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Published: March 27th 2018
What you see when walking through the park
Not sure if this was a shoot for a magazine or a couple celebrating something but it was too pretty to miss.
There was no hurry to get out of bed …..so we didn’t. This worked pretty well as it generally means we only have 2 meals for the day as the first one isn’t till lunchtime. We strolled towards the station and found pancakes for Mal (of course!) and I decided to try something that resembled a toasted sandwich. It wasn’t, but still tasted delicious whereas the coffee was always a gamble on whether it would be drinkable. We were on our way to find the Samurai Museum and follow the first of our walking tours. Eventually we came up with the strategy to use the map, (not the instructions), then see if we could find ourselves on my phone using google map and follow which way the dot was moving, then turn the map in that direction (this was me doing that), then just follow Mal (see eye roll). Surprisingly it all worked and we found the museum and it was awesome!! For $18 each we had an 1 ½ tour, followed by an actor performing a sword kata, then trying on samurai costumes with staff taking our photos. Our next stop was the Shinjuku Goyen National Garden. It was magnificent
with blossoms and people everywhere. Got some fantastic photos. As if that wasn’t enough, we made or way to the Tokyo Observation Tower and because it was only dusk, thought we should wait until dark to get a proper view of the city. Had a lovely dinner watching the buildings light up the city before heading home absolutely exhausted. Mal has now upped his average steps over 10,000 per day – which means I have too – wonder if that will continue when he gets home? The next day was a bit of a fizzer. Tried to find the kite museum but we think it had been packed away for roadworks. There was nothing much else to see there so we moved onto Harajuka to see if we could spot some of the zany fashions the teenagers wear. Seems everyone was out that day as well! There was a garden nearby where we had some great chicken and pork on a stick. A 10km marathon finish line was being setup with stalls, bands etc but we were a bit early for all the activity. Wandered down the main street in a sea of people and decided that it was too
hard to even think about going into a shop, let alone get back out! Feeling pretty exhausted, headed home to find a nice place to eat. Ummmm….ended up in a restaurant specialising in offal and horse meat! Decided that we would opt for the chicken, which was pretty good. So for our next little adventure we headed to Ueno which is also home to the Zoo’s pandas who have a little baby. We didn’t go in as the crowds were unbelievable due to the perfect spring day, cherry blossoms and it being a Sunday. We went on a walking tour took lots of photos and then met up with Mal’s sister Janice, Peter her husband and their friends Russell and Lynn for dinner at a great little place. Initially the menu was only in Japanese but then a single english version was found and we ordered the best squid followed by amazing desserts. We then headed into Shibuja to get a taste of the crowds at night and watch them all cross the road from every angle at the one time. It certainly was a sight to behold and a great way to end another very busy day. Our final
Cherry blossoms in Tokyo
Tokyo city itself wasn't very exciting on a Sunday....too many offices
day of sightseeing was spent in an out of town area on a 15 km bike ride for 5 hours. It was fantastic and although I was pooping my pants because I haven’t been on a bike in years (and even then not very successfully), Mal was even more concerned he would be sitting next to someone in a body cast on the flight home. Turns out my riding skills weren’t too bad afterall. Sure, there was the odd wobbly moment, the awkward turn into a corner, the using my toes for brakes and the unco-ordinated approach to putting the stand up but hey! I didn’t run into any children, people, cars or other riders. I didn’t even fall off!!! The day was perfect, our guide fabulous in providing commentary and good food, exciting laneways and views. But we weren’t ready to stop ….we still had shopping to do! However, to get to where we had already picked out our bits and pieces, meant negotiating the subway which to date we had managed to avoid. People are so lovely in Japan and while we must have screamed ‘where the bloody hell are we’ by the looks on our faces, it
Tea ceremony at Ueno
I could barely get up after bending my ankles backwards for 20 minutes!
didn’t stop them from coming up and asking if they could help. Just as well or we would still be travelling around on a subway that is about 5 stories under the city!!! We got as much stuff as we could stuff into our bags and made our way home (again lucky to find help and number 3 platform that was like finding platform 9 ½ ), stopped at the supermarket for food to eat at home for our last evening in Japan. We are now freaking out how we are going to cart our luggage and kill 5 hours between leaving the house at 11am, but not catching our flight until 8pm. Fortunately they have plenty of lockers at the train stations which don’t cost the earth and once we have squished everything in to the bags plus a new one, I’m sure will be fine. Mal seems to be surprised by all the stuff we are taking home. Not sure why…..I’m sure he was with me when I was buying it all…..although there were a few times he did sit outside the shop and said for me to take my time. Silly man! This will be my last
post unless something spectacular happens tomorrow and then I will update you from the land of Oz. Thanks heaps for coming on the journey with us. Hope you’ve had fun….because we sure have!
PS, I guess you’re wondering about the title. Well, we have totally enjoyed the ‘people watching’ while having lunch or coffees or just sitting in the magnificent parks of Japan. Our keen powers of observation have noted that nearly every 2nd
woman is wearing a fawn trench coat and/or a beret of various colours. Given the many eccentric fashions I always associate with Japan, this has come as quite a surprise. Given we are coming into our winter and my need to have something new and different before anyone else (I was into flamingos well before the Reject shop)……. I am definitely going to try and get me one of each before I fly home! Will probably get a beret for each of my girls too….just know they’ll love ‘em (wink, wink!)
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