Went to Japan, Part 2: Tokyo!

After four days in Kobe, we hopped on the shinkansen to Tokyo. The train was awesome - SO fast and clean and quiet. And, like everything else in Japan, on time.

Our first day in Tokyo started with a site visit, and then we were free to explore! I went to the Meji shrine and walked around through the gardens - it was gorgeous (and nice and cool in the shade!)

These are decorative sake barrels that were given as a gift to the shrine.

Then, I went on an epic walk, ending at the Tokyo Swallows baseball stadium (which will have its own post!)

The next day, I went to the National Museum of Tokyo in the morning, and then to the kitchen-shop neighborhood in the afternoon, and up the Skytree in the evening.

Plastic food!

The skytree:

My ukulele-toting impromptu tour guide. I was a little lost and she stopped to help and ended up walking me all the way to my next destination (the shrine, below). Thanks, random musical stranger!

The Asahi building in the foreground and the Skytree in the background:


Dusk in Tokyo:

The next day I walked around some more and found this temple in the anime district. I had a hilarious google-translate-conversation with an older couple, trying to establish if it would be bad luck for me to take a temple-token (which I had purchased) home with me as a souvenir, instead of tying it to the shrine for ceremonial burning by the monks. I think we established that I would be ok. I may or may not have mimed taking the temple token on an airplane to my house in London.

I really liked Tokyo, although it just seemed HUGE and overwhelming (even for this New Yorker). Breaking it up into manageable bites was definitely do-able, though.