Paragliding with FlyBC

This past 4 day weekend 2 friends (Jackson and Jamie) and I headed to Chilliwack to go paragliding. Last year I had wanted to add some adventure to a trip to Langley for a wedding. After looking around I found this paragliding school that offered a two day school that taught you have to solo fly; FlyBC. Jackson has a similar level of thrill and adventure seek as I and was available and I had invited him to come out to join me last year. Due to a slue of complications we only got in 1 flight each. With the website quoting 3 to 5 flights we wrote to the owner, who was on vacation when we attended the school, and expressed our discontent. Jim graciously offered for us to come back and repeat the two day education at no additional cost. Once summer kicked off I had decided on this past weekend to take him up on the offer, roping Jamie into the adventure as well.

Thursday I kicked off the trip from Edmonton, driving down to my parents place in High River. After completing a few errands, meeting Jamie and picking up Jackson we were Chilliwack bound. Munchies in hand we left around 1pm.

20160609_125931

On the way to Chilliwack we made a quick stop at Emerald Lake and The Natural Bridge. Emerald Lake is such a unique green lake that is a really pretty location in the mountains. Visiting there again made me want to come back with someone special and paddle around the lake in a canoe.

We arrived in Salmon Arm around 7pm local time (8pm MDT) and decided that would be a good place to stop for dinner. We had a great dinner at the Barley Station Brew Pub, a Salmon Arm local brewery. I had the Butter Chicken, Jamie the Lobster Mac & Cheese and Jackson the Beef dip; all excellent meals.

With a late arrival expected we had reserved a room at the Chilliwack Comfort Inn. The beds were decent, although a bit small and the shower was great. A nice clean room that was convenient, just what we needed.

Friday we made our way to Jims facility after getting some snacks/lunch. We arrived around 9:30am and it was still pretty miserable outside, Mother Nature trying to decide if it was going to rain. We kicked things off watching some instructional videos. After that we headed up into the loft of the barn and did some harness fitting and practice hanging. Following that we headed back downstairs for some theory breakdown on paragliding and how a wing flies and some of the physics behind it, some key terms too. Shortly after lunch things began to clear up and we were able to head out into the training field and get some kiting practice under our belts.

The weather continued to sway in our favour and we were able to get 1 flight in from the Woodside launch site, this launch site is within landing distance of Jims field.

Upon landing we were hopeful to get in a second flight. Unfortunately at that point the wind had died and changed direction on us and that second flight didn’t come to fruition. We were very glad to get one flight in on what started off as such a poor weather day.

20160611_072822

Following that we headed back to Chilliwack to find a restaurant to eat at. When Jackson and I had come last year we had scoped out a Greek restaurant but they were closed the night we went to try and eat there. Attempt 2 at The Greek Islands Restaurant was more successful. We had another great meal here, I would highly recommend this restaurant. Jackson had arranged for us to spend the night at his cousins house tonight to save costs. We chatted with her for a little while after we arrived and then turned in for an early bed time.

Come morning we received very nice cards from her two children before we headed off to be at Jim’s place by 8am. With poor weather in the forecast we had anticipated needing to drive to Merritt first thing. Once we arrived this plan came to fruition and we made our way to Merritt. Since we were ultimately heading back to Calgary at some point after today we drove our vehicle and Jim took the other 3 students in his van with the gear. Once we made it to the the Merritt Visitor Center we hoped in the van and did some light off-roading in the near by hills to make it to an area that was suitable for launching our paralgiding wings. Using the skills we had learned I was first to launch off the hill, armed with a radio so that Jim could instruct us in the air. I had found a nice spot to land in a nearby hay field and had touched down before any of the others had taken off. By the time the others had launched the winds had changed slightly and they were treated to a longer flight then I. Jamie being so light in his harness was largely effected by the wind and taken much further down wind then the rest of us.

With the poor drizzly weather (and winds picking up above desired speeds) beginning to creep into Merritt we decided to make our way to Cache Creek to try out luck there. Once we arrived in Cache Creek the winds were no longer blowing in the desired direction. We headed further east to Savona. Here we setup shop at a much smaller hill that was adjacent to the lake. When we first arrived the winds were much too high to go airborne. After waiting it out a bit we were able to put in a few short flights attempting to ride the winds along the ridge line. I was too busy trying to fly that I didn’t get any photos of us but I managed to get a couple photos of some other paragliders at the site with much smaller wings, attempting to ride the ridge winds as well.

We finished paragliding around 6pm or so. We decided to make the push to High River. After a quick Fast Food dinner stop in Revelstoke Jackson and I tag teamed the drive to get us home to High River around 3am. A good couple day trip to BC to do some Paragliding.

Advertisements

Boating & Hiking – The Perfect Start to the Summer

These past 4 days marked my first set of days off since I was sent back up to site, the first time since early December of last year. With my parents going away this coming week I really wanted to head out on the new Mastercraft X7 my dad has picked up this winter. (My parents are going to China to visit my sister who is teaching Enlgish there). Having planned this in advance I was able to rally a few friends together: Jamie, Heather, Jackson, Cody, and Yuki.

Pine Coulee is our go to lake for boating as it is only about 45 minutes south of High River. With the boat all loaded up with all the gear we needed we made our way to the lake. We didn’t get to the lake until about 1pm. When we arrived we were the only boat there. The winds were fairly minor making for some pretty decent conditions. The sun was out but the water was very cold, 53 degrees C. Everyone got a turn in Wake boarding and then I rounded it off with my new 2016 Radar Senate Allow Slalom ski (Shuswap 20 Year Edition) that I just bought.

After putting a few turns in and falling I decided to try out my old ski (2008 Obrien Mission) so I would have a comparison. I definitely noticed a difference between the two. The new ski had a much more aggressive feel to the ski and turned much nicer. My next days off I will try and sell my old ski.

After that Jackson got out on the surf board before we kicked off the tubing. Jamie and Cody kicked things off, first trying side by side (lying on the tube) on the crazy 8 and then lying on each other front to back; both variants we haven’t really done in the past. After their run the tube appeared to have produced a small hole somewhere forcing us to move onto the screamers. All in all a very fun first day on the lake.

After the lake we headed back to my place to take in some warmth in the hot tub. My mom came home shortly after we did and made us dinner. I caught back up with most of the gang at a house party later that night. A great day.

SUNDAY:

Sunday we had decided to go out and hike Yamnuska. We lost Cody and Yuki but added Shannon and Cam. The 6 of us headed towards Canmore before taking the Exshaw exit to get to the Yamnuska trail head. This would only be my second hike post High School. I came slightly unprepared, wearing jeans and carrying a poor cloth draw sack. It was a beautiful day, great hiking temperature.

With it still being spring there was varying amounts of snow along the hike, with there being lots of snow at the top. With this trail being quite common the path typically was not snow covered but the surrounding area had lots of snow. At one point a snowball fight broke out and I broke my bag in the process. I then found a stick and carried on the hike looking like a hobo with a stick, equip with a compass I might add.

The hike took us about 3 hours to get to the summit. Once at the summit we had a nice long rest break for about an hour, enjoying the low winds and the bright sun.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Going down this trail is probably one of the best parts of this trail. If you complete the full loop you wrap back around the from of Mount Yamnuska and there is a long scree fall line. It is here that we all raced down the long scree slope. Cam was the last one of us to run down the slope and just before the end he got caught up and ended up going for quite a tumble. As an avid skier he has quite a bit of air awareness and was able to fall primarily on his backpack, cushioning his fall. The impact of the fall broke his sunglasses, popped all his granola bar wrappers and put large dents in his metal nalgene.

After the hike we all headed back to Local Lou’s for food, beverages and some games of pool. Such a great close to an amazing weekend.

 

Car & Boat Port Rebuild

Two weekend ago I headed down from Edmonton to my parents place in High River. My dad was rebuilding half of the car and boat port in our back yard to better accommodate our new boat with the tower up. With the new boat (2003 Mastercraft X7) he picked up this winter the tower is quite heavy. As a result he wants to be able to leave the tower up all summer.

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 2.01.50 PM.png

Here is what it looked like when we started.

On Friday, April 8th my dad began the deconstruction.

DCIM114GOPRO

I came down for the weekend to help with the remainder of the construction. Jackson had come over to help out for the day. The first part of the new construction was to put in new posts on the east side of the building to support the new beam. We had a set back when we put the first truss up and realized that we had cut the posts too short!

Off to the hardware store as my dad had to pick up 3 new posts. We ended up working into the night, finishing the sheeting around 9:15pm.

Day 3 of construction, Sunday April 10 we set out to get the shingling done on the one side. I ended up getting sick half way through the day yesterday which made for a late start for me on Day 3. We got half of the shingling done and it was getting close to time for me to head back to Edmonton. We decided to tarp up the remaining roof and we would redo the entire other side next weekend. The original plan was to leave those shingles as is.

Here is a time-lapse video I put together of the construction this weekend:

 

The next weekend I came down and we finished the shingling on the west side. Jamie came out to help us with finishing off the roof.

 

And the final product:

20160417_130610

For the second weekend time-lapse I wanted to put a clock in the video. I have seen this done before and it creates a really cool effect in a time-lapse. Here are some photos of my gopro mounting setup.

And the time-lapse for the second weekend.

 

All in all a cool little project that we completed over 4 days.

Kicking Horse for Dummy Downhill & Slush Cup

This past weekend Mitch and I made our way down from Edmonton to Golden BC. I was quite thankful that Mitch had volunteered to drive as I didn’t really sleep last night. I was able to push through the day at work without too much trouble but once the sun went down during the drive I was hard pressed to stay awake.

I had used Booking.com to book a 2 night stay at the Selkirk Inn in Golden. When we arrived we were greeted by the manager. He asked us if we wanted 1st or 2nd floor. I prefer the 1st floor so you don’t have to tote your gear up and down the stairs. He didn’t really have anything on the first floor available so he ungraded us to a suite. After asking if he sold Kicking Horse list tickets he also gave us a discount on the room rate, cheaper then the 2 bedroom rate I booked online. Definitely the easiest experience to get a cheaper room rate; $100 for 2 nights + tax for $115 all in.

The room was a bit strange. They had some templates on the wall with different building material examples. There also was a strange 1 foot wide curtain in front of the full width shower curtain. Aside from a few hairs we found on our pillows we were happy with the room; the beds were firm but I didn’t mind. At a similar rate as Marys, Selkirk was better but not as great as travel lodge, but at $35/night cheaper I was happy.

Come Saturday morning Mitch and I were feeling pretty keen. We were up and out of the hotel shortly after 8am and headed down the street to McDonald’s. Apparently they were under staffed but it was the worst service I have ever seen at a McDonald’s, just terrible. It took forever. Eventually we made it up to the hill, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. It was a beautiful blue bird day and today was supposed to get HOT, around +16 C.

This was the first time that I had been out with the new skis I purchased from Ski Cellar in Calgary. I picked up a pair of 182cm Salomon ROCKER2 108 with the Rossignal FKS 120 bindings on their spring sale. It took me a few runs to get used to these skis as they are very different then what I am used to. I picked these up because I wanted a more poppy playful ski and these were definitely that. Once I got used to how they rode I had a lot of fun becoming more of the poppy bouncy skier I have typically seen Mitch be.

We were headed up the Gondola around 10 after 9. The snow started off pretty firm in the shaded areas and was a bit chundery on the south facing aspect under the Stairway to Heaven chair. We did a couple laps here before heading up Stairway to Heaven to get to Whitewall. By this time the sun had been shining on this area for a little while and it made for some good skiing. I managed to get some nice action shots of Mitch.

Whitewall was skiing so well that we headed up for another lap. From here we headed to the lower half of the mountain and had some fun playing around down here. We grabbed the 2 man chair, Pioneer, for a lap to play in the lower half. (I haven’t rode this chair in a long time, I typically stick to Stairway to Heaven and the Gondola.) Things were definitely beginning to warm up. The snow was becoming slushy in many areas and you had to watch out for soft spots with hitting drops and jumps.

2 more quick Gondola laps and it was time to go and check out the Dummy Downhill. They had a launch ramp to the jump for the Dummies. They also had a BarBQ and beer garden area down at the base. After the Dummy Downhill a local band was scheduled to play as well.

Some action shots of the Minion sled.

Some action shots of the snowboarding dummy.

Some action shots of the Coffee Cup. It did a full front flip and landed back upright!!

At this point in the day we had already skied around 5500m of elevation, not too shabby. Mitch however was feeling pretty fatigued and not so stoked. After shedding the coats because it was so nice we put down a few more laps and finished the day just before 3pm.

20160402_125159

SKI STATS:

Screenshot_2016-04-07-21-58-18

 

Day 2 at Kicking Horse, Sunday, we slept in pretty late. We didn’t leave the hotel until about 10:30am. With the day starting out a bit firm we were not too disappointed with the sleep in. We had another terrible experience at McDonald’s before getting up to the slopes.

11:20am and we were finally on our way up on the Gondola. We kicking things off today with a bunch of laps on the Stairway to Heaven chair. Having started later in the day today things were skiing pretty nice. It was nice sunny spring skiing slush conditions. We put 1 lap in on Whitewall before heading down to the base to watch the slush cup.

After our break to catch the slush cup action we only had time for 1 more run as we wanted to take off early to get back to Edmonton at a decent time. We decided to hit up Whitewall again since it was skiing really nice earlier today. We went closer to the ski boundary this time and we each found a nice line. I found a nice steep and pretty narrow chute to ski down.

20160403_122427

Good view. No Pee Pee.

SKIS STATS:

Screenshot_2016-04-07-21-58-25

Also, I put together some cell phone videos I took this weekend. There is a pretty cute kid who sends it in a horse costume at the slush cup and Mitch getting some pretty good air off a natural jump.

Day 62: Fly Day & the End of my Sabbatical

Today Kees and I had planned to meet Cody at Tokyo Station and then head over to the Imperial Palace. This week is one of two special times during the year where they open Inui Street to the public. With the timing being right for such a special event I thought it would be worth it to get there early and wait in line to get in. A quick word of caution for those using a capsule hotel. It quite often is very busy in the morning and our checkout took about 20 minutes of waiting in line. We left our bags in some lockers in the Tokyo station.

Here are the photos of the area once we got through, it only took us about 25 minutes to get through the lineup since we arrived before it opened at 10am, and here is a map of the route they open.

Once near the end of the route we took the route out that lead to the East Gardens of the Imperial Palace, this park. We went and checked out the Tenshudai (Remains of the main tower). The only thing left here is the foundation from the 5 story castle; you could see fire scouring marks on some of the foundation blocks. We hung out in this park for about an hour, sitting on the grass and just chatting, enjoying the beautiful warm weather. They also had some nice cherry blossoms in the park.

Around 11:30am we started to make out way back to the Tokyo station. Form here I grabbed my bags and headed to the airport. I ended up finding the express bus which takes you to the Narita International Airport. I found it on the east side of the building, the Yamusea side. This is the cheapest public transit way to get to the airport, costing only 1000 yen.

Due to the timing of my flight I was able to see the sunset and the moon from my seat. The dinner meal was a choice of chicken balls with rice or beef with noodles; I choose chicken. They also have a breakfast meal near the end of the flight which I skipped.

I had left Tokyo around 4pm local time March 30 and arrived in Calgary around 10:30am local time March 30, talk about ground hog day. I headed back home to pack up, I needed to get back to Edmonton today; I start work again first thing tomorrow morning. I made a quick stop in Calgary at Ski Cellar to pick up my new skis!! Mitch and I will be heading out to Golden, BC this weekend to ski at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

20160330(2)_133956

Day 61: Cherry Blossoms and Owl Cafe

Today was check out day for the apartment. We all slept in a little bit before cleaning the place up. JR, Jackson, Justin and Jamie all were flying out today. As such Cody, Yuuki, Kees and I met up with Patty and Dave (Codys mom and her husband). I had read some good reviews about the Imperial Palace and wanted to check it out. I had read that they have some nice cherry blossom trees around their large moats. After meeting with Patty and Dave at their hotel we made our way there.

When we arrived it was incredibly crowded. We arrived via the Tokyo train station so we thought that since it was such a large station the crowds were at normal levels. Once we got to the park we learned that there was a special event going on. The inner grounds of the imperial palace where the Emperor lives only opens twice a year and this week was one of those times. With the lineup taking roughly 2 hours at this point we didn’t want to wait that long. Instead we walked around the ground starting at the 二重橋 (Nijubashi) and working clockwise.

Tokyo Station, the Old Building:

Once we made it around to the west side of the park we found a couple really nicely blooming cheery blossom trees.

From here we found a great Indian restaurant to stop and have lunch; it may sound lame but one of my favorite meals of the trip.

20160329_133415

Once we were done with lunch we headed up to Ueno Park in hopes that the cherry blossoms there would be more in bloom. On the way over there we saw this really beautiful flower in the train station. While passing through the Tokyo Station we saw a very large scroll. This scroll is called Kidai Shoran, Excellent View of Our Prosperous Age [in Edo] and it was painted in 1805, by an unknown artist. Kidai Shoran illustrates, with amazing detail, scenes from the Edo period taking place along the Nihonbashi main street, more exactly between Nihonbashi and Kanda Imagawabashi, more information here.

Once we made it to Ueno park we quickly took Patty and Dave to the store we went to 5 story store we check out on Day 56. From there we walked through Ueno Park.

We made our way through the park to the west side where this is a street market where you can buy food. If you make your way from the Ueno Station to 不忍之池弁天堂 (Benten-do) you will find this street market. This temple has a large incense burner where you can light some incense. You then fan the smoke towards you as it is said to have healing power, ie if you had an injured shoulder you would fan the smoke to your shoulder.

Once we were done with the park we took Patty and Dave to their hotel and then we headed to the Capsule hotel that Kees and I had booked for the night.

20160329_172709

We were able to drop all our bags off at the capsule hotel and then head out to our Owl Cafe reservation! This was definitely one of the top highlights of my trip. We headed to the cafe where they had 8 Owls. You pay to hangout with the owls for 1 hour where you get to pet them and they also put them on you, see the photos.

After that we went out for Gyudon, it was delicious. Gyudon is basically just shredded meat cooked and presented on top of a bowl of rice.

20160329_192728

Kees was very generous to pay for dinner for the 4 of us, thanks bud. After that Cody and Yuuki headed home. Kees and I explored the area a little bit before retiring to the Capsule hotel. I forgot to get some photos of the hotel. Basically on the check in floor there was a locker to store your stuff. From here you changed into the provided pajamas. On one of the floors there was a bathing room/onsen. Here you showered and could partake in the onsen. All onsens in Japan are split up into male/female as you partake in the onsen naked. It is considered very disrespectful to wear anything into the onsen and this is considered very dirty. After getting cleaned up we headed to bed; I fly out tomorrow.

 

Day 60: Tokyo Country Side

With a second late night in a row and a night of heavy drinking we were pretty slow to get moving this morning. We started moving around noon and eventually met up with Cody and Yuuki. The plan for today was to head to Kamakura, which is an area south of Tokyo, the countryside. We took the Yokosuka line down to the Kita-Kamakura station. From here we made our way to the Engaku-ji Budhist temple. There are quite a large number of old shrines and temples to see here.

It was in this temple area that I started snapping photos or flowers.

Next we walked down the road to the Kenchō-ji. Unfortunately when we arrived, 4:30pm, they were just closing up. We continued down the road and made it to the Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū Shrine.

As we walked north to south through this shrine are it lead us to Komachi street. This area is a large shopping area. We spent some time walking around the shops and then we headed to a restaurant. This restaurant was advertised as Japanese Casual Dining. We had two tables and each table ordered different dishes and then shared them among the table. It was quite good.

20160328_174314

Dave very generously picked up the bill for the entire group, thank you very much for that Dave. After finishing dinner we made our way back to the apartment. Cody and Yuuki hung out at the apartment and were eventually convinced to just stay the night.

Side Note: The ATM’s are interesting here in that they have a compartment that opens and you reach into this compartment to grab the money.

20160328_221005

Day 59: WEDDING DAY

A couple train rides away and we had made it to their dorm in Sendagi. We pre-gamed here until about 11:20pm when we split up into a couple groups. Some people were going straight to Club Atom Tokyo, while others heading to the Absinthe bar. We elected to check out the Absinthe Bar and then head to the club. Unfortunately the birthday boy was not feeling so good and we ended up missing some trains and it was too late to try and get into the Absinthe bar. We instead elected to head straight to Atom. We had to find one gal (Ashling) who was meeting us near by alone, this wasted a lot of time trying to find her. 2 hours later we had finally found our way to Atom.

This club had security and lockers on the first floor and then you took an elevator to the 5th floor, this is where the main stage was. They had 2 other floor, on the 6th floor was the loft and the 4th floor, the cave. Each floor had its own DJ as well as bars. We later found out form Cody that this club requires that you speak Japanese to get in. Without our new friends we would have not been able to get in.

 

4:30am eventually rolled around and we were ready to call it a night, the club closes at 5am. Jamie and I found Ashling and we tried to find the rest of the group. Jackson and Ciere had taken off around 4am. We did a couple laps around the club to make sure the rest of the group had left before leaving ourselves. It was closer to 5am by the time we left which worked in our favor as this is when the trains start running again. Jamie and I made it home at 6am, a really fun night of dancing at the club.

Today was the wedding day, the whole reason all of us were here! Jackson and Jamie headed out from the apartment earlier to try and find a barber. They were unsuccessful in the local area so Jackson made his was to Ginza, the area where the chapel was, to try and find one. Jamie just needed to trim his beard and was able to use my trimmer.

We knew that we could get a bus to take us to the Chapel but we were not sure what bus. We took the first bus that came which only took us 20% of the way there before we hoped off as it started going the wrong way. It was a nice leisurely walk the remaining distance, arriving around 3pm.

Upon arrival we were greeted and taken to the waiting room.

Shortly after we were taken to the Chapel where Cody and Yuuki had a beautiful wedding ceremony.

From there, after having an opportunity to take some photos with the Bride and Groom we went down stairs to the reception hall. Here we were treated to an amazing 4 appetizers and then 2 mains for dinner.

This hall was amazing, they had projectors for all 4 walls where they were able to play photo and video slide shows of the couple. The whole wedding was basically done in 3 hours. It was very well organized and something was always happening. The reception progressed through the night almost like a story. The chapel was very well setup to handle weddings. We don’t really have any locations that I know of in Calgary that are designed to this level for weddings.

After the wedding Cody and Yuuki had booked a karaoke room nearby for us to begin the after party. Most of us headed there after the wedding and Cody and Yuuki followed about 35 minutes later. They originally had a 2 hour slot booked but we extended this twice to 4 hours. We paid a flat rate and it was unlimited drinks while we were there. It was lots of fun to hang out together with some of Cody and Yuukis asian friends singing karaoke until 11:30pm.

After the karaoke we headed up to Annupongi to go to a club. We made our way to Dark Horse. Since it was Sunday it was not busy, and we were basically the only ones there. After some hustling with the manager Cody managed to get some drink discounts as they were very over priced there. Later into the night the manager gave us a bottle of champagne, the best champagne I have ever had. The night ran away on us and we didn’t leave until about 4:30am.

 

Day 58:Tokyo Museum of Nature and Science

20160326_111357Our site seeing began late in the morning today. After casually waking up we all spent most of the morning lounging around the apartment enjoying the view and some down time. Once we did head out we kicked things off with some food. Since it was almost noon at this point Jackson, Jamie and I decided to ante up and just get lunch. JR, Justin and Kees elected to just hit up the bakery.

After our meal the boys were still just up the street. After a quick pow-wow we decided to go separate ways. The other guys were going to take Justin to an area we went to previously so they could buy some models. Jackson, Jamie and I changed plans slightly, forgoing to visit the park containing the imperial palace and heading straight to the Tokyo Museum of Nature and Science. This is the museum that has the special dinosaur exhibition that we tried to visit 2 days ago. We rode up the Oedo line and got off at the Ueno Park station, allowing/forcing us to walk through the park to get to the museum. The park was noticeable busier today then 2 days prior. There were many people having picnics under the cherry blossoms trees.

The five small floats were also still out on display, here are pictures of the two I missed previously on the day 56 post.

20160326_130435

The entrance coat for the museum with the special exhibition was 1600 yen. We kicked things off with the special exhibition.

After touring through this exhibition we made our way into the Global Exhibit Building. This building had 6 floors of different exhibits to see. We started things off on the first floor. This floor had lots of different bugs, plants and other small animals on display; labelled as the biodiversity floor.

Next we made our way up go the second floor: Progress in Science and Technology
This floor had lots of hands on exhibits including a thermal camera. There also was information on space exploration and some other modes of transportation.

The third and top floor had a children’s play center and a large exhibition of stuffed mammals.

20160326_144146

From there we began to explore the basement floors, starting on B1: Evolution of Life. This floor had more dinosaurs on display.

20160326_145351

B2: Evolution of Life, this floor had started off with lot of different human skulls from different time periods of locations around the world. Also on this floor was other animals that were extinct, including a mammoth skeleton.

The last floor we visited was B3: Exploring the Structure of Nature. This floor had more hands on science demonstrations. This included a display where you moved a indicator along a sliding rail to try and set out 1m. All three of us tried this with Jackson being the closest to 1m followed by myself and the Jamie. We had some fun playing with the displays down here.

On our way out we briefly walked through the Japan exhibit building; it was more of the same in this building so we didn’t spend much time here. From the museum we headed to the Shinjuku area to allow Jamie and Jackson to finalize their dress clothing shopping. They were able to get everything they needed within an hour and then we made our way to Shibya area. This is where the classic Tokyo all cross intersection is. They also have a dog statue here to celebrate a dog with incredible loyalty to his owner, Hachikō. This dog is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner which continued for many years after his owner’s death.

We grabbed some dinner here in Shibuya before heading back to the apartment to drop off the newly purchased items.

The plan for tonight is to meet up with some Irish friends that Jackson and Jamie met after I left for my USA portion of the trip. After meeting them at a dorm party we are planning to head to an Absinthe bar and then out to the club.

 

Day 57: Rainbow Bridge & Robot Restaurant

Cody had come over last night and stayed the night. Cody, Jackson and Jamie headed out to Codys place; they had left their ski gear at his place a few weeks ago when they continued their travels to South Korea and Taiwan. The rest of us (Justin, JR, Kees and I) decided to walk across the Rainbow Bridge and make our way over the the Ferris Wheel that can be seen from out apartment balcony, the Daikanransha Ferris Wheel in Palette Town.

When we got to the base of the bridge on the Northwest side of the bridge there is a building there with an elevator that takes you from the 2nd floor to the 7th floor where the bridge walk way is. From what I could tell the entire bridge was made out of steel, even most of the columns. It was quite windy today and this was enhanced once we were on the bridge.

We crossed the bridge on the north side and were able to see our apartment.

Once we got to the other side of the bridge we discovered that there was a beach tucked away deep in the bay. Part of what formed this mini bay was a peninsula which we went out and walked around.

From here we made our way over to Palette town to see the Ferris Wheel. The Ferris Wheel had a 110m diameter with the top 115m above ground. When we went into the buildings we ended up in a Toyota dealership and information display area. They had a bunch of different virtual reality and driving simulators here that you could try for free.

Once through this building towards the Ferris Wheel we found the Tokyo Liesureland. The Tokyo Liesureland was a large arcade. We stopped for a drum aracade game and watched a couple other patrons doing their thing with their favorite arcade game, DDR etc. At this point we needed to make our way north to the Meiji Jingu shrine. This shrine is in a large park and that is heavily forested. It is cool to walk down the wide pathways on the way to the shrine, with varying degrees of tree cover over the walkways.

At this point I was running short on time to get to the Robot Restaurant to meet up with Jackson and Jamie. The others did not want to pay the high cost of the show and did their own thing. We paid 8,000 yen for a ticket to the show and another 1,000 yen for a sushi dinner plate.

20160325_155502

This show was very entertaining and I recommend it to anyone coming to Tokyo. It was 90 minutes of a dance and drum show featuring large robots.

ROBOT RESTAURANT:

After the Robot show we spent some time in this part of Tokyo. Jackson and Jamie had spent some time here prior to the show. Jackson was looking for a suit and Jamie need some dress clothes. We spent a couple hours here before heading back to the Ferris Wheel to meet up with Kees and Justin. Since Jackson and Jamie had not seen the Toyota displays earlier in the day we checked those out while we waiting for Justin and Kees to show up.

Once we were all together we headed on the Ferris Wheel. The cost for this Ferris Wheel is 920 yen per person or 3080 yen for 4-6 people for 1 gondola, 1 gondola can hold a maximum of 6 people.

From the the Ferris Wheel we had spotted the Gundam statue, location. I had no idea what this was but everyone else in the group was pretty excited to see this very large statue.

20160325_213938

At this point I was pretty tired and since it was about 10pm I headed out on my own to make my way back to the apartment. Another good day of touring around Tokyo.

20160325_215942

The view from the Daiba station.