Wabi-Sabi Sole

Finding Beauty with Imperfection

Category: Neko Atsume

Neko Break

Before the holiday, I saw an advertisement for Neko Break Yokohama. It described the event as a photography exhibit showcasing cats who have become famous Twitter and Instagram. I added this to my “must see list” post holiday. I thought pictures of kawaii Neko would warm me up on a chilly winter afternoon.

I took the train to Mark Is, a large mall in the Minato Mirai area of Yokohama. The exhibit was on the 5F of the mall. I made my way up the numerous escalators, I think like 9 or 10. (The train station is on B4.) The entry fee for the exhibit was ¥500. Let’s just say I was in cute cat picture heaven! There were so many!

The exhibit was contained by temporary walls and setup in a “L” shape.

I love the 3D exhibit at the end of the row. This person’s cats apparently busted through the screen. They have pictures and a model demo.

These guys had me giggling. Check out the Trump hair cat.

Or the snot bubble cat. Still giggling.

Or the cat with a Tokyo Skytree hat.

There were a lot of cats with hats. Kawaii! The cat to the left of the Tokyo Skytree Cat is a sushi cat!

I think my favorite was the stray cat exhibit. I noticed immediately the cats were all outdoors. Google Translate confirmed my suspicion they were feral cats. It made me smile thinking how this person took time to take pictures of cats that weren’t their own.

More cats with hats and A few Christmas pictures.

I also like the cat decorated as Kagami Mochi.

Kagami Mochi is a Japanese New Year decoration. It consist of two mochi cakes stacked on top of one another with a daidai (bitter orange) and leaf balanced on top. The mochi is used for soup.

There was plenty of merchandise available. I had my fingers crossed for Neko Atsume charms. Unfortunately, no luck.

I had a good giggle during my Neko Break. It made for a silly and fun outing. As advertised, the feline photo exhibited warmed my heart!

Yokosuka on Sunday

Sunday the rain continued. Fortunately, it didn’t dampen our spirits. I had originally planned for us to watch the Yokosuka Mikoshi Parade, but the rain cancelled the celebration. Instead, we ventured down to the Honch, visited Dave’s work, shopped, and enjoyed lunch. Strolling through the Honch. 

Halloween decorations at the AEON mall. 

During their entire visit, Nina and I have been searching for Neko Atsume figures. If you are not familiar with Neko Atsume (Cat Collector) it is an App that allows to you to feed and attract virtual cats to your yard. I found a few figures in the Gacha located in the AEON mall in Yokosuka several months back. Last time I went, the Neko Atsume Gacha were gone. We searched again on Sunday. Unfortunately, still no luck. 

We did however find another one of my favorites. Cat figurines by Concombre. I introduced them to Layla and Nina and it was love at first meow. Kawaii! Here is the Halloween set we both purchased to celebrate the season. 

After shopping at the Gatcha machines, stationary store, and toy store, we were ready for lunch. We decided to eat at the Korean BBQ where you grill your own food. 

After lunch, we strolled over to see Dave’s office. SRF Dry Docks. 

Welcome sign. 

Posing with Dave’s fish! 

We started our soggy trek home. The rain created train delays and I was relieved we vetoed the possibility of a soggy schlep to Tokyo. The trains were super crowded and running late. Staying local was a perfect solution! 

Laforet Grand Bazar

The first semester ended yesterday for Yokosuka DOD schools. Today and tomorrow are teacher work days. What is a better place to spend days off with kids than in Harajuku? Oh, wait… Kids? Hmmm… Fortunately, Dina agreed to share her sweet girls and we all ventured up together on the train!

Probably my favorite moment of the day was shortly after we took this picture.


I (jokingly) told the girls that our Kimono appointment was at noon. They both looked at me as I continued to tell them, I scheduled an appointment for all of us to have a kimono fitting and photo shoot.  The look Dina’s oldest daughter, a teenager, gave her was priceless! From there, the joke only escalated and morphed into an inconceivable Japanese kimono fairy tale. It was hilarious.

We walked down Takeshita street and worked our way to Dominique Ansel Bakery for lunch. On our way, we passed this spectacle. A HUGE group of balloons!

Not only was there a huge thing of balloons, there were a lot of Japanese standing in a long line and a cute little American girl wearing cat ears! Kawaii!

Turns out, the spectacle was actually a very well known sales event. According to my research, the Japanese flock to Harajuku for the semi-annual Grand Bazar sales. The sale includes a six-story complex (plus vendors on the street) with many different well-known Japanese brands. The event offers drastic discounts and amazing bargains if you are willing to stand the crowds.

Knowing we would not have much luck finding our size, we continued on our way to lunch. We thought the girls would enjoy seeing and drinking the blooming hot chocolate at Dominique Ansel Bakery. Plus, I wanted to try the lobster roll.

The lobster roll was good. The one I had at Luke’s was better.

After lunch, we spent about an hour and a half wandering around a five-story toy store called Kiddy Land. They had a wide variety of Japan characters and many American. Sadly, no Neko Atsume!

As we walked back towards Takeshita Street, we passed the Laforet Grand Bazar again. This time, the main character was on the street! Seriously. Soak in the number of balls this guy is wearing/carrying. Each time someone asked to have a picture taken with him, he asked, “which ball do you want?” So, bizarre.

Hopefully, the picture is not too grainy but, you really needed to see the details of the makeup on his face.

I laugh each time I look at this one! Her face, his face! Her height, his height! Too, funny. He was definitely not Japanese. However, I think I detected a slight Wisconsin accent.

When you visit, Harajuku is an absolute must! I can’t promise the Bazar but, I can promise the bizarre!


Throughout Japan there are vending machines that will dispense small toys inside plastic capsules. 

They are called gashapon or gachapon or just gacha for short. The word gachapon is a Japanese onomatopoeia. “Gacha” for the sound the dial makes as it turns and “pon” for the sound of the capsule dropping. The gacha machines are everywhere and have toys designed appeal to all ages. 

The gacha have a variety of available toys. Most of the gacha machines I have seen cost either 200¥ or 300¥. The machines only take a 100¥ coin. Typically, the toys are sold in sets of 5 – 7 different toys. However, your purchase only gives you one toy at a time. Trying to collect all of the toys in a set can become frustrating and expensive because you are making blind purchases. Not to mention, the series you are trying to collect may be difficult to find. 

I keep trying to get a dog drinking beer. All I have gotten is a sad cat drinking Sake, twice. 

Each time I go shopping, I check the gatcha machines. The closest one to me here in Zushi is at the Japanese grocery store, Yorkmart. Here are the gatcha I have collected from the grocery store. They are supposed to be little cherub statues. Peeing. What in the…?? 

I have also been looking for my favorite Japanese characters from the Neko Atsume (Cat Collector) app. I finally was able to find them today while in Yokosuka. Yay!

Jeeves and Kathmandu

This series are like the opposite of wine charms. They sit under your wine glass instead of hanging on them. The brunette with a smashed umbrella makes makes me giggle. I think of my friend, Sue, enduring car rider circle in VB during a Nor’easter. Just make it wine time already!! 

A couple more things you should know. During my gacha collecting, I have gotten duplicates. These I plan on sharing with you and I hope they make you laugh. Second, when you come to visit and if you fly into Narita Airport, there is a expansive collection of gacha machines. You will be able to search and find your favorite to look for throughout your visit! There are so many choices!!



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