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Published: March 24th 2018
Is that a food baby?
Nah, it's just Mal's big arse camera. And yes, it was as miserable as he looks.
We had to be up and organised for our bus departure at 8:30 and I have to say that this group is one of the most punctual I’ve ever been with. There was only one night we had to wait because of a misunderstanding, otherwise everyone was that at least 5 mins early. This day was no exception and after a hearty American breakfast that wasn’t very nice (scambled eggs which looked like mashed potato and tasted as if they’d been mixed the egg with cream) we headed out into the freezing pouring Tokyo weather. First stop was the Meiji Shrine with huge wooden Tori Gates. Normally these are coloured red but as this shrine was dedicated to the last Samuri emperor who modernised Japan, they decided to leave it natural rather than the Chinese red. While this was a magnificent park, we were all very wet and cold by the time we returned to the bus. We then headed off to a Buddist temple that was located at the end of endless shops. Again it was sooooo cold (top of 5 or 4 or something ridiculous!) and wet that the shopping wasn’t much fun, but we did get an umbrella!
Given we were still going to have 5 days to do shopping we weren’t too fussed. Lunch was another traditional meal before we walked to jetty to catch a cruise boat that would show us all the bridges in the city area. Pretty cool if you like bridges because that really was the point of the tour – we heard the name of the bridge as we passed under it nothing more nothing less. All in all a fairly miserable day and we felt the misery was only going to get worse as we were told there was yet another garden for us to wander around. Well you know what? If you’ve paid all that money to be in a foreign country, you just to see this stuff regardless of the weather! So off we trundled in our coats, brollies and for Mal, wet shoes and socks to see more gorgeous bridges, Japanese trees and buildings. But life is full of the most wonderful surprises. While we were all talking about how we couldn’t feel our toes and fingers we noticed that the rain seemed to be getting heavier, but not in quantity….. Literally in texture. Yes!!! It was starting
Tori Gate at the Meiji Shrine
It's pretty big. That's Mal standing in the middle of the road under it.
to snow! in spring! in Tokyo!! Our guide couldn’t believe it and said that it was virtually unheard of for this time of the year. Now how’s that for putting a whole new spin on our day?! It felt like the sleet/snow was just going to disappear, so imagine our surprise when we went to the top of the Tokyo Tower and we could still see snow swirling around. I even got a photo of the buildup of snow on the pylons! An excellent view of the city which in itself is unbelievable – but also snow!! The news was full of all the snow and we had left before it had started to cover the ground but it was still very exciting to be part of such an unusual event. This was our last stop before heading to our hotel near Narita airport and our last group meal together. We meet for our buffet meal, after discussing buying a little gift from the group for Keiko for all her hard work in keeping us entertained and informed the entire time. Everyone chipped in so there was clapping and hugs all round as everyone was leaving at different times the
Copper roof in preparation for the 150 years celebration
This anniversary will also coincide with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo..... I think, but it sounds good too so I won't let facts get in the way of a good story.
next day. Mal and I went up to the bar to enjoy the beautiful night sky twinkling with planes (no stars) and the many lights of the buildings. Our next adventure was about to begin.
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