Walking Japan: Shibuya

I really had only one reason to go to Shibuya. The famous Shibuya crossing. It’s basically a huge intersection right outside of Shibuya station, and tons of people cross it everyday. It has been featured in commercials, films, animes, and even listed as a tourist spot in all the travel sites and TIME magazine has it in their top 10 things to do in Tokyo. That’s a lot of credentials for a freakin’ intersection.

I got to Shibuya station, and I was looking for the best exit. It took me a good 30 minutes to find the right exit. In the end, I resorted to looking up which exit is best on the internet. As I neared the recommended exit, I came across this scenery from the station window.

This is the famous Shibuya crossing? Looks kinda small…20170226_104841.jpg

Wow, um, cool, I guess.20170226_104951.jpg

At the time, I was elated to have found the intersection, and I just stood inside the station, watching the crossing happen at least two times. I couldn’t believe that I was in Japan, in Shibuya, looking at the famous crossing that I used to be so curious about. After 5 minutes or so, the elation wore off and I realised I was just looking at a goddamn intersection.

Thankfully, I knew Shibuya wasn’t just about the crossing; it’s a huge shopping district, so I knew I could get a full day out of the area.

So I got out of the station, and proceeded to experience the crossing myself.

Seems the station is a popular meet-up spot for teenagers. The station exit was more crowded than the crossing.20170226_105443.jpg

A picture I took while waiting for the lights to cross20170226_105521.jpg

So I crossed. I remember feeling very excited at the time, despite a little tinge of disappointment darkening the corners a bit. When I was in the moment, when I was walking that crossing, my thoughts progressed as follows: “I’m doing it! I no longer have to wonder what it feels like, because this is what it feels like! Wow, it doesn’t feel all that special”.

Now that I look back on it now, around 2 months later, the feeling of disappointment is even stronger. Now, I’m sitting here, thinking, “What the hell was I so excited about?”. Nothing really happened. I crossed an intersection, an activity I do on the daily back at home.

The crossing wasn’t all that crowded. I thought maybe I would bump into a guy, and my books would fall onto the ground (why would I be holding books, I do not know), and we’d both bow to each other to apologize, and our hands would touch each other’s as we both tried to grab my books, then we would look sheepishly into each other’s eyes and smile out of embarrassment, and we would both hurriedly try to get out of the intersection before the lights turned red and run to the same corner, then we would be married in a year’s time. But none of that happened. I just crossed an intersection. But it was in Shibuya, damn it.

Anyway, at the time, that crossing was a magical little place. I crossed it at least 3 more times that day, and I even came back on another day before I had to leave to Osaka to go shopping, and cross it again. The shopping was just an excuse, I really just wanted to cross it one last time.

Walking across an intersection is hard work. I felt pangs of hunger so I grabbed some McD’s.

Tiny teriyaki burger, small cup of melon Fanta, and American sized fries (the only American sized thing they had).20170226_110149.jpg

And then I went shopping. I had made a pact to myself before I set out on this 30 day trip, to be a minimalist. Don’t buy useless souvenirs, only buy small gifts for friends and family, don’t buy clothes,  don’t search for happiness in material things, because it hasn’t worked until now, so why would it work now?

While I was in Japan, I kicked myself for having made this decision. There were so many cute and pretty things that I wanted to buy, but I couldn’t because I had brought a tiny carry-on. Of course, I could have bought another luggage bag and stuffed it with purchases, but that would have made me feel like I had some sort of a mental problem.

However, I have come back to the conclusion that my decision really was a smart one; so many times, I have bought stuff from my travels and never looked at them again. They just gather dust on my desk and I put it away because it just feels like clutter. Seeing a miniature Eiffel tower in my room doesn’t bring me back to my days in Paris, it just looks silly and out of place in my cold room in Toronto. I guess I’m not as sentimental as I like to think I am.

Anyways, I took some pictures of some stuff I came across while shopping in Shibuya.

Sticker-heaven section at Loft20170226_121017.jpg20170226_132856.jpg

If you’re an iPhone user, you’re in luck. There is a phone case for whatever fetish you have. If you’re an Android phone user, your selection of cute phone cases is reduced dramatically. 20170226_121709.jpg

Futchiko-san glass toppers on display. You pick a box, and inside is a random Futchiko-san doing one of her adorable and quirky poses. The official name of the charming lady is Futchiko-san, and it’s not some creepy name I made for her myself.20170226_124527.jpg20170226_124834.jpg

I got one. Yes, I’m a grown-ass woman, but come on. 20170226_163030.jpg 20170226_163126.jpg

Muji and Uniqlo. Classic. Muji was just as expensive as it is in Toronto, but the store had much wider selection of goods, and it made me realise how sad the store in Toronto is. Yes, we only have one Muji store in all of Toronto. Uniqlo had similar selection as the stores in Toronto, but it had a lot sweeter sales.

20170226_115400.jpg 20170226_140606.jpg

I shopped around at a lot of stores, but felt bad taking pictures when I wasn’t buying anything.

Eventually, I wandered off to the basement floor of a large department store, because I could look at food for 3 hours as opposed to anything else. All department stores in Asia always have a whole floor dedicated to food, and it’s always in the basement.


You can watch a live demo of how the food on display is made20170227_152359.jpg

Omg, just look at that Japanese precision. They look so perfect, that they look fake.20170227_152542.jpg

Meticulously made seafood crackers and whole dried shrimps. Expensive snacks.20170227_152800.jpg

Some of the stuff are very affordable, and looks a beauty. How much fun would it be to eat those squares of sushi? 20 squares of different flavors in one box! For less than $10!20170227_153445.jpg

Raw shrimp as big as my hand20170227_153707.jpg

Fruits in Japan are expensive. Fruits in Japanese department stores are extra expensive. $5 for half a pineapple. 20170227_154008.jpg

*Heavy breathing* 20170227_154643.jpg

After an exhausting walk around Shibuya and going through an emotional rollercoaster of desires, I’m back at the crossing. Again, it’s not as crowded as I’d like it to be, but what can I do.20170227_155423 shibuya crossing again.jpg

Shibuya is a great place for some casual shopping. Not as glitzy and intimidating as Ginza or Omotesando (Harajuku), with all those luxury brands everywhere that make me feel like the peasant that I am. It’s got a great energy both day and night. Lots of music and videos being played on huge screens on the streets, and sometimes, you can’t even locate the source of the catchy k-pop song they have on full blast. But you enjoy it all anyway.

And also, you might as well just walk the crossing while you’re there, in case anyone ever asks if you did it, and then you could be like, yup, crossed it 4 times. No one will ever ask you, but it’s good to have it in your back pocket, just in case the day ever comes (it won’t).


Walking Japan: Harajuku (Omotesando and Takeshita Dori)

I thought Harajuku was the name of a market or something, but it turned out to be a whole district. There are two iconic shopping “dori”s (streets) in Harajuku, Takeshita and Omotesando. They’re only 10 minutes apart by walk.

Takeshita street is where all the youngsters go. This street is filled with pre-teens and teenagers getting their fashionable outfits and accessories for reasonable prices. You won’t find any fancy brand names here. You’ll also see a lot of desserts here; there are like, eight different crepe cafes, probably more, there’s the famous Zaku Zaku chou sticks, and cotton candy as big as your upper body. Also, student-budget cheap eats, like Lotteria, McDonald’s Yoshinoya, etc.

I saw this while I was walking from Takeshita to Omotesando on my second Harajuku visit. This kinda sums up what Takeshita is like. A lil kitsch, a lil lovable, and kawaii as fuck.20170322_134627.jpg


Omotesando street is where the adults go. Adults with money, anyway. You’ll find all the brand names and glitzy department stores. Similar to Ginza. A shopaholic’s dream come true. Also nicknamed the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo.

I found that with many famous streets in Japan, it’s not just that certain street that has good shopping. There are tons of interesting stores on the side streets that branch out of the main street.

I walked to Harakuju, but you can easily get here by metro. 20170227_112157.jpg

Welcome to Takeshita Dori! 20170227_113034.jpg

Cat Cafe in Takeshita dori20170227_113104.jpg

A cat & owl cafe, above a kawaii dress store, above a Korean-brand accessories store. Floors and floors of interesting stuff.20170322_104644.jpg

Crepe cafes all over the place20170227_113650.jpg

Crepes, crepes, crepes!20170227_114100.jpg20170227_114054.jpg20170227_114109.jpg20170227_120932.jpg


Huge ass cotton candy flowers from Totti Candy Factory20170322_104348.jpg

I didn’t see the neon-green hair and straight-out-of-anime fashionistas like I had hoped to see, but these specialty stores exist, so they must be out there.20170227_113824.jpg20170227_113833.jpg

Kitschy stuff20170322_103501.jpg

Really cheap and cute earrings at this store, Paris Kids.20170227_124522 earrings.jpg

Cute shoes for cheap20170227_120113.jpg20170227_120300.jpg

Interesting looking stores20170227_121147.jpg

There is always a line up for Zaku Zaku’s croquant chou stick and their soft serve ice cream. The 2nd time I went to Takeshita, I lined up and got some. It was basically a good cream puff, but it was a stick instead of a puff, and there were crunchy bits on top. The milk custard cream inside was extra milky, and yes, it was “so fresh”. A bit disappointing though…20170322_124359.jpg20170322_125237.jpg 20170322_125902.jpg

Gets very busy on weekends20170322_103318.jpg

After Takeshita, I went to Omotesando. It was a completely different atmosphere.

The glamorous Tokyo Plaza on Omotesando20170227_125439.jpg

Went off to a seemingly boring looking side street and stumped upon a B Side Label store! The staff were super passionate and friendly.20170227_131517.jpg20170227_131620.jpg20170227_132739.jpg20170227_133005 b side label omotesando harajuku.jpg

The famous Omotesando Hills shopping mall. All the luxury brands. I ventured in on my second Omotesando walk, and I felt like a peasant. 20170322_140129.jpg 20170322_141041.jpg

After spending a total of 3 weeks in Tokyo, I had run out of things to do. So I went back to Harajuku, and had a peaceful character cafe experience at Pompompurin Cafe20170322_110720.jpg






Snacks and drinks from Konbinis – Part 5

20170323_170612.jpg 20170323_170744.jpgCronut with whipped cream inside. *Heavy breathing*

20170323_122900.jpg 20170323_123023.jpg Eclair filled to the max with heavenly custard cream

20170322_213022.jpg 20170322_213107.jpg Cream puff with whipped cream AND custard cream inside. DIABEETUS.

20170322_212208.jpgBeer with seaweed flavored shrimp chips. SEW GEWD.

20170321_190446 옜날 한국 스타일 도너츠.jpg Little deep fried donuts with anko (red bean) filling. Individually packaged.

20170321_190335.jpg Carbonated lemon soda. It claims to have the same amount of vitamin C as 50 lemons. This was so good, and actually tasted sour instead of that watered down lemonade crap.

20170321_190104 garlic soy sauce flavor kettle chi.jpg Roasted garlic flavored kettle chips.

20170320_211116 단짠은 좋은데 기름이랑 마차 비린내랑 안 어울려.jpg Green tea chocolate drizzled potato chips. This was kinda gross, because you could smell the green tea, and the white chocolate and the oil from the chip and together, they smell gross in your mouth.

20170320_203912.jpg Apple flavored hiroyoi and tuna mayo snack pack

20170320_203958.jpg 20170320_204151.jpg Snack packs are sealed on the sides and the filling is literally mayo, tuna and pepper. Wouldn’t get this snack pack again.

20170318_082201.jpg Hot chai tea latte. YUMMMM

20170317_134104 안에는 입에서 부서지는 쿠키.jpg These are expensive! 8 tiny cookies. Chocolate outside and puffed chocolate cookies on the inside. Really good.

20170316_202912.jpg Mitarashi dangos, with the dango balls pre-roasted so they look burnt. 3 for 108 yen. Tastes as good as expensive ones. I actually prefer them cold because they’re chewier, so this was perfect.

20170316_202226.jpg 20170316_202325.jpg I’ve never heard or seen this dessert brand before, but this chocolate dorayaki was da bomb. So fluffy with lil chocolate chips and the chocolate cream inside was *salivating*

20170316_135029.jpg 20170316_135108 밑에는 쌉싸릉한 마차 젤라틴으로 굳른 크림.jpg Lawson’s matcha jelly dessert cup. Bitter matcha jelly in the bottom, with red beans, strawberry, peach, mochi balls and konjac jelly. I didn’t enjoy the konjac jellies in here.

20170315_222956.jpg Inverted mitarashi dango from 7/11. All that sweet and salty syrup on the inside. To be honest, it was too much syrup.

20170315_205850.jpg 20170315_210155.jpg Hnnnnggh this was soo good. Sour and sweet on the outside, creamy and sweet on the inside. Real pieces of strawberry. Why can’t they have ice cream like this in Canada?

Snacks and drinks from Konbinis – Part 4

20170318_121139.jpg I bought this from a konbini Kyoto station. 400 yen. Fucking serious. Ate it on my 13,910 yen shinkansen (bullet train) ride back to Tokyo.

20170318_160702 좀 큰 니미스탑.그래도 그렇지 콘비니에 샐러드 바가....jpgThis especially large Mini Stop in Tokyo had a freakin’ legit salad bar. For real.

20170307_085807.jpgWow, Korean girls must really love this mochi roll from Lawson. Not all Lawson stores have signs like this, but this particular Lawson did. This is really good, as noted in Part 3.

20170307_085916.jpgMitarashi dango for cheap. Usually one stick is at least a 100 yen, so 3 for 108 yen is budget. Tastes pretty good. Mitarashi dango is dango covered in thick, sweet and salty soy-based sauce.

20170314_204818.jpg 20170314_204932.jpgIce cream waffle sandwich with a thin sheet of milk chocolate in the middle. It was autumn weather outside but I wasn’t about to leave Japan before trying some of their ice cream.  YAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSS.

20170307_090028.jpg Sold in the hot section at a Lawson. It was chilly, so the warm drink was more of a heat pouch. Tasted really watery and gross. No recommend.

20170307_202417.jpg Bought this from a Daiso, not knowing what it was. This is liquified milk candy. If you haven’t had milk candy, this is it, liquified. Try it.

20170310_210128 한국에 그 핑크 하얀 오징어칩.jpg Late night Suntory beer in my capsule hotel with shrimp flavored checkered puffs from Family Mart.

20170311_094428.jpg One of the most popular snacks to take back home, matcha Kit Kat. Actually has big flakes of real green tea, green because they used white chocolate as a base so that the matcha green shows up, and has a nice, fragrant aftertaste.

20170311_210143.jpg Late night Lawson run

20170311_213728.jpg Classic roll cake slice from Lawson dessert brand, Uchi Cafe. Yum.

20170311_214449.jpg These puffy corn sticks covered in chocolate come individually packaged so that you don’t have to eat like, all 8 sticks after you open the bag. 100 yen.

20170312_002909.jpgHaven’t watched anime in years, but watched it while eating these pick-ups from a nearby Family Mart. One Cup Ozeki is a one-person portion sake sold in a glass bottle. Ah, an alcoholic’s dream.

20170312_003042.jpg 20170312_004623.jpg Tuna mayo onigiri. Can’t go wrong with this.

20170312_003056.jpg 20170312_003114.jpgHot and super crispy and fried chicken from Family Mart. I opened the top like a barbarian and took a bite. Shortly realized that there were directions on the back on how to open this bag.

20170312_003445.jpg  20170312_003508.jpg Ah, there are pre-cuts in the middle of the bag, so you tear it open in the middle and voila, you can eat your huge ass crispy chicken nugget without touching it with your probably-dirty hands.

20170312_160235.jpg Chinese style pork bun from Lawson. Served warm because it’s kept in a steamer. Tasted really artificial and cheap. Do not recommend.

20170312_211742.jpg Konbinis often have events where you can collect something or buy certain things and then get these limited-edition character goods.

20170312_220250.jpgLate-night party with friends I met in Kyoto. The two pretty tall cans of Suntory is with limited-time cherry blossom packaging, but otherwise, the beer tastes the same as regular Suntory beer.

20170312_220431.jpg Not sure what this was, I think it was sake…

20170312_220638.jpg 20170312_221500.jpg   Lawson brand bag of seafood chips. So tasty and a great variety.

20170312_220756.jpg 20170312_220841.jpg  Hard-as-rock rice crackers coated with very strong, concentrated and smoky soy sauce. So salty, that it was bitter. Did not enjoy. It was more expensive than the other ones, so I thought I might give it a try.

20170312_223348.jpg More Lawson brand snacks. There is a strip of cheese sandwiched in between two strips of cod sheets to make one strip of heaven. Perfect with alcohol.

20170312_231945.jpg Beer goggles.

20170312_231940.jpg Super soft and runny milk pudding. Yum. Pudding-fied milk candy.


20170315_205339.jpg 7-11 brand. Crunchy corn snack filled with cream-cheese-y filling. Salty.



Snacks and drinks from Konbinis – Part 3

20170301_112108.jpg Strawberry milk. Not as highlighter-pink in flavor and color as the ones found in North America. Yum.

20170302_154619 family mart oden.jpgSelf-serve oden from Family Mart. Broken ball of hanpen, sausage, knot of konjac wire. Check out the cute built-in mustard saucer on the left side of the container.

20170302_214616.jpg Peach-flavored Calpis yogurt pop. This left a weird after-taste, like expired milk powder. Do not recommend.

20170303_204249.jpg  20170303_204917.jpg 7-11 branded chocolate chou puffs. I was so surprised at the quality of this. Great puffs loaded with thick, dark chocolate.

20170304_191739.jpg  20170304_194748.jpgAh, the famous mochi roll from Lawson. The bread part of the roll is a perfect texture combination of soft cake and mochi. The whipped cream is amazing, light, and just sweet enough. How do they do it?! Lawson houses a dessert brand called Uchi Cafe, and all Uchi Cafe stuff is really good.

20170305_202112.jpg 20170305_202231.jpg This onigiri from 7-11 had strips of heavily seasoned strips of konbu. Concentrated dark flavor of soy sauceon the strips. Not my favorite, but not bad either. The more you chew, the more the rice mixed with the seasoned konbu and finds balance.

20170305_201001.jpg 20170305_201209.jpgMore 7-11 onigiri. This is with flavored bonito. Unlike other onigiris, the rice is seasoned.

20170305_203912.jpg 20170305_203859.jpgCustard pudding. Had a torched top, and brunt sugar syrup at the bottom. Such quality. Wow.

20170228_072947 seven ereven.jpg Morning run to 7-11 for bread. I had no clue what these were, just listened to my heart and grabbed two that looked interesting.

20170228_073018.jpg 20170228_073145 how does this taste good.jpgBread 1 of 2; Surprise! This is curry bread. Curry is cooked with tons of veg and blitzed into an indiscernible paste. How the hell does this manage to taste so good? I saw a specialty stall in touristy areas, selling just this curry bread. If there is a fad in Japan, konbinis will find a way to replicate it and sell it.

20170228_073600.jpg 20170228_074028.jpg Pretty sure that green sticker says something important, but not sure what. Ah, well, it’s funner that way. Took a bite and it was strawberry jam and a sheet of soft, non-salted butter in a super-soft hotdog bun. This also used to be a sensational fad.

20170306_075302.jpgPremium instant ramen. Konbini brands collaborate with famous ramen shops to replicate their flavors into a preserved, packaged form. These usually cost around $3. The weird pink floating thing is a slice of char siu meat that came dehydrated.

Snacks and drinks from Konbinis (7-11, Family Mart, Lawson) – Part 2

20170225_154407.jpgSome Sapporo “The gold” and 7-11 branded snack. These were delicious potato-based sticks, coated in light, salty-and-sweet cheesy powder and very crispy. 

20170225_192021.jpgThis isn’t from a konbini…It’s from Maruetsu Petit, a smaller location of the Maruetsu supermarket. But it is a packaged sushi bento, so I’m putting it here. You can find basic sushi in konbinis, but you won’t be able to find these mackerel pressed sushi. Yum. They are very fishy and sour and smelly, so it’s an acquired taste.

20170225_195522.jpg“When you eat this jelly, do not think but feel. Fresh fruits & nata de coco maybe please you”. You heard the packaging. Be maybe pleased.

20170226_040455.jpgLate-night oden and beer run from 7-11. Separate post about oden will be up, with pics of individual oden pieces and the different sauces you can grab.

20170226_174804 family mart bread.jpg7-11 onigiri and Family Mart okonomiyaki bread. Other konbinis have okonomiyaki bread as well, I just happened to buy mine from Family Mart. 

20170226_175054.jpg 20170226_175047.jpgClose-ups of this 7-11 onigiri. The inside was different from the picture. Since the picture had brown stuff, I thought it was seasoned meat, but it’s pickled veg. Still really good, actually my favorite onigiri.

20170226_175722.jpgI tore the packaging for this Family Mart okonomiyaki bread too angrily (I was treated poorly at a yakitori restaurant earlier and was eating my feelings). This is a carb-lover’s dream. Soft noodles seasoned with worcestershire sauce, and some julienned benishoga (pickled ginger). If you’re looking for savory carbs on carbs, this is it.

20170225_122536.jpg Really rich and tasty milk coffee found at all konbinis.

20170226_181442.jpg 20170226_181500.jpgThis is a really popular jelly that Asian tourists take huge bags of back home. There are three or so flavors, I bought the muscat grape. It even looks like a real grape. It has this really thin, edible coating and inside is a konjac-based jelly that tastes even better than a real grape.

20170227_061006 warm. Lawson.jpg A very popular milk tea available in all konbinis, and is sold cold or warm. Most konbinis have a separate section for packaged drinks that are kept hot, and this is one of them. You can also buy hot bottled green tea, coffee, milk coffee, etc. 

20170227_061013 lawson natural.jpg The hot milk tea and a Lawson sandwich. There are two sandwiches in this package, for only $3!

20170227_061215.jpg Sandwich 1 of 2; mayo and potato salad at the top layer, then ham and iceberg lettuce with more mayo. YUM. Japanese mayo is really something else.

20170227_061401.jpg Sandwich 2 of 2; thin beef katsu doused with thin worcestershire sauce, a layer of egg salad in the middle, then a whole soft boiled egg cut up in the bottom layer.

20170227_061654.jpg 5 slices of soft, airy Japanese loaf bread were sacrificed just for this second sandwich. A worthy sacrifice.

20170227_171255.jpg  Fruit flavored beer, sub-brand called Horoyoi, from Suntory. The peach one was better tasting than the red-grape flavored one (from Part 1)

20170228_053631.jpg Carton of soymilk. I had eaten too much self-destructive foods (carbs, meat, fried stuff, sugar) so I thought this might help me feel better about myself. I was surprised to find that this had absolutely no sugar in it, so that was nice.

하와이 – 11월 2016 – Day 5

오늘은 렌트카 타고 Lanikai (라니카이) Beach랑 Sunset Beach 가는 날. 와이키키도 좋지만, 라니카이는 더 조용하고 배경도 아름답다고 들었고, Sunset Beach는 이름 그대로 일몰 보기 좋은 해변.

google maps.jpgLanikai Beach와 Sunset Beach를 방문하면서 호놀룰루 섬을 둘러본 날

토론토에서 Budget이라는 회사랑 미리 렌트카를 예약했었다. ‘신나’가 하와이에선 뚜껑열리는 차를 타야지 느낌난다고, 그리고 나도 ‘옳소!’ 하면서 좀 화이팅 해서 비싸도 스포츠 카를 빌렸다. 차 보험도 제일 좋은걸로…

이런건 처음이라서 많이 헤매면서 차를 픽업했다. 먼저 지하 픽업 센터로 갔는데, 오피스가 따로 있으니 오피스에서 영수증을 가져오라고…그래서 오피스로 갔는데, 우리가 오픈카가 아니라 뚜껑 닫혀있는 고급 승용차 빌린거를 알아냈고, 그래서 돈 더 내고, 영수증을 받아서 지하로 차를 받으러 갔다. 빨간차, 검은차가 있었는데, 우리는 검은차로…빨간차로 달라했는데, 빨간차는 다 예약돼있다고…

20161113_230541.jpg사모님…어서 타시죠? ”   “ㅇㅇㅇ 그래. 니가 수고가 많다”

차를 타는 순간 ‘신나’는 드라이버니까 긴장했다. 길 모르는 타국에서 몸값 비싼 차를 운행할려니 긴장할만도 하다. ‘신나’는 성격이 좋아서 긴장해도 웃을줄 아는 멋진 사람. 근데 웃을때 입 꼬리 근육이 경련하는걸 본것같은데….장난 ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

내비게이션의 게이도 모르는 내가 Google Maps로 ‘신나’를 도와줬는데, 도움이 안 됐다. 그래서 못 찍는 ‘신나’대신 사진 많이 찍어줌.

20161113_143608.jpg차에서 육안으로 보는것보다 사진이 별로다. 그때는 ‘우와~~~’ 하면서 그랬는데.



라니카이 가는 길은 한 90%가 프리웨이 (고속도로) 타야하는데, 프리웨이 탈 때는 안전을 생각해서 뚜껑을 닫았다. 프리웨이를 벗어나도 차 운행중에는 뚜껑을 못 열게 고정돼있으니, 라니카이 가는길에 멋지게 뚜껑 열고 달리는거는 조금밖에 못 했다.

그렇게 해서 Lanikai Beach 도착. 파킹을 찾는게 쉽지 않다. 그날에는 해변 근처에 있는 동네 학교가 특별히 $5 주면 학교주차장에 댈 수 있게해서, 돈 내고 주차했다. 시커먼 아스팔트에 차를 대니까 멋은 없었지만, 자리 잡을려고 좁은 주차장들 돌아다니는것은 부담스러웠다. 처음에는 학교 주차장에 사람들이 너무 없어서 무서웠다. 왔다가 주차장 보고 그냥 돌아가는 사람들도 있었다. 겁이 많은 나는 이러다가 안 좋은 꼴 볼까봐 걱정했다. 쓸때없는 걱정이었다.

1479343358710 blog.jpg학교 주차장에서…ㅋ….

둘 다 스포츠 카는 처음이어서 조심조심하고, 모르는 것도 많았다. 나중에 집에 가는길에 기름은 어느 기름을 넣고, 또 어떻게 넣는지도 몰라서 옆에 있던 아저씨가 도와줬다. 이럴때 차에 대해 많이 아는 키크고 잘 생긴 멋진 남자 오브 남자가 필요한데… 없으면 그냥 평범한 남자라도…

1479093917684 blog.jpg암튼 우여곡절끝에 라니카이에 도착. 와이키키와 달리 배경에는 물 건너 섬들이 보였다. 인파가 적고 더 예쁘긴 한데, 와이키키와 달리 먹을곳도 없고 비치 의자나 우산을 빌릴곳도 없다. 

나는 라니카이에서 물놀이 하고 놀고, ‘신나’는 모래에 누워서 음악을 즐겼다. 40분밖에 못 즐겼는데, 비가 내렸다. 처음에는 그냥 조금 오다 말겠지했는데, 나중에는 소나기가 올 것 같았다. 배도 고팠으니, 짐 싸들고 그냥 라니카이 해변이랑 이별했다.

주민들한테 물어서 먹을곳을 찾았다. 차 몰고 동네에 나가면 플라자가 나온다해서 갔다. 플라자에서는 그냥 간단하게 생선 타코와 새우 타코 먹고, 마트에서 간식거리 사 들고 Sunset Beach로 향했다.

20161113_182526.jpg 튀긴 물고기가 들어간 fish taco.

Sunset Beach로 갈때는 어느정도 차도 조금 익숙해지고, 길도 더 예쁘고 일몰에 대한 기대감도 커서 더욱 더 기분 좋게 갔다. 긴장하더라도 차를 침착하게 잘 몰아준 ‘신나’에게 박수 한 번. 아니 두 번!

20161113_193125.jpg산, 하늘, 구름, 나무… 좋다.

20161113_193631.jpg속 마음이 시원해지네

20161113_201346.jpg궁전으로 들어가는 느낌.

20161113_202731.jpg다리 위를 달리다가 오른쪽으로 고개를 돌렸을 때

우리는 라니카이에서 주차하는것때문에 고생을 좀 했었으니, Sunset Beach에서 가까운 아무 해변으로 들어설때 주차장 빈 자리가 보이길래 일단 파킹했다. ‘Sunset Beach로는 좀 걸어가면 돼지’,  생각하면서 내렸는데 한 20분을 걷게 됐다. 이 부근에는 해변들이 여러개 모여있는 일종의 해변거리였다. 그러면서도 사람사는 동네였다. 조용하고, 하와이 사람들의 일요일 일상을 옅볼수있었다. 주민들의 집들이 줄줄이 있는 인도를 걸으면서 Sunset Beach를 찾아나섰다.

인상적인 것들이 한 두 개가 아니였다.

일단 야생닭들이 걸어다닌다는거…건강한 닭들이 인도와 잔디풀을 서성거렸다. 한 군데만 아니라 계속 보이길래, 주인이 없다고 생각한다. 일본에는 길 고양이가 많고, 이 동네에는 길 닭이 많구나….온갖 무거운 짐 들고 걷느라 사진을 못찍은게 억울하다.

걷다가 도로 건너쪽에 lemonade를 파는 남자아이를 봤다. 집 앞에서 차들이 쌩쌩거리는 도로를 상대로 장사하는거 보니까 얘가 참 용기도 많다 생각했다.

그리고 자연산 전복보다 더 귀한 자연산 복근들을 봤다. 키 크고 구릿빛 피부를 가진 잘 생긴 청년들이 수영바지만 입고 서핑보드 들고 가는데…근육들이 gym에서 만든게 아니라 수영하고 서핑하다 만들어진 탄탄한 잔 근육들이었는데, 정말 멋있었다. 빨래판 복근처럼 선명하진 않았지만, 오히려 자연스럽게 생겼다. 빨래판은 아니지만 초콜릿 복근인건 분명하다. 닭들을 볼 때 나온 침이 여기서도… (장난, 장난).

또 한 집은 garage문을 열어놓고 두 청년이 음악 틀고 같이 승용차를 고치고 있었다. 할리우드에서 영화에 왜 이런 장면들을 넣는지 그 날 알았다. 뭔가 너무 풋풋하고, 젊음이 느껴졌다.

걸어가면 해변이 계속 나온다. 해변마다 이름을 알려주는 싸인이 있는것도 아니니, 나는 직접 주민들한테 물어물어 갔다. “Is this Sunset Beach?” 라고 하면, “No. It’s at the far end (아니요, 저 멀리 끝쪽에 있어요)”라고 대답했다.

드디어 Sunset Beach에 도착했을때는 주차창에 차가 엄청 많은것도 확인할수있었다. ‘아….그냥 차 몰고 올껄!’ 하면서 우리는 짜증냈지만, 지금 생각하면 몸이 고생해도 걸어오면서 본 그 장면들이 너무 소중하고 재밌다.

지금부터 Sunset Beach사진들을 좀…20161113_211300.jpg바람이 세게 불었었다.

20161113_211255.jpg이쪽으로 일몰이 나타난다.

이 날은 바람도 심해서 수영하지 말라는 싸인이 올라와 있었다. 근데 해변 깊이 surfing하는 사람들이 보였다. 목숨 걸고 하는것처럼 느껴졌다. 겁도 없다.


20161113_214428.jpg거친 파도의 기운을 받고있는 중.

20161113_214634.jpg돗자리 깔고, 간식 펼쳐놓고…좋네.

20161113_221658.jpg언제 또 이런거 찍어봐…


지금부터 일몰사진 대방출.

20161113_224718.jpg20161113_224747.jpg20161113_224750.jpg20161113_224822.jpg20161113_224958.jpg일몰은 정말 순식간이었다. 아쉬우면서도 아름다웠다. 

춥고 바람도 많이 부니까 우린 빨리 차 타고 호텔로 돌아갔다. ‘신나’가 짐을 내려놓고 차를 Sunset Beach 주차장으로 가져온 덕분에 바로 출발할수 있었다.


차 돌려줄때 어디로 가야할지 몰라서 힘들었지만, 겨우 돌려주고 한결 가벼워진 마음으로 저녁을 먹으러 나갔다.

20161114_023721.jpg결국 걷다가 한번 더 먹고 싶었던 마루가메 우동으로 또 갔다….차가운 Zaru udon. Chikuwa (긴 일본 오뎅) 튀김과 참치마요 삼각김밥.  삼각김밥은 단 맛이 없고, 짠 맛도 별로 없이 심하게 담백했다. Chikuwa튀김이 쫄깃하니 맛있었다.

피곤한 몰골을 끌고 호텔로.

20161114_035916.jpg 미니사이즈 술 사서 자기전에 한 잔씩. Grey Goose Orange and Melon.

이렇게 우리는 침대에 뒹굴거리며 하와이의 마지막 밤을 보냈다.

Day 6 (마지막날) 바로 가기