When I got up, Yusuke suggested going for a walk with Hannah in the pushchair. After about five suggestions thrown around over breakfast, we eventually decided to go to the new big shopping centre in Takasaki by car. http://aeon-takasaki.com/others/outline.jsp
We arrived there at around 1p.m., as it now takes about an hour longer to get ready after doing all the baby prep. stuff. The centre was huge! Much bigger than I imagined. From the car park, we came in at the childrens’ area. There was a load of noise going on (as it was a national holiday) and a big ball park and activity centre thingy. It came complete with massage chairs for weary parents, although they were 100 yen for 15 minutes. A bit of a waste of money considering you can do the same thing in any electronics shop and nobody will throw you off. I’m wondering if you could stay there from opening until closing time..
Anyway, the childrens floor included toys, clothes and other stuff, but the most amazing thing was a feeding/toilet/baby care area. There were drinks vending machines, tables and chairs, sofa areas, tiny toilets just for children, a baby changing area, a family toilet, complete with adult and tiny toilet, a sink with hot purified water to use for making up bottles, and a curtained off set of booths for breastfeeding (photo). It really is either all or nothing here..
The centre was so huge, that we ended up staying and walking around there until 8p.m. (including a stop for lunch). It made me feel a lot happier living in Gunma though. It was almost like a day out. That makes me sound like an old woman (think Ikea on a Sunday), but I don’t care. We ended up booking appointments in the hairdressers there too, as a cut was only 2800 yen (about 15 pounds).
Saturday – we got up early, took Hannah over to Yusuke’s Mum’s house and then went to the shopping centre again to the hairdressers. The place was packed out, even though it was only 11a.m. Yusuke helped to explain to the hairdresser what I wanted, and then she cut my hair without a word, which was weird, but a little relaxing not having to bother. The whole process took an hour, which is pretty amazing here. A hairdressing trip usually takes all afternoon. She did a good job, although my hair’s a bit more layered now, which means I have to style it more. Today (Monday) a hat was my best friend.
After the shopping centre, we went to pick up Hannah, stayed and chatted a little bit, and then came back home, exhausted..I think we ended up eating “lunch” at around 4p.m…