Tokyo Day 1

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October 30th 2012
Published: October 30th 2012
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This was my first full day in Tokyo and I got around and saw several of the sights. Tokyo does not appear to have any huge must-see sights. There are many things to see and do, but unlike other cities I have been to recently there is no Acropolis, no Topkapi Palace, no Western Wall. This morning I visited the gardens of the Imperial Palace. (See picture) The Royal family still lives on the site, so visitors are only allowed to see inside the buildings. I went to the Ginza and wandered around agog at the neon signs, huge department stores, and large numbers of pedestrians. I saw a melon in a department store for sale at ¥10,400. That is over $130! (See picture) I have read that the Japanese value well-shaped fruit as aesthetically pleasing and give such items as gifts. As for me, I spent around $11 for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant whose menus had no English words at all. I pointed to the second item on the menu and hoped it would be something I liked. It turned out to be a number of small items in separate dishes. They included cooked fish, raw fish, soup,
rice, and a sliced green pickled vegetable. In addition there was a small dab of wasabi and a small package of seaweed. There were no knives or forks, but I made do with chopsticks and the soup spoon. It was hard to eat the slab of cooked fish with chopsticks, but I noticed that other diners managed it with dexterity. They have had more practice than I have! After lunch I went to another shopping Mecca, the Shibuya district. There were even more signs and more shoppers than at Ginza. (See picture) My last destination for the day was the Mieji shrine. This quiet, serene wooded area is a welcome haven in busy Tokyo. I saw more westerners here then I had seen previously in the day, but most of the tourists appeared to be Japanese and many of them were there to pray at the shrine. I took a picture at the gate. Note that the sign says no cats, no dogs, and no graffiti. I can understand the dogs and graffiti, but do people really try to bring cats in? By the time I was done seeing the shrine, my jet lag had caught up with me and
I headed back to the hotel. I will publish this blog now and then go find some supper.

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30th October 2012

Hi Bill, Tokyo sounds really exciting and expensive! Wow-$130.00 for one melon, must be the Dolly Parton of the melons. Your lunch sounds interesting also, good thing you can use chopsticks! Glad you are arriving home on the West coast rather than the East. Lots of damage, and travel delays due to the Frankenstorm! Does Japan celebrate Halloween? Take care-be safe-enjoy!! Linda

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