Monday, September 6, 2010

Newlyweds in Nippon: Tokyo Part 2

After we traipsed around Tokyo with animals, the Glasses and more anime than I've ever seen in one place - it was time to go full-tourist-mode.

We bought a one day free pass for the Tokyo subway, and off we went. First stop was the Ginza.After about five seconds we realized we were way too poor and frumpy to actually do anything in the high-end shopping district. So we bought an $8 dollar salad (with pumpkin in it!) and considered our journey there essentially over.
Next, we visited the huge lantern and shrine at Asakusa.
It was crowded, but I really enjoyed looking through the open-air marketplace.
They sold a bunch of different novelty and street foods, such as yen-printed cookies, yakitori (meat sticks) and freshly made senbei (rice crackers):

The bag-lover in me wished we had more yen to spend.

We picked up some hot-off-the-press manju, which are pastries filled with sweet red bean paste. They were molded into the shape of the famous lantern, pagoda, etc.That's the cool (and rather commercial) part about Japan - each region has something that makes it famous - whether it's their own special food, historical site, or mascot!

After our Asakusa visit, we subway'ed over to the Imperial Palace. Unfortunately, you can't go too far in, unless it's New Year's Day or the Emperor's birthday.
This building was off-limits, protected by some shrubbery. We heard some yelling back there though, perhaps a training dojo?

However, the outside grounds that you can visit are very beautiful. They even had a small art exhibit in honor of the year of the tiger, which was pretty cool (and free!).
Some cool mons on the old guardhouse buildings!

The palace was filled with amazing Japanese Maple trees.

Something about beautiful gardens just turned on the coupley-instinct.

And I came to the realization that every moat in Japan has turtles in it. How awesome is that?

For the final subway trip that day, we visited one of Japan's most famous landmarks: Tokyo Tower.
Sak said it had looked much taller last time he was there.

After a close encounter with the wheels of a tour bus, we rode the elevator up the tower.
Sak waited his turn behind all the kids to stand on the look-down glass.

We had hoped for a view of Mt. Fuji, but alas, the sky was not clear enough.

We did see our buddy, Keroro, in the gift shop though.

Thus, our trip on the Tokyo Subway ended, but not before I satisfied my newly-acquired craving for soft-boiled eggs.
Egg pizza! Yum.

But surely that can't be all we did in the great city of Tokyo, right? Of course not. One night, we crossed over Rainbow Bridge to visit the "entertainment island" of Odaiba.
Pallet Town's fun-loving sister?

It had a boardwalk atmosphere, minus the boardwalk. But the best part - I think, was on the top floor of the Deck's shopping building.Yes. Ninja Warrior (Sasuke)! "Muscle Park" had a mini-setup of the final tower, where normal people could try their skills at the famous TV show challenges. We cheered along with the crowd for people as they attempted the upper-body hurdles, but most didn't make it to far! It's hard!

Across the highway we found a Toyota test building, where we could see decorated cars, race cars and concept transports for the future.
I got a little homesick for our baby, a Prius named "the Falcon", as well.

But before we leave Tokyo for good - I can't forget to mention our (very expensive) trip to the Pokemon Center. Okay, I admit we got too excited - and thought there would be clerks dressed up as Nurse Joy and places for you to "heal" your Pokemon - but it's really just a merchandise store. Although, I must say - a pretty awesome merchandise store.

I think these are pokemon poop-shaped cookies. We didn't buy any to find out though.

Sak "mystery-gifts" on the Pokewalker - not surprisingly, they were giving out the technical move, "overheat"! I repeat, it was hot!

And that, folks, is what us Saks did in Tokyo. With the biggest population in the world, Tokyo is simultaneously overwhelming, amazing, ancient, cutting-edge, noisy, scenic, delicious, and uh, pricy. I miss it.

Next up - we leave the big city to explore the rest of the country!


  1. Were those REAL turtles on the moat? And Pokemon poop cookies?!?! o_O

  2. Haha. I'm so used to turtles, I never realized that Japan has a lot of the same things that we do in Florida. (So far: Turtles and mad humidity. Oh, and beaches)

    Also - I hate the egg pizza! They used to do it randomly to our pizzas in France so it was like playing roulette every time you ordered. After a few eggs I stuck to dominoes!

  3. Beautiful! Glad you got to do some fun stuff, too, even though it was expensive! It was your honeymoon, so you deserved the splurge!

  4. Your honeymoon was so unique and looks like so much fun!

  5. "Egg pizza! Yum." Poached Egg Pizza? YEAH!!!