Headed to an area of Tokyo called Asakusa this morning, so thought we might get a map, but our hotel was unable to give us a map of Tokyo in English, so we got one in Italian……mmmmm surprisingly we could make this work, helps that Claudia knows a little Italian.
The metro…..this morning it got the better of us, we'll the lack of consistency in the metro maps did. One map said we could go via the green line, another didn't even have a green line! We had left the English metro map in the hotel (ok, I left it behind) and so struggled to translate especially when none of the maps matched the signs at the station…..anyway, the seasoned travelers we are we managed to sort it out, discovering that the seemingly one metro system are run by 2 different companies, so you need separate tickets and not all lines are on the one map!
We eventually made it to Asakusa and to the Sensoji Temple, as you arrive you pass under the Kaminarimon Gate which is then followed by a strip of tourists shops leading up to the temple, selling all manner of useless souvenirs.
Unless of course you wanted to buy a cheap kimono or ninja outfit……they only had kids sizes!
As well as a washing your hands before entering the temple, the Japanese would stand next to the burning incense and wave the smoke over them as if they washing away any evil.
Next to the temples was a tiny little garden
Mmmm was time for lunch…….we sat at a place and had a drinks and food menu provided to us in English. So far so good, waitress asks what we want to drink, Claudia gets an iced tea, I say I am ok……the waitress insists i must order a drink or leave, i say but we are ordering food….this exchange in poor english repeats a few times, before we are asked to leave. Turns out its a bar….it was plastic chairs under an awning….and you have to order a drink before they will allow you to order food! Lesson learned always order beer!
We eventually found some food and had our first ramen of the trip….was ok, but by now I was pretty hungry, so anything would do!
Ueno park was next on the list…..but really I would call it a garden, as no grass to be seen, hardly anywhere to sit, it's more a walk through garden than a park. But had a pond, which was covered in giant lilli pads, literally covering the whole pond. I can imagine this would be really beautiful when they all flowering.
Also had an area of the pond that you could rent a swan shaped paddle boat…..ah so romantic….Claudia you want to paddle me around the lake…..”mmmm NO!”, where's the love!
Next stop was the very famous Shibuya crossing, where 6 streets intersect with each other and when the lights change people walk in all directions across the intersection.
Naturally, we had to cross it and get stupid tourist shots as we did so….
Having flash backs to Abbey Road in London…..
Mmm was getting thirsty, it was about 34 degrees today, so stopped at 7-11 to buy some water…..purchased this bottle of sweat…..turns out to be like a Gatorade but with the label sweat on it…..mmm so appealing, yet it was actually pretty nice.
Gosh, I am realizing how much we did today as I type up this blog. To compete our day of moments lost in translation we went to the Park Hyatt up to the 41st floor for a cocktail and a view. A scene from the movie Lost In Translation was filed here….I haven't seen it, so no significance for me, but was an awesome view.
Tokyo has a number of themed bars and restaurants, one we particularly wanted to check out was a ninja restaurant. So we headed there tonight. You are greeted at the door by your ninja guide who leads you down into a dungeon, along a dark twisting corridor, up and down stairs….over a secret bridge and eventually you end up in ninja village, with lots of separate dining areas and lots of ninjas running around serving food. We had a 11 course meal…..was actually really good, given its a themed restaurant, so maybe more paying for the gimmick than the food. Sadly I don't have any photos of the ninjas….it was pretty dark so wouldn't have worked very well, but do have some of the food.
Below is crackers and pate, the black star in the twigs is the crackers
Nothing like some flames to liven up a dish
Our ninja waitress made this soup right in front of us, was really yummy.
10 courses down, was getting pretty full, but managed to eat dessert…..always room for dessert.