Alright, now that I am settled into my apartment in Japan (more on that at a later date) I am ready to start writing about all of my Japan adventures so far. The best place to start is where we left off and in the last post I was talking about arriving in Tokyo. I was there for three nights and two days and I did my best to make them as full as possible.
Saturday morning was grey and gloomy, oh and raining. Not the most picturesque start to my adventures in Japan but it was still fairly warm compared to Calgary in March and so I armed myself with an umbrella from the lobby and headed out into the rain to explore Tokyo.
The hotel I was staying at was in the northern part of a neighborhood called Asakusa which is home to some of Tokyo’s famous temples and shrines. It was about a 20 minute walk in the rain to my destination and I stumbled upon the shrine without even realizing it. The rain certainly made my experience at the shrine an interesting and unique one. I’m happy that it didn’t keep me indoors that day, though I did feel considerably damp for the whole time it was raining as it was fairly humid too.
The Senso-ji Temple Complex is quite large and is home to Asakusa Shrine (a Shinto Shrine) as well as the Buddhist temple. One of the main features of the Temple are the gateways with the giant red paper lanterns. There is also a pagoda and various other buildings and gardens.
Outside of the temple complex are mazes of shopping streets and stalls filled with everything from souvenirs to food and more. Many, but not all, of the streets were covered as well which was a nice break from the rain.
The rain decided to let up just as I was getting onto the train for Akihabara. Akihabara is Tokyo’s electric town and is famous for it’s brightly lit signs and buildings. It is home to electronics stores, maid cafes, and all things anime and geeky that you could think of from Japan. I loved it. There was SO much to see including several arcades and all kinds of stores. Definitely the place to be if you are in to any of the geeky things that Japan offers.
After a few hours of wandering around Akihabara, all with an added umbrella because of the earlier rain, I decided to head off to Shibuya. One of the new Digimon Adventure Tri movies had come out the weekend before and like the dork that I am, I wanted to see it in the theater if I could. And I did! I got to see my movie and check out the famous scramble crossing and Hachiko statue. I called it quits after that though and made the long trek back to the hotel.
I had big plans on Sunday to head back to the Shibuya and Shinjuku area for the day but at this point my feet were hating me and jet lag was catching up with me and so instead I checked out a Shinto Shrine that was near my hotel’s train station and then made my way back to Akihabara and wandered around there some more. I spent some money on crane games and those vending machines that give you a toy or something inside a little plastic ball that back home only kids care about (here they are huge and everywhere).
The next morning I was packing up and out of the hotel by 10am. After a quick and cheap breakfast at Denny’s, yup they are even in Japan, I was heading off to a larger train station to catch the Shinkansen bullet train to the city where Interac training would take place.
It was a quick two days in Tokyo and I didn’t get to see half of what there is to see there but I had a blast for what it was. I do not regret coming the few days early and starting my trip off with a bang. It’s going to be a while until I’m back in Tokyo after all, since I am actually pretty far away down here in Shiga. That’s okay though because Kyoto is just next door.