Samurais and Shibuya

Our third day in Tokyo was a huge winner. We took the kids to the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku.  Shinjuku itself is a crazy area and fun to explore. We were there during the (rainy) day, but at night I am sure it is a neon paradise.

The Samurai Museum was amazing. It was a guided tour- which was great for the kids. Our guide provided interesting historical info while the kids gawked at the legit Samurai armor and swords. The detail on these things were insane, from the knuckles on the gloves to the silk and metal shoulder guards.

Can you imagine going into battle balancing those horn-like things on your helmet? The guide told us these the average height of Japanese men at the time was about 5 feet tall, so helmets like these helped to intimidate enemies. They are actually made of a light weight wood, not metal. But still…..

The museum was really hands on. Such a rare experience and one the kids just ate up. They could touch and try on helmets, face guards and swords. Archer was in HEAVEN.  Probably the first time he has held a REAL SWORD. Literally, I did not think he was going to give it back. Sadly that joy was not photo documented, but you can see the envy on his face below when Lincoln had the sword.

At the end of the museum tour, the kids were able to dress up in Samurai gear and pose with “real” weapons. I think they could have messed around with this for hours. We have about 500 pictures, so brace yourself for more than enough here:

The Janiga girls got in on the action – super cute:

The kids insisted the parents also dress up. We did, and it was pretty funny. Unfortunately the kids were the ones taking the pictures so we look like ghosts in all of them. You get the idea:

When we left the museum we wandered around Shinjuku making our way back to the station. As luck would have it, we (of course) meandered into Kabukichō, Tokyo’s most notorious red light district and part of Shinjuku. Luckily with the Japanese language barrier – none of the kids noticed a thing. Pretty sure this photo was taken at the cusp of Kabukichō. Oops!


After a little rest and pool time, we ventured out to see Shibuya and the famous Shibuya crossing. It is said to be the busiest intersection in the world and that at peak times 1000 people cross the street at every light change. The intersection is one of those all ways at one time pedestrian crossings. It was as insane as it sounds. It was the only time in Asia so far we were actually in danger of losing one of the children…. (well, except for that time in Tokyo when Archer got on a subway car and the doors closed behind him with the rest of us still on the platform – that was a pretty close call too. I try not to think about it…)


The entire Shibuya area around the crossing is the bustling, jam packed neon jungle you imagine Tokyo to be. The kids had meat on a stick for dinner from a walk up meat-on-a-stick window, and everyone was happy.

I’ll leave you with this gem. It’s probably the best photo we’ve taken in Asia. I mean, seriously??? (he was VERY serious about this, did not crack a smile for even a second. Samurais don’t smile apparently…nothing is funny when you’re a warrior.)

じゃあね (jaa ne)


  1. Gamma

    OMG your post from yesterday and today is fabulous. I can’t believe how tall Alya has gotten. The pictures from the Samuri museum are literally too priceless. There is no good comment for them just one huge smile on my face as I looked at them.
    I love reading your posts. Say hi to the kids and I look forward to reading their opinions do Japan.

    Love you all, miss you lots.

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