Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tokyo Recap Day 4

Hello everyone. I'm back again with more from our Tokyo trip this summer. It's a slow process sharing the trip with you. Each post takes me about 2 hours, and it's quite a busy time with my work right now, so thanks for your patience.

Sunday, June 4th

I guess our bodies were still getting use to the time change, or maybe it was the excitement of being in Tokyo, but Paul and I were having a hard time sleeping very late in the mornings. On this particular morning, around 3 a.m. it went something like this:

Paul: Are you awake?
Me: Yes
Paul: Do you think you'll go back to sleep?
Me: I don't think so
Paul: Wanna go for a walk?
Me: Sure!


So we got up, brushed our teeth, put on a ball cap and headed out the door. (Jamie was sound asleep in her room.) Once on the street, Paul and I picked a direction and started walking. We headed toward the government building and found a very nice area called Chuo Park. The sun begins to rise at 4:45 there, so the birds began chirping and only the small sounds of morning could be heard. (It's my favorite time of the day, even here at home.) We strolled the park, arm in arm, and enjoyed the peaceful quiet.


The architecture here is so varied and artistic. I snapped this photo on our walk through the city on our way to breakfast. This is only one of so many unique designs around Tokyo.


After collecting Jamie for breakfast, we decided to walk to Shibuya Crossing. On our way, we stopped for water, as we often did on our travels. Vending machines like these are everywhere right on the sidewalks of most busy streets. The have beverages like water, tea, coffee and juices, however there are some which contain beer and sake too! This was very handy for us, as we did so much walking and were constantly thirsty.


 I can't seem to say it enough: we were so lucky to have such nice weather. It was perfect!


It was sunny, so definitely a ball cap kinda day. Jamie and I are standing at the entrance to Meiji Jingu on our way to Yoyogi Park. Meiji Jingu is a Shinto shrine nestled in a beautiful forest of tall trees with a wide walking path carved through its center.


Here's an aerial view, courtesy of the Meiji Jingu official website


We didn't visit the actual shrine, only passed by. Instead, we continued on our way and came upon these barrels.


I love the graphic nature of them stacked together like this.


At the end of the long row of barrels, we found a sign that explained what they were.


On our walk, we encountered so many beautiful flowers. Hydrangeas were the most common.


This one looked so unique to me, I had to snap a picture. I sent it to my friend and flower expert Susan Tierney-Cockburn and she easily identified it as a Lace Cap Hydrangea. I'd never seen anything like this before. (Not too common in Florida, apparently)


At the end of the wide walking path, we eventually came upon Yoyogi Park. As a memory keeper, I always snap photos of signage along the way as well as keep a journal at the end of each day's events, in order to remember the details of a trip that can be easy to forget otherwise.


After passing through Yoyogi Park we entered Shibuya. This area is a popular and busy shopping area surrounding Shibuya Station, one of the busiest railway stations in Tokyo. I snapped this photo of another unique building because of its dark, steampunk/gothic appearance, with its contrasting entrance to a Disney store. (click on the photo to see the detail.)


Shibuya Crossing is a famous spot for watching the "scramble" of people making their way through this major intersection. Here's an evening shot I found here: Photo courtesy


and this video is perfect.



We couldn't pass up real Japanese taiyaki. Remember when we found these in London two years ago? You can read all about taiyaki here, if interested.


We headed back to Shinjuku via the train and stopped at our favorite little spot for noodles. I got buckwheat soba, fried tofu, egg and crab this time. Excellent! Lots of slurping going on.


After a rest in the hotel and a cold bath (some days my feet were screaming for a cold soak), we headed back out to the Times Square Mall for a trip to the ever-popular and awesome Tokyu Hands store. Six floors of everything you can imagine from luggage and sports, to cosmetics and crafts, and so much more. And tax free to tourists! Simply show your passport. I purchased some hair products to try to tame my frizz and some foot scrub which was put to good use throughout the trip.


video
After shopping, we explored the basement of Shinjuki Station and found an incredible food market where one could find anything and everything they desired; the most beautiful desserts, fish, meats, salads, and of course sushi. Just check out this video of the sushi area alone.


We grabbed a few things for dinner and ate in our hotel room, then finished off the night with a small load of laundry in the basement which consisted of three small washers and dryers, and was quite busy this particular evening, so we had to keep a watch on the time so as not to hold up anyone else.


I'll be back again soon with more on our Tokyo travels. Thanks for stopping in.



2 comments:

  1. I SO get the feet needing soaking at the end of the day! You walk, and walk, and walk some more! My Uncle and his Granddaughter are in Yokahama now. They are on the 96th floor of the hotel with a Ferris Wheel they can see from their rooms. She is delivering a paper she wrote as her final thesis for her Masters! I loved seeing the vending machines! Aquarius water was our favorite. And we took advantage of the beer and sake vending machines a few times! I also LOVED shopping in the basement grocery stores. We brought quite a bit of shelf-stable food home with us! I am ready to go back!

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  2. Once again very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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