pay and take the ticket to the chef to get your dish.
The infamous plastic food which displays the dishes you can order inside the restaurant.
Dessert display of Japanese treats outside the shop.

 

Second stop: a subway ride away, to Harajuku —  Tokyo’s hip fashion neighborhood where all the designers compete for an ever trendy audience.
Japan has the largest subway system in the world. Lucky Ben has experience navigating this maze of  subway lines.
Many Japanese sport these white surgical masks as seen here on a woman in the subway with her infant.
Illustrating a Japanese trend towards androgony

 

Woman next to me on the subway with a black skull attache case.
Harajuku neighborhood
A wallpaper of sushi options!!
Sushi train for a sampling of sushi.

In Harajuku, we start work for the day. Specifically we shoot for the sky by going to the LaForet Museum which is the hippest building in the hippest neighborhood. Here we hope to find our first store customer in Japan.

Super cool fashion ~ edgy, androgenous, practical and FUN!

Harajuku is the obvious place for us to dip our toes in the Japanese market with our climadapt face masks.   
Crowded and fashionable pretty much sums up Harajuku neighborhood.. Great people watching!
This dude is really cool. Great look! Definitely interested in his opinion of our fashion forward face masks.
Its a big hit!
First Tokyo resident gives the climadapt face mask a huge thumbs up ~ or equivalent thereof…
Laforet Museum: The coolest building fashion wise in the coolest neighborhood of Japan’s capital.


 
Even the mannequins have pidgeon toes.

Ultimate of sexy in Japan ~ pidgeon toes. The hottest girls, in interesting outfits sporting high pigtails of all sorts, mini skirts, and the toes inwards…. which completes the look.


First huge fan ~ this blue haired beauty. For her only a blue mask will do!

 


Japanese who wear masks, wear white masks, but after seeing these brightly colored fashion forward ones, both girls loved them. Note the coy “hands on sides of face” poses. These two girls are working in a shop which sells “stick on” nails with bold designs, for hands.

“YES! I would definitely wear this!” Apparently is the approximate translation from Japanese

 

The owner of a store which sells eclectic tights, temporary lip tatoos and other boldly designed accessories. We had at least twenty conversations which would have been impossible without Ben’s Japanese language skills.
H>FRACTAL store owners ~ considering purchasing Climadapt face masks for their store…

“This is good.”
“Paisley, paisley. YES we like paisley.”


Owner of H>Fractal with 10,000 yen. Our first sale!
H>Fractal store ~ clothing and accessories for men. The first store to carry Climadapt face mask


Want to know more about Climadapt face masks? go to www.climadaptsolutions.com

After a few hours of work testing the market for our facemasks and getting a store to carry them, we are ready for a change of pace…. Long walk in the nearby forest which leads to Meiji Shrine.

A long wall of huge sake barrels piled up ~ along the pathway in the forest on the way to the Shrine.
 


“Emas” are wooden votive tablets from temples and shrines where people write their personal prayers ~ and hang them around a huge divine tree in the center. When we lived in Highland Park, we had Ben’s collection of Emas from all over Japan (collected during the five years he lived there), hanging on the balcony of our deck.

 

Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo.








 

So by now, we are starting to feel tired anfter spending a night on the plane and having walked and seen and are ready for a rest… before another night on the plane to the U.S. We are going to find Japanese hot baths.  Perfect way to spend a few relaxing hours in Tokyo. 

This very friendly guy helped us navigate a complex change of subway stations to get from the Shrine to our next stop….An Onsen ~~ JAPANESE hot baths. Oh, he looks like an investment banker… but… he is a taxi driver.

Having heard about Japanese hot baths over the years, from Ben, I am excited to be going to one to try it out. Usually these are in the country side, but we find one a few subway stops away in Tokyo! 

This city “onsen” (hot bath) is more modern than a traditional onsen and is located on the 3rd to 8th floor inside a large shopping complex. 

However, great care has gone toward the Japanese aesthetics of an onsen and the section pictured below, is only one of many different pool options. There was one with jacuzzi massage, a few of varying heat… Men and women have separate facilities and it is open all night. 

 Hot springs and hot water are very hot on my personal list of favorite things.
The onsen does NOT disappoint! 

Upon arrival we get a basket with a towel and an outfit to wear after the baths, when relaxing in the large relaxation room, which has rows and rows of ultra comfortable chaise lounge type beds with options of personal tv screens, blankets. 

The baths are packed with lots of naked Japanese women (I am definitely the only gaijin around), soaking in the tubs with hot towels on their heads, socializing with friends and enjoying a moments respite from the hectic pace of Tokyo outside the walls of the onsen.

Relaxed after soaking and sleeping, we are ready to head to Haneda airport for our overnight flight to San Francisco. When we board, we discover we are on the new sexy Boeing 787 ~ the largest current commercial aircraft. Wow, was it comfortable! Take comfort, add some Asian fantastic as usual customer attention and that makes for a good sleep almost the whole way to the U.S. 

6 thoughts on “17 hours in Tokyo ~ launch of Climadapt face masks

  1. Gili

    Nice job on getting in to your first store! Perhaps Japan and other Far East countries would be a more receptive market than North America. I’ve seen those plastic food menus in Vancouver as well. Hope to make it out to Japan soon.

  2. Nicole

    Looks like you made the most of those 17 Hours! I remember those plastic food plates, they look so real!! Hope you get lots of orders for masks 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Dear Peta,
    Thank you for exposing me to a little of your fun in SE Asia. I didn’t realize until today that you were going back to N. Seems like a nice place to go and spend the winter. Hugs, Charles

  4. Kris

    YOU GUYS ARE F***ING AMAZING!!! So much passion, drive and love for life can be felt throughout everything you undertake and share!! A true inspiration! Love x