September 29, 2014

An exhibit about poop- yes, POOP!

Have you ever wanted to slide into a giant toilet? Or be serenaded by a toilet choir? Then this exhibit is for you! We spent the day, a few weeks ago, at Miraikan, an awesome and very hands on children's science museum in Tokyo. The special limitied-time-only, engagement was an exhibit all about poop.

You enter the exhibit through a "bathroom" door, of course.

We were greeted with a very upset toilet, saying he will no longer flush given such carelessness of people in the bathroom.

Then examples of how your poop should look, and possible poop troubleshooting.

Then, animal poop. The girls found this very interesting that you could see what the animal ate by looking at the poop.

Then, they got to make their own play-do poop and put it in the toilet. Lol! 

We enjoyed all the diorama's of how waste was handled during different era's. The girls decided this was not a good method!

There was also a video game where you helped the statue aim to fill up the can, then Mt. Fuji erupted when you were completely full.

And on to the main attraction! Climbing the giant toilet slide, while wearing poop hats.

Ready, set, go!

Two little s*%#heads! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!) This part of the exhibit talked about where the sewage goes after you flush and how a large metropolitan area handles waste. It was interesting. (Yes, there was also a flushing sound as you slid!) 

Also, what happens to sewage and water lines during a natural disaster. This picture was taken shortly after the 2011 tsunami.

And last but not least, we were serenaded by a toilet choir at the end. The angry toilet was now happy again and agreed to flush because we learned about his importance! Whew! Overall, despite the stinky subject matter, the exhibit was very well done, hands on and informative. We enjoyed it.

The jewel encrusted toilet, fit for a queen!

Also, a golden throne!

We spent the rest of the gorgeous afternoon exploring the waterfront area of Odaiba. This is Gundam the robot, a very famous landmark.

We tried the purple sweet potato shake at McDonald's. Two thumbs up from everyone!

Then on to  Tokyo Bay. The girls loved throwing rocks in the water.

We had fun looking for crabs and other treasures amongst the rocks.

Found one! 

Tokyo Bay, with Rainbow Bridge in the distance.

Look who we found vacationing in Tokyo?! Lady Liberty. (This is actually one of three statues in Japan. She was originally erected here to commemorate 'The French Year of Japan,' as a temporary exhibit in 1999, but by popular demand, she was made permanent in 2000). We enjoyed seeing a small token of home, all the way in Japan.

The perfect end to a wonderful day!

September 23, 2014

Friendship Festival 2014, Yokota Air Base

We experienced our first Yokota Friendship Festival, earlier this month, and it was an amazing event! Every year the base opens the gates to our Japanese friends for a weekend, so they can experience the base and see the airplanes. Being an Air Force family, we have been to many air shows, but this one seemed different to me. It was so fun to see the Japanese literally streaming through the gates and excited to be there. Apparently over 150,000 Japanese attended the two day event.

There was a military dog demonstration. Always interesting.

And lots of games, face painting and activities for the kids.

Almost everyone on base works this event in some capacity, whether it is setting up food booths, selling merchandise, etc., it is a big undertaking. Matt had to roam the grounds as a medic. So, luckily we were able to wander around with him for a few hours.

He was "guarding" the cart here, and they were asked to pose for several pictures as well. Haha!

The Japanese Air Force also has a presence on this base.

Can't forget the character!

This is an area of the flight line that we never see because it is off limits, and no pictures are generally allowed. So, of course, we took a picture.

Then there was a large display of different aircraft. Both, American and Japanese.

You could also tour, and take pictures inside, the different aircraft.

The AWACS surveillance plane.

The line for this one went on forever!

The Osprey was also popular.

Entering the C-130 , from the cargo door in back.

The fighter pilot's are always rock stars! (For my brother-in-law, Derek!)

My two loves on the flight line.

A sight you don't see everyday at an American airshow!

They opened the hangar and set up a stage for entertainment.

We enjoyed the hula dancers.

It was packed! Definitely standing room only.

(Side note- the Japanese go almost everywhere with these plastic tarps. They are used to sit on as well as save your spot at an event. Even at Disneyland, we saw many tarps saving spots for the parade, and no one messes with it or questions it. Genius!)

This booth was particularly popular. Beer in a refillable, yard-long, souvenir glass. I had to smile every time I saw one because it reminded me so much of what you would see in Vegas. I miss that place!

There was even a lanyard to wear it around your neck...and many did. Haha!

I guess we needed someone else for trash duty?

It was hot, humid, and crowded! But, it was so fun to share a piece of our base, and our country with our Japanese hosts! Until next year....