Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tokyo Treasure Hunt

Okay, this isn't really a costuming thing or a physical piece of art, but it took just as much planning as my more ambitious costumes and I'm pretty impressed that I managed to pull it off.

At the time, we had lived in Tokyo for five years, and were about to move back to the US. Together we planned a farewell party for a Saturday night, but I wanted to surprise him with a treasure hunt before that as an early birthday present. The planning took months, the schedule coordination took weeks, and more than 20 people took time out of their day to be a part of this. We have some pretty great friends.

I said, "I have plans for you today, put on pants." He only asked what kind of pants he should wear. That's trust!

I made an excuse to leave the house, then sent him a text.

Clue #1: A photo of the lockers in our local train station, a locker key, and an envelope of money labeled "for drinks."

Clue #2: a photo of Ichiran in Shimokitazawa, his favorite ramen restaurant in a neighborhood just two train stops away.

At the ramen restaurant, he was met by a friend I had conscripted. This friend went on the quest with him all day and messaged me at every stop so I could keep them on schedule. They had lunch and GuideFriend handed over Clue #3, a photo of a small bottle shop just a couple minutes' walk from Ichiran.

Unfortunately, the shop was unexpectedly closed. But Clue #4 friends met him outside and they went somewhere else to have a drink and look at the clue.

Closed! Boo.

Clue #4: a photo of lockers in Shinjuku station and a locker key

Inside the locker, Clue #5 has a photo of an Irish pub not far from the station and a paper beer glass

Inside The Dubliner's Irish Pub they met another friend for Clue #6.

Clue #6: With the Crossing behind you/ and Loyalty to the right/ The lockers are ahead of you/ Just beyond the smoking site
Fun fact: when this photo was taken, I was on the other side of the building handing off Clue #10

Clue #7: A photo of Ningen Kankei, one of our regular bars.

(Photo from here)

And here some friends that brought us to said bar in the first place, ready to hand over Clue #8.

Clue #8: a photo of lockers in Shibuya station and a locker key

Clue #9: three photos
The sign says "Nakameguro Gate Town" so he would know to go to Nakameguro station.
On the back of one photo I wrote which exit, and "Baird" on the back of another.
On the second floor of the building is a pub called Baird's Beer Nakameguro Taproom.

Clue #10 was handed off by this couple at the Taproom.

Clue #10: a photo of lockers at Ebisu station and a key

Clue #11: a card with the URL, which goes to a short video of the Pirates of Tokyo Bay saying, "What the Dickens!"

The Pirates of Tokyo Bay are a bilingual improv comedy group, and What the Dickens is their regular venue.

(Photo from here)
The bartender was a little surprised to find my clue at the door, (they weren't open when I dropped it off and I couldn't stay), but she played along and gave them Clue #12.

Clue #12: Lockers in Roppongi Station

Clue #13: Another video clue! ( Friends in the States lent their kids to the cause to direct the treasure hunt to the next stop, Pizzakaya in Roppongi.

I knew this treasure hunt was going to be a surprise when Husband kept trying to make other plans for that day, like an office pizza party. In a different pizza place. I managed to get a message to them to change the location to Pizzakaya, so it still worked out. 

I had a great photo of the owner holding Clue #14, but my phone decided not to save it. Harrumph!
(Photo from here)
Clue #14: A poem leading to the going away party we had both planned for that evening
You've had beers (at least one or two)/ But this is an important clue!/ It's no real surprise/ But to you I advise/ To come bid our good friends adieu!

At the party, I gave him the final clue.

The final clue is a puzzle, because why not?

 The assembled puzzle:
is the REAL treasure
hurr hurr hurr (¬_¬)
(But also look in the attic)
Into the attic!

Treasure chest!

We joked for years that the ¥500 coins look like gold dubloons and we should fill a treasure chest with them. So I did that.

I saved these coins for months.

He calls me "mew." It's our version of "honey" or "sweetheart."

Bonus image: how I kept track of everything.

I would not be upset if this is one of the things I'm remembered for.

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