Tokyo turns on the charm…

Originally published on 20th December 2015 on Blogger

Yesterday was an extremely fun packed day, full of many unexpected treasures. It was such a big day, I couldn’t blog last night. I was shattered.

The day started out very crisp and cold. Bloody freezing, actually. We headed to Tokyo station. We had been here before, but never been out of the station. It’s a beautiful building, opened in 1914 (5 years after Flinders Street). Mya and I are collecting station stamps again (Stamp Rally), so this one was a boon!

Marunouchi area around Tokyo station is the business area. Feels kind of like the top end of Collins Street. A leisurely walk, past an amazing White Christmas tree, on to the Imperial Palace. You can’t go into the palace (the Emperor still lives there) but you can walk around the amazing gardens and moats. Spectacular. As you can see in the photo, Finn was very interested in this botanic wonderland….

A lunch of curry and then on to Tokyo Tower. The walk from the station was very pretty. It took us past a massive shrine, which had a jizo cemetery. I think this is what it was. Hundreds of jizo statues, in little red bonnets, with offerings beside each one. Japanese have these statues to commemorate and keep safe the souls of babies and children who have died. I loved this little shrine area. So pretty.

Tokyo Tower, which looks like an orange and white Eiffel Tower is quite amazing. At 332m tall, it’s bigger than the Eiffel Tower, and was built as a communications tower. The Observatory is at 150m, which gave us great views over Tokyo, all the way to Mount Fuji. Well, Mya and I saw the outstanding views, while Finn waited at the bottom. He has definitely inherited his Dad’s fear of heights, and was not even going to entertain the thought of going up this tower!

Back at the bottom, the kids had crepes (Harajuku style not Eiffel Tower style) and we had to buy gloves, as it was about 5 degrees and dark by 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

Back to Shibuya, which looked very pretty at night, with Santa climbing in all the trees, to watch Star Wars. No spoilers, but it was excellent!!

After the movie we found Genki Sushi, that some of the guys in my Japanese conversation class had recommended. This place was awesome. A highlight of the trip. You sit at a bar, with an iPad in front of you and a track, along which runs a little skateboard like conveyor belt. You order your food on the screen and it comes on the conveyor belt and stops right in front of you. You take it off, push a button and off it goes, back to the kitchen. Soooo fun….. With beer, ice cream and every type of sushi you can imagine. Plus udon, miso, edamame…. And it’s cheap. Around 20 nigiri between us, plus tamago (Mya), udon with prawns (me,) unagi (Finn) and drinks and dessert for $35, and it was very, very delicious. The kids want to go again, it was a lot of fun!! There was an old man sitting next to Mya who randomly handed her a cute little monkey bag charm. She bowed and thanked him several times, and when I turned to thank him, he got up and gave Finn and I one, too. So sweet.

Now we are on the Shinkansen to Kyoto, to see our friends, Maki, Chelsea and Lancey…. Hooray. Top speed so far 283kms an hour. I LOVE JAPAN!!!

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