Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tokyo Day 2- Conclusion

After leaving the Meiji Shrine, we walked down Omotesando-dori  (aka Jingumae), described in one of our tourbooks as the Champs- Elysees of Tokyo.  We visited the Oriental Bazaar but I was not much in the mood to shop after visiting the Meiji Shrine.  A few doors away,  Kiddy-Land, the famous toy store, was closed for relocation and "reconstruction".  Instead we visited a local artist's gallery and store and ate in a vegetarian restaurant of excellent quality (more on our food adventures to come in a later blog).

Nakagin Capsule Tower
We then headed off for the Tokyo Bay area where we first got an overview from the 46th floor of an office building.  Heading toward Hama Rikyu Garden, I took a picture of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, a historic, endangered  building by the famous architect, Kisho Kurakawa, shown here.  We then had a treat seeing some park performers juggling a teapot on a stick and a dish on an umbrella.

Our friend arranged for us to visit the Japanese teahouse in the Garden, where we enjoyed the tea ceremony of matcha and a sweet sitting on tatami mats.  Then off we went for a boat trip on the Sumida River, passing the Rainbow BridgeTsukiji market, numerous bridges, the Yomiuri Shimbun (a Japanese newspaper) building and the ever photographable Asahi building near our destination of Asakusa.

Hama Rikyu Garden
Rainbow Bridge

Tsukiji market

Chuo-ohashi Bridge
Yomiuri Building

Asahi Building

In Asakusa, we ran the tourist trap gauntlet  (the shopping street Nakamise) to see Senso-ji (aka Asakusa Kannon Temple), the oldest Buddhist temple in Tokyo.  In keeping with the Japanese commingling of Buddhism and Shintoism, there is also the Asakusa Shrine nearby.  It was already dark at this point so our pictures have an eerie quality to them.

Hozomon Gate at Senso-ji

Main Hall at Senso-ji

Bodisattva Avalokiteshvara  right and Bodisattva Seshi  left. 

Pagoda at Senso-ji

Torii to Asakusa Shrine

Hozomon Gate and Pagoda at Senzo-ji
Ginza- Chuo-ku
To finish off our day we headed by subway to Ginza for a vegetarian Indian dinner at Nataraj and a stroll on Chuo Ku in all its Christmas splendor.  We headed on the subway (the Hibaya line) back to Ebisu where we said goodbye for now to our friend, who we would meet again in Kyoto two days later.   We, of course, decided to celebrate our very full day with a Japanese cake from Starbucks.   We had no problem with jet lag that night!

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